Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From Ian:

Benny Morris: Before the Kidnappings, There Was a Massacre
The slaughter on May 13, 1948, by Arab militiamen from nearby villages and Jordanian Legionnaires of dozens of surrendering Jewish troops in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion was probably the biggest Arab massacre of Jews in the first Arab-Israeli War.
A year later, in the early morning hours of the fourth day of Iyar, 5709 (May 3, 1949), the first anniversary, in the Hebrew calendar, of the fall of the kibbutz, Col. Shlomo Goren, the IDF chief rabbi, accompanied by a minyan of young Jerusalemites, held a commemorative service on an Israeli hilltop from which could be seen, in the distance, the ruins of the Etzion Bloc. The “bloc” of four kibbutzim—Kfar Etzion, Ein Tzurim, Massu’ot Yitzhak, and Revadim—had been established between 1943 and 1947 in the Judaean hills, amid a cluster of Arab villages in the southern part of the West Bank, which Jordan had occupied in May 1948 and which Israel was to conquer in June 1967. The bloc was located in the heartland of the biblical Land of Israel, between Abraham’s Hebron and King David’s Bethlehem. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Mother of Abducted Teen in Strirring Address at Geneva Shul
Rachel Frenkel, the mother of abducted teen Naftali, addressed a Jewish congregation in Geneva Tuesday and told the audience that the abduction of her son and two other yeshiva students by Hamas has brought unity to the nation of Israel.
Frenkel was in Geneva along with Bat Galim Sha’ar and Iris Yifrah, the mothers of the other two abductees. She had addressed the UNHCR and made an impassioned plea to help all three captured boys return home.
Hashtags are not enough
It is a clever and well-executed campaign which has not only highlighted the plight of the three kidnapped Israeli teens, but has hopefully contributed to pressuring the Palestinian Authority to cooperate and provided comfort to the victims’ families.
But for all its merits, “#BringBackOurBoys” cannot bring back our boys.
Only the Israel Defense Forces has the capacity to accomplish such a feat by physically entering Palestinian cities, like Hebron, searching for the kidnapped teens and capturing and interrogating terrorists to gain information that will lead to their rescue.
This is the only hope that these teenagers have.
Israel Was Not Created To Teach Morals To Enemies – Let The IDF Win!
In these days in Israel, the people are united in their desire to see the three missing Jewish teenagers re-emerge safely. Each passing day sees peoples’ patience waning – and uniquely, a desire to see the strongest army in the region do what needs to be done. As Naftali Frenkel, an American citizen, and two other Israeli teenagers are missing, the United Nations condemns Israel, and the American State Department demands that Israel “exercise restraint” in its search for the Hamas kidnappers.
And in Israel, it’s a major yawn – these are flies swatted off with an annoyance – a non-factor. All that matters is doing all that can be done to ensure the safe re-arrival of the missing boys.

Counterattack – fight totalitarian terrorists and their enablers
As the kidnapping crisis continues, one critical moment disturbs me. When the terrorists first realized they had kidnapped teenagers, especially two 16-year-olds, did it make these Palestinians pause? Did the kidnappers consider freeing these innocents? Has their clear non-combatant status at all improved the treatment of Gil- Ad, Eyal, and Naftali? Alternatively, did the victims’ youth delight these criminals, believing they could terrorize even more, given their assumption that Israelis’ love for our youngsters weakens us (when it actually strengthens us)? I fear the latter is true, that capturing kids thrilled the terrorists, because these Islamist extremists are totalitarians.
Their totalitarianism acknowledges no complexity, dehumanizes the “enemy” as racist, colonialist, imperialist, Zionist, and sacrifices all – including their children and ours – to serve their absolutist goal. It remains the biggest obstacle to peace.
As the Israeli government counterattacks against terrorism, we need a parallel counterattack against today’s intellectual and ideological support structure for totalitarian terrorism, which emboldens extremists, intentionally or not. In this battle of ideas we must accept complexity, acknowledge fluidity, reject false moral equivalences and question biases, no matter how trendy.
Kidnapped Israeli Teenagers - A Palestinian View
You cannot be running TV, social media and newspapers encouraging terror and the murdering of Jews and then claim you are innocent when acts of terror happen.
The PA is now officially united with Hamas, a terror organization that pledges to destroy a sovereign nation and establish a Muslim caliphate. Financing the PA is therefore financing terrorism. PA terror has become a major industry. Is this what the West is so breathless to support?
Would the U.S. or Europe agree to give its cities and parts of its soil for a terrorist organization to establish a country the way U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been pushing Israel to give up most of the West Bank and return to pre-1967 borders?
Can we Palestinians blame Israel when the wall never existed before Hamas and the PLO started launching terror attacks on Israel on a daily basis?
Instead of financing the PA leaders' lavish lifestyles, the world should start questioning the PA's institutionalized incitement of terror
and hatred to my people which they do every day through media, education and religious institutions. For the sake of both Israel and the Palestinians, it is not Israel but the PA that should be boycotted.
"Most people are mad at those who kidnapped the kids. When they commit such acts, we rejoice, celebrate for Israel's suffering, then sit down and worry if we will be allowed into Israel for work and medical treatment. This has to stop, for our own sake." Palestinian businessman
Security Checkposts Save Lives
Security Checkpoints prevent terror and save lives, but the number of security checkpoints in the Central Command went down from 40 in July 2008 to just 12 in October 2012.
The people of Israel and Jews all over the world have been holding their breath and praying for the safe release of Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad, Gil-Ad Shayer, 16, from Talmon and Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon. Both Frenkel and Shayer study at the "Makor Haim" yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, while Yifrah studies at the "Shavei Hevron" yeshiva. All three were on their way home Thursday evening when they were kidnapped by Palestinian Arab terrorists.
The removal of security checkpoints on major highways and major junctions throughout Judea and Samaria no doubt made their kidnapping and the swift getaway by the terrorists that much easier. In recent years, Israeli left-wing anti-settlement organizations masquerading as human rights organizations have succeeded in convincing the IDF central command that security checkpoints are an unnecessary burden on the local Palestinian Arab population.
Day 12: Obama Silent on US Citizen in Captivity, Hosts Golf Stars at WH
While American citizen Naftali Frenkel remains in captivity, held hostage by Palestinian terrorists, President Barack Obama maintained his silence on the issue for a twelfth day. Since Frenkel went missing Obama has yet to say a word.
Obama has found ways to stay busy, though. According to the Washington Post, Obama is set to host the US Presidents Cup team on Tuesday evening:
Middle East Children's Alliance. What a difference a year makes
You would think the Middle East Children’s Alliance would be concerned about missing children in the Middle East.
You’d be wrong.
The Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) is a non-profit organization working for the rights of children in the Middle East , but not if those children are Jews. And not if those children are Israelis.
Two 16 year olds and a 19 year old have been kidnapped. They have vanished without a trace. Their families are distraught. Their people have united in prayer. Their government searches for them. And the Middle East Children’s Alliance, who purportedly works for the rights of children instead dismisses them, dehumanizes them. To Barbara Lubin’s non-profit, these boys have no names, no identities. They are missing “settlers”, not even granted the dignity of a name.
To the Middle East Children's Alliance, a 15 year old Palestinian is a "boy", but a 16 year old Jew is a settler. What a difference a year makes.
Never you mind, MECA. Some of us will continue to hope for a world where all children are cherished, regardless of their religion or national origin
‘PM ordered rearrests of dozens of prisoners freed in Shalit deal’
Informed that Ziad Awad, a convicted terrorist released in 2011 as part of the deal to free Gilad Shalit, had been arrested in May for the Passover Eve murder of an off-duty policeman near Hebron, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly ordered Israeli forces looking for the three teens kidnapped on June 12 to re-arrest dozens more of the Palestinian prisoners who were freed in the Shalit exchange.
According to Channel 10, Netanyahu ordered the military to seize other prisoners freed in the 2011 deal with Hamas because he felt “pressured” to respond to the fact that it was a prisoner freed by Israel, in the controversial Shalit deal that he approved, who had committed the Passover eve murder of father-of-five Baruch Mizrahi.
IDF arrests Palestinian lawmakers in fresh sweep
According to Israeli media reports, among those arrested overnight were two Palestinian lawmakers, Ibrahim Tayyub and Khaled Dweik. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency identified the Palestinian MPs as Khaled Tafesh and Anwar Zaboun.
The identities of those arrested could not be independently confirmed.
Israeli forces also found and confiscated weapons in a Palestinian refugee camp near Jenin, the Ynet news site reported.
It’s Jew-Hatred, Stupid: Why Kerry’s Peace Negotiations Were Always Doomed to Fail Because of the Lethality of the Hamas-Fatah Unity Pact
What any honest observer of the history of conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors knows well, the Palestinians have been strident and inflexible in their maximalist demands, not to mention their intractability on such non-starters as the so-called “right of return,” the division of Jerusalem, and the proclaimed requirement that the Palestinian state will be judenrein, that, as Mahmoud Abbas himself has repeated, not one Jew will be allowed to live in the new Palestinian state.
But the unity pact between Fatah and Hamas brings to the surface a far more pernicious aspect, something that neither Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary Kerry, nor any other diplomat is likely to finesse in negotiations in Jerusalem, Ramallah, or Washington. While the State Department is quick to condemn the building of new apartments in Gilo, or hector the Israelis for not releasing Arab murderers in exchange for the possibility of continued talks, its seems to have been wilfully blind in not recognizing that the foundational document by which Hamas was established—the 1988 Hamas Charter—is animated with genocidal Jew-hatred, replete with a global strategy to extirpate Israel and murderous tactics based on millennial dreams of apocalyptic jihad.
JPost Editorial: Hamas extremism
For the first time since the signing of the agreement with Fatah, a senior Hamas official has spoken out against reconciliation. Mohamed Nazzal blamed the Palestinian Authority security forces for “joining the occupation in the war against the resistance,” as the Post’s Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh reported Tuesday.
Nor is there any proof that the reconciliation agreement is a sign that Hamas is becoming more moderate.
Hamas probably saw the deal as an opportunity to expand its influence from Gaza into the West Bank.
Now that PA forces are coordinating with the IDF to break up Hamas’s infrastructure in the West Bank, there is little reason for Hamas to maintain the unity deal.
Hamas might be under pressure from Sisi’s antagonistic, anti-Islamist regime in Egypt, it might be hurting after losing its Iranian funding, but the terrorist organization shows no signs of moderation.
Israel expressed concerns to US over security failures in Iraq
Bearing witness to the crisis from the sidelines, Israel “observed the effects of US-trained Arab forces in Iraq and, from that, has learned lessons on proposals for the Jordan Valley,” the official said.
Last December, during an aggressive push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, US Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a security plan that would ultimately remove the IDF from the Jordan Valley – a natural borderland between the West Bank and Jordan that serves as a strategically vital security buffer, according to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, from aggressive state and non-state actors alike.
The plan, which would replace the IDF with an international force trained by the United States, was based on months of research conducted by US General John Allen, who earned his reputation on security training in Afghanistan and Iraq. (h/t Zvi)
Bennett Calls for End to Terror Salaries
Economics Minister and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett announced Wednesday that he intends to lead an effort to stop Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) from continuing the policy of payment of generous monthly salaries to convicted terrorists jailed in Israeli prisons.
"Did you murder Jews? Have you abducted children? Get up to 12,000 shekels a month from Abu Mazen!,” wrote Bennett sarcastically on his Facebook page. “Meet Abu Mazen's 'preferred employment' track: murderers, terrorists and child abductors. We have preferred status for gas station attendants, Abu Mazen gives it to those who pour fuel on the fires of death and destruction.”
PA confirms: Prisoners' salaries will continue despite name change

Iran 'Outraged' at Australia over 'Occupied Jerusalem'
Iran summoned the Australian Ambassador to Tehran for a dressing down over the decision three weeks ago by Australian Attorney-General George Brandis to stop calling Jerusalem "occupied."
Iran's IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) reported on Monday that Australian Ambassador to Iran Paul Foley came in for "outrage" from Iranian Foreign Ministry Director General of the Middle East and North African Department Reza Ameri.
Ameri condemned the change in lexicon, saying by removing the word "occupied," Australia is "ignoring the occupation of Holy Qods," a reference to the Muslim name for the 3,000-year-old Jewish capital of Jerusalem.
IAF Struck 12 Gaza Targets, Say Arabs; Video Shows Huge Blast The attacks hit training grounds used by terrorists, leaving two people lightly injured.
The Israeli Air Force carried out 12 raids on Gaza overnight after terrorists fired more rockets at southern Israel, Palestinian security sources said Wednesday. A video apparently uploaded Tuesday shows a huge blast, allegedly as a result of an IAF bomb that hit the Zeytoun area in Gaza.
The attacks struck training grounds used by terrorists, leaving two people lightly injured, they told AFP.
State Department: Israel Has the Right to Defend Itself
The United States on Tuesday expressed its support for Israel in the wake of its airstrikes on Syria Sunday night.
Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters, “We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense in response to unprovoked assaults” adding that “we, of course, believe that countries have the right to defend themselves.”
“Recent attacks we’ve seen from Syria are unacceptable and have been clear about our concerns about that as well,” stressed Harf.
Watch: 'Traitor' MK Zoabi Gets Kicked Out of a Restaurant
In a video filmed on a cell phone, the Arab MK can be seen being kicked out by the owner, who called her "traitor" several times in the course of the interchange.
At the start of the video, the owner can be heard asking Zoabi sarcastically if they don't have his restaurant in Gaza, to which she responds by saying "no, they're bombing in Gaza."
The owner then tells her he's kicking her out, calling her "you little traitor. I can do it (remove you), it's my democratic right."
China ‘Smashes’ 32 Terrorist Groups; World Reacts By Slamming Israel (satire)
Persistent unrest in this heavily Muslim region has led Chinese authorities to crack down on the native Uighur population, killing at least 13 and sentencing hundreds more to incarceration or execution, leading the United Nations and other international bodies to condemn Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.
China has faced separatist terrorism my the mostly Muslim Uighurs for years, but several high-profile bombings, shootings, and other attacks in recent months have further strained the relationship between the majority Han ethnicity and the Uighurs, and prompted a widespread effort to suppress the militant groups. Strategies have included augmented efforts to integrate the Uighurs into the rest of Chinese society through population transfers, job training, and education, with fierce military reprisals against suspected separatist strongholds, and even greater suppression of religion than before. In response, the international community has denounced Israeli defensive policies toward the Palestinians as “collective punishment,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “kidnapping en entire people.”
Electricity cuts felt in East Jerusalem, Ramallah
The Israel Electric Corporation has restricted the flow of electricity to the Palestinian Jerusalem District Electricity Company on Monday over unpaid debts, causing power outages in East Jerusalem and Ramallah, Palestinian media reported Tuesday. The IEC is currently suing the Palestinian company over unpaid debts.
JDECO director Hisham al-Umari said that the IEC stopped providing electricity via two main lines, leading to loss of power in several locations, including some Palestinian Authority buildings, Ma’an News reported.
Hunger strike busted by lack of attention — Palestinian source
Dozens of Palestinian prisoners struck a deal with Israeli prisons to end their hunger strike because it was clear that it had failed, a senior Palestinian official told The Times of Israel on Wednesday.
While the prisoners were able to negotiate for some improvement in the conditions of their imprisonment, the official said they were primarily motivated by a realization that the issue had faded from the public agenda — presumably because of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens and ensuing IDF crackdown — and that their efforts would not lead to an end to the practice of administrative detention by Israel.
PA: Judea and Samaria's Natural Resources Belong to 'Palestine'
Mustafa said that Israel had sent a letter to the PA, in which it asked that the PA cancel the tender it issued three months ago regarding oil exploration in Judea and Samaria.
The tender issued in March was for natural gas exploration in Area C, the 60 percent of Judea and Samaria that was left under full Israeli control under the Oslo Accords.
That tender was not the first time that the PA announced projects in Area C, ignoring Israeli sovereignty over the region.
Hamas Leader: We Can Bomb Any City in Israel
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar on Tuesday issued a direct threat against Israel.
Al-Zahar, who spoke at a memorial ceremony for terrorists who died in a “work accident”, declared that Hamas has rockets that can hit any city in Israel.
He further said that during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Hamas held a “dry run” in attacking Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Hamas is known to have test-fired long-range M-175 rockets that can reach Tel Aviv and even beyond that when fired from Gaza.
Hamas arrests terror cell responsible for rocket fire on Israel
Palestinian sources in Gaza said Hamas’s internal security forces arrested the terror cell responsible for firing rockets at southern Israel Monday and Tuesday.
The arrests were not reported by Palestinian media.
The identity of the group is as yet unknown. However, it apparently belonged to a extremist faction that split from Hamas because it deemed the Gaza-ruling organization not radical enough
Islamists wearing a call to arms on their sleeve: Clothing with fanatical slogans being sold across Sydney
ISLAMIC fundamentalists in south-western Sydney are wearing propagandist paraphernalia freely available for sale at local markets and online to show their support for jihadi bloodshed.
Shirts and hoodies with rifles, pistols and fanatical slogans are being seen more regularly in Western Sydney, including Auburn and Granville — two suburbs where a number of the reported 150 Australians engaged in the sectarian violence in Syria and Iraq are believed to be from.
ISIS Calls on World Cup Star Messi to 'Join Jihad'
Lionel Messi, the star player of the Argentinian national team, defeated the Iranian squad with a dramatic late goal on Sunday in the ongoing 2014 Brazil World Cup.
The goal, which came in stoppage time at the 91st minute, gave Argentina the 1-0 edge to pull a win out of the scrappy match.
However, Argentinian soccer fans weren't the only ones celebrating the goal. They were joined by an unlikely party: the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) Islamists currently conquering Iraq in a blitz military conquest.
World Cup beer honor angers Iran lawmaker
Lawmakers in Iran are in a froth over beer maker Gaffel Kolsch's decision to print the Islamic Republic's flag on special edition bottles of its beer.
The German brewer, which has a tradition of issuing commemorative bottles for World Cup participants, this year has included Iran’s flag, which features the words “God is great” repeated across two stripes, on the labels and caps of some number of special edition beer bottles – appearing on shelves alongside bottles bearing the flags of the 31 other teams participating in this year’s World Cup. (h/t Yenta Press)
Meriam Yahya Ibrahim: Arrested, Released, Re-Arrested, Re-Released
On June 23, 2014, Sudanese Christian Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, who had been sentenced to death by a Shariah court in Khartoum, was cleared of all charges by the Appeals Court and freed.
Today, while the world was still reacting with joy and surprise to the news of her release from prison, she and her husband, Daniel Wani, along with toddler son, Martin, and infant daughter, Maya, were re-arrested (some reports say “detained”) at the Khartoum airport while trying to leave the country. At approximately 3:10 pm ET this afternoon, the BBC reported that the family had been re-released and taken to a safe location. What is going on?

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