Monday, May 25, 2015

From Ian:

PMW: Abbas’ Fatah wants to destroy Israel
On the occasion of Palestinian Nakba day - the day Palestinians commemorate "the catastrophe" of the establishment of the State of Israel - Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement posted a drawing on Facebook that encouraged the use of violence to destroy Israel.
"What was taken by force can only be regained by force, the 67th anniversary of the Nakba"
[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," May 14, 2015]

This statement appeared on an image showing the number 67 in Arabic numerals with the digit 7 made of a key, a rifle, and a map that includes the PA areas as well as all of Israel.
Fatah often reiterates its support for the use of violence and arms to gain statehood as Palestinian Media Watch has documented.
Another post by Fatah warned "the world's dwarfs" to "remain in their burrows" when "the storm" - the name of Fatah's military wing - "roars." This warning appeared on a photo of an armed member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades beside the Fatah logo, which also encourages the use of arms against Israel. The Fatah logo shows two rifles crossed over a map that includes the PA areas and all of Israel: (h/t Bob Knot)
'World encourages violence by condemning Israel constantly'
In an exclusive interview, Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, speaks about the conflict with Hamas, the ethics of war, the battle for public opinion, and the prospects for peace • Peace is far from breaking out, he says.
Col. Richard Kemp, CBE, has been spending time in Israel, where he spoke at Shurat Hadin's "Towards a ‎New Laws of War" Conference, and at Bar-Ilan University, which bestowed him with an honorary ‎doctorate in recognition of his stalwart battle against terrorism and terrorist organizations. Kemp, now ‎retired from the British Army, was commander of the British forces in Afghanistan in 2003 and served in ‎Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland. For the last five years of his 30-year military career, Kemp ‎served as top adviser to the British prime minister on questions of intelligence and counterterrorism.‎
Moroccan authorities take down Israeli judo team
The Moroccan authorities blamed the delay on the Israeli team’s lack of visas but changed their story later on, saying that a gun had been found in one team member’s luggage, Ynet reported. Israel Judo Association chairman Moshe Ponti contacted Marius Vizer, the president of the International Judo Federation’s executive committee, and asked for his assistance. At Vizer’s intervention, which included a threat to cancel the entire competition unless the Israeli team was released, the Moroccan authorities permitted the Israelis to proceed to their hotel, under the protection of a unit of the king’s security guards.
Things went from bad to worse as the weekend progressed. The Israeli flag was absent from the venue where the event took place, prompting a representative from the International Judo Federation to demand that all the flags of the participating countries be taken down. The Israeli team was also not mentioned on the tournament’s website. The spectators waved Palestinian flags, shouted “We’re going to kill you,” and booed each time a member of the Israeli team appeared.
“What happened in Morocco is a shame,” judoka Yarden Gerbi wrote on her Facebook page. “As an Israeli I feel ashamed to wait 8 hours at the airport, I feel ashamed to hear the crowed [sic] boo me and my teammates and want us to lose — and why? Because we are Israelis. We came for sports, pure sport, not politics. It’s an embarrassment for Morocco and the organization. I hope us Israelis, and no one else, for that matter, ever has to experience such behavior again. It’s against sport in general, and judo in particular.”
The Israeli team won no medals in the competition. “I’m very disappointed — not with the results, but with the spectators’ behavior,” Ponti said.
Could Israel Get Booted Out of Soccer?
George Orwell was a brilliant man and a historically important writer, but the one thing he never truly understood was soccer.
In December 1945, Orwell wrote an essay called “The Sporting Spirit” for the London newspaper Tribune. The Soviet soccer club Dynamo Moscow had just completed a tour of the UK, playing matches against top British clubs like Arsenal and Rangers—matches that degenerated into rough play on the pitch and jingoism in the stands. Orwell, a fervent opponent of nationalism, was appalled. “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play,” he wrote. “It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.”
It is true that soccer can bring out the worst in, and of, humanity. It can enable racism, sexism, homophobia, corruption, and mob violence. It can enflame nationalist tensions and give legitimacy to authoritarian regimes. But soccer can also bring out the best in us. It can unify war-torn nations and lift the spirits of impoverished communities. It can impose 90 minutes of order on a world that has seemingly never been so chaotic.
It’s never wise—and perhaps not possible—to underestimate FIFA’s ability to hit a new moral low. But if FIFA votes against Israel, it will be its most shameful decision yet, because it will prove Orwell right—that the Beautiful Game is nothing more than a front in a decades-long battle, and its fans are merely its conscripts. (h/t Bob Knot)

PMW: European MPs condemn PA following PMW release of special report
Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, appeared before Dutch, British and German parliamentarians last week to present PMW's new report entitled: "Is the PA lying to Western donors? The PA claims to have stopped paying salaries to prisoners; PMW's evidence shows otherwise."
For years, Western donor countries have been demanding that the PA stop paying salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorist prisoners. The PA finally claimed to have stopped paying the salaries last August 2014, when the PA Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, the body responsible for paying the salaries, was changed into a PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs. The PA stated repeatedly to their own people that the change was only a change in name, but that none of the salaries or other benefits to prisoners would be changed. They stressed that by transferring the responsibility for paying the prisoners' salaries to the PLO, the Europeans and the US would not stop funding the PA.
However, PMW's new report presents significant documentation that challenges the PA claim that the PA is no longer paying salaries. One of the key indicators exposed in the new PMW report:
In March of this year, when the PA was short on money, it cut the salaries of all civil servants to 60% of their regular salaries. The next day, the PA Ministry of Finance announced the same reduction in salaries to prisoners. Had the PLO been paying prisoners' salaries from non-PA money, then salaries to prisoners should not have been affected by the PA shortage of resources.
PMW: Sunday Express: "Foreign aid scandal" following PMW's report to British MPs
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has taken around £130million in foreign aid from the Department for International Development [UK] over the past five years.
The public cash is being used to help it fund its estimated £84million annual wage bill for convicted terrorists locked up in Israel, according to campaigners.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) claims that Britain may have been "intentionally misled" by the PA which last year claimed to have stopped the controversial payments but was later discovered to be channelling the cash through another political group.
MPs today called for the Government to suspend all aid to the PA until payments to convicted terrorists cease.
In a joint statement, Tory MPs Guto Bebb, James Morris and Andrew Percy said: "British taxpayers will be appalled to discover that the Palestinian Authority is handing their hard-earned money to convicted Palestinian terrorists.
"The PA should be strongly condemned for deceiving well-intentioned donor countries into thinking that it had ended this shocking practice.
"The British Government must seriously reconsider its provision of aid to the PA's general budget until it ceases this abhorrent practice of financially rewarding and incentivising terrorism."

Eatery erases Israel, for culinary reasons
Dutch restaurant owners cited their gastronomical focus in explaining why they had replaced Israel with Palestine in a map of the Middle East they had printed.
The owners of Le Souq, a restaurant based in Rotterdam that specializes in food from the Middle East, offered the explanation after a local politician criticized their removal of Israel and replacement with Palestine in the restaurant’s signature placemat, which features a map of the Middle East.
“A new country in the Middle East? In Rotterdam’s market hall they are straightforward about Israel’s position. Bizarre,” Jan Hutten, a regional chairman of the center-right Christian Democratic Appeal party, wrote on Twitter earlier this week. He also included a picture of the controversial placemat. (h/t Yenta Press)
Michael Totten: The Muslim Brotherhood Takes Off its Mask
ISIS is threatening to kill judges and security personnel in Egypt after a Cairo court sentenced former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Morsi to death while, at the same time, what's left of the Muslim Brotherhood is promising a revolution that “exterminates all the oppressors.”
So much for the Muslim Brotherhood being moderate.
Human beings are naturally compelled to violently resist violent repression regardless of their ideology, but the Brotherhood's ostensible moderation was always limited to its strategy. Its members largely refrained from violence because they believed a peaceful path to their radical Islamist utopia may have been open to them. Now that that's off the table, the mask and the gloves have come off.
And that word, “exterminate.” This is not the language of freedom fighters. Thomas Jefferson and Vaclav Havel never threatened to exterminate anyone. This is the language of ISIS, Al Qaeda and Pol Pot.
Most of the world's Sunni Arab terrorist organizations are spin-offs of the Muslim Brotherhood, including Al Qaeda. ISIS, meanwhile, is a spin-off of Al Qaeda. Hamas in the Gaza Strip isn't even a spin-off. It's the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestinian branch.

Saudi Arabia ‘rejects Israeli offer to supply Iron Dome’
Saudi Arabia recently rejected an Israeli offer to provide it with Iron Dome rocket defense technology, a London-based Arab newspaper reported Saturday.
According to an article in Rai al-Youm, Israel conveyed the proposal to Saudi officials via American diplomats stationed in Jordan, as a means to combat rocket attacks by Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen.
The report stated that the Saudis turned down the offer for unspecified reasons.
There was no confirmation of the report by any official sources.
Netanyahu confidant Dore Gold to head diplomatic corps
Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold will head up the Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday shortly after firing director Nissim Ben Shitrit.
Gold, who heads the conservative-leaning Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is considered to be one of Netanyahu’s closest confidants.
He has served as an adviser to the prime minister on various issues during Netanyahu’s previous three terms in office, including most recently on foreign policy matters.
“I am aware of the various significant challenges facing Israel in this time, and my duty to protect the country’s interests,” Gold said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Ben Shitrit had originally been appointed to his post by Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Libermen, Israel’s former foreign minister. Since forming his government earlier this month, Netanyahu has not appointed a foreign minister, and therefore currently assumes responsibility for the ministry’s affairs. Liberman did not join the new coalition.
Hamas Declares Jerusalem ‘Eternal Capital’ of Islamic World
Hamas has declared that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Islamic world,” the Saudi Arabia-backed Al-Resalah reported.
The terrorist organization that rules Gaza and has cells in Judea and Samaria “warned of the repercussions of Israeli decisions to transfer government ministers to Occupied Jerusalem, dubbing the move a flagrant violation of international resolutions,” according to the website.
Hamas official, Ezzet Resheq wrote:
Jerusalem will remain as intrinsically Palestinian and indivisible as it has always been. It will oust all Judaization schemes.
Hamas has decided to convince its followers that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent appointment of government ministers is some kind of unprecedented move, as if the Jews all of a sudden have woken up.
It appears that Hamas is desperate for propaganda to shore up support from the poor Gaza Arabs who suffer under the regime.
How to Defend Israel? Talk About Rights. Not Just Security
Israel diplomats were reportedly shocked this week when their country’s new deputy foreign minister asked them to speak up about Israel’s rights in the conflict with the Palestinians rather than just its security needs. As the Times of Israel reports, Tzipi Hotovely raised more than a few eyebrows when she told a gathering of the country’s diplomatic personnel that it was a mistake to downplay the country’s own territorial claims when seeking to counter complaints about Israel’s presence in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The very idea of quoting the Torah when speaking of ties to the biblical heartland of the Jewish homeland seemed to strike them and left-wing commentators who howled about it later as absurd. Indeed, as the left-wing Haaretz put it, the world may find the minister “hard to swallow.” But while the Likud Knesset member is swimming against the tide of international opinion as well as the culture of the ministry she’s running, she is right. Though many in an international community increasingly influenced by anti-Semitism and misinformation about Israel will never accept such arguments, as the Palestinians have demonstrated over the last generation, talk of rights always trumps security.
Hotovely, whose importance will be heightened by current the lack of a foreign minister (Prime Minister Netanyahu is reserving the post for himself while hoping to give it opposition leader Isaac Herzog should he join the government), is being dismissed as a right-wing extremists for even mentioning Jewish rights, but her critics would do well to heed her advice.
For the last 20 years, Israel’s diplomatic posture about the territories has concentrated on its willingness to make peace. Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its desire to negotiate with the Palestinians and give them a state if they are willing to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state next to them. But the Palestinians have repeatedly refused to do that. But they are not generally held accountable for this unreasonable stand because their position is basically that negotiations are unnecessary because Israel has not right to be in any of the lands that it took in the 1967 Six Day War. If the West Bank and Jerusalem are, as the Palestinians claim, stolen property, then they have a point.
Obama on Israel: A Judgmental Friend and Its Open Enemies
The point here is not just that his Iran deal is a sham or that his refusal to hold the Palestinians accountable for their refusal to make peace is wrongheaded. It is that Obama’s conception of the relationship with Israel is such that he thinks it empowers him to pressure it to adopt policies that are clearly detrimental to its security despite all the lip service for that concept. He not only thinks Netanyahu is wrong, he thinks his delusional nostalgia for the Israel of the past gives him the right to be a scourge to the Israel of the present; even if that means cutting off arms supplies during war (as he did last summer during the conflict with Hamas), isolating it at the UN or allowing Iran to become, at the very least, a threshold nuclear power.
That’s the sort of friendship that is insufferable to a country that is still beset by enemies that are fueled by the rising tide of anti-Semitism around the world that Obama acknowledged. But in its willingness to excuse or reward the behavior of Israel’s open foes, it downgrades the alliance to a conditional relationship rather than a genuine alliance.
Like any democracy, Israel isn’t perfect, but its government and people need no lessons from Barack Obama about values or which policies best serve its long-term interests. Israel doesn’t need to be saved from itself, and anyone who thinks it should be has no respect for the Israeli people. American Jews who warmly applauded Obama’s speech need to understand that friendship on those terms is not only not much of a friendship but also, if he follows through on his threats, tiptoes perilously toward open hostility. (h/t Norman F)
Israel Agrees to Disband But Only After World Shows That its Predisposition Towards Jew-Killing is Dealt With First (satire)
In a surprise announcement today, causing a global ‘thumbs up’, the Israeli government announced that it would acquiesce to the requests of countless over the course of several decades to “just go away.” Thus, the Jewish State will most likely succumb to international pressure and disband. However, this decision hinges on just a single condition: that the world’s apparent fascination with answering the question, “wouldn’t everything just be better if all the Jews were dead?” be put to rest once and for all.
Several Parliament ministers were approached for comment, though only one, Uri Benzion, was willing to speak with us. “If the world wants us to go away, then fine. But, we won’t do it until we’re sure that they’ve dealt with their inexplicable compulsion to kill Jews.” This logic appears to have some merit as nearly every country has a history of violence or prejudice against Jews. From King Edwards ‘Edict of Expulsion’, the Spanish Inquisition, General Order No. 11 in the United States, to the pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, the Holocaust, the rampant anti-Semitism in the Middle East, as well as many other instances, no one has yet passed up on the opportunity to take a swing at becoming another chapter in the big history book of Jew batting practice. “It’s like OCD or something,” Benzion said. “They just can’t seem to help themselves. It’s like nail biting but only if the biting was killing and the nails were Jews.”
Israel thanks US for stand on UN Middle East nuclear arms ban
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the United States for blocking an Egyptian-led drive for a possible Middle East nuclear weapons ban at a major United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday.
A month-long conference on the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ended in failure on Friday over disagreements on how to achieve a Middle East atomic weapons ban. The U.S. blamed the failure on Egypt, which in turn blamed the U.S., British and Canadian delegations.
Netanyahu conveyed his gratitude to U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in a call to Kerry, according to a senior Israeli official.
"The United States kept its commitment to Israel by preventing a Middle East resolution that would single out Israel and ignore its security interests and the threats posed to it by an increasingly turbulent Middle East," the official said.
Israel also thanked Britain and Canada for joining the United States in blocking consensus, the official said.
Jewish Voice for Peace protests a Jewish Heritage Festival.
After interrupting a Holocaust commemoration in New York City, nothing Jewish Voice for Peace does should surprise us. Jewish Voice for Peace recently had the audacity to lobby against a California Senate resolution condemning antisemitism. T-shirts shirts glorifying Rasmea Odeh, the unrepentant murder of 2 young Jews were available for purchase at the most recent JVP conference.
Those "Jewish values" they claim guides them are nowhere to be seen.
Last weekend, JVP sank even further into the abyss, promoting a protest of a local Jewish Heritage Festival
David L. Mandel, a Sacramento attorney and anti-Israel activist with Jewish Voice for Peace promoted a protest of the annual Jewish Heritage Festival protest, with an email demonizing the local Jewish Federation, sponsor of the event as the "Israel lobby".
While thousands attended the festivities at Raley field in Sacramento, a handful of extremists gathered in protest, shouting bitterly to no one in particular.
Why is the BDS Afraid of the State Department?
The State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism moved one step closer to widespread adoption this week as University of California President Janet Napolitano endorsed the definition.
“I have my own personal view, and my personal view is that we should” accept the State Department’s definition, Napolitano told Boston Public Radio program Hear and Now. The issue, she said, will be up for a vote by the Board of Regents in July.
With campus debate on Israel increasingly slipping into anti-Semitism, particularly at several University of California schools, it is vital for all parties to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that will draw a clear line between what is legitimate criticism and what is not.
The State Department definition includes a section called “What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel,” delineating when criticism crosses the line. According to the definition, speech is anti-Semitic when it demonizes Israel, holds Israel to a double standard not demanded of any other democratic nation, or delegitimizes Israel by denying it’s right to exist.
Naturally, BDS supporters – many of whom deny Israel’s right to exist – have mounted an offensive against the adoption of the definition.
A Methodist Boycott of the Holocaust Museum?
Recently a longtime United Methodist official, lamenting that Israel’s Independence Day obscured the Palestinian “Nakba” or catastrophe, urged boycotting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. until the Palestinians have their own Holocaust museum.
Here’s the quote from Janet Lahr Lewis, “Advocacy Coordinator for the Middle East” at United Methodism’s General Board of Global Ministries in New York, and “Peace with Justice Associate” at the church’s General Board of Church and Society in Washington, D.C., in an article originally appearing in but now seemingly removed from the online weekly newsletter of the latter agency:
Don’t participate in Holocaust Remembrance Day without participating in Al Nakba Remembrance Day. Don’t visit a Holocaust museum until there is one built to remember the other holocausts in the world: the on-going Palestinian holocaust, the Rwandan, the Native American, the Cambodian, the Armenian… You could be waiting a long time!
How nice. Lewis also accuses Israel of having “gone so far as to destroy archaeological artifacts in an effort to wipe out evidence of non-Jewish cultures, except Roman, throughout history in the region.” She also claims that “Israelis of conscience” are quitting Israel, now controlled by an “extremist government” that’s creating “a new Exodus.” Mocking the Exodus story, a defining narrative of the ancient Hebrews, is another nice touch.
Switzerland defends its funding of Breaking the Silence
Swiss government officials defended their decision to fund an exhibition by Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group that purports to expose alleged Israeli war crimes.
Breaking the Silence is scheduled to put on the exhibition next month at Zurich’s Kulturhaus Helferei with funding from the Swiss federal government and the municipality, Swiss officials confirmed this week to the news site, citing Switzerland’s “commitment to increasing dialogue about human rights.”
“This event featuring a highly politicized fringe Israeli organization is inappropriately and immorally sponsored by the Swiss foreign ministry, the Municipality of Zurich and several church groups that are active in anti-Israel campaigns,” the NGO Monitor group wrote in a statement published Thursday about the planned event.
UC Davis To Establish Non-Antisemite-Free Space (satire)
Administrators at the University of California at Davis have announced plans to find an appropriate venue for a facility open only to antisemites, hoping to provide anti-Israel and anti-Jewish students with a place on campus that allows them to be shielded from notions that challenge their deeply-held hatreds.
University Provost Molly Koddler informed student body representatives Monday that the administration will set aside a building, or at least a separate space within a building, to allow antisemites to congregate by themselves. In a notice posted on the university website this morning, Koddler explained that BDS activists and other antisemtitic students needed a safe space where they would not be confronted with ideas counter to their world view, and would not be forced to experience the unpleasantness of noticing the negative aspects or consequences of that view.
“For years now, students made uncomfortable by the very notion of Israel, let alone Israel defending itself, have had no choice but to see Jews and supporters of Israel walking about freely, exposing all who surround them to what they represent,” read the notice. “The administration has therefore decided, after consulting with student leaders, to create a space that gives students choice whether to inhabit a space where the humanity of Jews, or their right to a state in their historical homeland, is accepted.”
Two Israeli teens stabbed near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate
Two Israeli teens were moderately injured after being stabbed near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate early Sunday morning.
Magen David Adom paramedics treated the two 17-year-olds at the scene of the incident on Sultan Suleiman Street in East Jerusalem, outside the Old City. The victims were taken to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem for further treatment.
The two were apparently on their way to the Western Wall when they were stabbed in the back. Emergency services were called shortly after 2:30 a.m.
The attack came on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, when observant Jews stay up all night studying religious texts.
Police arrested a Palestinian suspected of involvement in the attack, Ynet reported.
Hezbollah focuses PR on Israel, to deflect from its killing of Muslims in Syria
As it gears up this week to celebrate 15 years since Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Hezbollah is in a very different place.
The IDF’s departure from the south Lebanon security zone in 2000 was seen as a military victory for Hezbollah, one that crowned the Shiite organization as the vanguard of Islamist fighters. Nowadays, by contrast, its primary battles are against fellow Muslims, and that fact cannot be separated from the recent wave of revelations about its ostensible military readiness to wage war against Israel.
On Friday, the Hezbollah-affiliated As-Safir newspaper launched a flattering portrayal of the organization’s battle-readiness in south Lebanon. The report discussed in colorful detail the combat-ready bunkers and tunnels built by Hezbollah in south Lebanon: they are ensconced in concrete, kitted out with electricity and ventilation, and lined with rocket launchers. (This is an underground infrastructure inside Lebanon, it should be stressed, rather than Gaza-style cross-border tunnels dug into Israel.)
Hezbollah shows off ‘advanced tunnel network’ on Israeli border
In a series of articles published over the weekend, the daily As-safir examined Hezbollah’s preparations for war against Israel, painting a picture of a military force highly prepared for conflict, both in terms of equipment and of infrastructure.
It should be noted that As-safir, a mouthpiece for the Shiite organization, is neither an objective nor necessarily a credible news source. The accuracy of its claims cannot be verified.
According to the reports, based on a tour of Hezbollah facilities given to the newspaper, the group has built a sprawling underground array of tunnels, bunkers and surveillance outposts along the border with Israel, which it is manning at peak readiness for battle.
The tunnels are said to be highly-advanced, with durable concrete, a 24-hour power supply via underground generators, a ventilation system to prevent damp from damaging military equipment and a web of secondary escape shafts in case of attack. The tunnels are said to be housing tens of thousands of rockets ready for launch, themselves wrapped in protective materials in order to preserve them.
The paper reported that Hezbollah was constantly surveying the Israeli border area with electronic equipment as well as observation posts equipped with night-vision technology.
Hezbollah chief: When we defeat IS, it will be a message to Israel
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Sunday that the terrorist organization's efforts fighting the Islamic State group in Syria will not distract it from conflict with Israel.
"The effort and the resources we are investing in Syria do not take away from our preparedness for a future conflict with our true enemy, Israel," he said during a celebration marking 15 years since Israel withdrew its forces from southern Lebanon.
"Islamic State is not strong, we can defeat them and send Israel a message. ... We can launch dozens, if not hundreds, of missiles within only a few seconds."
Hezbollah also allowed Lebanese newspaper As-Safir a rare tour of its underground tunnels and outposts.
Nasrallah also said that the region is facing "unprecedented danger" from extremist groups, and vowed his fighters would expand their involvement in Syria's civil war in support of government forces.
Ex-IDF chief: Hezbollah knows price of a future war, so it won't start one
Hezbollah "understands well the price of a future war," and will not initiate one deliberately, Lt.-Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz, the former IDF chief of staff, told Israel Radio on Monday.
During the interview, held to commemorate 15 years since the IDF's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Gantz said: "Still, there is high sensitivity in the north. War can still occur because of local conditions. I know that the IDF is ready for any potential developments."
Israel, Gantz said, "has no interests beyond the northern and southern borders, other than security interests. If we are challenged, we will know how to deal with it."
Gantz, who was the former commander of the Lebanon Liaison Unit at the time of Israel's withdrawal, told Israel Radio that he thought the decision to leave Lebanon was the right one, though he added that it should have been carried out with "more coordination."
Gazan terrorists share their tunnel expertise with Syrian rebels
Rebels in Syria recently showed media a tunnel they built, which the rebel conducting the tour said was constructed with advice from tunnel builders in Gaza.
"We asked for the advise from our brothers in Gaza. They told us that they have been using wooden planks. They even sent me a video and we did it exactly the way they do it," the rebel said.
The rebels in the tunnel said were planning to launch attacks against Syrian President Bashar's Assad's forces from their tunnel.
In the video, posted on the internet on May 12, and released by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, the journalist is given a tour of the 700 meter tunnel on Mount Arbaeen dug by the Islamic "Aharar Al-Sham."
The journalist was shown a cache of explosives which he said was set to be used to target the regime forces who were standing in large concentrations above the site.
Gaza Know-how Serves Syrian Rebels Digging Attack Tunnels
A video posted on the Internet shows Syrian rebels digging a tunnel, rigged with "350 tons" of explosives, in Mount Arbaeen in Syria. A Syrian rebel says in the video, posted on May 12, 2015, that he had received a video with instructions on tunnel construction from Gaza.

IsraellyCool: Gaza Kindergarten Play From Hell
Kindergarten graduation ceremonies are in general cute and adorable. Nothing beats dressing up little kids as insects, fluffy rodents, random pink things, or hearts.
Unless that kindergarten is in Gaza and the kindergarten teachers are Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Then you get a peek into the genocidal psyche of Palestinians, cynically (ab)using their children in their lust to murder Jews.
Translation: A theatrical graduation ceremony in a kindergarten in Gaza simulates military training in support of the resistance. (h/t Bob Knot)
Egypt reports 521 tunnel openings destroyed on Gaza border
The Egyptian army destroyed 521 tunnel openings on the Gaza and northern Sinai borders over the past six months, the Turkish Anadolu News Agency reported.
Egyptian army spokesman Mohamed Samir told the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram on Monday that border guards had demolished the tunnel openings over the past half-year, including 63 that had been constructed one to 2.8 kilometers from the borders.
Some of the tunnels, he said, were equipped with railroad tracks and communication rooms, Samir said, adding that the Egyptian army’s Engineering Authority would reveal its plans to end the tunnel problem at some point in the future.
The campaign to demolish the tunnels is part of Egypt’s offensive against militant groups believed to be operating in Sinai. It is also part of an effort to eradicate the smuggling network linking Gaza to Sinai, of which the tunnels are a vital part.
Hamas Tunnellers Admit They’re Only Digging to Meet Israeli Girls (satire)
A number of the men digging Hamas’ terror tunnels recently confirmed The Israeli Daily’s suspicion that most entered the highly dangerous field mainly in the hope of meeting Israeli girls. “All the time the imams tell us about how Israel is just a den of iniquity and sin,” one digger who preferred we not use his name, told TID. “Who wouldn’t want some of that action?”
A pasty-faced 14-year old who spends 18-hours a day digging admitted to a similar motivation. “In Gaza, second base means a girl lets you hold her shoe. Not with her foot in it, mind you, the whole transaction takes place by mail. My friends say Israeli girls walk around showing their knees to anybody with eyes, like all the time — you don’t even have to talk to them first – and their knees are all firm and tan…excuse me, I have to run to the rest room…”
Some tunnel buddies interviewed, however, admit to hoping for more than just seeing some Israeli girls’ knees. “Hamas always says ‘stay pure! Stay pure!’” Another teen tunneller told TID. “Of course we all worry about dying virgins – what guy doesn’t? They say ‘don’t worry’, if we die as martyrs we get 70 brides in paradise. Can you imagine that kind of pressure on a virgin? I need some hot Israeli girl to show me a few moves so I don’t embarrass myself with my 70 brides in eternity. I bet that they’ll be hot — like Scarlett Johansson hot – but with different hair colors and really firm asses…excuse me… I have to run to the rest room.”
Charles Krauthammer: Iraq’s Decline into Chaos Traces Back to 2011, Not 2003
We are scraping bottom. Following six years of President Obama’s steady and determined withdrawal from the Middle East, America’s standing in the region has collapsed. And yet the question incessantly asked of the various presidential candidates is not about that. It’s a retrospective hypothetical: Would you have invaded Iraq in 2003 if you had known then what we know now?
First, the question is not just a hypothetical, but an inherently impossible hypothetical. It contradicts itself. Had we known there were no weapons of mass destruction, the very question would not have arisen. The premise of the war — the basis for going to the U.N., to the Congress, and, indeed, to the nation — was Iraq’s possession of WMD in violation of the central condition for the cease-fire that ended the first Gulf War. No WMD, no hypothetical to answer in the first place.
Second, the “if you knew then” question implicitly locates the origin and cause of the current disasters in 2003. As if the fall of Ramadi was predetermined then, as if the author of the current regional collapse is George W. Bush.
This is nonsense. The fact is that by the end of Bush’s tenure, the war had been won. You can argue that the price of that victory was too high. Fine. We can debate that until the end of time. But what is not debatable is that it was a victory. Bush bequeathed to Obama a success. By whose measure? By Obama’s. As he told the troops at Fort Bragg on December 14, 2011, “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.” This was, said the president, a “moment of success.”
George W. Bush Didn’t Create ISIS; Islam Did
Here’s the current scorecard: ISIS is George W. Bush’s fault. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban exist because of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (through the Afghan war against the Soviets and then the Desert Storm-related American troop presence in Saudi Arabia, of course), with the various al-Qaeda franchises in Syria, Yemen, and North Africa merely the fruit of the same poisonous Reaganite tree. The jihadist destruction of ancient — pre-Muslim — world heritage sites? That’s just collateral damage in the war against Reagan and the Bushes. Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO are easy to peg — Israeli creations, one and all, existing solely because of the “Occupied Territories.” As for Libya, we actually put those jihadists in power.
But what about Boko Haram? I’m sure any decent professor can tell me some way we’re responsible for their atrocities. But that’s just the last few decades. What about tracing further back? To the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood or to the Ikhwan of the Arabian peninsula? The Ikhwan — as savage as ISIS — trace their origins back to 1913, before the Europeans dominated the Middle East. What about the centuries of conflict between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire? Vienna must have richly deserved its sieges. After all, Europeans launched the Crusades, right?
And before the Crusades, when jihadist Muslim armies invaded and conquered the Christian lands of the Middle East and North Africa, capturing the Iberian Peninsula and threatening modern-day France, there’s little doubt that they were simply striking out at . . . something the Christians did.
No, Ms. Ziedrich, George W. Bush didn’t create ISIS. Islam did. Embedded within this faith is a concept called “jihad,” and no matter how many professors tell you otherwise, there are countless millions of Muslims throughout more than a millennium of history who’ve interpreted “jihad” not as a mandate for self-help and personal improvement but as a mandate for war and conquest, a mandate to purify and spread the faith at the point of the sword. The influence of militaristic jihadists waxes and wanes, but it is there, always.
Michael Lumish: ISIS slaughters 400 mostly women and children in Palmyra
Kate Pickles, writing in the Daily Mail, tells us:
Islamic State militants have executed at least 400 mostly women and children in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra.
Eye-witnesses have reported the streets are strewn with bodies – the latest victims of the Islamic State's unrelenting savagery - on the same day photographs of captured Syrian soldiers have emerged.
It follows the killing of nearly 300 pro-government troops two days after they captured the city, now symbolised by a black ISIS flag flying above an ancient citadel.

There must come a point when enough is enough, as my dear old ma used to say.
One would have to go back to the killing fields of Cambodia under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to find a political movement even remotely this heinous.
Sadism, head-chopping, child rape, the genocide of the Christians, slavery, and general brutality aside, what mainly bothers me about these... people... is this desire to wipe out the treasures of antiquity. These ruins are history. They are invaluable to mankind not only because of what we can learn of human history, but their very presence is a continual reminder of the scope and depth of that history. The fields of archaeology, anthropology, and history are all dependent, in some measure, upon such antiquities and are, therefore, the birthright of all humanity.
This is what the Islamic State is seeking to destroy. They want not only their enemies dead, but evidence of any previous cultures outside of Islam to be eliminated from human memory.
New Issue of ISIS Magazine: We Can Buy a Nuclear Weapon from Pakistan
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) claims it has access to nuclear weapons through the nation of Pakistan, according to an article by longtime ISIS captive John Cantlie in the latest issue of their official magazine, Dabiq.
In “The Perfect Storm,” allegedly penned by the British Cantlie, the group asserts that they possess billions, enough to buy a nuclear bomb “’from weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials’ in Pakistan.” If they cannot buy the weapon, Cantlie writes, the group would be satisfied with buying a “few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive.”
“Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table,” Cantlie allegedly writes. “The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region. It’s the sum of all fears for Western intelligence agencies and it’s infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago.
“And if not a nuke, what about a few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive? That’s easy enough to make.”
New Polish President Denounced Holocaust Apology
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski responded to exit polls by conceding defeat on Sunday, after having lost to his right-wing opponent Andrzej Duda of the Law and Justice party by a margin of 53% to 47%.
Notably, Duda recently criticized Komorowski for apologizing over Poland's complicit role in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, saying the apology was an "attempt to destroy Poland’s good name."
Official results are expected for Monday, although Komorowski has already congratulated Duda on his victory. Responding to the win, Duda said, "we can change Poland."
While Polish Jews have generally enjoyed good conditions of late, with the outgoing government being seen as largely favorable towards Israel, the Jewish issue played a role in the presidential elections and it remains to be seen how Israeli-Polish relations may possibly be impacted.
During a debate last week between Komorowski and Duda, the former defended his past apologies over Polish complicity in the Holocaust. He particularly noted the massacre in Jedwabne in 1941, where Polish farmers murdered their Jewish neighbors, burning dozens alive inside a barn.
Thank You Nazis of England!
I’d like to send out a thank you to the Nazi scum who have decided to take to Golders Green on the 4th of July to “demonstrate against Jewish privilege”.
They have succeeded in uniting British Jewry in a way no Jewish communal organisation ever could.
Since the press reported on the demonstration there has been a monumental feeling of outrage both within the Jewish community and without.
An immediate grassroots move to hold a counter demonstration is in full force. Hatred of the Nazis is so crystal clear, so visceral, so widespread that groups who just a few months ago were on opposite sides of demonstrations about Israel are now planning on demonstrating alongside one another.
The famously fractious British Jewish community instantly came together in opposition to the hatred that will not die.
Antisemitism prompts Scottish Jews to leave the country
Scottish Jews experienced almost as many antisemitic incidents in one month last year as in the whole of 2013, prompting some to consider leaving the country.
The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) put the spike down to the conflict in Gaza last summer, reporting that it led to “unprecedented expressions of fear, anxiety, insecurity, and alienation.”
Initial findings released this week from the nationwide survey ‘What’s Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland’ showed that a majority of the 6,000-strong community blamed the Gaza conflict for rising antisemitism, with 60 per cent saying the war had “negatively affected” them.
The full study will be published in full during the summer.
Wikimedia Hackathon 2016 to take place in Jerusalem
The Wikimedia Israel (WMIL) team is celebrating its selection as next year’s Wikimedia European Hackathon hosts, as announced at the Lyon, France event over the weekend.
“WOW! The Wikimedia Engineering Community just announced that next Wikimedia Hackathon will be hosted in Jerusalem (April 2016)! We are so excited!” writes Itzik Edri, chairman of the WMIL board, on his Facebook.
The Wikimedia annual development community meet-up — the Wikimedia Hackathon — focuses on prototyping, teaming and accelerating the development of new ideas for the Wikimedia Foundation.
“Israel is not only the Startup Nation, it’s also a hackathon nation, with more than 30 nationwide hackathons taking place every year, focusing on things from music to neuroscience to opening up government data,” the local Wiki team wrote in its proposal to host next year’s Wikimedia Hackathon.
Sweden wins Eurovision Song Contest, Israel places ninth
Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow won the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna on Sunday, beating Russia and Italy in the world's biggest international music show.
The 28-year-old singer and TV presenter, who had been a bookmakers' favorite, performed the winning electro-pop ballad "Heroes," dancing in front of a black screen with animated gnomes.
Sweden has won the 60-year-old competition six times, more than any other nation apart from Ireland. Sweden won most recently in 2012 with "Euphoria" by Loreen and now gets to host the contest again next year.
Israel's 16-year-old Nadav Guedj ranked ninth with his super-poppy track "Golden Boy."
Holocaust film ‘Son of Saul’ takes Grand Prize at Cannes
The harrowing Holocaust drama “Son of Saul,” offering unflinching depictions of the gas chambers of Auschwitz, claimed the runner-up Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday.
Some expected Laszlo Nemes’ horrifying plunge into the life of an Auschwitz worker to take the top award, but it’s been 26 years since a debut film (Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape”) was given the Palme.
“This continent is still haunted by this subject,” said Hungarian director Nemes, accepting the award.
The Times of Israel’s critic, Jordan Hoffman, last week hailed “Son of Saul” as “the best film of the festival, and … perhaps one of the most striking works of art about the Holocaust yet made.” He added: “By bringing us back inside the extermination camps in a new (and dare I say artful?) way, Nemes shakes up the conventions of Holocaust films that have undeniably grown predictable. This movie shocks the system… Nemes, who worked as legendary filmmaker Béla Tarr’s assistant, has come out of the gate with a masterpiece.”


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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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