Sunday, November 15, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: There is no real justice for Jewish people in the UK
Three years ago I was present at the pro-Hezbollah Al-Quds rally in London. In the process of whipping up the crowd to prepare them for the march, the leader of the rally, Nazim Ali, made several blatantly antisemitic statements over a loudhailer. After it became known that Nazim Ali was a pharmacist, complaints were made to the General Pharmaceutical Council. They took three long years to even arrange a hearing. Last week they published their determination – that the four test statements they had selected, whilst offensive, were not antisemitic. An embarrassing joke of a finding and a slap in the face for all of us. The obvious conclusion from this story is that there is no real justice for Jewish people in the UK.

Justice and the facts
The undisputed facts of the case are these:
Nazim Ali is a pharmacist and is also a Director of the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The IHRC is an extremist group ‘inspired by the worldview of Ayatollah Khomeini’. On the last Sunday of each Ramadan, they hold a demonstration on ‘Al Quds’ day, an Ayatollah designed, pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iranian march through London. Until proscribed in the UK, Hezbollah flags were ever-present at these rallies. Nazim Ali has been the voice of the Al-Quds demonstration for several years.

At the event in 2017, and before the gathered protestors began to march, Nazim Ali made several antisemitic comments about Zionists. Some examples: Ali claimed Zionists were not real Jews, he blamed them for the Grenfell disaster, stated that they genetically need to ‘occupy’ and suggested British Rabbis have blood on their hands.

Justice fails in the findings
The publication of the findings of the ‘Fitness to Practise’ hearing confirmed all our worst fears. The entire process had been a badly handled, incompetent affair, that resulted in a near total whitewash. The Committee decided that whilst offensive, the words of Nazim Ali were not antisemitic.

There are several *major failures* in the determination. These are the two that I consider the most important:

Antisemitism – In deciding what was and was not antisemitic, their Legal Adviser had provided them with the dictionary definition. The IHRA definition was included by the Council in the bundle of papers ‘for guidance’. In assessing whether a comment was antisemitic, the Committee decided it would attempt to judge the view of a ‘reasonable person’, with knowledge of all the facts and context. Someone with ‘no particular characteristics‘ (ie not Jewish).

Impartiality – both myself and Jonathan Hoffman were not considered impartial. They mentioned that I had just returned from a visit to Israel along with the fact my daughter recently volunteered for the Israeli Defence Force. They concluded that this meant I was not an ‘entirely impartial observer‘. For Jonathan they stated that he had described himself as being ‘of the Jewish faith’, before mentioning his public order conviction and the fact he had visited Nazim Ali’s pharmacy as the reasons why he too, was not fit to be described as a ‘wholly impartial observer‘.

They found we were of ‘little assistance’ in reaching their decisions (page 52).
Saudi lawyer claims Al-Aqsa Mosque's true location 'is not in Jerusalem'
Osama Yamani claims that Al-Aqsa is located in Al-Ju'ranah near Mecca, in Saudi Arabia

A Saudi Arabian lawyer claimed that Al-Aqsa (the Farthest) Mosque, traditionally held to be Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina, is not in fact, located on the Al-Aqsa compound (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem's Old City.

Writing in Saudi news outlet Okaz, Osama Yamani maintained that the mosque - which is one of the world's most ancient permanent Islamic buildings, having been completed in 705 CE - is actually located in Al Ju'ranah, near Mecca in Saudi Arabia, cited Israeli outlet, Israel Hayom.

In his piece, Yamani argued that the centuries-long confusion stems from the fact that history books have mistakenly located Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem is not Al-Aqsa, which is not cited in the missions that Allah gave Muhammad and the caliphs. Similarly, Jerusalem is a city, and Al-Aqsa is a mosque," he stated.

Yamani added that originally, Muslims did not face in the direction of Mecca while praying and instead faced Jerusalem, a function imposed by Umayyad dynasty's fifth caliph Abd al-Malik, who built the adjoining Dome of the Rock in 691 CE.

Yamani explained that: "There are stories influenced by political considerations that served the purposes of that time, and sometimes claims are made that they have nothing to do with faith or following religious dictates."

Islamic tradition dictates that although the Prophet Mohammad's corporeal body never entered Jerusalem, with the word never being mentioned in the Qur'an, legend affirms that he ascended to heaven on al-Buraq - a winged horse, which is said to have taken off from the foundation stone underneath the Dome of the Rock.

We are already witnessing what a war of ideas inside the Islamic world looks like with Sunni and Shia Muslims continuing a battle that has raged for more than 1,300 years. A battle over the so-called "true" location of Al-Aqsa Mosque between Saudis and Palestinians could similarly spell trouble.
Honest Reporting: CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Compares Trump Era To Kristallnacht
CNN’s chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour, compared US President Donald Trump’s tenure in office to Nazi Germany after the recent anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms.

“This week 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened,” Amanpour began as her show opened. “It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity, and in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and truth. After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to norms, including the truth.”

This, on a show which CNN describes as its “flagship global affairs interview program.”

Kristallnacht, in English known as the “Night of Broken Glass,” was a series of violent Nazi attacks that in the eyes of many historians constituted the start of the Holocaust. Over the course of two days in November 1938, thousands of Jewish properties and homes were ransacked and destroyed, 90 Jews were murdered, and 30,000 were deported to concentration camps, many never to return.

Amanpour’s remarks are offensive on a number of levels: First, for seemingly attempting to invoke Nazi atrocities in order to further a contemporary political agenda. Second, for seeking to universalize Kristallnacht by never mentioning Jews as the targets. And third, by cheapening history by engaging in such an over-the-top analogy.

Amanpour’s remarks were met with condemnation by media critics such as Glenn Greenwald — who, to say the least, is not known for his support of Zionism — and cable TV producer Steve Krakauer, as well as from leading Jewish figures such as Hillel Neuer and David Harris.

Krakauer reacted swiftly on Twitter, saying that, “Comparing Trump to Hitler and Kristallnacht, saying they ‘assault’ the ‘same values’ is obscene and outrageous.”

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer wrote that such distortion of the Holocaust by a journalist on US television was unprecedented, adding, “the Nazi genocide was not ‘an attack on fact, knowledge, history & truth.’ They murdered 6 million Jews. Say it.”


Biden's stance on Jerusalem - 2021
More practical, however, is this: What about Jerusalem? For instance, now that President Trump has moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, will Biden move it back? As a US Senator, Biden himself voted in favor of the 1995 resolution authorizing the President to move the embassy - and allowing the President to postpone the move if he felt like it. Since then, every US leader except for Trump – Clinton, Bush, and Obama – in fact "chickened out" and did not move the embassy.

In April of this year, Biden said, “The embassy should not have been moved. [Rather, it should have happened] in the context of a larger deal to help us achieve important concessions for peace in the process.”

That is, according to President-elect Biden, the US should have kept the Jerusalem carrot hanging just out of Israel's reach for as long as possible, until America could squeeze out every possible Israeli concession.

However, "now that it [the embassy's relocation] is done," Biden said, "I would not move it back to Tel Aviv.”

"But he would re-open our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians," a Biden campaign spokesman said. "He would also return the U.S. to the effort of encouraging a two-state solution."

The word "return" in this context is key. It is important to recall that when Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama, their Administration promoted the creation of a Palestinian state in the heartland of Biblical Israel – and the division of Jerusalem into Israeli and Palestinian capitals. We must thus be wary that Biden will return to the same old failed advisors who will regurgitate the same old failed solutions that promote splitting Jerusalem in two.

Here are some of those who currently advise him, along with some of their credentials. Let the reader decide:

Tony Blinken served as Deputy National Security Advisor under Obama… Carlyn Reichel is a former speechwriter for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton… Colin Kahl, expected to be responsible for Iran policy, served as Deputy Assistant to President Obama… Daniel Shapiro was the U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration, overseen by Secretary of State John Kerry…

Keep in mind that the division of Jerusalem would be catastrophic for Israel on many levels: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish People for over 3,000 years – and never of any Arab or other entity. Conceding any portion thereof, especially its holiest sites, and dividing it would be a major moral and political blow for the Jewish State and Jewish People.
Israel advances construction in controversial East Jerusalem neighborhood
Bidding opened on Sunday morning to construct 1,257 units in a controversial planned neighborhood in East Jerusalem, the Israel Lands Authority and the Housing Ministry announced, drawing reproof from the Palestinian Authority and the European Union.

If built, Givat Hamatos would become the first new Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem in two decades. The area’s location has raised concerns.

“Givat Hamatos, along with Gilo, will completely surround the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. One day, if there’s a two-state solution and a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, Beit Safafa will be cut off from the rest of East Jerusalem,” said Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at the left-wing Jerusalem nonprofit Ir Amim.

By contrast, the Netanyahu’s government’s coalition whip Miki Zohar (Likud) hailed the development as enabling contiguity between Jewish Jerusalem neighborhoods. “This is a neighborhood in a strategic place between Beit Safafa and Hebron Road. The construction here is essential to preserve Jewish contiguity between [the neighborhoods of] Talpiyot and Gilo,” Zohar said.

Tatarsky said the development could also cut off East Jerusalem — which Palestinians seek as their future capital — from Bethlehem to the south. “The new neighborhood would establish facts on the ground such that if a future Israeli government wishes to reach an accord with the Palestinians, it would be very hard to do in a way that maintains territorial contiguity,” Tatarsky said.
The Zionist left and the PLO flag - 'Palestine from the river to the sea'?
The Oslo Accords required the PLO and P.A. to cease their hate propaganda, including symbols that promote violence or the goal of destroying the State of Israel. I thought that groups on the Zionist left, such as Partners for Progressive Israel (PPI), supported the Oslo agreements.

So my colleagues and I at Herut North America were deeply disappointed when we discovered that PPI had reproduced the P.A.’s destroy-Israel emblem in the guide for its recent series of educational seminars, “Israel Symposium 2020: Beautiful Dream, Painful Reality.”

The symbol was used to illustrate the PPI’s virtual meeting with P.A. officials. The PPI did not include any explanation of what the Arabic words mean or what the map symbolizes.

In early September, we expressed concern about PPI’s action. In communications with our fellow Zionists, we pointed out that the publication of this PLO symbol of hate could have served as an important educational purpose if it had been accompanied by explanatory text. However, the PPI’s text did not do that.

On the contrary, it misleadingly referred to the P.A. favoring a “two-state solution.” The map represents the very opposite of a two-state solution. It represents, in its own words, the goal of establishing “Palestine from the river to the sea”—that is, in place of Israel.

Objecting to the reproduction of the PLO’s hate map should not be a partisan issue. Palestinian Arab violence has never distinguished between left-wing and right-wing Jews. We pointed out that many of the Jewish victims of Palestinian terrorism have been associated with organizations that are part of, or related, to the parties and factions that make up Partners for Progressive Israel.
Palestinians say they look forward to working with Biden administration
The Palestinians are looking forward to working with a Democratic-led US administration, although they are not pinning high hopes on President-elect Joe Biden, Palestinian officials said Sunday.

The Palestinian Authority leadership, which has been boycotting the administration of President Donald Trump since December 2017, will resume contacts with Washington after Biden is sworn in on January 20, the officials said. A message to this effect has already been relayed to Biden’s staff, they added.

It was premature to assess whether a Biden administration would reverse a number of decisions taken by the Trump administration, such as the closure of the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington, DC, and halting financial aid to the PA and the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the officials said.

Trump’s departure will hopefully revive the two-state solution and bury the “Deal of the Century,” his administration’s plan for peace in the Middle East, they said.

“All US administrations have been biased in favor of Israel,” one official told The Jerusalem Post. “But the Trump administration was not only biased toward Israel; in fact, it represented the views of the right-wing parties in Israel and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. The Trump administration was more pro-Israel than many Israelis I know.”

While the Palestinian leadership was relieved the Trump era is nearing its end, the Palestinians are still not sure whether Biden will have the courage to rescind some of the “anti-Palestinian” decisions taken by the Trump administration, the official said.
PA: Pompeo’s visit to a settlement is a provocation
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned visit to a settlement in the West Bank during his upcoming tour of the region is a provocation against the Palestinian people and their leadership,” Palestinian Authority presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, said on Sunday.

“This is a dangerous precedent that confirms this administration’s blatant disregard of international resolutions, first and foremost United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334,” Abu Rudaineh said. Israel, he charged, “is trying to benefit from the unlimited support of the current US administration, which has provided it with all possible support for the sake of settlement expansion and the takeover of more Palestinian lands.”

Abu Rudaineh added that Pompeo’s planned visit to a settlement “means that this American administration has become a fundamental partner in the occupation of the Palestinian lands. Neither this visit nor any US support for Israeli settlements in Palestinian lands can give legitimacy to the settlements or change the fact that they are doomed to end.”

Mahmoud Aloul, deputy chairman of the ruling Fatah faction, condemned the planned visit of Pompeo to the settlement of Psagot and said it again shows that the Trump administration is not only biased in favor of Israel, but also “complicit in its occupation.”
Palestinians living in Jordan deserve to be Jordanian citizens
Arabs who consider themselves to be Palestinians deserve a state; they have one – it’s called Jordan. Terrorist organizations, such as the PLO, Hamas, PLFP, Islamic Jihad and others, do not deserve support, or a state.

A “two-state solution,” therefore, based on a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) run by terrorist organizations dedicated to Israel’s destruction is not a solution. That only prevents peace and freedom for Palestinians.

The alternative requires a new way of thinking, one that is focused on people, not politics. Supporting the establishment of a state must be based on humanitarian principles that will allow Palestinians to exercise real self-determination that does not depend on what terrorist leaders determine.

This was the fundamental mistake of the Oslo Accords and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which ignored the Palestinians and focused on a political solution that empowered terrorist regimes. It failed and will continue to fail because it did not offer freedom for Palestinians, but condemned them to live under terrorist dictatorships.

Most Palestinians are not terrorists and don’t support terrorism. They want to live normal, productive lives. They want to protect their children, not encourage them to become killers and suicide bombers. They want to teach them values, to improve themselves, their families and their communities, not to become self-destructive and destructive to others.

That is not, however, what they are taught by terrorists who exploit them and sacrifice them to the goal of destroying Israel and murdering Jews. Most Palestinians want a life with a higher meaning and purpose; that won’t and can’t happen under terrorist regimes. Jordan offers a humanitarian alternative.
UAE: Will its relationship with UNRWA stand in the way of peace?
UNRWA incitement is not confined to textbooks. In consecutive elections since 1999, Hamas has overwhelmingly won the UNRWA teacher's union elections. With Hamas leaders serving as principals and teachers for UNRWA, what can you expect?

And then there are the AL Kutla youth clubs that our staff regularly visits in UNRWA schools, where children are trained for terrorism.

Perhaps the unkindest cut of all is the presence of the singing youth idol, Mohammad Assaf, who frequents UNRWA facilities with melodious songs of war. Despite his message which contradicts UN values, UNRWA hired Mohammad Assaf to be their youth ambassador. His performance can be seen at UNRWA-Monitor.com

Muhammad Assaf is in for a surprise. MK Avi Dichter, former head of the General Security Services, otherwise known as Shabak, viewed the Assaf violent appearances, as reported on our sire, and demanded from Israel Secuity that Assaf be barred from his native UNRWA habitat in Gaza.

The Israel Ministry of Defense has followed suit and has forbidden UNRWA from hosting Mohammad Assaf, ever again.

The UAE now heads the rotating chair of the UNRWA Advisory Committee which comprises the major donor nations to UNRWA. The UAE can use its new position of to advocate a new spirit of peace and reconciliation in the UNRWA school system, which would reflect the Abraham Accords.

The spokespeople of the US and Israel governments have been asked if they will implore the UAE to condition UAE support to a change in UNRWA. So far, the US and Israel have not responded Given the hesitancy of the US and Israel governments to say anything, this would be an ample opportunity for investors to ask the UAE to advance peace and reconciliation in the UNRWA schools.

According to the Israel Manufacturers Association of Israel, at least 200 Israeli companies now export products to the UAE. It is in the interest of the Israel Corporate sector to see to it that the UAE will invest their profits in the creation of a conducive atmosphere of peace, for generations to come.
Israeli defense delegation heading to Sudan this week
An Israeli delegation will go to Khartoum in the coming days, following the announced move towards normalization between the countries, a cabinet source said on Sunday.

This week’s small delegation will focus on security cooperation between the two countries.

A second, larger Israeli delegation is planned to depart in the coming weeks. The second delegation will focus on economic issues, including water and agriculture.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s adviser on the Arab world, a Shin Bet operative nicknamed “Maoz,” will lead this week’s defense-focused delegation. Maoz has been Netanyahu’s point person on Sudan, who flew to Khartoum the day before the announced normalization to work out the final details.

Sudan and Israel announced last month that they would be establishing diplomatic ties. The move came in conjunction with the US removing Sudan from its state sponsors of terror list, as Sudan has been in the process of transitioning to democracy since the ouster of dictator Omar al-Bashir last year.

The US is expected to provide Sudan with major economic aid and debt relief, and Khartoum will have access to loans and other aid now that they are no longer on that list.
‘Israel can count on Romania as a good friend’
Romania will continue to encourage the rest of the EU to strengthen its ties with Israel, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told The Jerusalem Post.

“You may count on Romania as a good friend. We have already proven this,” Aurescu said on Thursday.

The EU and Israel “are firm believers in democratic principles and values. They have a lot in common and have to work together on many aspects regarding the region,” he said.

Romania is one of the countries that backs the reinstatement of the EU-Israel Association Council, and Aurescu brought up the topic at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, as well as in a meeting of EU foreign ministers with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi in Berlin in August.

The Association Agreement signed between Israel and the EU in 1995 is the legal basis defining relations between the sides. It establishes an Association Council, which is meant to ensure a dialogue and improve relations between the parties.

The Association Council has not met since 2013, as a form of protest by the EU against Israeli settlements and policies towards the Palestinians, starting after Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Pakistan's PM Imran Khan pressured to recognize Israel
Citing Pakistan founder Quaid-e-Azad Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s refusal to recognize Israel, Khan said: “Islamabad would continue to follow in Jinnah’s footsteps vis-à-vis Palestine.”

He refused to name the country or countries that have been pressuring him, saying: “There are things we cannot say. We have good relations with them.”

Pakistani passports include the words: “This passport is valid for all countries of the world except Israel.”

Khan’s comments come after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalized ties with Israel in recent months.

Pakistan has strong economic ties with Gulf states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which has been warming to Israel in recent years.

When his interlocutor again asked who is pressuring Pakistan, Khan said: “Let us stand on our own feet in terms of economy; then you may ask these questions.”

The pressure is a result of “Israel’s deep impact in the US,” he said. “This [influence] was, in fact, extraordinary during [US President Donald] Trump’s tenure.”
Showdown in the Western Sahara
While much of the world was looking the other way, distracted by China's coronavirus and its economic aftermath, a separatist militia group backed by Algeria, the Polisario Front, have been militarily exploiting the crisis.

For weeks, the Polisario Front have blocked the only road leading southward from Morocco to Mauritania in the buffer zone of Guerguerat. Currently, around 200 trucks find themselves stranded there, while UN peacekeepers (MINURSO), on whom Morocco relies to enforce the tense 30-year ceasefire, apparently feel overwhelmed.

Ever since Spain withdrew from its former colony in the Western Sahara in 1975, the Polisario Front have been trying to claim the territory, rich with phosphates and fishing rights, as an independent state for themselves. Since that time, however, Morocco has served as the sole sovereign, offering the Western Sahara autonomy but not independence.

Last week, on Thursday night, Morocco finally responded to the Polisario Front's roadblock at Guerguerat by creating a security cordon and promising to "restore free circulation of civilian and commercial traffic" between Morocco and Mauritania -- an act that the Polisario Front called a "provocation."

The Polisario Front had announced the Monday before that any movement of troops by Morocco to the buffer zone area "will be considered as a flagrant aggression to which the Sahrawi [Polisario] side will respond vigorously in self-defence and to defend its national sovereignty. This will also mean the end of the ceasefire and the beginning of a new war across the region."

"The Sahrawi government," they warned, "also holds the United Nations and the Security Council in particular responsible for the safety and security of Sahrawi civilians."
Facing steep opposition, Netanyahu scraps plan for nationwide curfew
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening dropped the idea of imposing a countrywide nighttime curfew after facing opposition from the national coronavirus czar and the Israel Police, among others.

At a meeting of the coronavirus cabinet, which heard from officials that a curfew was not an effective way to curb the virus spread, Netanyahu said that attention should instead be focused on a proposal to apply the measure only in local virus hotspots alongside full closures in the worst-hit areas.

“We understand that it is neither practical nor on the agenda,” Netanyahu said, according to leaks from the meeting carried by Hebrew media.

Netanyahu reportedly became impatient with the lack of progress toward making any decisions at the meeting, saying “We have an extraordinary talent for dragging out these debates.” A meeting last week had decided only to push off all decisions until this week.

“Here I am shortening the debate,” the prime minister said. “There is currently a proposal by the [coronavirus] czar to instate a nighttime curfew in orange-red cities. Let’s talk about it.”

Netanyahu was referring to a government color-coding system that identifies virus infection levels ranging from green, for low infection rates, up a scale topped by orange and red for the areas with the highest morbidity.

The high-level coronavirus cabinet was meeting to discuss further rolling back national lockdown measures, while also finding ways to address worrying signals that the decline in new infections was slowing, or even reversing.
IDF Strikes Hamas Targets in Response to Rocket Fire From the Gaza Strip
The Israeli military struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Saturday in response to rocket fire on southern and central Israel.

“IDF fighter jets, helicopters and tanks shelled underground infrastructure and military positions of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip. The attack was carried out in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” the military said in a statement.

The rocket attack came just days after the one-year anniversary of the elimination by Israel of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Bahaa Abu al-Ata. On Nov. 11, the day before the anniversary, the IDF deployed additional Iron Dome batteries to southern Israel, and airline approach vectors were altered.

Sirens warning of incoming rocket fire were heard in Ashdod and Kibbutz Palmachim in the south, as well as in several cities in central Israel.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed the strike, saying two launches from Gaza were identified.

No Israeli casualties or damage were reported.


IDF troops fire warning shots as suspects approach Lebanon border
Israeli soldiers fired shots in the air to warn off two suspects who approached the border from Lebanon, the military said on Sunday night.

“Israeli soldiers executed arrest procedures, including shooting in the air, when they identified two suspicious persons approaching the border fence with Lebanon. After the shooting, the suspects left the scene,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

In an apparently unrelated incident earlier in the day, the Lebanese Armed Forces announced that a Palestinian man was apprehended after crossing into Lebanon from Israel.

“An Intelligence Directorate patrol detained a Palestinian man outside of the village of Dahira, after he crossed the technical fence from inside occupied Palestinian lands,” the Lebanese Armed Forces said in a terse statement.

While infiltration attempts occur occasionally from Lebanon into Israel, such movement in the opposite direction appears to be less common. The person who made the crossing has yet to be identified. It was not immediately clear whether the suspect was a West Bank Palestinian or an Arab citizen of Israel, or what he was doing in Lebanon.

The suspect has been transferred to “the appropriate judicial authority” for interrogation, the LAF said.
PMW: PA hypocrisy: We fight terror around the world, unless it is against Israelis
The PA claims it is against terror everywhere. But there is one exception: When Palestinian terror targets Israelis.

Two similar incidents illustrate this.

When a Palestinian man recently helped a victim during a terror attack in Austria he was awarded a medal by PA Chairman Abbas, and everyone sang his praise.

But when another Palestinian and his wife helped Israeli terror victims who had been shot at in their car, the man received death threats, was fired, and was ostracized by Palestinian society.

Earlier this month, Osama Khaled Joudeh helped an Austrian police officer who was shot and wounded in the recent shooting attack in Vienna by an Islamist terrorist. PA Chairman Abbas reacted by awarding him a medal and praising him, while he emphasized that the Palestinian people as a whole “fights against terror”:

“The president expressed his appreciation for Joudeh’s courage, which served as an example for the young Palestinians who are defending the noble values and expressing our people’s opposition to all forms of terror. The president said: ‘You give us pride, and enable us to tell the world that this is the Palestinian people, which is fighting against terror and defending people. Therefore, we have decided to award you with a medal of honor as a sign of appreciation for your courage.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 5, 2020]
Economist piece on Erekat rewrites history of the peace process
The claim that Erekat “got nothing in return” from the peace talks the Economist is referring to is extraordinarily dishonest.

At the end of the 2008 negotiations, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert offered Mahmoud Abbas a peace offer characterised as the most generous offer Palestinians can ever expect to receive: A contiguous Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank (with lands swaps), all of Gaza, a capital in east Jerusalem – and a land bridge connecting Gaza with the West Bank.

Mahmoud Abbas, by his own admission, rejected the deal.

Moreover, the claim that the Palestinians offered to cede “nearly all of east Jerusalem” in those negotiations is false. Olmert’s deal in fact would have ceded all the Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem to the Palestinians, whilst Israel would have retained control of the Jewish neighborhoods. Israel would actually have ceded sovereignty of the holy sites in the Old City (such as the Temple Mount) to an international committee managed by representatives from five nations: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, the US and Israel.

Though the Economist, per their longstanding tradition, doesn’t list the author of the article, the dateline is listed as Beirut, the location of their Middle East correspondent Greg Carlstrom. You can read our posts about Carlstrom – previously the Jerusalem correspondent at The Times – here.
BBC WS radio's Newshour airs “tributes” to Erekat - part one
As was the case when that interview was first broadcast, no effort was made to challenge Erekat’s repeated gratuitous use of the apartheid smear. Once again listeners were not told that while there is a grand total of 40.22 kms of roadway that Palestinian plated vehicles cannot use for security reasons, there are also roads – for example in Erekat’s former place of residence, Jericho – that Israeli vehicles cannot access. Neither was it clarified that Erekat’s licence plates would be a different colour to those of Israeli vehicles because he lived in Area A under total Palestinian Authority control and his vehicle registration came from that authority, not from Israel. Likewise, Erekat was not an Israeli citizen and hence did not have the blue ID card given to all Israeli citizens regardless of religion or ethnicity.

Despite repeatedly touting Erekat as a proponent of the two-state solution, this item made no effort to inform listeners that his idea of that concept was a Palestinian state on what he repeatedly but erroneously termed “the 1967 borders” alongside an Israeli state which would include Palestinian refugees given the ‘right of return’. Neither did audiences hear of his defence of the PA and PLO policy of payment of salaries to terrorists and their families or his central role in the promotion of the myth of a ‘massacre’ in Jenin in 2002.

Having established the narrative of Erekat as a ‘peacemaker’ whose efforts were frustrated by others, the item went on to promote decidedly one-sided “tributes” which will be discussed in part two of this post.
Israel must prepare for a change in US policy toward Iran
Israel must be part of an international coalition trying to reach an agreement with Iran that will prevent it from reaching a nuclear bomb, but it must be understood that an agreement requires compromise. Israel must prevent Iran from transferring weapons to Hezbollah, but alongside military action, smart diplomacy must be exercised vis-à-vis Lebanon, where the mechanism of negotiations about the naval border can serve as an opportunity. Israel needs to find ways to reach out to the Iranian people and make a clear separation between our attitude toward the ayatollah’s regime and our attitude toward the general public.

The Iranian people are a proud people who do not support the rule of the ayatollahs, but want the change to come from within and not from outside intervention. A day will come and this proud people will change the political reality in Iran and the Arab Spring will also become the “Persian Spring.”

One can find Iranian exiles in the West who will say that an overthrow of the regime by US force will be welcomed there with flowers, as there were Iraqi exiles who claimed this before the attack on Iraq, and we know how that ended.

Another very important point of similarity between the Iranian and Israeli governments is that they are the only governments in the world that do not support the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and both benefit politically from this conflict as well as from the conflict between them.

The Iranian position is understandable, the only way the apocalyptic calls of its leaders against Israel be realized is if we fail to reach a two-state solution with the Palestinians and the status quo will eliminate us demographically or morally. But in this case, it is us eliminating Zionism, not the Iranians.

The possible change of leadership in the US is an opportunity for Israel to change course to a more appropriate policy also in terms of the Iranian challenge.
Seth Frantzman: Iran media pushes Holocaust denial: Jews perpetrated mass murder in Yemen
Jews were responsible for a historic “Holocaust,” according to an article published by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency. While the actual Holocaust was questionable, the original one was carried out by Jews against Christians more than 1,000 years ago on the border of modern-day Yemen, the article said.

Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the Kayhan, a conservative Iranian newspaper close to the regime, wrote an article about the Holocaust in the context of accusing France of insulting Islam, Fars reported.

The trend in Iran, Malaysia and other countries run by Islamist governments is to use antisemitism as a way to respond to perceived insults against Islam in Europe.

The usual refrain goes like this: Every time cartoons insult Islam, Muslim leaders will deny the Holocaust in response. This is a strange reaction since it punishes Jews, who were victims of European antisemitism, attacking Jews every time regimes such as the one in Iran are angry at Europe.

In the recent article by Shariatmadari, a memo responding to readers’ questions about the Holocaust reads: “In Saturday’s memo, we referred to undeniable evidence that the Holocaust was falsely claimed by the Zionists and Western governments – but now we seek to show that historical documents refer to a real Holocaust that the Jews of that time, the ancestors of the Zionists, did.”


An open letter to York and UBC: Promoting hatred is never justified
Dear Presidents Rhonda Lenton and Santa J. Ono,

As Jewish students at York University and the University of British Columbia, our ethnicity and religion are continuously under attack by a specific sect of die-hard student “activists” whose actions consistently warrant a reprimand, but rarely do.

In our short careers as undergraduate students, we’ve seen student group leaders wearing vile and hateful attire, rallies where Jewish and Israeli students are harassed, inaction over a violent banner despite a continuous outcry from members of our community, and fellow students embracing speakers advocating for terrorism, anti-Semitism and worse.

It begs the question: Why are these groups allowed to operate when their sole purpose is to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel and students brave enough to oppose them?

Last Saturday, Nov. 7, the York Palestine Solidarity Collective (PSC) and UBC Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) groups hosted a joint event with activists Lina Hadid, Diana Buttu and Miko Peled. All three have a history of promoting anti-Semitism or anti-Israel bias.

As the event took place on a Sabbath, Jewish students were obviously not welcome. Fortunately, PSC and SPHR posted a video of the event to YouTube, providing a clear lens as to what transpired. We encourage you to watch it.
Islamic aid director resigns after getting called out for antisemitism
For the third time in the past six months, a high-positioned figure at Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) has left for expressing antisemitic views on social media.

Tayeb Abdoun, former interim-CEO and a 25-year veteran employee at the international humanitarian relief agency, resigned on October 14 for posting a picture on Facebook of a knife with a thumbs up, writing, "Lay the bodies of the Jews on the top of the mountains, so that no dog in Palestine must suffer hunger."

On October 13, 2015, three Israelis were killed in a Jerusalem gun and knife attack in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.

Abdoun resigned after the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (TA) confronted him.

"We continue to work as an organization to root out anyone that does not meet our core values as a respectful, faith-sensitive, non-discriminatory and principled charity," IRW wrote on October 14.

IRW founder Hany El Banna had recently called the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq "devil worshippers."

TA wrote that "the false cliché of the devil worshipper served as a justification for the IS [Islamic State] to kill thousands of Yazidi in Northern Iraq or to rape their women as sex slaves."


Swimming Santa Brings Dead Sea to Life With Tree and Cheer
At the lowest point on earth, in the middle of a giant salt lake where animals and plants have no chance of surviving, a jolly man dressed in red with a flowing white beard stuck a Christmas tree in the ground and went for a swim.

Santa Claus came to the Dead Sea on Sunday ahead of the Christmas season, part of a campaign by Israel’s Tourism Ministry to bring some Christmas cheer during a global pandemic that has kept Christian pilgrims away from the Holy Land.

He rode a paddle board a few hundred yards offshore to a spot where salt has piled up in a massive mushroom shape, allowing him to stand in the middle of the otherwise much deeper lake.

With pomp and circumstance he stuck a decorated Christmas tree in the salty bottom, struck a pose for cameras, and then enjoyed an effortless float in the Dead Sea’s famous, saline-rich waters.

Beyond the compelling landscape, Christianity has roots in the Dead Sea, whose surroundings are abundant with remains of ancient Christian communities.

The Christmas tree, however, had no chance of surviving in the salty waters and Santa took it with him when he returned to shore.





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