Sunday, February 02, 2020

From Ian:

PMW: Fatah: "We will defend Palestine with [our] blood and souls," "The deal of the century will not pass"
Abbas’ Fatah has responded vocally to US President Trump’s peace plan – “the deal of the century” – adamantly rejecting it and even implying Palestinians should engage in violence and “defend Palestine with their blood and souls.” The image above of the Dome of the Rock appeared in a post with the following text:
Posted text: “Not for sale

Text on image: “#Down_with_the_deal_of_the_century
Is not a homeland that is sold and purchased
But rather a piece of the Quran
that we will defend with [our] blood and souls”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Jan. 30, 2020]
Fatah also emphasized its ideology that it won’t give up any part of “Palestine” – a “Palestine” in which all of Israel is included. Abbas, as chairman of both the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, may assert that the Palestinians are only interested in a “Palestine” on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, but the messages from his own Fatah contradict this.

The image below shows that Fatah intends for “Palestine” to include all of Israel, and the accompanying text stresses this further. A man with a keffiyeh (Arab headdress) is lying on the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas. The man is covering the entire map with his body - from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – which rejects the existence of Israel in any borders. One of the man’s legs is crossed over the other, showing the sole of his sandal on which is written: “The deal of the century” – referring to US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan, which he revealed together with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jan. 28, 2020. In Arab culture showing someone the sole of your shoe is considered an insult and scorn.

Text at top of cartoon: “From the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Jan. 30, 2020]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that PA and Fatah leaders often use the expression “From the Sea to the River” to describe “Palestine” and deny Israel's right to exist.

Fatah also posted a cartoon reiterating Abbas’ statement after Trump’s announcement of the deal, calling for Fatah and Hamas to unite. The cartoon shows from left to right Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas, Islamic Jihad Movement leader Khaled Al-Batsh, and other Arab figures with their arms interlocked standing in a protective circle around the PA map of “Palestine.” On the map is written “Palestine” in English above the Dome of the Rock with a Palestinian flag flying over it.

Posted text: “#Down_with_the_deal_of_the_century”
Text at bottom of cartoon: “No to [Israeli] annexation of the Jordan Valley; Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine; down with the deal of the century”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Jan. 30, 2020]
Fatah threatens anyone supporting the deal of the century

The PA about Jews visiting the Temple Mount: “Jerusalem will not be defiled”
Text on screen: "The occupation's forces and its settlers invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jerusalem will not be defiled."
[Official PA TV, Jan. 26, 2020]
The PA and its leaders claim all of the Temple Mount is an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they view any presence of Jews on the mount as an "invasion." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

UN agency warns protection of Palestinian refugees threatened by US Mideast plan; appeals for $1.4 billion in funding
While appealing for $1.4 billion in funding for 2020, the cash-strapped U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has warned that the U.S. Middle East plan is likely to lead to greater instability and uncertainty for the 5.6 million refugees it assists in the Israeli occupied territories and in other regional countries.

UNWRA reports it is facing the worst financial crisis in its history at a time of growing needs of the Palestinian refugees and great political uncertainty in the Middle East. Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the United States, which had been UNRWA’s biggest donor, cut off $360 million in funding to the agency in 2018. The amount was nearly one-third of UNRWA’s budget.

Acting Commissioner General of UNRWA Christian Saunders said the agency received phenomenal support from other countries in 2018. But that support waned last year, causing a funding shortfall of $55 million.

He said Trump’s recently unveiled Middle East plan is causing another body blow to the humanitarian and protection needs of Palestinian refugees. He said that clashes that have erupted in the occupied territories and around Jerusalem after the plan was presented could be a harbinger of worse things to come.

“There are a lot of people that still are in a state of shock over the proposal. What will happen after that shock wears off, I do not know. We certainly have serious concerns that it will result in an escalation in clashes and in violence” he says.

Seth Frantzman: Gulf states vs Iran and Arab League on 'Deal of Century'
Gulf states that are open to US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” must walk a complex line today amid Iran’s calls for regional resistance against the deal and the Arab League’s rejection of the deal.

When Trump rolled out the “peace to prosperity” deal on January 28 there was a lot of buzz about some Arab states being amenable to the deal.
These appeared to include Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The first three are states that have shown more warmth toward Israel in the last several years. For instance Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman in 2018 and several other Israeli ministers have visited the UAE or planned to visit. Bahrain also hosted the economic aspect of the peace plan rollout in 2019.

Every month in the last years brought some evidence of warming relations between Israel and the Gulf. Even Qatar, which sends funding to Gaza via Israel, has done outreach in the last years to pro-Israel voices. But the elephant in the room was always direct meetings and normalization. Can Israel get any kind of normalization without embracing a Palestinian state or withdrawing from the West Bank? The Arab peace initiative put forward in 2002 envisioned peace to come through Israeli withdrawal. Israel already had some limited relations with the Gulf in the 1990s.

During the peace plan announcement several Gulf states were mentioned and thanked for their apparently helpful role or flexibility. These included Oman, Bahrain and the UAE. Pro-Iranian media sought to emphasize that some Arab governments, termed “traitors” or “reactionaries” had backed the deal. In addition Turkey has sought to portray its rulers as rallying against the deal and seeking to save Jerusalem. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted Hamas over the weekend to show he was standing against Trump’s deal.

With media like media like Middle East Monitor claiming that “major Arab states support, Turkey rejects deal of the century” and Iranian voices speaking out, the rhetorical battle lines were drawn in the region. Middle East Eye also claimed that the UAE and Saudi Arabia backed Trump’s deal. The reality was more muted. While Bahrain, UAE and Oman envoys did attend the peace plan rollout, it was not clear if they knew all its contents or that Israeli politicians would make controversial “annexation” comments in its wake.
David Horovitz: What if Trump’s pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian plan turns out to be the opposite?
Could it be, therefore, that this supposed unprecedentedly pro-Israel plan — this vision unveiled by a pro-Israel US president; opposed by all the usual Israel-haters, from Iran to Turkey’s President Erdogan to Hamas; castigated by all the familiar Trump-opposing Israel-bashers, from Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren to Jimmy Carter — actually adds up to the very opposite?

Abbas’s late and unlamented predecessor Yasser Arafat never recognized an imperative to come to terms with Israel and legitimize it as a Jewish state because he was confident that the Palestinians would prevail over Israel by sheer weight of numbers. Wait long enough, and don’t compromise on territorial demands, he determined, and eventually the Jews will constitute a minority between the river and sea.

Arafat, and Abbas after him, indeed proved resolutely unbending. And Israel, encouraging settlement expansion — even in mainly Palestinian-populated areas that, until this week, it consensually anticipated relinquishing under any future accord — deepened its entanglement with the Palestinians.

Now the US peace plan has ostensibly punished the Palestinians for their obduracy, and rewarded the Israelis by recognizing our rights to further portions of this biblically resonant territory.

But what if it is the Palestinians, having rejected decades of Israeli land-for-peace overtures, who actually emerge as the victors? And what if it is Israel — entrenched among those intransigent Palestinians in a single, friction-filled entity, its democracy compromised, its Jewish majority erased — that loses its very essence?
Daphne Anson: An Australian Jewish Spokesman on Double Standards & the Middle East (video)
No leftist nonsense here.

Just plain commonsense.

Dr David Adler, head of the Australian Jewish Association, in his latest interview by the Outsiders panel on Sky News.

Israel’s Right needs to realize Washington isn’t stupid - Analysis
Apparently, the peace team – consisting of Kushner, Avi Berkowitz and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman – was left with two options: either release the plan now or not until after the election on November 3. Netanyahu seemingly thought he could push the boundaries and maybe get away with immediate annexation and in return gain some votes on the Right. He was wrong.

Netanyahu’s other mistake was that he raised high expectations on the Right. While the plan is undoubtedly an achievement he can take credit for, all the talk of Israel being on the verge of annexing large swaths of the West Bank raised expectations so high that when the dream didn’t come true, the disappointment was just as great.

The Americans though were not initially prepared for the immediate annexation drive. Even if Trump used the word “immediate” in his remarks on Tuesday at the White House, he did not mean that it should happen without coordination with the US and within a few days.

First, the joint committee – consisting of three Americans and three Israelis – has to meet, go over maps, satellite footage and borders, and then decide on what can be annexed, where and when.

Is it possible that something can be done in the coming weeks and before the March 2 election? Maybe. The bulk though is not expected to move forward until after Israelis go to the polls.

In the meantime, a suggestion: To all those hailing the plan and pushing for annexation, read the plan. It’s available online. You might learn a thing or two.
Rivlin chides Abbas for claiming Russian, Ethiopian immigrants aren’t Jews
President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday rebuked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his claim a day earlier that Israel had brought non-Jewish Russian and Ethiopian immigrants en masse, and for citing that as a reason he wouldn’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

At a President’s Residence event launching an anti-racism initiative, Rivlin directly addressed Abbas.

“Do me a favor. Nobody is going to change the Jewish and democratic character of our state,” he said.

“We are a democratic state for all our citizens and it is a Jewish state for the simple reason that the Jewish people has no other state. It has returned to its land,” Rivlin continued.

“I was born 80 years ago, when there were a quarter of a million Jews in this land. Today I am the president of a state with 9 million citizens and 7 million Jews, who speak Hebrew and feel that this state is Jewish,” he said, adding that “we came to live in peace with whoever was born and lives in this land.”

Abbas made the comment in a lengthy speech Saturday delivered at an Arab League meeting in Cairo denouncing the new White House plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which he said he was cutting all ties, including security coordination, with both Israel and the US.

Abbas, protesting that the plan requires him to recognize a Jewish state, derided the very notion, claiming many immigrants to Israel weren’t Jewish at all.
Report: CIA chief secretly visited Ramallah after peace plan announcement
CIA director Gina Haspel secretly traveled to Ramallah on Thursday, the day after US President Donald Trump's peace plan was announced, Israel's Kan public broadcaster reported on Sunday.

Haspel met with Palestinian Authority officials, who told her of their intention to sever all ties, including security, with Israel and the United States.

Kan reported that the CIA chief, who came to assess the PA's attitude after the announcement of the US peace plan, did not meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas during her visit.

However, Haspel did meet with PA intelligence chief Majed Farage, who reportedly told her that despite Ramallah's opposition to the American proposal the exchange of information with the CIA will continue.
AFP Lends Hand to Palestinian Propaganda
At an Arab League meeting in Cairo yesterday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas displayed egregiously misleading propaganda maps of “historic Palestine,” falsely portraying all of what is now Israel under Palestinian control prior to 1947, with increasingly diminished Palestinian land over the decades. In actuality, a Palestinian government has never held control of any territory in the region until the Oslo Accords in the 1990s. Yet, the Agence France Presse captions of the map went along with the Palestinian leader’s completely ahistorical take of the maps, failing to give any context or frame the false, anti-Israel propaganda as just that.

An example of the series of yesterday’s AFP photos of the Abbas’ “The Palestinians Historic Compromise” maps and grossly misleading captions, which wholly adopt Abbas’ rewriting of history, follows:

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas holds a placard showing maps of (L to R) historical Palestine, the 1947 United Nations partition plan on Palestine, the 1948-1967 borders between the Palestinian territories and Israel, and a current map of the Palestinian territories without Israeli-annexed areas and settlements, as he attends an Arab League emergency meeting discussing the US-brokered proposal for a settlement of the Middle East conflict at the league headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo on February 1, 2020. Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas announced on February 1 a cut of all ties with Israel and the United States, including security cooperation, days after Washington unveiled a controversial Middle East peace plan. Abbas spoke at an Arab League meeting in Cairo called after US President Donald Trump presented the plan, which is seen as staunchly favouring Israel, but offers Palestinians a pathway to a limited state. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

The left-most map shows the land almost entirely colored green and labeled as “Palestine” as it supposedly existed in 1946. Moving from the left to the right, the maps depict the shrinking land allegedly belonging to Palestine, along with the creeping expansion of the white areas under Israeli control. As CAMERA’s Steven Stotsky explained at the time:

The green area is simply a rendering of the territory not under Israeli sovereignty. It does NOT demarcate land possessed by Arabs or by the mythical state of Palestine. In fact, the vast majority of the land (over 90 percent) had no legally recognized owner after the dissolution of the Ottoman empire in the wake of World War I. The disposition of the green areas remains to this day undetermined because the Arabs rejected the United Nations partition resolution in 1947 and because the Palestinians continue to reject any final agreement with Israel.

After NBC used these propaganda maps in 2015, accepting them at face value, the network was later compelled to retract. Correspondent Martin Fletcher commendably explained in the subsequent broadcast why the maps were wrong.
Daily Mail legitimises four Palestinian maps that lie
There never was, at any time in history, a sovereign Palestinian state, within any borders. This is not an Israeli talking point, but an indisputable fact. That of course hasn’t stopped Palestinian leaders, pro-Palestinian activists and, at times, even mainstream media outlets, from trotting out an often used propaganda map suggesting otherwise.

An article in the Daily Mail (Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas cuts all ties with Israel and the US over Donald Trump’s latest peace plan, Feb. 1st) includes a photo and caption which serves to legitimize this map:

Mahmoud Abbas’s map is a lie, as it suggests that the entire land, from the river to the sea (depicted on the first map), is, or was at some point, theirs, and that any proposal which involves a Jewish state within this territory, is, by definition, a Palestinian territorial compromise. It further falsely implies that the current US peace plan (represented by the fourth map) would grant them territory equal to 15% of “their” land. Palestinians who use this map are attempting to convince people that Jews have been gobbling up more and more “Palestinian land” by creating a false history in which Israel had supplanted a pre-existing Palestinian state.

However, the first map simply shows British Mandatory Palestine (minus Transjordan): that is, land controlled by the British from 1920-48, which previously was controlled by the Ottoman Turkish Empire. In fact, none of pre-1948 “Palestine” was ever under the political authority or Palestinians/Arabs.
Kushner should know that Muslims already pray freely on Temple Mount
Jared Kushner is not the liberator of Jerusalem, nor is Donald Trump.

One can choose to ignore these exaggerations as figures of speech.

But these comments are being made in a context where the idea of Israel being a poor custodian of Jerusalem has led to violence repeatedly.

Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was the mufti of Jerusalem, is the father of the “al-Aqsa is in danger” libel, which sparked the 1929 Hebron massacre, in which Arabs murdered 69 Jews and maimed scores of others. The Second Intifada of 2000 was known as the Aqsa Intifada, because that was the site on which it began when the Wakf at the time called on Palestinians to “defend” the site. And the 2015-16 “stabbing intifada” occurred amid similar incitement and claims of Israeli threats.

One of the books Kushner read during the years he worked on the peace plan – The Fight for Jerusalem by Dore Gold – includes an entire chapter titled “Jerusalem as an apocalyptic trigger for radical Islam.” Kushner even mentioned radicalization in his interview with MBC.

Yet he repeatedly said Israel allowing Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount would be a major new development to take place if the Trump plan is adopted, implying that Israel has not been doing that all along.

Was he trying to pander to an Arab audience? Maybe.

Either way, he should be careful not to lend credence to the “al-Aqsa is in danger” fallacy. When it comes to the Temple Mount, caution is always the smart move.
Kushner: Palestinians welcome to propose alternative to borders set out in plan
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Saturday that the borders envisioned by the Trump peace plan for Israel and the future state of Palestine are not set in stone and that the Palestinian Authority is welcome to provide input that Washington will take into consideration.

“If there are things they want to change, if they don’t like where we drew the lines, they should come and tell us,” Kushner told Egyptian journalist Amr Adeeb during an interview on the El-Hekaya news show.

But in an apparent contradiction, the senior White House adviser also made clear that the US was moving forward with plans to recognize an Israeli annexation of West Bank settlements, which would limit the amount of land that will be up for negotiation. Moreover, he declared that if the PA did not agree to work with the Trump administration’s peace proposal, Israeli settlements would continue to expand, thereby making it impossible to establish a Palestinian state.

“What’s been happening for many years is that Israel has been expanding as they’ve been negotiating and negotiating, and there has not been a resolution to the conflict,” he said.

Kushner Tells Egyptian TV Peace Plan Aims to Block Settlements Expansion
President Donald Trump’s son-in-la and personal advisor Jared Kushner on Sunday told Egyptian journalist Amr Adib on MBC Masr’s Al Hikaya news program that the White House peace plan, a.k.a. Deal of the Century, seeks to curb the expansion of the settlements where more than half a million people live today, in order to enable the feasibility of a future Palestinian state.

Kushner told the Egyptian interviewer that blocking the growth of the settlements was made possible in exchange for giving territory to Israel which it would have never left anyway. He also said the map that has been attached to the program is not a scientific map, but only a concept map.

“Whether you draw the line here or there – it doesn’t matter,” Kushner said.

“If the Palestinians don’t like where the line is drawn they should tell us where they want to draw it,” Kushner said.

The Trump adviser rejected the claims that the PA had been offered better maps in the past, and said that never in the past peace negotiations had any official map been presented that Israel agreed to.

“It will take us two months to work out some of the territory and understand how to turn the concept map into a technical map – every road, every hill and every inch – and we want to see if we can this territory recognized,” Kushner said.
EU top diplomat: US 'so-called peace plan' challenges international law
European Union High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said that US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace deal, "challenges many of the internationally agreed parameters: the 1967 border, as agreed by both parties, with a state of Israel and an independent, viable State of Palestine, living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition."

Borrell referred to the "Deal of the Century" as "the so-called peace plan," mocking the United States' efforts.

On Sunday, the EU released Borrell's remarks following his meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

Speaking in Jordan, Borrell noted the country's "very special role" in the peace process, "in particular as regards Jerusalem and as custodian of the Holy Sites." He affirmed that the EU shares this position and is committed to "two-state solution and respect for international law."
Russia doubts viability of Trump peace plan, EU stresses commitment to 2 states
A Kremlin spokesperson voiced criticism Sunday of the Trump administration’s proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace, saying it was not in compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“There is a whole number of respective resolutions of the UN Security Council,” Dmitry Peskov told Russian media. “It’s obvious that certain points of this plan are not in full compliance with the UNSC resolutions.

“We see the Palestinians’ reaction, we see the reaction of the whole number of Arab states, which show solidarity with the Palestinians in opposing this plan,” Peskov said. “This certainly raises doubts over its viability.”

BBC Radio 4’s preemptive framing of the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan
Half a day before the launch of the US administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan on January 28th, BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme aired an edition which included several reports concerning a document which had at that stage not yet been made public.

Listeners heard a report from the BBC’s Jerusalem correspondent Tom Bateman (at 10:03 here), a news bulletin (at 2:02:46) during which Bateman told audiences that “the Palestinians say it [the US plan] would entrench apartheid” and another report by Bateman (at 2:48:40) based on vox pop interviews with people in Jerusalem.

The main item in that programme (from 2:10:04) included interviews with three people. Presenter Nick Robinson began by once again promoting the unsupported claim that the US administration calls the document ‘the deal of the century’ and adding another.

Robinson: “It will be the deal of the century Donald Trump has long boasted; a plan which he’ll unveil today and which it’s claimed can produce what has eluded the world for decades – peace in the Middle East. It has though been drawn up without consultation with the Palestinians. The president of the Palestinian Authority has refused to even take a call from Donald Trump. That is in stark contrast to the presence at the White House yesterday of a beaming Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister.”
Protesters outside US Embassy in Lebanon decry Trump plan
Hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians held a protest Sunday near the US Embassy in Lebanon against a White House plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Protesters waving Palestinian flags gathered on a road leading to the embassy northeast of Beirut amid tight security by Lebanese troops and riot policemen.

“Death to America! Death to Israel! We will die and Palestine survive,” some of the demonstrators chanted.

The US plan would grant the Palestinians limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank, while allowing Israel to annex all its settlements there and keep nearly all of East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Netanyahu heads to Uganda for possible Jerusalem embassy announcement
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to fly to Uganda for the second time in the past four years for a one-day trip on Monday, amid reports that the African nation will open an embassy in Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the visit on Sunday, declining to comment further on the reason for the trip.

Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo told local media that Netanyahu is making “a one-day visit at his request…with a big delegation of up to 45 people.”

Sources in Uganda's Evangelical Christian community told The Jerusalem Post last week that the country will announce an embassy in Jerusalem during Netanyahu's trip.

Uganda’s president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is an Evangelical Christian.
Two injured in terror stabbings in London, suspect shot dead
British police on Sunday said they had shot a man in south London, after at least two people were stabbed in a “terrorist-related” incident.

Police later said the man had died as a witness spoke of seeing a man in Streatham “with a machete and silver canisters on his chest.”

“We can confirm that the man shot by police at around 2pm today in #Streatham High Road has been pronounced dead,” London’s Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

“The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related.”

The force added: “We believe there are two injured victims. We await updates on their conditions.”

Police said the incident had been “fully contained.”
Alleged Al-Qaeda Terrorist Leader Arrested In Phoenix On Murder Charges
Federal law enforcement officials arrested an alleged Al-Qaeda terrorist leader in Phoenix, Arizona, late this week on murder charges filed by the Iraqi government.

Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, a 42-year-old Iraqi national was “wanted to stand trial in Iraq for two charges of premeditated murder committed in 2006 in Al-Fallujah,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.

An Iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for Ahmed and subsequently requested Ahmed’s extradition from the United States.

“According to the information provided by the Government of Iraq in support of its extradition request, Ahmed served as the leader of a group of Al-Qaeda terrorists in Al-Fallujah, Iraq, which planned operations targeting Iraqi police,” the DOJ added. “Ahmed and other members of the Al-Qaeda group allegedly shot and killed a first lieutenant in the Fallujah Police Directorate and a police officer in the Fallujah Police Directorate, on or about June 1, 2006, and October 3, 2006, respectively.”

The DOJ noted that the decision to extradite him to Iraq will ultimately be made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
After relative calm with Gaza, four days of rocket fire towards Israel
The Israeli Air Force struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday after rocket fire towards southern Israel and dozens of explosive balloons launched throughout the day from the coastal enclave controlled by the terror group.

On Saturday night incoming rocket sirens were activated in the communities of Nahal Oz and Alumim in the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council while Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz and other top members of his party were visiting the area.

The rocket hit an open field and caused no damage or injuries.

In retaliation, among the targets hit by the IAF included underground infrastructure for Hamas's military arm in the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Strip.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) also announced on Saturday that there would be an embargo on bringing cement into the Gaza Strip. In addition, the IDF is cutting 500 permits into Israel for Gaza merchants effective Sunday morning, until further notice.
Hamas leader Haniyeh decides to settle in Qatar - report
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has decided to remain outside the Gaza Strip for a lengthy period of time, Hamas officials told the Saudi London-based Ashraq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Haniyeh, who left the Gaza Strip in December 2019, could remain outside the Gaza Strip until the end of this year, the officials said.

“The decision is related to internal arrangements in Hamas and complications connected to travel to and from the Gaza Strip,” the officials said.

They denied that Egypt has banned Haniyeh from returning to the Gaza Strip and said the Hamas leader has decided not to return home at this stage.

Haniyeh has decided to settle in Qatar at this phase and it’s not known whether his family will join him, the officials added.

The report about Haniyeh’s purported decision not to return to the Gaza Strip is believed to be linked to Egypt’s dissatisfaction over his recent visit to Iran.
The Fallacious Argument About Free Speech and Israel
In a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed, UCLA Professor David Myers and Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller claim that StandWithUs’ Title VI complaint against UCLA — in conjunction with President Trump’s December 11 Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism — is part of a larger organization-wide agenda to stifle free speech and debate about Israel on college campuses. This accusation is patently false — and, ironically, part of a widespread attempt to typecast pro-Israel organizations such as StandWithUs as in step with a “conservative attack” on campuses nationwide.

During the spring semester of 2019, a Jewish, Zionist student at UCLA named Shayna Lavi sat through a mandatory Anthropology class in which a guest lecturer (San Francisco State professor Rabab Abdulhadi), delivered a lengthy diatribe, calling Israel a racist endeavor and equating Zionism with white supremacy.

When Lavi challenged Abdulhadi, she was discounted and continuously berated in front of the entire class. When she complained to the UCLA administration, her professor Kyeyoung Park, who had invited Abdulhadi to speak, began calling Lavi — and only Lavi — out by name in front of her class of over 100 students.

UCLA administrators could have condemned the guest lecturer outright. They could have taken the opportunity to publicly denounce antisemitism in all its forms. They could have required — or even merely suggested — that Park bring in a guest lecturer to present a counter perspective on what is indisputably a nuanced and controversial topic. The UCLA administration took no such actions, however.

Unfortunately, this incident was merely one in a series of antisemitic incidents at UCLA, where the administration has stood idly by, refusing to take the necessary steps to address the needs of its Jewish students admist an increasingly hostile campus climate.
German lawyer sues Expedia for denying service to Israeli
A prominent German attorney has filed a lawsuit against online travel agency Expedia for denying service to an Israeli passenger who wanted to fly on a Kuwait Airways plane.

A court hearing will take place on Wednesday, attorney Nathan Gelbart told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday.

“Kuwait Airways denies transportation of Israeli passengers because of a racist boycott law against the Jewish state, claiming it must not let Israeli passengers on board,” he said.

“The truth is: Kuwait Airways does not want to transport Israeli passengers. The antisemitic regime of Kuwait owns Kuwait Airways... and can change this situation with one phone call,” Gelbart told the Post.

“This is ridiculous,” he said. “ shamefully supports this racist boycott by selling tickets for Kuwait Airways. Gelbart Legal together with the US-based Lawfare Project will continue to fight against racism and discrimination against Jews, especially when it occurs on German soil.”

“Kuwait Airways discriminates against Jews – and Expedia provides support” in connection with the alleged bias," Gelbart said.
Portuguese cartoonist publishes antisemitic political cartoon
Portuguese cartoon artist Vasco Gargalo has been criticized for creating an antisemitic political cartoon that was published in the weekly Portuguese news magazine Sábado.

Media reports were disseminated last week showing Gargalo’s cartoon, which depicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wearing an armband like that of the Nazis but with a Star of David rather than a swastika on it.

In the image, Netanyahu is pushing a coffin draped in a Palestinian Authority flag into an oven. Above the oven is the infamous gate of Auschwitz with the German phrase “Arbeit macht frei,” meaning “work sets you free.”

The cartoon, which was created on November 15, 2019, and is titled “The Crematorium,” sparked debate after its publication in Sábado.

The right-wing Btsalmo (In His Image), an Israel-based human-rights organization, has written a formal complaint to the editor of Sábado, demanding that Gargalo be dismissed, that it remove all copies of the cartoon and that it issue a public apology.
BDS South Africa posts antisemitic cartoon in response to peace plan
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has slammed the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement in South Africa (BDS SA) “for using political events to demonize and incite hatred” against Jews.

Last week, BDS SA posted a cartoon on its Facebook page in response to US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” announcement.

The cartoon depicts the plan as a piece of Swiss cheese with Israelis, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, drawn with rat-like facial features. Several also have noticeable rat tails as they “chomp” through the cheese, while other caricatures, wearing kippot, also have large noses.

They bring to mind stereotypical features and antisemitic tropes of how Jews were depicted as vermin by the Nazi’s prior to and during the Holocaust.

A sign reading “Kosher Cheese” is also placed on the cheese, making the intentions about the cartoon clear.
Terror Supporter Abbas Hamideh's GoFundMe shut down
Abbas Hamideh never meet a terrorist he didn't love.
The Cleveland based Israel-hater has even laudified the despicable child killer Samir Kuntar.

Abbas Hamideh described the cowardly Hassan Nasrallah- a man who has called for the genocide of the of the Jewish people the "most honorable"Arab Muslim leader of our time.

Abbas Hamideh has proudly posed with Rasmea Odeh, the murderer of 2 young men, killed by a bomb she planted in a kosher grocery store in Jerusalem. He described the unrepentant bomber as "courageous" and "an inspiration".

Abbas Hamideh has targeted elected officials in their homes.

Not the ones he likes, of course.

Abbas Hamideh has referred to Ashkenazi Jews as "non Semitic shlomos from Poland". He has accused the "cabal" of exploiting the terror attacks against the Jewish community in Monsey.

In an all too crowded field of Jew haters, the Puerto Rican born and raised activist stands apart for his shameless self-promotion, sheer lack of moral compass, and utter depravity.
Former BBC Persian journalist mourns Qasem Soleimani
Following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, Iranian-American journalist Mohammad Manzarpour, who served as BBC Persian’s correspondent in Jerusalem and Gaza between 2008-2011, tweeted as follows (translation from Farsi, in-bracket remarks and emphases by CAMERA Arabic):

January 2nd: “General Soleimani was one of the military masterminds of modern era, even if, like General Rommel, the government he served is subject to criticism. Iran has lost a high-ranked field general and a full-fledged soldier. His memory is cherished.”

January 3rd: “I am sure that users who celebrate the killing of an Iranian commander are by and large not Iranian, [rather] they are Farsi speakers, for example the Cyber Corps of Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Barazani clan [i.e. separatist Kurds] and, of course, the brainwashed captives of Tirana [i.e. Mojahedin-e Khalq]. An Iranian, no matter how opposed to the regime s/he is [Manzarpour defines himself as “opposed to the regime”, for example here] would not go so low.”

Manzarpour’s LinkedIn profile suggests that after his return to North America from the Middle East he served as Bureau Editor in BBC Farsi between 2011-2013, and as Executive Editor in Voice of America’s Farsi department between 2013-2017. One can only imagine how his views, as reflected in his January 2020 tweets, have influenced his coverage and editorial policies throughout almost a decade of work in service of Western media outlets – especially when focusing on Israel and the Palestinian territories.
With 6 employees and under $2 million, her mission is to stop NYC anti-Semitism
Earlier this month, Deborah Lauter stood in a Holocaust museum among students of color from a Brooklyn public school trying to explain why the museum is relevant to the current rise in anti-Semitism in their borough.

“The Holocaust didn’t happen in a vacuum,” Lauter told the students. “It started with egg throwing. It started with prejudice, discrimination. And what you’re going to see today is a genocide.”

In the months before the museum tour, New York had been plagued by a rise in attacks on Jews, from egg throwing to vandalism to harassment to assault.

In September, following a string of such attacks, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Lauter as the inaugural executive director of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. She came to the job following a career at the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups.

Part of her job is to raise the alarm about anti-Semitism in America’s largest — and most Jewish — city. But at the same time, Lauter wants to dial down the panic. Yes, it’s rising. And yes, it’s bad. But is it Germany in 1933?

Not even close, Lauter says.

“What took me aback over these four months is the level of fear — I get it — but the level of rhetoric in framing what’s happening as a pogrom or Holocaust analogies,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a phone interview earlier this month. “What we’ve seen is not state-sponsored anti-Semitism. Elected officials, law enforcement, the government, have absolutely been there for the community.”
Intel's Israeli exports soar by 70% to $6.6 billion in 2019
Exports from Intel's operations in Israel surged by over 69% in 2019 to a total of $6.6 billion, the giant American chipmaker said on Sunday.

The company, which directly employs approximately 13,700 workers across Israel, witnessed exports rise from $3.9b. in 2018 to an unprecedented high as it continues to deepen its activity in the local market.

Intel has exported a total of $60b. of goods since commencing operations in Israel in 1974, the company said. During that time, the Silicon Valley-headquartered corporation has invested some $20.5b. in establishing Israeli R&D and production facilities.

In December 2019, Intel announced the acquisition of Tel Aviv-based AI processor developer Habana Labs in a deal worth approximately $2b. The company's largest local acquisition, and the record "exit" of an Israeli company to date, was the purchase of Mobileye for $15.3b. in August 2017.

"This past year, Intel strengthened its technological leadership in the field of artificial intelligence with the launch of new products and the acquisition of Habana Labs," said Intel Israel general-manager Yaniv Garty.

"The company also deepened its relationship with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and opened the Ignite start-up accelerator which, together with a series of investments by Intel Capital, led Intel to strengthen its relationship with Israeli start-ups. I am convinced that in 2020 too, Intel Israel will continue to represent a strong and significant force, and continue to bring real value to Intel globally."

Intel said its acquisition of Habana Labs, the company's second largest in Israel to date, will strengthen its artificial intelligence portfolio and accelerate its efforts in the fast-growing AI silicon market, expected to be worth more than $25b. by 2024.

The tech giant also opened its new development center in Petah Tikva in 2019, described as one of the world's "smartest buildings" and home to 1,800 employees. Last year, Intel procured $1.8b. of goods and services from local companies, with the large majority (75%) sourced from small and medium enterprises.
Israel Aerospace Lands $240 Million for U.S. Air Force T-38 Replacement Wings
State-run Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said Sunday it has landed a $240 million contract to provide replacement wings for U.S. Air Force T-38 training aircraft.

IAI said it has been producing the wings for the T-38s since 2011 and the work will be performed in Lod, Israel.

The deal was the result of a competitive bid process, with four applications received.

The Northrop T-38 Talon, which was entered into service in 1961, was the world’s first supersonic trainer at the time of its introduction.

During the Space Shuttle era it was established NASA tradition for astronauts to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center in T-38s.

The aircraft ceased production in 1972, but more than 500 are currently operational as trainer planes.
Israeli singing star Noa Kirel trades sequins for IDF uniform
Israeli singing star Noa Kirel joined the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday, although her army service won’t be quite like that of a typical 18-year-old recruit.

She will be on a special musical track, the “Talent” track, where she will have her own band, rather than joining an existing army band. She was accompanied for her enlistment at the Tel Hashomer induction center by her parents, her manager and her boyfriend, Yonatan Margi, also a singer, who joined the army last year.

In an interview with the Pnai Plus website, she said she knew she would be going to Camp 80 and would be there for about three weeks.
Kirel has been one of Israel’s most successful singers for the past four years.

“I haven’t slept all night, I was so excited,” she told Pnai Plus. There was never any doubt that she would enlist, she said, adding: “It’s something I’ve always wanted. I have a strong military past, my grandfather, my dad. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be recruited or not, because I have a kidney problem... but we did retests... I want to serve as an example for boys and girls to enlist. It was very important to me.”
Fizzy water maker SodaStream returns to Super Bowl with ‘water on Mars’ ad
Israel's SodaStream returning to Super Bowl
Soda Stream is making a comeback in America's 54th Super Bowl this Sunday. The commercial features Bill Nye, known as "the science guy."

The commercial is scheduled to appear immediately before half time on what is considered to be one of the world's most prominent commercial platforms.The intention of this year's SodaStream commercial is to show viewers a new way to be more environmentally friendly by saving plastic bottle usage.

The last few seconds of the clip are set inside the astronauts' residence on Mars, they're on video call with Earth, when the sounds of the SodaStream machine hisses in the background. The camera pans around to show one astronaut quenching his thirst with a refreshing SodaStream drink, only for the rest of his team to realize it's the precious collected vile of Mars water.

The clip shows Nye and another well-known personality: Elisa Carson, 18, the world's youngest astronaut who is now in training for a mission to Mars.

SodaStream ends the clip with the statements that it aims to "eliminate 67 billion single-use bottles on this planet, so we don't have to go looking for a new one," to which Nye says, "This changes everything."

This would be the first time that a SodaStream commercial is running since its last controversial appearance in 2014 with famous actress Scarlette Johansson. Then, Johansson was a global ambassador for an organization called Oxfam, a confederation of organizations focused on the alleviation of global poverty, and a leader in the BDS movement. Johansson received strong criticism after signing a contract with SodaStream, who at the time had its factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. She ultimately left Oxfam over a fundamental "difference of opinion."

New antiviral masks from Israel may help stop deadly coronavirus
As the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, two Israeli companies are finalizing development of revolutionary antiviral reusable facemasks.

“Israel has technologies that can support controlling this epidemic,” says Liat Goldhammer-Steinberg, CTO of Sonovia in Ramat Gan.

More than 100 people are reported dead from complications of Wuhan coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCoV.

The virus is spread by air and direct contact. The World Health Organization reports approximately 4,200 cases of infection since December 31. Most of the cases are in China. A few have been confirmed in 15 additional countries.

Because there is no vaccine or treatment for 2019-nCoV, personal protective equipment is an important way to combat the transmission of the virus and avoid a pandemic.

Disposable facemasks cannot block all pathogens and do not kill them. A used and discarded mask can even become a vector for disease as the pathogens multiply in its fibers.
This Israeli Company is Creating an 'Anti-Viral Fabric' to Kill the Coronavirus

Israeli Judoka & Gold Medalist Peter Paltchik After Big Win - Interview

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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