Monday, June 22, 2015

From Ian:

Israel slams ‘politically motivated and morally flawed’ UN Gaza report
Israel on Monday said it would “seriously” evaluate the United Nations Human Rights Council inquiry on the Gaza conflict, while politicians from left and right slammed the international body for bias and declared that the international investigators lacked access to evidence.
The report, released in Geneva on Monday afternoon, said both Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes during the 50-day war last summer. The UN Human Rights Council report placed blame on both parties but focused more on Israel’s role.
It also accepted the Palestinian death count, which has Israel killing 1,462 civilians out of a total of 2,251 Palestinians who died — a 65 percent ratio.
“The report is biased,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response. “Israel is not perpetrating war crimes but rather protecting itself from an organization that carries out war crimes. We won’t sit back with our arms crossed as our citizens are attacked by thousands of missiles.”
The Human Rights Council “in practice does everything but worry about human rights,” the prime minister charged. “The commission spends more time condemning Israel than Iran, Syria and North Korea put together.”
The Foreign Ministry in an official statement said the report “was commissioned by a notoriously biased institution, given an obviously biased mandate, and initially headed by a grossly biased chairperson, William Schabas,” in reference to the original chairman of the probe who resigned in February amid Israeli allegations of bias over consulting work he once did for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
With Schabas’s appointment, the commission of inquiry “was politically motivated and morally flawed from the outset,” it said.
Still, the Foreign Ministry said it would investigate the claims of the report.
Jeff Robbins (fmr U.S. delegate to UNHRC): U.N. beats familiar anti-Israel drum
Naturally, the U.N., owned for all practical purposes by the powerful Organization of Islamic Conference and the enviable petrodollars that Arab states bring to bear, is expected to issue another report condemning Israel. Its report, originally set to be released in March, was delayed after its lead investigator, William Schabas, was forced to resign amidst disclosures that not only had he declared Israeli leaders “criminals” before he asked to be hired to investigate them, but that he had recently been paid by the PLO for advocating on its behalf. After denying for months that there was anything about any of this that faintly resembled a conflict of interest, he stepped down just before the report was to be released, announcing that his work had been completed anyway.
The predictable chorus of those signed up to blame Israel regardless of the circumstances charges Israel, which struggled to stop the rockets and prevent the tunnel attacks, with deliberately killing Palestinian civilians. Streams of military experts who examined the evidence have pronounced these charges utter nonsense.
One recent study, authored by a team that included the former chief of staff of the U.S. Central Command and the former deputy commander of the U.S. European Command, found that the Israel Defense Forces “executed a number of extraordinary methods to mitigate civilian risks.” It concluded: “It is our assessment as military professionals that IDF operations in Gaza exercised considerable restraint and exceeded the requirements of [international law].”
Another group of experts that included the former chiefs of staff of the German, Spanish and Italian militaries found: “Each of our own armies is of course committed to protecting civilian life during combat. But none of us is aware of an army that takes such extensive measures as did the IDF last summer to protect the lives of the civilian populations.”
And the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, concluded that “Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit civilian casualties” during the Gaza war, and sent American officers to Israel to learn from its example.
Condemnations of Israel that are nonsense are the U.N.’s specialty, and the forthcoming report is unlikely to be any different. The experts who have debunked these condemnations are military professionals who deal in facts, not in agendas. When it comes to Israel, the U.N. carries on imitating
 Alice-in-Wonderland, devoid of any credibility and displaying no sign of caring.
Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinians' Real Strategy
Marzouk's remarks refute claims by some in the Arab and Western media that Hamas is moving toward pragmatism and moderation, and that it is now willing, for the first time, to recognize Israel's right to exist. Many in the West often fail to understand Hamas's true position because they do not follow what Hamas says in Arabic -- to its own people. In Arabic, Hamas makes no secret of its call for the destruction of Israel.
The current strategy of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is to negotiate with the international community, and not with Israel, about achieving peace in the Middle East. The ultimate goal of the PA is to force Israel to its knees. For the PA, rallying the international community and Europe is about punishing and weakening Israel, not making peace with it.
Their strategy is no longer about a two-state solution so much as it is about inflicting pain and suffering on Israel. It is more about seeking revenge on Israel than living in a state next to it.
Hamas's terrorism also helps the PA's anti-Israel campaign in the international community. Each terrorist attack provides the PA with an opportunity to point out the "urgent" need to force Israel to submit to Palestinian demands as a way of "containing the radicals."

NGO Monitor: UN Report on Gaza: Improvement over Goldstone, but NGO Reliance Hurts Credibility
Commission’s lack of military expertise and limited fact-finding also evident
The report of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza War is different both substantially and methodologically than its predecessors, including the 2009 Goldstone Report, according to NGO Monitor. However, it still quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy NGOs. By repeating the unverified and non-expert factual and legal allegations of groups such as Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Al Mezan, the UN investigation is irrevocably tarnished.
“The UNHRC report would be entirely different without the baseless and unverifiable allegations of non-governmental organizations,” said Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor at NGO Monitor. “Despite efforts to consult a wider array of sources, the report produced by McGowan Davis and her team lacks credibility as a result of NGO influence.”
NGO Monitor’s initial review of the Commission of Inquiry’s “detailed findings” shows that NGOs were referenced, cited, and quoted at a high volume: B’Tselem was the most referenced NGO with 69 citations, followed by Amnesty International (53), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (50), and Al Mezan (29). UNWRA and UN-OCHA were also featured throughout the report. As repeatedly demonstrated by NGO Monitor, these groups are not appropriate for professional fact-finding.
UN’s Gaza panel urges Israel to review its military policies, tells Palestinian militants to stop attacking civilians
In material published along with its report on June 22, the UN’s Gaza commission issued a series of recommendations, as follows:
Recommendations for Israel:
The commission calls upon Israel to review its policies governing military operations and law enforcement in the context of the occupation to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law, specifically but not exclusively with regard to:
• The use of wide-area impact explosive weapons in densely populated areas.
• The definition of military objectives.
• The targeting of residential buildings.
• The effectiveness of precautionary measures.
• Protection of civilians in the context of the “Hannibal directive”.
• The use of live fire ammunition for crowd control.
• Ensuring the distinction between civilians and fighters when neighbourhoods are declared “sterile combat zones”.
Israel should ensure that serious international crimes, where substantiated, are met with indictments, prosecutions and convictions commensurate with the gravity of the crime and that cases are not limited to individual soldiers but encompass those in command positions in the political and military establishments, where appropriate.
Israel should address the structural issues that fuel the conflict and impede respect for human rights. In particular it should lift the blockade on Gaza and cease all settlement-related activity (see Para 86 (d) of the Report).
Israel should accede to the Rome Statute and implement the recommendations of its Turkel Report, among other steps.
Recommendations for the State of Palestine:
The commission calls upon the State of Palestine to
• Ensure accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law by the Palestinian Authority, the authorities in Gaza and the Palestinian armed groups.
• To intensify efforts to ensure human rights protection and accountability.
Recommendations for the local authorities in Gaza and the Palestinian armed groups:
The commission calls upon the local authorities in Gaza and the Palestinian armed groups to:
• End all attacks on Israeli civilians and civilian objects and stop all rocket attacks and other actions that may spread terror among Israeli civilians.
– put measures in place to prevent extrajudicial executions and eradicate torture and cruel and inhuman and degrading treatment.
– Cooperate with national investigations aimed at bringing to justice those responsible for violations of international law.
– Combat stigma faced by the families of alleged “collaborators”.
Breaking down the UNHRC report on 2014 Gaza war
· Command responsibility: All four IDF reports of alleged war crimes investigations have assumed that general targeting policy was legal and only individual soldiers could have gone beyond the rules of engagement. The report wants investigations of top military and civilian leaders who set targeting policy. This is a major fault line, but Israel has support from a range of foreign military and top academics for its targeting policy.
· Comptroller got more relevant: The UNHRC probe's chairperson Mary McGowan-Davis is following the State Comptroller report on war policy-making to see if it addresses her concerns, not addressed in the IDF reports. That report just got a lot more important.
· Turkel Commission: The report and McGowan-Davis hone in on the lack of implementing 'Recommendation 2' of Israel’s quasi-government February 2013 Turkel Report on whether its self-investigating satisfies international law. She totally skipped over its conclusion that Israel’s apparatus meets international law requirements and zoned in on only which of the 18 recommendations made by Turkel to improve investigations have not been implemented. The state has been very slow with addressing some of these and this could be an issue since it was an Israel-sponsored group.
· Gaza blockade: The report repeatedly takes Israel to task for the blockade, though the previous UN Palmer Report said that the blockade did not violate international law. Serious blame for lack of Gaza reconstruction was placed on Israel due to the blockade, seemingly ignoring the blame that many UN officials have placed on donor countries for failing to send most of the funds they promised for reconstruction.
· Accepting ICC jurisdiction: The report demands Israel accede to the Rome Statute and accept International Criminal Court jurisdiction. A non-starter from the Israeli point of view.
Law NGO to seek ICC prosecutor’s disqualification
The NGO continued, “Ms. Bensouda appears unmoved that Israel’s military has opened several criminal investigations into its conduct during the Gaza war and that Israel also has an independent judiciary with a demonstrated record of effective, transparent operation.
This is despite the fact that the ICC is not supposed to expend resources on matters that can be handled in the first instance by national courts, under the principle of complementarity.”
Attacking Bensouda’s decision to recognize a State of Palestine as further evidence of bias, Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said not only the decision itself was wrong legally, but that the process for the decision was problematic.
Bensouda had improperly published her view that Palestine was essentially a state already in an op-ed in August 2014, prior to the legal issue being brought before her in January 2015, Darshan-Leitner said.
Further, Bensouda should have solicited the views of all key parties on the issue, including Israel’s, before arriving at a decision, Darshan-Leitner asserted.
Instead, Bensouda summarily accepted “Palestine” as a state in a matter of days, without any debate on the issue, Darshan- Leitner said.
Also, Shurat Hadin was set to early on Monday request that ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel reverse his decision to accept “Palestine” as a state on the basis of Bensouda’s opinion.
UNHRC report: Hamas tried to warn Israeli civilians of imminent attacks
The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on Operation Protective Edge was released on Monday in which investigators cited a press release from Hamas' military spokesperson Abu Obeida, saying that, "In some instances, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza reportedly attempted to warn civilians in Israel of imminent attacks."
Bennett: UN Gaza report has Jewish blood on its hands
The UNHRC report on Operation Protective Edge justifies the murder of Jews, Education Minister Naftali Bennett declared Monday at a Bayit Yehudi faction meeting.
Bennett said the report "is born in sin and will be buried in shame." According to Bennett, the report has "blood on its hands," as it permits the murder of Jews and cheapens their blood, ties the hands of IDF soldiers from being able to defend Israel and ignores last summer's kidnapping and murder of three teenage boys by terrorists with ties to Hamas.
The Bayit Yehudi chairman said the report "tries to create symmetry between us and Hamas, but it is not true. There is a good side and a bad side; a side that tries to avoid civilians and a side that targets them." "Israel will continue to defend itself, but to the UN, I say: Shame on you," Bennett stated.
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said the only good decision the UN ever made was on November 29, 1947 - recognizing a Jewish State - and since then it forgot its purpose, to stop wars and help bring peace.
"I would expect from the UN to call on Hamas to lay down its weapons for the good of its own people, but, unfortunately, that did not happen," she stated. "Meanwhile, the UN chooses to ignore the massacre of the Syrian people and the Iranian nuclear threat." "The IDF is the most moral army in the world, and Israel will continue doing everything to protect its citizens, despite the UN's biased reports," Regev added.
3 Media Angles to Beware Ahead of the Schabas Report’s Release
The UN Human Rights Council will be releasing its report on Operation Protective Edge any day now.
Fallout from the William Schabas report could reach the International Criminal Court, where Palestinians are already pushing to put Israeli leaders on trial. Repercussions may reach the UN, where a French initiative on Palestinian statehood will top the agenda after the June 30 deadline on Iranian nuclear talks.
The worst case scenario? A chain reaction of headlines demonizing Israel while the report undermines its moral standing and its ability to fight terror. Should the report make Palestinian victimhood more resonant. efforts to isolate Israel would increase.
Here are three media angles to beware ahead of the Schabas report’s release.
1. The Halo Effect
2. Disproportionate Force
3. Moral Equivalence
PreOccupied Territory: Sepp Blatter, Jack Warner Tapped To Head Human Rights Council (satire)
Exposure of a massive corruption scandal with world soccer’s governing organization at its center has helped the United Nations Human Rights Council find its next presidents, sources within the Council report.
Last month several high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges, amid an ongoing investigation by American authorities, with Swiss cooperation. The initial wave of arrests did not include FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, but he announced his resignation within a week, after a brief period of insisting he would remain in office and had nothing to hide. That level of hypocrisy and chutzpah, coupled with the greed and dishonesty coming to light as more information on the scandal is released, prompted the Human Rights Council to immediately seek a rotating presidency between Blatter, who is from Switzerland, and Jack Warner of Trinidad, one of the most prominent FIFA officials to be caught up in the scandal.
Wikileaks documents released in the last two days have offered evidence of how some of the most egregious human rights violators attain a seat on the Council, a process that includes everything from simple political horse trading to outright bribery. However, the Council realized that the FIFA corruption in which Mr. Warner played a key part, and which Mr. Blatter fostered, dwarfs UNHRC malfeasance by several orders of magnitude.
“Human Rights Council corruption has mostly been confined to the realm of electing members,” explained Phil Thilucre. “Human rights paragons such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, for example, cut deals involving reciprocal voting, while others are seen to have paid off whoever is necessary to secure the right votes. But that’s small potatoes as far as FIFA is concerned; the Council can no longer ignore the bush-league quality of its own corruption. If it wants to play the game properly, it needs to recruit people who have the experience and the street cred to take the corruption beyond mere Realpolitik and make it an integral part of the organization at every level.”
U.S. Hypocrisy on Oren’s Memoir
Not all indiscretions emerge in book form. Martin Indyk, director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, served as the Obama administration’s Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations from 2013 to 2014, after having earlier served in the Clinton administration as an assistant secretary of State. In between his two stints in government, Indyk penned a book openly badmouthing Netanyahu, whom he compared to a “winter’s chill” before the “spring warmth” of Ehud Barak’s election. Indyk, who in his capacity with Brookings had accepted Qatari money before and after his government service, wasted little time bashing Netanyahu openly, on background, and with little discretion.
Then there was Samantha Power. Years before she became the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, she called for a U.S. military invasion of Israel. Awkward. The badmouthing goes further. There were Obama’s open-mic insults, and the Netanyahu-baiting offered on background to de facto administration stenographer Jeffrey Goldberg.
Indeed, while the White House and State Department might now treat Oren with opprobrium, it has been the Obama administration that has taken elementary school playground name-calling to a new level. During their initial presidential and vice presidential election campaign, both Obama and Joe Biden repeatedly badmouth Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Now, there is much to criticize with regard to Karzai, but the two never considered that Karzai would read every insult they hurled; the working relationship never recovered.
Should Oren have written about his experiences so directly and so soon after his tenure? It’s indiscreet and a tad obnoxious, but Obama and his aides must remember that those who live in glass houses should not have thrown stones in the first place. Such memoirs are a phenomenon of democratic political culture. But, then again, that may be what Obama most resents.
Former Israeli Envoy Oren Says ‘Likely’ US Will Not Veto Security Council Resolution Calling for Creation of Palestinian State
Former Israeli envoy to Washington, Michael Oren, said the United States is “likely” not to veto an expected United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Oren’s remarks were made at the New York launch of his new book Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide on Thursday evening.
Responding to a question from the audience about Israel’s public diplomacy on the Palestinian issue, Oren brought up the expected upcoming move at the U.N. and stated emphatically that “the United States is likely not to cast a veto.”
Oren said that “Israel could be much more proactive in preempting – the way we used to know how to preempt – threats, and the way we preempt the threat that is now emerging on the [United Nations] Security Council, with either a French and/or New Zealand resolution.”
The possibility of the withdrawal of U.S. cover for Israel at the Security Council was first speculated in November, 2014, and was openly implied by Obama administration officials in March this year.
Rep. Gohmert: Obama Outed Active Israeli Iranian Spy Mission
United States Congressman Louie Gohmert revealed Thursday that the Obama administration had “outed” an active Israeli spy mission in Iran. Israel, he said, had infiltrated Israeli spies into mainland Iran via cargo boats.
He dropped the bombshell in a speech at EMET’s 9th annual “Rays of Light in the Darkness” gala dinner.
Rep. Gohmert, who is one Israel’s fiercest and truest friends on Capitol Hill, stated: “We are on the brink of disaster.”
He listed a stream of virulently anti-Israel actions taken by President Obama which included the “outing” of the Israeli spy mission, and the Obama Administration’s disclosing of possible use of Azerbaijani airspace by Israel.
Rep. Gohmert did not elaborate on whether Obama’s disclosure of Israeli covert operations had resulted in the capture or death of any of Israel’s Iranian spies.
 Michael Oren, Profile in Courage
I have been a vocal critic of Michael Oren, recently elected to the Israeli Knesset. I did not view Michael Oren as a man of principle.
Well, I was proven to be wrong.
Attending at a speech that Oren gave last week, man of deep principle sat on the podium, speaking from the heart, speaking with pain about a subject that his body language told me that he really did not want to discuss, yet felt that he had to deliver
Oren could have acted according to the diplomatic codes that all emissaries live by - to maintain the protocol that you not report what you see and hear with your eyes and ears.
However, Michael Oren witnessed a US President turn his back on Israel and could not remain silent.
After all, how many people spend quality time with a sitting US President?
How many people witnessed Obama turn down the request of Jonathan Pollard to visit with his father on his death bed?
How many people witnessed the President of the United States refuse the request of Jonathan Pollard to attend his father's funeral?
As Abbas joined forces with Hamas, Michael Oren witnessed the unkindest cut of all, the ultimate moral equivalence in American foreign policy, when Obama did not seem to care that any Palestinian state would work towards a “two stage” solution, not a “two state” solution.
ADL demands Michael Oren walk back ‘unjustified attack’ on Obama
The Anti-Defamation League lashed into former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren Sunday for a number of “unjustified and insensitive” essays he published in US media, one of which claimed that President Barack Obama’s foreign policy may have been unduly influenced by his early upbringing among adherents of the Muslim faith.
ADL Director Abraham Foxman called on the American-born Knesset member to retract his statements that “attack” the president and “veer into the realm of conspiracy theories.”
“In the days leading up to the forthcoming release of a memoir of his experiences as Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren appears to be using the very legitimate and sharp policy disagreements between Israel and the US as an insensitive and unjustified attack on the president,” Foxman said in a statement.
“We hope that Ambassador Oren will walk back these unjustified attacks,” he said.
Netanyahu: Expose the truth on Gaza flotilla
On Monday, Netanyahu referred publicly to the flotilla for the first time, saying in a speech to the Jewish Agency Assembly in Tel Aviv, "They send flotillas to Gaza, they don't send flotillas to Syria. It's amazing, this travesty of justice, this violation of the truth, the rape of truth.
"Now what are we to do in the face of such slander? In previous times, it was said, 'Don't rock the boat.' I say, 'Rock the boat.' Don't accept it. Speak up, speak back, expose the lies, because that's the other thing that we learned. It's not merely to resist the physical attacks on us, it's to resist the slander that precedes the attacks."
The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it was acting via diplomatic channels to prevent the flotilla from reaching Israel's territorial waters. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said, "An Israeli Arab MK joining those who seek to wage war on Israel shows that [he] is working in the service of the enemy under the cover of parliamentary immunity."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said, "Ten years after the disengagement [from Gaza], rockets are being fired at our children from Gush Katif, tunnels leading to our communities are being dug from Gaza, and flotillas of terror are sailing for our shores from Turkey. We evacuated Jews and got flotillas."
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman called Ghattas' planned participation in the flotilla "more proof that the Joint Arab List is one big terror ship that exists only to attack Israel and use Israeli democracy to try and destroy it."
Daphne Anson: Will Shurat Sink Sweden's Ship To Gaza?
'The Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, has sent a warning letter demanding that the Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) cease in providing financial services to Free Gaza and Ships to Gaza, which are helping to arrange a flotilla to breach Israel's lawful naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
In particular, SEB holds a maritime lien on the Marianne of Gothenburg, the lead ship in the planned Gaza flotilla. The bank issued a mortgage to the owner of the boat, Charles Bertel Andreasson, a veteran anti-Israel provocateur who has engaged in illegal efforts against the Jewish State in the past.
In a letter to SEB's president and group chief executive, Annika Falkengren, Shurat HaDin's president, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, made clear that the flotilla ship might be destroyed or confiscated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and that the Stockholm-based bank is at serious risk of losing its collateral: the boat.
"Additionally, SEB may itself face legal sanction if it continues to provide financial services to Mr. Andreasson and his associates because they provide material support to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization," Ms. Darshan-Leitner said in the letter.
Palestinians agree Israel rules Jerusalem, world treats as divided.
Status of Jerusalem in Oslo II
Jerusalem is mentioned eight times in the Oslo II Accords. In every instance, the entire city is referenced, not just the eastern half that Israel acquired from the Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs in 1967.
The first six times “Jerusalem” appeared in the Oslo II agreement relate to future Palestinian elections in which Palestinian Arabs located in Jerusalem would be able to participate. The remaining two times specifically state that Jerusalem is a point for final status negotiations:
There is therefore no basis for any of the United Nations, the EU or the Unites States to claim that Jerusalem is a settlement and that Jews should have any restrictions from living anywhere in the city. Should there be any modifications to the rule of the city, it will be made by mutual consent in permanent status negotiations.
Yet, the world ignores the Oslo II foundation document of a peace agreement.
The Nature of the Mahmoud Abbas Regime
Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, the nature of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority – which is burdened by a mere 17% favorability in the US, compared with Israel’s 70% – has turned most Palestinians against Mahmoud Abbas, has led most Jerusalem Arabs to prefer Israeli sovereignty, and catapulted Hamas to prominence on the Palestinian Street.
The nature of the KGB-graduate Mahmoud Abbas regime has been defined by a rare combination of endemic corruption, kleptomania (“Mr. 20%” is Mahmoud Abbas’ nickname), nepotism, hate-education, incitement, terrorism, anti-US and pro-Venezuela, Russia and China worldview, non-compliance with internal and external agreements, and egregious violations of civil liberties, which has fueled Muslim emigration and the flight of Christian Arabs from Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Ramallah.
The nature of the Palestinian Authority has been shaped – since its establishment in 1993 – by Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinians, who were imported from terrorist camps in Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia, imposing themselves ruthlessly upon the indigenous Arabs of Judea and Samaria. In 2003, I was rebuked by a prominent Palestinian: “We shall never forgive the Jewish State for imposing upon us the Tunisia-based PLO Sodom and Gomorrah!”
Irrespective of the nature of the Palestinian Authority, the US has been, by far, its largest single-state donor (averaging $500mn, annually, in economic and security assistance), in addition to leading the pack of donors to UNRWA ($250mn in 2014), which has not reduced the threat of incitement and hate-education-driven Palestinian terrorism. It has not inclined Palestinians towards peaceful coexistence with the Jewish State, nor has it advanced the cause of democracy and human rights in the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu to French FM: UN resolutions won’t bring peace
France has said it would propose a resolution in the United Nations Security Council with a framework for negotiations toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinian officials and French diplomats said the UN proposal would call for basing the borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state on the lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, as well as the Gaza Strip, from which Israel withdrew in 2005. It also would set a two-year deadline for an agreement. Israel rejects a return to its pre-1967 lines, saying they are indefensible.
“Mr. Foreign Minister, peace will only come from direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions. It will not come from UN resolutions that are sought to be imposed from the outside,” Netanyahu said in a joint press conference with Fabius in Jerusalem.
The prime minister maintained that there was no “magic shortcut” to peace, and charged that the Palestinians were avoiding direct talks with the Jewish state in the false belief that they could attain statehood without negotiating and compromising with Israel.
“Last year, the Palestinians slammed the door on Secretary Kerry’s framework for negotiations. They slammed the door on prime minister Barak. They slammed the door on prime minister Sharon. They slammed the door on prime minister Olmert. They slammed the door on me,” said Netanyahu. “They attempt to impose terms on Israel, but they will fail. And this attempt will not merely fail, it will drive peace away. First, Israel will resist the imposition of terms from the outside. And second, the Palestinians will never agree to negotiate if they think the international community will give them what they want without negotiations.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “wants to avoid the give-and-take of negotiations,” Netanyahu continued. “And why does he go that route? Because even though the Palestinians ran away from the negotiations again and again and again, it is Israel that is being blamed.”
Abbas tells French FM ‘no place for Hamas’ in new government
The remarks came on the eve of a key meeting of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to discuss forming a new cabinet after the government collapsed this week amid a deepening rift with Hamas, the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip.
Abbas is thought to be seeking to replace the government of technocrats — formed last year to overcome rivalry between Palestinian factions — with a government of politicians.
“(Abbas) told me this government of national unity could only include women and men who recognize Israel, renounce violence and who are in agreement with the principles of the (Mideast) Quartet,” Fabius said at a press conference in Jerusalem after holding talks with Abbas in Ramallah.
Noting that those conditions ruled out Hamas, Fabius added: “And that suits us perfectly.”
World Health Organization Blames Israel for Palestinian Ills
In 2014, the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) commissioned a “field assessment” report on the state of health in Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Golan Heights. The publication, which was presented last month to the 68th WHA, unfortunately confuses politics and medicine, inappropriately advancing the former at the expense of the latter. A subsequent report submitted by the WHO Secretariat suffers from some of the same deficiencies.
The “field assessment” relies heavily on data produced by unreliable, politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These include B’tselem and Physicians for Human Rights- Israel, and are augmented by articles published by the anti-Israel Lancet-Palestinian Health Alliance (LPHA). These organizations employ flawed methodologies, make false legal claims, and portray events in a one-sided manner. Unsurprisingly, the submission to the WHA adopts many of the same strategies and approaches.
The report asserts that Gaza is occupied by Israel, even though Israel withdrew its military and civilian presence from that territory in 2005. This attempt to portray Israel as an “occupier” in Gaza is a form of legal warfare, or “lawfare,” reflecting the use of false and invented legal claims. Israel is then baselessly chastised for not issuing more permits allowing Palestinians from Gaza to access Israeli hospitals, even though it provides thousands of permits annually despite not being required to do so.
In the same vein, East Jerusalem residents hold Israeli residency cards and as such are entitled to Israeli medical care. Yet, East Jerusalem is categorized as part of the West Bank. The same is true for the Golan Heights and Druze residents. Their inclusion reflects a failure to grasp the nuances of the reality in Israel, as well as an underlying political agenda of finding Israel guilty.
“Screw Israel,” Says Obama In Microphone Gaffe (satire)
Today, U.S. President Barack Obama made clear his true feelings for the Jewish State, albeit accidentally. Prior to speaking to the press at a White House event, unaware that his microphone was on, Obama was overheard voicing his disdain for Israel. This article is fake, and if you share it as if it were real, it means you didn’t read it. He went on and on, saying a lot of nasty stuff. He railed against guns, capitalism, long-form birth certificates, traditional marriage, and also the Judeo-Christian God. This article is fake, and if you share it as if it were real, it means you didn’t read it. “Israel just blows,” the President was quoted as saying. “It’s been my arbitrarily decided-upon-mission for my entire adult life to destroy Israel. Allah willing, I’ll complete that mission.” This article is fake, and if you share it as if it were real, it means you didn’t read it.
Many conservatives have maintained that Obama is an anti-Israel force. It seems that this question has finally been answered. During the subsequent barrage of questions, Obama came clean and seemed to answer as honestly as he could. This article is fake, and if you share it as if it were real, it means you didn’t read it. When asked for the rationale behind his hate for Israel, the President said simply, “I don’t know why, and I don’t really have a reason. I just kind of decided one day that this would be my mission. I haven’t done much of anything else, as the Republicans can tell you. This has pretty much been my main focus.” This article is fake, and if you share it as if it were real, it means you didn’t read it – seriously, you’re a dummy.
Facing red tape, plane bomber may not be deported to West Bank
Rashed pleaded guilty in 2002 to his role in the bombing of Pan Am 830, which killed a Japanese teenager and injured more than a dozen others. Under the terms of his plea agreement, the US government said it would work to deport the Jordanian-born Palestinian to the country of his choice after he finished serving his sentence on murder and conspiracy charges.
But efforts to deport Rashed have stalled amid diplomatic complications since his March 2013 release from prison. He remains at an immigration detention facility in Batavia, New York, and his lawyer has complained to a judge that the government appears to have failed to satisfy its end of the plea deal.
At a court hearing last month in Washington, Justice Department lawyer Christopher Dempsey said the government was developing a “Plan B” strategy to remove Rashed from the country. The details of that plan were not publicly disclosed in court, and lawyers involved in the case have declined to discuss it.
“The government wants him out of here, and would love it if we could effect his removal,” Dempsey said, according to a hearing transcript obtained by The Associated Press.
Dempsey said in court that even after the US fixed the problem and submitted a correct passport, Israel demanded that Rashed be added to a Palestinian population registry — a step he said was still in progress.
“But we do have a Plan B to remove him. If we can’t get him to the West Bank, to get him to a second location,” Dempsey said.
France to Jordan: Respect extradition request of Paris attack suspect
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asked Jordan Sunday to comply with international procedures as it seeks the extradition of the suspected mastermind of a deadly attack on a Paris Jewish restaurant in 1982.
“I have asked our Jordanian friends… to respect international procedure,” Fabius said in Amman during a joint news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.
Fabius said that such a procedure — apparently an extradition request — was “under way,” but did not directly call for the suspect’s extradition.
On Wednesday a French legal source said in Paris that an extradition request for Zuhair Mohamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, a 62-year-old suspect of Palestinian origin, was being prepared.
Abassi, alias “Amjad Atta,” was one of three men for whom France issued an international arrest warrant earlier this year over the attack that killed six people and wounded 22.
Indian intelligence warns of attacks against Israelis
Indian intelligence agencies warned of impending attacks against Jews and Israelis in the south Asian country.
Indian media reported Monday that the decision had been made to increase security for the Israeli embassy and other potential targets.
Senior Israeli officials said the alert was not in light of a “concrete” threat and was routine.
A similar warning was issued ahead of the High Holidays in India in 2014.
However, Indian sources said that an al-Qaeda-linked threat was “imminent.”
The militants plan to target synagogues and Chabad centers ahead of the Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av, on July 25-26, sources told the Times of India.
Israeli-Indian relations have grown warmer since the election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is slated to visit Israel later this year.
Doctor Describes Miraculous Recovery of Stabbed Officer
Doctors treating the Border Policeman critically wounded in Sunday's terrorist stabbing at Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City have expressed amazement at the officer's miraculous improvement, as his condition continues to stabilize.
Dr. Ofer Merin, head of the trauma division at Jerusalem's Shaare Tzedek hospital, told radio 103FM on Monday about the miraculous recovery of the officer.
"The hospital staff has careful optimism, with a smile on the faces of the staff," he related. "There was a dramatic transition here from our perspective, as medical staff, from a critical condition with [what seemed like] his last breaths and no blood pressure, to a stable condition."
"He was between life and death. We aren't used to things like this," said the surprised doctor.
Watch: Arab Onlookers Fawn Over Wounded Terrorist
A video shot by a Muslim woman shows the terrorist who stabbed a Border Policeman in Jerusalem Sunday, a short time after he was shot by the policeman.
The man is lying on the sidewalk, gravely injured, and is approached by a Muslim woman who was videotaping the event, and another Arabic-speaking man, who kneels at his side and gently touches him. The man asks the terrorist where he is from, and he answers “Sa'ir,” – a town near Hevron.
The woman then offers a prayer for Allah to accept the man's "martyrdom," and repeatedly says "praise be to Allah." At one point she pans the camera over to the dying terrorist's hand, to show him pointing his finger - a gesture (originally taken from Judaism) co-opted by Islamists to express their belief in monotheism, and commonly used by jihadists planning to be "martyred."
It takes a while, but the other soldiers on the scene chase the two Arabs away.
More videos of the event have surfaced. These videos, too, were apparently shot by Arab bystanders:
Israel announces punitive measures for Palestinians after stabbing
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon instructed security officials to revoke Israeli work permits from residents of the Jerusalem assailant’s home town, the West Bank village of Sa’ir, near Hebron.
In addition, they said 500 permits for Palestinians to fly abroad through Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, a special measure announced days earlier in light of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, would be annulled.
Netanyahu and Ya’alon said further steps would be considered later.
Last week officials announced a series of measures aimed at easing movement for Palestinians during Ramadan.
These included allowing Palestinian buses to bring West Bank worshipers into Israel, for the first time in at least a decade; letting Palestinian men over the age of 40 and women of all ages enter the Temple Mount without need for an Israeli permit; allowing Palestinians to enter Israel freely for family visits, setting an initial quota of 100,000.
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said at the time the moves were based on positive assessments by the IDF Central Command, COGAT and the Shin Bet security service.
Hamas praised Sunday’s attack, though it did not take credit for it; photos published online indicated the assailant was a member or sympathizer of the Islamist movement.
Media Headline Fails as Israeli Policeman Stabbed
In both cases, the emphasis is on the shooting of the Palestinian despite the fact that the main focus of the story should be on the stabbing attack. The effect is to turn the Israeli into the aggressor despite the clear fact that it was the Palestinian who initiated the incident.
In the case of ABC News, the headline includes the description of the Palestinian as a “teenager,” which is a deliberate ploy to induce sympathy and paint him as a victim. In fact, the Israeli officer is only 20 years old himself.
And why has the Palestinian “reportedly” stabbed an Israeli? There is no argument over the details of the attack. So if it was a “reported” stabbing, then surely it should also be a “reported” shooting. The headline effectively places doubt on whether the Palestinian was actually involved in the attack before he was shot, something that is also repeated in the opening paragraph of the article.
Once again, shoddy headlines distort the reality of the story and Israel is the aggressor while a Palestinian is a victim.
Bus Attacked by Rocks and Firebombs in Binyamin Region
Arabs on Sunday evening threw rocks and firebombs at a bus that was traveling the communities of Adam and the Arab village of Hizma on Highway 437 in the Binyamin region.
The driver of the bus was lightly injured in the attack and several passengers were treated for shock. Magen David Adom paramedics who were called to the scene evacuated the injured driver to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem.
Dvir Adani, a volunteer paramedic with United Hatzalah, said that "I drove behind the bus and came across several young people who were standing on the side of the road and threw rocks and firebombs, both at my car as well as at the bus. The bus driver continued driving despite being lightly injured by broken glass. The windshield of the bus sustained damage.”
"I called additional forces of the army and police and kept driving until the bus pulled over near the community of Adam,” he continued. “Along with other volunteers we provided care to the bus driver and several passengers who had suffered a panic attack and minor injuries from glass shards, there is no doubt that by a miracle, a disaster was prevented.”
IDF forces are searching the area in an attempt to locate the rioters.
After 3 years, Egypt appoints new ambassador to Israel
Egypt has appointed a new ambassador to Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said on Sunday, ending more than three years in which the embassy in Tel Aviv has had no top envoy.
It was not clear when Hazem Khairat will take up his post.
“The Foreign Ministry welcomes the appointment,” spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said in a short statement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the announcement. “This is an important piece of news. We appreciate it,” he said during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Jerusalem. “It’s something that has been, that is deeply welcomed in Israel and I think it’s very good for cementing the peace that exists between Egypt and Israel.”
Fabius, during a press release after the meeting, also hailed Cairo’s step as “very important and very positive.”
Have Ariel U. Students Found the Way to Map Out Terror Tunnels?
An intrepid group of students may have found a solution in tackling the threat of Hamas terror tunnels that was unveiled with deadly effect during last summer's war, and which the terrorist organization is busily rebuilding.
While the invention does not find hidden tunnels, it can help map out tunnels once a single entry point or pier is found.
"They already invented the wheel. So we invented two," said students Yoni Ovadya, Matan Dasa and Chaim Ashkenazi who are completing four years of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at Ariel University in Samaria.
The students, under the guidance of Prof. Tzvi Shiller, have developed as their final project the RoboWheel 1001, a machine with two wheels capable of navigating difficult terrain in order to map out the Hamas tunnel systems breaching into the Gaza Belt region.
"The main need that we wanted to deal with was maneuverability in hostile territory that could endanger human lives, while dealing with obstacles," said Ovadya. "After Operation Protective Edge and the emergence of the tunnel threat in public consciousness, it was brought home how tunnels are a central part of the terror threat."
Building Communities on the Israel-Gaza Border
Three Israelis who live near the Israel-Gaza border give a little taste of what it’s like to build a peaceful community in this dangerous area.
One is a member of kibbutz Nirim, where she raised her children in the previously pastoral farming community.
The other two (Hila & Raz) are members of Moshav Netiv HaAsara – a cooperative farming community that is located approximately 400 meters (less than 440 yards) from the Palestinian town of Beit Lahiya in the Gaza Strip.
A moshav is similar to a kibbutz, in that it also promotes community labor and sharing resources, but moshav farms tend to be individually owned. Netiv HaAsara was established over 30 years ago by families who had left a similar community in the Sinai Peninsula when that territory was evacuated by Israel in the framework of the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt.

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