Friday, February 07, 2020

  • Friday, February 07, 2020
From Ian:

Clifford D. May: Trump's plan and the 2 Palestinian dreams
Palestinian leaders were handed a great and unexpected victory in late 2016 when President Obama facilitated the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334. It asserts that there is "no legal basis" for Israeli claims to the West Bank – for centuries known as Judea and Samaria – including even the 2,000-year-old Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the ancient Jewish holy sites of the Temple Mount.

If that were true, on what basis would Israelis have a right to anything – even a right to exist?
And if that's the verdict not just of Israel's enemies but even of the "international community" including the US, why should Palestinian leaders compromise? Why accept less than Israel's surrender and a new Jewish exile – to be called, for public relations purposes, an "end to occupation"?

By putting forward a plan that licenses Israelis, should they face continued Palestinian rejectionism, to alter facts on the ground through annexations, President Trump has changed the dynamic – at least for now.

Perhaps the next Palestinian Authority leader will be pragmatic enough to recognize that in the contemporary Middle East, where Iran's Shia imperialists pose an existential threat to their neighbors, it's time to relinquish the dream of a Palestine that is Jew-free from the river to the sea.

That does not mean acquiescing to everything President Trump and Kushner packed into their 180-page plan. It does mean resuming negotiations with Israelis, perhaps putting a counteroffer on the table and, for the first time ever, transitioning from "resisting" the Jewish state to building a Palestinian state – a real state, with functioning institutions, not a failed state kept afloat by the "donor community."

To do that would give birth to something that for generations has existed only in our imaginations: a peace process.
Caroline B. Glick: Israeli sovereignty and the future of President Trump's peace plan
On Wednesday morning, NeverTrump propagandist Bill Kristol told his MSNBC audience that Democratic chances of victory over US President Donald Trump will rise if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is defeated in Israel's elections on March 2.

Along the same lines, if Netanyahu fails to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria before the election, not only will he almost certainly lose those elections, his defeat will bury Trump's peace plan and harm Trump's reelection chances.

To understand why this is the case it is first necessary to understand the nature of the Blue and White party and its relationship to Trump and his peace plan.

After Trump's peace plan was published, Israelis discovered significant problems with the map attached to the plan. Among other things, the map places large sections of Highway 60, which crosses Judea and Samaria from south to north outside Israeli jurisdiction. If left uncorrected, the designation will endanger the security of tens of thousands of Israelis whose communities will be rendered isolated enclaves. Since ensuring Israel's ability to defend itself and its citizens on a permanent basis is a major goal of the plan, this omission was obviously an oversight. Netanyahu announced this week that he has assembled a team to work on the map.

So long as the map is not adjusted, members of Likud and other parties in the right-religious bloc Netanyahu leads will be unable to vote in favor of the plan, despite their support for Trump and for the plan overall.

This then brings us to Benny Gantz and his party.

Just before Gantz traveled to Washington to meet with Trump at the White House last Monday, it came out that his top campaign strategists, Ronen Tzur and Joel Benenson had both separately published multiple posts on Twitter viciously attacking Trump. Both men compared him to Hitler, called him a Russian agent and a racist. In other words, both men parroted Democratic talking points against Trump. (After his posts were reported, Tzur claimed that he no longer believed the things he had written.)

Whereas Tzur – like every garden variety Israeli leftist politico – apparently follows the Democrats on everything related to American public affairs automatically, Benenson shapes Democratic positions. Benenson served as Barack Obama's senior political strategist in the 2008 and 2012 elections and as Hillary Clinton's senior political strategist in 2016.

In 2015, Wikileaks published Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta's emails. Several email chains included internal campaign discussions in which Benenson participated. In two discussions, Benenson advised Clinton not to mention Israel in public events.

Now Benenson is directing Blue and White's campaign, and there is little reason for surprise at the seamlessness of his move from Obama and Clinton to Gantz. The Israeli left has been intertwined with the Democratic Party.
Melanie Phillips: The Palestinian dissonance
Look instead at the reaction by the Palestinians. Not the reaction by the Palestinian Authority, which was merely the latest of their many rejections of a state of their own alongside Israel.

Look at the Palestinians themselves for whom that state is intended. What is their reaction to the offer of more than 80 percent of the land for such a state? They're furious.

This isn't because it's not 100 percent of the land. They're furious at the idea that they might find themselves living in such a state. So furious that they demonstrated in the thousands against the prospect.

Palestinian leaders and their Western supporters are shrieking that the plan would strip the Israeli Arabs in the Jordan Valley and the "Triangle" area of their Israeli citizenship, and transfer them into Palestine by the simply expedient of drawing its border around their villages.

This is untrue. The Trump plan states that they will be able to choose between remaining citizens of Israel and becoming citizens of Palestine. So they wouldn't be "stripped" of their citizenship at all. Changing it would be their choice.

And surely, they would all choose to become citizens of Palestine – the outcome we've been told is the absolute precondition for ending the Arab-Israel conflict?

Give Peace (Plan) a Chance
For Israelis and Palestinians, the U.S. peace plan is the best offered in more than half a century, mainly because it directs the essential dismantling of underlying conceptions that block any peace possibility. The plan pushes the Palestinians to move off their present path of pursuing independence by undermining the State of Israel.

The Palestinians have been ill-served by their allies and previous American administrations who allowed them to live inside a bubble of victimhood. The world failed to openly repudiate Palestinians hopes to gain sovereignty while isolating and wearing down the Jewish state.

PA incitement to hate, support of terrorism, and refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state convinced the majority of Israelis (who supported the Oslo Accords and welcomed a path toward Palestinian sovereignty) that a settlement with the Palestinians will lead to a mortal threat to Israel's very existence.

For over a century the world community failed to tell the Arabs to stop their unyielding opposition to a Jewish state, which led to never-ending war and less positive outcomes for the Arabs in the Holy Land. That silence sustained the Arab and the Palestinian self-defeating policy.
Friedman to ‘Post’: Settlers should want annexation to be done right
Waiting for annexation, rather than having it be done immediately, is in the interest of settlers, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Friedman sought to provide clarity regarding the timing of US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria under the Trump administration’s peace plan, which they call a “vision.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the immediate aftermath of the plan’s presentation last month that he would annex West Bank settlements the following week. But he amended that to after the March 2 election in remarks this week. This came after Special Adviser to the US President Jared Kushner repeatedly said annexation could take a few months and would come after the election.

Though it appeared at first that Netanyahu’s and Kushner’s statements were at odds with one another, Friedman said: “There has never been a substantive disagreement on these issues.”

He pointed out that US President Donald Trump referred in his address to a presenting of the plan “to a committee being formed to work through the process of converting the conceptual map into a detailed rendering such that Israel could apply its laws in a precise manner and the US could recognize such application.”

That committee would be responsible for “going from a conceptual map drawn at a scale of more than a million to one to specific borders.” The process of doing so “is not duly protracted, but [is] certainly one that is careful and deliberative” and requires “judgment calls,” Friedman said.

“I would think the residents of Judea and Samaria would want Israel to get those right,” he added.
An open letter from Judea and Samaria mayors
In the week since this vision has been released, most of the world has declared that this is something serious to be considered and negotiated on its platform. There are notable groups included in those in support, throughout Europe and Middle East, and even more noticeable are those against Iran, Hamas, the PA.

Do you know why the Gulf countries expressed support for this vision? Do you know why the prime minister was welcomed regally to Uganda and met with the new leader of Sudan?

We are a cutting edge 21st-century regional power, that is true, but we have two secret weapons. One is G-d and the other one is our special and unique relationship with the US. Everyone around the world wants a piece of each. To hear people, regardless of rank and station, complain about the difference of opinion over timing for recognition is not only embarrassing, it is shameful.

This vision was presented as a vision, not a forced plan. If our country chooses in the future to enter into negotiation based on this basis of the vision, we should not interfere.

But while the Palestinians cry hysterically, let it not be our camp that looks and sounds unhinged – let us set an example for the entire country. We the undersigned will work to get a government that will maximize the opportunities presented by this vision while safeguarding against those who will take this vision and use it as a platform to weaken us in every which way.

We pray every day for peace and know it will only come when we are strong on our own, and the world sees no daylight between Israel and the US. This vision accomplishes all of this and more. Thank you Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for forging such a strong and strategic relationship with President Trump, Jared Kushner and Ambassador Friedman – the best friends we have ever had.
MEMRI: Senior Saudi Journalist Following Meeting Between Leaders Of Sudan And Israel: Sudan's Action Is Understandable; Many Arab Countries Hold Ties With Israel
News of the February 3, 2020 meeting between Sudanese Sovereignty Council Chairman 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Burhan and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sparked criticism in the Palestinian and Arab media. Responding to this criticism, Saudi journalist 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed. formerly the editor of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and the director of Al-Arabiya TV, expressed understanding for Al-Burhan's motives in forming ties with Israel. He noted that that the Sudanese leader is acting to remove his country from US and international terror lists, and that many other Arab states, including Qatar and even the Palestinian Authority, likewise hold ties with Israel because it suits their interests. The attack on Al-Burhan within Sudan is unjustified, he said, and stems from narrow political motives of the Muslim Brotherhood, which lost power in the country about a year ago.

The following is his article, as published in the English-language edition of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.[1]
"In our region things are not always what they seem, as in the case of the intense attack against Sudan and the chairman of its Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, under the pretext of his meeting with the Israeli prime minister in Uganda.

"The main driver behind this attack is none other than the Muslim Brotherhood, which lost power in Sudan last year. Its members are disgruntled because the Sudanese authorities began to uproot thousands of them from the educational, security and economic institutions that the Brotherhood took over during the rule of the previous regime.

"Sudan, like other countries, faces serious challenges that cannot be taken lightly, and it cannot act against its supreme interests. We cannot lose sight of the fact that more than half of all Arab countries — including Tunisia, Qatar, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and others — have dealt with Israel.

"We also cannot forget that some officials of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was previously boycotted by some Arab states on the pretext that it had concluded a deal with Israel, are making the same mistake.
Political bullying against Arab governments in the name of Palestine or Israel is unacceptable. Everyone is tired of this declining political rhetoric, which had the audacity to criticize states without taking into account their circumstances and necessities. States have their supreme interests, and sovereign decisions are not to be decided on Twitter. Nor should they be pressured by those who have personal whims or interests.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Arab Leaders Talking to Israel Are 'Traitors, Jews'
Why is it permissible for Egypt's Abdel Fattah Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah to have diplomatic relations with Israel, and not permissible for the leader of Sudan to sit with the Israeli prime minister?

Several key Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, seem to be fed up with the ongoing Palestinian rejection of every proposed Palestinian-Israeli peace plan. The Palestinians have never even proposed a counter-offer.

The Palestinians' threats and condemnations... seem primarily aimed at deterring Arabs from even considering the possibility of making peace with Israel. The former stand-off was working brilliantly for the Palestinians; why stop?

The Palestinian leadership would like to continue holding the entire Arab world hostage to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What the Palestinian leaders clearly do not want is for Arab leaders to act in the interests of their own people.

Arab heads of state now have the opportunity to decide whether they will permit Palestinian leaders to continue their time-tested strategy of terrorizing everyone into submission, or -- unlike the Palestinian leaders -- to seek the best for their own people.
Danny Danon (WaPo): The U.S. Mideast Peace Plan Takes a Fresh Approach
Many of the objections to the U.S. Mideast peace plan have focused on its nontraditional approach. Yet any new plan must recognize that the situation today has dramatically changed since the beginning of the peace process in the 1990s. The Middle East has devolved into instability, while the Iranian regime has significantly expanded its regional operations.

Buoyed by the windfall from the nuclear deal, Iran has spent $7 billion on its terror network, including $1 billion to Hizbullah on Israel's northern border. Tehran's support for the Assad regime has prolonged the Syrian civil war and allowed the Iranians to position their troops near the Israeli and Jordanian borders.

At the same time, Gaza is now home to numerous terrorist organizations, supported and funded by Iran to the tune of up to $100 million per year. Yet despite the dramatic changes in the region, the plan's critics still cling to a political solution codified in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

The U.S. plan provides the opportunity for the Palestinians to build the necessary institutions they currently lack. Multiple initiatives focus on ensuring effective governance, expanding the Palestinian educational and health-care systems and guaranteeing foreign investment of $50 billion over 10 years. Imagine what Palestinian society could achieve with this opportunity.
Understanding the U.S. Peace Plan from an Islamic Perspective
The ultimate source of Palestinian rejectionism comes from the deeply rooted belief that, according to Islamic law, any territory that ever comes under Muslim rule must remain Muslim forever. All of Israel and the West Bank were captured by the Muslims in 637-638 CE. That means that, from a Muslim perspective, it is Muslim territory forever.

According to this view, Spain, too, which Muslims ruled from 712-1492 CE, still belongs to the Muslims. Tel Aviv, therefore, is, from the Muslim perspective, as much a "settlement" as any of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Jews cannot be legitimate sovereigns over either.

The Oslo process gave the Palestinians veto power. Any time they disagreed with something, the U.S. and some Israeli leaders then started to look for ways to improve the offer, not understanding that there would be no way they could ever placate Palestinian negotiators. The new U.S. plan removes that veto power. Palestinians no longer have the luxury of being able to reject an Israeli offer and expect that the previous offer would be the starting point in any future round of negotiations.
US promoting historic meeting between PM, Saudi crown prince
Senior Arab diplomatic sources on Thursday night said intensive talks were taking place between Washington, Jerusalem, Cairo and Riyadh to convene a summit in the Egyptian capital, which will include a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Senior Arab officials told Israel Hayom, meanwhile, that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his team have been mediating between Israel and Saudi Arabia on the matter for the past several months.

One senior Arab diplomatic source, who confirmed the details to Israel Hayom, said, "In recent days there have been very intensive discussions between Washington, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to arrange a summit meeting in Cairo as early as the coming weeks, even before the election in Israel, which aside from the host, Egypt, will be attended by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and also the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain and Oman."

Bahrain also proposed hosting the summit in the capital Manama, suggesting that Netanyahu meet the Saudi crown prince there.

According to other Arab sources, Jordan, too, received an invitation to the summit, if it indeed takes place, and that the Jordanians have engaged in talks with various Arab states to convey their position on the matter. According to a senior official, in Amman, Jordan's King Abdullah wants Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to receive a summit invitation. The Jordanians, for their part, have received messages from Washington that discussions with Ramallah on the matter were, in fact, taking place and that Israel has agreed in principle to the Palestinians' participation.
Peace Plan Protesters in New York Echo Hamas Views of Israel
The Trump administration recently unveiled its blueprint for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, one that creates a Palestinian state and protects Israeli security requirements in the Jordan Valley. As expected, the Palestinian Authority rejected the proposal outright, refusing to make a counteroffer or enter negotiations.

Praise and criticism for any new peace initiative is a given. But a coalition of supposedly mainstream Islamist groups and radical Leftists made it clear on Friday why success is so unlikely: Significant players in the US debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will oppose any deal that leaves Israel in place.

The “Say No to the Steal of the Century” protest in Manhattan’s City Hall Park featured chants and speeches calling repeatedly for the destruction of the Jewish state and for terrorist attacks, to which they euphemistically referred as the “resistance,” against Israel. The Investigative Project on Terrorism covered the event and captured the hate speech on video (see the end of the post for a link).

Those chants included calls for an intifada and claimed that “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.”

“From the river to the sea,” they repeatedly shouted, “Palestine will be free.”

A Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea would eliminate Israel. The Hamas charter, revised in 2017, demands “the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
From the River to the Sea
The Palestinians reaction to the American Peace proposal shows an unwillingness to accept a Jewish state within ANY borders.

This, not the "occupation", and not the "settlements" is the main obstacle to peace in the region.

When they chant "From the River to the Sea", this is what they mean.

Hassan Fouda of Berkeley's comically named Jewish Voice for Peace also rejects any plan that doesn't create a Palestinian state from the "river to the sea"

The newly proposed peace plan should open the door and provide an opportunity for both sides to return to the negotiating table. Both Palestinians and Israelis should embrace it as a chance to move closer to peace and to resume negotiations after a long hiatus.

Comprehensive peace proposals were presented to Palestinian leadership three times in the past – once by the United Nations (1947) and twice by Israel (2000, 2008). All three times Palestinian leadership rejected broad peace deals, while Israel said yes.

Palestinian rejection – anchored in refusal to accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state remains the primary obstacle to peace.
Kushner slams planned Olmert-Abbas meet as ‘almost pathetic’
US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jared Kushner on Thursday derided an upcoming press conference with former prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — in which they plan to condemn the Trump peace plan — as “almost pathetic” and coming from a place of envy that the two had failed to solidify a final accord.

“It is almost pathetic that they are criticizing other people’s efforts to try and reach an agreement,” Kushner said. “It comes from a lot of jealousy that they couldn’t do it themselves.”

The president’s son-in-law and special adviser was speaking to reporters at the United Nations after briefing the UN Security Council briefing on the Trump proposal, which was unveiled last week.

Olmert and Abbas, he insisted, shouldn’t criticize the White House’s attempt to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“If you really want to make peace, then you need to encourage the efforts of other people to try and make peace instead of trying to make headlines when you are not relevant and intervening in the situation to get attention,” Kushner said.

The two, he added, are “publicly opposing the plan when they had the chance and failed, I see that as disrespectful.”
Israel ‘furious’ at Belgium over UN Security Council ‘demonization’
Israel is incensed at Belgium for a number of anti-Israel actions taken at the UN Security Council, a diplomatic source said on Thursday, shortly after the Foreign Ministry summoned Belgium’s deputy ambassador for a reprimand.

Belgian Deputy Ambassador to Israel Pascal Buffin was summoned for Israel to express its outrage about a series of moves the country has made as a member of the UN Security Council. The most recent is that Belgium, which is presiding over the UNSC for the month of February, invited Brad Parker, Senior Adviser for Policy and Advocacy for Defense for Children – Palestine (DCI-P) to brief the council’s members.

DCI-P calls itself an organization defending the human rights of Palestinian children. It alleges Israel is committing war crimes and supports the boycott, divest and sanctions movement. It has numerous ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist group in the US, EU, Canada and Israel, to the extent that Citibank and Arab Bank stopped providing banking services to the NGO.

Parker is the driving force behind pro-BDS legislation introduced in the US by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), think tank NGO Monitor reported. Last January, in his capacity as an adjunct professor at the CUNY Law School's Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, he filed an anti-Israel submission to the UN, replete with false statements and whitewashing of terrorist groups like Hamas. CUNY subsequently launched an investigation into the law school's partnership with DCI-P.

Israel told Buffin, summoned because the ambassador was out of the country, that it urges Belgium to cancel Parker’s invitation.
In that vein, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres calling DCI-P “an arm of the PFLP in order to enact diplomatic terror against Israel…A place that promotes peace and security in the world has no room for people like Parker.”
Belgium summons Israeli ambassador over tweets in UN clash
Belgium expressed “surprise and dismay” to Israel’s ambassador in Brussels on Friday, after Israel protested anti-Israel actions the country has taken in the UN Security Council.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned Belgium’s deputy ambassador to Jerusalem on Thursday. Diplomatic sources told The Jerusalem Post that Jerusalem is “furious at the Belgians” for inviting Brad Parker, Senior Adviser for Policy and Advocacy for Defense for Children – Palestine (DCI-P), a NGO with ties to the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to brief the council’s members.
Belgium responded by reprimanding Israeli Ambassador Emmanuel Nahshon, focusing on the tenor of Israeli media reports on the dispute.

Brussels released a message that they have “taken good note” of Israel’s protest and said they are “open to dialogue,” but noted that other UN institutions such as UNICEF and UNESCO have given DCI-P consultive status. The Belgian Foreign Ministry also pointed out that the country chairs the working group on children and armed conflict, and the subject is a priority for them.

“We are, however, surprised and dismayed by the reflection of this in the media,” the statement reads. “We have called in the Israeli Ambassador this morning to express our dismay at certain tweets which he has retweeted in his official capacity as Ambassador to Belgium. We have expressed our clear disagreement on both substance and form.”

Among those tweets are one from a Post reporter stating: "Belgium invited a representative of an NGO with ties to the terrorist organization PFLP to brief the UN Security Council."
Belgian Governor Calls to Halt PA Payments to Terrorists
Cathy Berx, the governor of Antwerp Province in Belgium, was in Israel for the World Holocaust Forum in January. Berx told JNS that the Palestinian Authority must give up all forms of terror including the "pay-to-slay" policy that provides stipends to terrorists and the families of so-called "martyrs" killed in the act of attempted murder.

She added that it's improper to continue funding the PA unless the terror-financing practice has been discontinued, and that "an independent audit" of the program is required to ensure that European funding is not going into the hands of terrorists or their sponsors. "You do not give money to an organization that has as an aim to fund terrorists, to fund those who have as an aim to destroy a nation."
Muted Palestinian response to peace plan paves way for lone wolf attacks
The latest upsurge in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank is the direct result of US President Donald Trump’s plan for Mideast peace, the Palestinian Authority said Thursday.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and several Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, had called for mass protests against the plan, which was announced last week, dubbing it a “conspiracy to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”

While Abbas and his Fatah faction have called for stepping up “popular resistance” activities in protest against the plan, Iranian-backed Hamas and PIJ have openly urged Palestinians to launch violent attacks against IDF soldiers and settlers.

The harsh criticism of the Trump plan by Abbas, Hamas and PIJ undoubtedly has contributed to the latest cycle of violence. They are telling their people the Trump plan is a “declaration of war,” an “American-Zionist aggression” and a “dangerous plot” against Palestinians.

It’s precisely this kind of rhetoric that prompts Palestinians to take to the streets to protest against the US and Israel, burning photos of Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as US and Israeli flags. But this is also the type of rhetoric that leads to “lone wolf” terrorist attacks by individuals against Israeli policemen, soldiers and settlers.

Trump says US operation killed al-Qaida leader in Yemen
US President Donald Trump said Thursday that the US at his direction has conducted a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen that killed Qassim al-Rimi, an al-Qaida leader who claimed responsibility for last year's deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, where a Saudi aviation trainee killed three American sailors.

Al-Rimi is a founder of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The affiliate has long been considered the global network's most dangerous branch for its attempts to carry out attacks on the US mainland. Trump said the US and its allies are safer as a result of his death.

"We will continue to protect the American people by tracking down and eliminating terrorists who seek to do us harm," Trump said.

While Trump confirmed reports that al-Rimi had been killed, he did not say when the US operation was conducted or offer any details about how it was carried out.

Al-Rimi had said in an 18-minute video that his group was responsible for the Dec. 6 shooting at the base. He called the shooter, Saudi Air Force officer Mohammed Alshamrani, a "courageous knight" and a "hero." The shooter opened fire inside a classroom at the base, killing three people and wounding two sheriff's deputies before one of the deputies killed him. Eight others were also hurt.
Palestinians in Gaza launch balloons carrying RPG warhead into Israel
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Friday launched what appeared to be the warhead from a rocket-propelled grenade attached to balloons into southern Israel on Friday.

The suspected explosive was discovered in a field by Kibbutz Ruhama, northwest of Gaza and police sappers were called to inspect the RPG warhead, according to Hebrew media.

It was the sixth suspected airborne explosive device apparently launched from Gaza to be found in the south on Friday.

In one of the instances, Route 3 in the south of the country was temporarily closed while sappers dealt with a suspicious object that appeared to have become detached from balloons.

There were no reports of injuries or damage. Police called on the public to alert authorities to any suspicious-looking objects and refrain from approaching them.

Troops nab suspected car rammer, as soldiers he hit are sworn into unit
Israeli security forces on Thursday evening arrested the suspected terrorist believed to have carried out a car-ramming attack that injured a dozen soldiers in Jerusalem earlier in the day, security officials said.

The arrest came as Golani Brigade soldiers run over in the attack went ahead with their swearing-in ceremony, some of them on crutches after being released from the hospital.

The suspect was arrested at the Gush Etzion Junction in the central West Bank, police said. The Shin Bet said the suspect was a 25-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur who had no history of terrorist activity. He was identified as Sanad al-Turman, who according to Channel 13 news has a flower shop in a Jerusalem shopping mall.

He was handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

In recent days Tourman had made several Facebook posts possible signaling his intentions, writing in one update: “I’ve found my answers,” and in another: “Whoever seeks peace with the enemy is living under an illusion. Never surrender.”

In the predawn hours of Thursday morning, the assailant rammed his car into a group of Golani soldiers standing on Jerusalem’s David Remez Street outside the First Station, a popular entertainment hub in the capital, injuring 12 of them, one of them seriously.

Jerusalem gunman said to be Haifa man who recently converted to Islam
The Israel Police said Thursday that the terrorist who opened fire at a group of police officers outside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City was an Israeli citizen from northern Israel.

The shooting lightly injured one Border Police officer, while the fleeing assailant was shot dead by pursuing officers.

Hebrew-language media named the shooter as Shadi Bana, 45, from Haifa. He reportedly converted from Christianity to Islam recently.

The wounded officer, identified by police only as Master Sergeant G., was one of the officers who charged at Bana.

“The terrorist suddenly pulled a gun and started shooting toward us a few rounds,” G. said in a police video released after the attack. “Even though I was hit in the shoulder I charged at him together with another officer who was with me at the post, and we neutralized him,” he said.

Police reportedly detained two of the shooter’s brothers for questioning and collected security camera footage from a flower shop in Haifa owned by one of the brothers. Both brothers deny knowing of the shooter’s plans.
Honest Reporting: Israelis Under Attack, Media MIA
It took time for the foreign press to catch up with the day’s Israeli media reports . When the Associated Press eventually published an article, it began with the words:
Israeli forces killed two Palestinians…

Reuters began with the phrase:
At least two Palestinians were killed and 16 Israelis hurt…

They did not clarify that the Palestinians who had been killed were reportedly carrying out acts of violence when they were shot: at least one was in the act of throwing a Molotov cocktail at Israeli troops.

An AFP article was constructed similarly to the AP and Reuters stories.

As these are wire services, we expect to see their coverage echoed by many news outlets throughout the world in the coming hours.

Is this normal? Is it appropriate? Is it too soon to expect meaningful and properly researched coverage?


Just in recent weeks alone, stories of attacks from Streatham, London to Burkina Faso saw almost immediate international coverage that emphasized the horrific impact of terrorism on innocent civilians.

Yet even though the attacks against Israelis are being widely covered in Israeli and Jewish press, and even though all of the relevant information has been widely available throughout the day, the international press has said very little, and what it has said has been horribly misleading. This stands stands in stark contrast to coverage of other terror attacks around the world.

Why does this matter? Because without proper context, it is impossible for news readers, international leaders, or even journalists themselves to understand events as they unfold.

TikTok removes animated video glorifying Palestinian terror attacks
TikTok, the video-sharing social networking app popular with children, said Friday it had removed an animated video portraying several real-life Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis and banned the account.

“Our Community Guidelines make it clear that we do not allow content that promotes terrorism, crime, or other behaviors that could cause harm,” TikTok said in a statement sent to The Times of Israel. “We take our commitment to keeping TikTok safe incredibly seriously.”

The move comes after the Palestinian Media Watch NGO said Wednesday it had identified the video, which appeared to glorify the murder of Jews, that highlighted four separate attacks in CGI (computer-generated imagery) vignettes set to heroic music.

The Israeli watchdog which monitors Palestinian media said that it had previously “exposed similar animations urging Palestinians to murder Israelis.”

“After this video was reported by a member of our community, our moderation team reviewed the content, removed it from our platform, and banned an associated account,” TikTok said, urging users “to continue to use our reporting functions to flag any accounts, videos, or comments they are concerned about so we can investigate.”
Poll: Egyptian Hostility to Hamas Is Growing
71% of Egyptians voice a negative opinion of Hamas, up from 63% a year ago, according to a new Egyptian poll.

84% agree that: "Right now internal political and economic reform is more important for our country than any foreign policy issue, so we should stay out of any wars outside our borders."

54% say good ties with Washington are important to Egypt, while 87% say it is not important for Egypt to have good relations with Iran.

90% have a negative opinion of Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and the same percentage express an unfavorable view of Hizbullah.
Amb. Richard Grenell criticizes Germany for planned celebration of Iran's terror regime
A month after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps fired numerous ballistic missiles at U.S. troops in Iraq, Germany’s government is slated to celebrate the founding of the Islamic Republic, prompting a public rebuke from America’s highest-profile ambassador in continental Europe.

Iran marks “Islamic Revolution’s Victory Day” on Feb. 11 as a national holiday when the mullahs order state-sponsored demonstrations in every Iranian city.

“Germany has a moral responsibility to say to Iran very firmly and clearly that it is unacceptable to deny basic human rights to your people, or kill protesters in the streets or push gay people off buildings. Celebrating the regime’s ongoing existence sends the opposite message,” the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, told Fox News on Thursday.

Grenell, a former Fox News contributor, has been urging German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration for years to end its support for the Iranian regime.

The German Foreign Ministry told Fox News in a statement Wednesday that the country’s “usual practice in diplomatic relations also includes the celebration of national holidays in the other country.”

“As the Federal Republic of Germany continues to maintain diplomatic relations with Iran, this also applies to the upcoming national holiday,” the statement continued.
Report: White House Hosted Israel-UAE Meeting on Coordination Against Iran
The United States, Israel and the UAE met in a secret trilateral meeting at the White House in December surrounding coordination against Iran, reported Axios on Tuesday, citing US and Israeli officials.

The Dec. 17 meeting was part of the Trump administration’s efforts to strengthen ties between Arab countries and the Jewish state. This included discussing a UAE-Israel nonaggression pact.

The meeting included US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien; Victoria Coates, deputy national security adviser for Middle East and North Africa; US special representative for Iran Brian Hook; Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat; and Emirati Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba.

At the beginning of his weekly Cabinet meeting on Dec. 22, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, spoke about a new alliance in the Middle East: An Israeli-Arab alliance. … I can only say that this remark is the result of the ripening of many contacts and efforts, which at the moment, and I emphasize at the moment, would be best served by silence.”

A senior White House official told Axios, “While the United States would certainly welcome expanding relationships between our critical allies and partners in the Middle East, we’re not going to detail private diplomatic conversations, nor do we have anything to announce.”

Emirati officials declined to comment to the outlet.
MEMRI: Mouthpiece For Turkey's AKP: 'The World Now Has A Jewish Problem' – 'Jewish Power Will Force A Doomsday On The World!'
In a January 31, 2020 column titled "The World's Jewish Problem"[1] in the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, which is a mouthpiece of Turkey's ruling AKP, columnist Yusuf Kaplan described two powers in America: "The first is WASP, the Whites who founded the U.S., which stands for white-Anglo Saxon-protestant. These are the European invaders, robbers, rogue white colonialists."

Kaplan wrote that the second power in America is the Jews, of whom he said: "U.S. finance, economy, banking system, universities, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Pentagon, the CIA, arms industry, soft-arms industry and media are under the monopoly of Jews!... Jewish power will force a doomsday on the world!... The world now has a Jewish problem: a Zionist threat that does not hesitate to light the fuse that will make the world a living hell by declaring/making Jerusalem the capital of Israel!"[2] Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Yusuf Kaplan in the hospital in June 2017 after the latter had a stroke.[3]

The following is Yeni Şafak's translation of Kaplan's article:

"The Whites Who Founded The U.S... These Are The European Invaders, Robbers, Rogue White Colonialists"

"Jews played a decisive role in the establishment of the modern world: Capitalism is as much the work of the Jews as it is the British. The whole world is also shaped by the Brits and Jews.

"This is a big generalization; But this has been the landscape for two centuries when capitalism built a visible world hegemony!

"TWO USA's: WASP and Jewish power

"The two-century world system, in which modernity reached its peak and evolved into post-modernity, has two founding and protective actors: the British and the Jews.

"The Industrial Revolution is, of course, the work of the British. The first two of Industry 4.0 (factory, iron and steel and electronic revolution) are basically British. The economic-political revolution and its output, which laid the foundations of capitalism, and therefore the model of its carrier "economic man," were developed by the British.

"The last two legs of Industry 4.0, the computer and digital revolutions, are the work of American Jews.
U.S. Backs Cyprus amid Tensions with Turkey over Gas Drilling
The U.S. backs energy-based partnerships in the eastern Mediterranean that bolster political cooperation and prosperity and is urging against “provocative actions” that undermine stability, a government official said Wednesday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Francis Fannon said his government supports Cyprus’ right to develop its energy resources and for proceeds to be divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots as part of a deal reunifying the ethnically divided island nation.

The remarks come amid tensions over Turkey’s more aggressive push to search for natural gas search in waters were Cyprus has exclusive economic rights.

“We urge all parties to not take any provocative actions that could create further any instability. And we’re steadfast on that,” Fannon said ahead of a gathering of Israeli, Greek and Cypriot experts discussing ways to boost safety and security in offshore gas drilling.

Fannon said Cyprus has an “incredibly important role” to play in developing energy supplies in the eastern Mediterranean that officials say could help lessen Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed last month an agreement to move ahead with construction of an undersea pipeline to deliver gas to European markets.

“Energy really is that catalyst for cooperation, so the United States is committed to it at the highest levels,” said Fannon.
U.S. Halts Secret Drone Program with Turkey over Syria Incursion
The U.S. decision to indefinitely suspend the program, which has not been previously reported, was made in response to Turkey’s cross-border military incursion into Syria in October, the U.S. officials said, revealing the extent of the damage to ties between the NATO allies from the incident.

The U.S. officials, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the United States late last year stopped flying the intelligence collection missions that targeted the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which both the United States and Turkey classify as terrorists.

The U.S. military had carried out the missions using unarmed drone aircraft, which one official said were flown out of Turkey’s Incirlik air base, where the U.S. military has a significant presence. The base is also a key hub for U.S. spy agencies operating in the region.

The U.S. drone flights that took place within the program, in place since 2007, often zeroed in on mountainous territory in northern Iraq near the Turkish border, another official said.

A Pentagon spokeswoman did not directly comment on any specific programs but noted that the United States has designated the PKK a terrorist organization since 1997.

“We have supported Turkey in their fight against the PKK in many ways for decades. As a matter of policy, we do not provide details on operational matters,” the spokeswoman said, when asked about a halt in assistance.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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