Friday, June 26, 2015

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Time to call out those aiding the Israel pogrom
We know that the NGOs are the instruments of the Soviet-inspired psychological warfare campaign to bend the collective Western mind with systematic falsehoods and blood libels about Israel.
What we haven’t done is hold to account those who have enabled these institutions and groups to do these wicked things, and who have given them traction.
Israel and its defenders should be publicly calling out those Western governments which fund these NGOs, and demanding that they stop funding such demonization and incitement to Israel’s destruction.
Most of these Israeli NGOs are part of the New Israel Fund’s network. The NIF should be ostracized. If an organism has ingested poison it must expel it or else it may die.
UN Watch points out that since its establishment the UNHRC has condemned Israel more than the rest of the world combined. Why are the UK and US still members of this travesty of a human rights arbiter? As long as they participate in it, they validate and legitimize it. As long as Israel’s allies keep silent in the face of the libels against Israel pouring out of the NGOs, UN and other international bodies and their own media and universities, those governmental allies are themselves implicitly conniving at this delegitimization campaign. As long as they continue to fund these NGOs, they too have blood on their hands.
The Davis report is just the latest manifestation of the surreal nightmare through which we are living, in which much of the world has been turned into one giant pogrom, both physical and intellectual, against the Jewish state. To fight it, we must not only delegitimize the delegitimizers but hold their enablers’ feet to the fire, too.
Caroline Glick: The Iranian-American nuclear project
If the US fails to reverse Obama’s policies toward Iran in the next two years, it is hard to see how it will be able to rebuild its strategic posture in the future.
The pace of change in the region and the world is too rapid today to rely on past achievements as a basis for future power.
As for Israel, it is now clear that there is no “crisis” in Israel-US relations. The Obama administration is betraying Israel. The centerpiece of Obama’s foreign policy is his desire to transform Iran’s illicit nuclear program, which endangers Israel’s existence, into a legal Iranian-American nuclear program that endangers Israel’s existence.
Consequently, the last thing Israel should worry about is upsetting Obama. To convince fence-sitting Democratic senators to vote against Obama’s Iran deal, Israel should expose all the ruinous details of the nuclear agreement. Israel should let the American people know how the deal endangers not just Israel, but their soldiers, and indeed, the US homeland itself.
By doing so, Israel stands a chance of separating the issue of Democratic support for Obama from Democratic opposition to the nuclear deal. Obama wants this deal to be about himself. Israel needs to explain how it is about America.
At the end of the day, what we now know about US collaboration with Iran brings home – yet again – the sad fact that the only chance Israel has ever had of preventing Iran from getting the bomb is to destroy the mullahs’ nuclear installations itself. If Israel can still conduct such an operation, it makes sense for it to be carried out before Iran’s nuclear program officially becomes the Iranian-American nuclear project.
Martin Sherman: The logical lacunae of the Left - Ari Shavit at AJC
One of the annual program’s highlights is the Forum’s Great Debate, which this year featured The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline B. Glick and Haaretz’s Ari Shavit, on whether the two-state formula offers a constructive solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, or is merely a dangerous delusion.
Unsurprisingly, Glick gave a feisty repudiation of the conceptual rationale and practical feasibility of any resolution based on the two-state principle. My strong misgivings regarding the alternative one-state paradigm she proposes are well known, but while I differ on what should be done, I always find her arguments as to what shouldn’t be done powerful and persuasive.
But it is on her opponent, Ari Shavit, that I should like to focus in the ensuing paragraphs.
At the start of the debate, Glick showered lavish praise on him, describing him as “a shining example, of what is best on the Left.” She continued that although “from a policy prescription he remains entirely true to his tribe... he represents the best of his tribe,” adding, with a wry reference to his fellow ideologues’ tendency to disregard recalcitrant realities, “because from time to time, he can make room for facts that are uncomfortable to his tribe.”
Sadly, in his address Shavit displayed scant signs of such virtues.

French official: One suspect arrested in alleged ISIS decapitation, factory explosion
French prosecutors said on Friday that the anti-terrorist police branch was deployed to investigate an attack which left one person dead and several wounded in southeast France.
A probe has been opened for murder and attempted murder in an organized group in relation to terrorism, the Paris prosecutor's office said in a statement.
French media said a decapitated head was found at the site, along with a flag bearing Islamist inscriptions.
Unknown persons exploded gas containers at the premises of a company in southeast France on Friday, leaving one dead and several wounded, police sources said.
French President Francois Hollande said the attack was of "a terrorist nature" and that a suspect had been arrested and identified.
Bloodbath in Tunisia: At least 27 reported dead in terror attack at resort hotel
At least 27 people, including foreign tourists, were killed when at least one gunman opened fire on a Tunisian beachside hotel in the popular resort of Sousse on Friday, an interior ministry spokesman said.
Police were still clearing the area around the Imperial Marhaba hotel and the body of one gunman lay at the scene with a Kalashnikov assault rifle after he was shot in an exchange of gunfire, a security source at the scene said.
It was the second major attack in the North African country this year, and took place during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
"One attacker opened fire with a Kalashnikov on tourists and Tunisians on the beach of the hotel," said a hotel worker at the site. "It was just one attacker. He was a young guy dressed in shorts like he was a tourist himself."
Tunisia, which has been hailed as a model of democratic transition since its 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising, is one of the most secular countries in the Arab world. Its beach resorts and nightclubs on the Mediterranean are popular with European visitors.
Islamic State claims deadly bombing on Kuwait mosque
A suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during the main weekly prayers Friday, killing and wounding dozens, officials and witnesses said. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.
The blast hit Al-Imam al-Sadeq mosque in Kuwait City, security officials and witnesses said. Medics said at least 13 people were killed in the blast.
Mohammed al-Faili, 32, told The Associated Press that his 70-year-old father was killed in what appeared to be a bombing attack. Two of his brothers were also wounded by the explosion. Speaking to the AP by telephone, he said he was not at the mosque at the time of the explosion but was heading to the morgue to identify his father’s body.
Police formed a cordon around the mosque’s complex immediately after the explosion, banning people from entering or gathering near the area. Ambulances could be seen ferrying the wounded from the site.
Behind the French "Peace Initiative"
It is a desperate attempt by the French government to buy a few more days of quiet from its Muslim community, especially from the members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the terrorist organizations to which it gave birth -- all waiting for the order to run riot through the streets of France.
If it succeeds, may Allah prevent it, it will lead to an ISIS and Hamas takeover of every inch of Palestinian soil from which Israel withdraws if coerced by the initiative.
It is evidently too frustrating and unrewarding just to sit in the U.N. and not think of some project supposedly to spread beneficence that could make your country look important to the other 190 members -- even if this beneficence is lethal to its recipient.
When the Byzantium fell to the Ottoman Empire, the churches, including the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, were turned into mosques; that is the dream of the Islamists today, to turn the Vatican into a mosque.
Currently, Qatar is currently investing millions to overthrow the Egyptian regime. It is investing millions to finance incitement among Muslims around the globe by means of its Islamist network and da'wah, the cunning preaching of the Muslim Brotherhood's variety of Islam.
The Arabs always secretly believed that anyone who hated their mutual enemies, the Jews, as deeply as the Europeans did, and who actually tried to achieve their total physical destruction during the Second World War, would be their ally and help to expel them from occupied Palestine.
Apparently, the commonly-held hatred between the Europeans and the Arabs was not enough to halt the Jews, so now the Arabs pay huge sums to bribe the leaders of Europe to help them get rid of the Jews now.
Lawmakers warn Palestinian actions could suspend US aid
Two lawmakers are warning the Palestinian Authority (PA) that its economic assistance from the United States could be suspended because of its decision to initiate charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“By formally submitting allegations against Israeli forces to the ICC Chief Prosecutor, President [Mahmoud] Abbas has triggered a provision in U.S. law that suspends all economic assistance to the PA,” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement.
On Thursday, the PA submitted evidence to the ICC of alleged Israeli war crimes in an effort to speed up an ICC inquiry into abuses that might have occurred during last summer’s conflict in Gaza, according to reports.
Lowey said Congress crafted the law to prevent U.S. tax dollars from rewarding “purposely provocative, unilateral steps” that threaten peace negotiations.
US slams Palestinians’ Israel war crimes suit
The statement came hours after Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki handed ICC prosecutors a file detailing alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza and relating to construction in the West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem.
The United States has “made clear that we oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive,” National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said after the Palestinians submitted their evidence in The Hague.
The file, based on findings by a Palestinian commission of inquiry and information from non-government groups, feeds into a preliminary investigation by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda into possible crimes on Palestinian territory.
Israel earlier slammed the Palestinian move, calling it an “attempt to manipulate and politicize the judicial mechanisms of the ICC
Analysis: UN Report Cherry-Picks Evidence to Fit NGOs’ Anti-Israel Narrative
The conclusions drawn by PHR-I and repeated by the UN Commission of Inquiry are similarly biased. As shown in NGO Monitor’s analysis, PHR-I’s so-called investigation was one-sided, methodologically flawed, and largely based on hearsay. More resembling a kangaroo court than an independent body, PHR-I found Israel guilty from the beginning, then twisted the available evidence to “convict” it of indiscriminately bombing civilians and purposely targeting medical personnel. The repetition of these unreliable allegations severely impinges on the integrity of the UN’s findings.
An examination of the methodology employed by PHR-I shows how the NGO makes claims that are clearly devoid of empirical support. Much of the evidence reviewed by the fact-finding mission was provided by Hamas-controlled ministries and institutions with a clear political agenda, compromising the results. These include files, photographs, tissue samples, and x-rays. Evidence regarding causes of death was also lacking as no autopsies were performed.
Furthermore, despite asserting that “the attacks [by Israel] were characterized by heavy and unpredictable bombardments,” the fact-finding mission later admitted that “because of a lack of military expertise, the [mission] was not in a position to provide a comprehensive analysis of the types of weapons used by Israeli forces.” It is therefore impossible to conclusively attribute to Israel injuries and damage that occurred in unclear circumstances, some of which was caused by deliberate or accidental attacks by Hamas.
The UNHRC report, however, appears in at least three instances to have relied on PHR-I’s admittedly flawed data in order to make conclusions on the specific types of munitions used. Numerous other NGOs were likewise misused by the Commission.
Report: Since Inception, UNHRC Condemned Israel More Than Rest of World’s Countries Combined
Geneva-based U.N. Watch said it expected a resolution by the Palestinians and Arab states to mark the 62nd condemnation of Israel since the council was established in 2006.
With a total of 61 condemnations, Israel has been singularly condemned more times than the rest of the countries combined.
Even Syria, where the U.N. estimates more than 200,000 people have been killed since a bloody civil war erupted four years ago, has only received 15 condemnations.
And Sudan, whose president recently fled South Africa because of warrant by the ICC for his arrest over the genocide of Sudanese in Darfur and other war crimes, has only received two condemnations by the UNHRC.
Israel is grouped together with countries such as those mentioned, as well as North Korea (8 condemnations), Iran (5), and Eritrea (3), a country with a virtual media blackout, according to the U.N. Watch report.
The UNHRC’s Article 7 for every monthly assembly singles out the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied territories,” the only region specific issue on the council’s agenda every month.
“Sadly, with members like China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Venezuela and Qatar, the UNHRC today may possibly rank as a more corrupt international organization than FIFA,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch.
Vatican signs treaty recognizing State of Palestine
The Foreign Ministry said Friday in response that it “regrets” the Vatican’s decision to sign the “one-sided” text.
“This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the PA to return to direct negotiations with Israel,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“We also regret the one-sided texts in the agreement which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to the places holy to Judaism in Jerusalem. Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem,” the statement added.
“The Palestinians continue to act unilaterally which distances us from any chance of holding direct dialogue,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.
Stop Gambling on Dictators
Last month, former American Task Force on Palestine director Ghaith al-Omari and freelance journalist Neri Zilber, both currently affiliated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, published an important piece in Foreign Affairs examining what happens after the death of Palestinian chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
They wrote:
Palestinian President Abbas recently turned 80 and is known to be an industrious smoker. His successor by law is the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Hamas official Aziz Duwaik. Duwaik is currently imprisoned in Israel, but even if he were free, there would be no chance of a parliamentary speaker from Hamas taking the reins of power in the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian parliament has not met in over seven years, and Abbas himself is now a decade into a four-year presidential term that began in 2005. Laws regulating transitions of political power are thus irrelevant: Abbas rules by presidential decree in the West Bank; Hamas rules by the gun in the Gaza Strip. No clear successor has come to the forefront, however, let alone one that has been officially designated by the party.
Across administrations, the State Department has preferred to work with autocrats simply because they believe that it is easier to deal with autocrats. When making peace, the logic goes, dictators can deliver, especially when the population has been poisoned by decades of incitement. Hence, while the first Palestinian “intifada” between 1987-1993 was largely a grassroots movement, first the George H.W. Bush administration and then the Clinton administration reached out to the more radical, exiled PLO leadership believing that it would be easier to make a deal with Yasir Arafat than with those Palestinians who had lived alongside Israelis, spoke Hebrew, and better understood Israel. Arafat liked having the trappings of office and power, without making either the compromises inherent in peace or preparing the Palestinian political and popular culture for the compromises of peace. In 2000, at the Camp David II summit, he rejected a peace deal to which his own negotiators had acquiesced and refused to make any counter offer. Under his leadership, Palestinian terrorism grew more frequent, Palestinians suffered greater deprivation against the backdrop of his and his Fatah cronies’ thievery, and the general situation worsened.
Hillary Failed to Turn Over Email Exchanges With Blumenthal About Benghazi
Although Hillary Clinton claimed to have given to the State Department all the relevant emails regarding Libya from her private email server during the time she served as U.S. Secretary of State, it turns out she withheld several significant ones.
In response to a subpoena from a Congressional committee investigating the Benghazi Debacle, Sidney Blumenthal, a former speech writer for Bill Clinton and longtime friend and confidante of Hillary Clinton, turned over dozens of emails he had exchanged with Hillary Clinton.
Although Clinton’s spokesperson claimed that his boss had turned over everything from her personal server that was related to benghazi, including all exchanges with Blumenthal who had been providing “advice” to Clinton, the State Department confirmed on Thursday that several provided by Blumenthal had not been turned over by Clinton.
Jimmy Carter hopes the play 'Camp David' comes to Broadway (Not Satire)
Jimmy Carter has been a governor, the nation's commander-in-chief and a Nobel Prize winner. One thing he still would like to see is himself on a Broadway stage.
The 39th president is hoping Lawrence Wright's play "Camp David" can find a Broadway theater and remind New York audiences about the bravery that went into the landmark 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
"It will be quite an emotional experience for me to see it on Broadway," Carter said by phone Wednesday. "The play resurrected all of these emotions, at least for me and my wife."
"Camp David" centers on the 13 grueling days of negotiations between Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and former Prime Minister Menachem Begin that led to the Middle East's most durable peace treaty.
Hundreds Visit Spring Where Danny Was Murdered
Hundreds of Jews came to Ein Bubin, in the Binyamin region, on Friday, to mark a week since the murder of Danny Gonen hy”d at the location.
The activity was organized by the Binyamin Regional Council, the Talmonim-Dolev Bloc and the Lod Torah nucleus group.
Also present were Binyamin Regional Council Head Avi Roeh, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, MK Oren Hazan and Binyamin Regiment Commander Yisrael Shomer.
Netanel Hadad, who was with Danny Gonen when the attack took place and who was lightly wounded himself, was also on hand, and he addressed the fellow hikers. “The terrorist wanted to hurt the Jewish people, but he did not take into account that we are people of faith,” he said. “A man of faith, when you hurt his body – you wind up strengthening his spirit. Our spirit will not be broken. We are a strong nation. We will keep on hiking, and while they seek to hurt the Nation of Israel, we will only grow stronger and develop.”
Arabs Try to Drain Spring Where Hiker was Murdered
Arab residents have tried to drain an historic spring in Samaria on Thursday, after rioting at the spring which is where a 25-year-old Israeli was murdered last week.
The attempt was discovered by the organizers of a trip to Ein Bubin, the spring outside of Dolev where Danny Gonen was shot at point-blank range by a Palestinian Arab terrorist last week.
The trip, scheduled for Friday, is being sponsored by the Binyamin Regional Council, the religious community in Lod, and the Dolev-Talmonim bloc.
Dolev spokeswoman Yael Ereli told Arutz Sheva that organizers for the trip stopped at Ein Bubin Thursday morning to assess the site and make arrangements for the group, only to find a mob of Arabs rioting there and attempting to drain the spring.
The group quickly called security forces, and the IDF has now been assigned to a guard detail to the site until after the event.
'No Gaza Ramadan Gestures Without Return of IDF Fallen'
Leah Goldin, the mother of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin who fell in Operation Protective Edge last summer and whose body is being held by Hamas, sharply condemned the government on Thursday for giving Gaza residents "gestures" for Ramadan without demanding Goldin's return as a condition.
"Returning fallen soldiers at the end of combat is a humanitarian directive that the entire world at all times abides by," Goldin stated to IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal). "Therefore, before they give an easing (of access) and humanitarian gestures to Gaza, I want my son to return."
Goldin, a first lieutenant in the Givati Brigade, was killed last July 20 at the height of the operation after Hamas terrorists breached one of several ceasefires to attack his unit on the outskirts of the city of Rafah. Likewise, Golani Brigade First Sergeant Oron Shaul was was killed on August 1 during clashes between Hamas infiltrators and the IDF in the Gaza Belt and his body was also captured by terrorists.
Regarding the "gestures" for the Muslim fast month of Ramadan, Israel made numerous unprecedented concessions including direct buses for the first time from Arab towns in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Certain "gestures" have been cancelled or temporarily pulled after shooting, stabbing and rocket attacks that quickly flared up with Ramadan.
 Palestinian gunman killed after opening fire on IDF
Palestinian assailant was shot and seriously injured by IDF soldiers on Friday morning, after he opened fire on Israeli troops at a checkpoint in the West Bank, the army said. Hours later, the attacker succumbed to his wounds.
No soldiers were injured in the attack at the Hamra (Beka’ot) checkpoint in the Jordan Valley.
The area was closed to traffic, amid fears that the gunman, who arrived at the scene in a car, had concealed explosives, Israel Radio reported.
Following the attack, Israeli paramedics were dispatched to the scene and treated the gunman. An army spokesperson later confirmed to AFP that the assailant had died of his injuries.
Arrests Made in Israeli Farmer's Murder
The Israeli Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) and police have arrested several people, including one minor, in the investigation into the terrorist murder of farmer David Bar Kapparah.
Bar Kapparah, 70, was found bloodied and beaten in an agricultural field between Pedaya and Carmei Yosef in central Israel and was taken by Magen David Adom paramedics to the Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin, where he succumbed to his wounds some time later.
It is believed he was beaten by Arabs from among those who regularly illegally enter Israeli cities in search of employment.
Channel 2 reports that none of those arrested Thursday are believed to be the murderers themselves, however, and were instead picked up in an attempt to clarify what actually happened; very few details were released about Bar Kapparah's death.
The farmer was buried in Rehovot on Thursday afternoon. Hundreds of people participated, including Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay (Shas), Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home), MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), MK Yinon Magal (Jewish Home), and former Jewish Home MKs Shuli Muallem-Refaeli and Yoni Chetboun.
Israel deports 7 Turks over alleged Hamas ties
Several Turkish citizens were deported from Israel over alleged ties with Hamas after being detained at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday .
The group of nine Turkish nationals, some of them journalists, were questioned by the Shin Bet security agency for over six hours upon their arrival to Israel. The Shin Bet said it established a link between the visitors and Hamas and barred seven of them from entering the Jewish state, Hebrew media reports said.
Turkey claimed the group arrived in Israel to participate in a Ramadan fast-breaking meal with Palestinians in Jerusalem.
A report in the Ynet news website said the delegation was also linked to the Turkish NGO IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which sponsored the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla to the Gaza Strip. Israel considers IHH a terrorist organization.
A Former Italian Model’s Mission at the Mount of Olives
Vandalism and garbage throwing is not a new phenomenon at the most ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Amid the thousands of tombstones, some of which have been defaced or smashed into pieces, there are areas full of trash and litter left by local Palestinian youth from neighborhoods nearby.
One woman in particular is extremely agitated by the current situation.
Mirella Petteni Haggiag, a former Italian model from Rome, makes her way through the tombstones with a garbage bag in her hand several times of year when she visits Israel. She comes ready to clean around the tombstone of her late husband, Robert Haggiag, the legendary Italian-American film producer.
“This is a holy place. It’s shocking to see what happens here” Mirella Haggiag told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview recently. “The Arabs hold parties and leave behind a mess. For the past five years, I come here and clean up.” “I want this place to be perfect for my husband, may he rest in peace. But look at all this,” says Mirella Haggiag, picking up the garbage and red coke cans strewn around. “These must be the result of parties. It’s not nice.”
I Hope My Grave Is Desecrated By Someone Important (satire)
At some point we’re just going to have to accept that haters will be haters and that the desecration of Jewish graves is all but inevitable. Law enforcement has proved either ineffective or unwilling, and it’s basically a matter of time before every last Jewish burial plot falls victim. That being said, I hope my grave at east gets desecrated by someone important.
Generally we associate vandalism against tombs with people unlikely to achieve prominence. They lack the will to directly harm the living, but still want to put a scare into Jews. A few will eventually develop the chutzpah to shout antisemitic epithets, maybe toss some rocks, but as a rule we’re not talking about folks with the guts to do anything big. But a guy can dream. It’s always conceivable that a gang of Jew-haters will happen to be going through the cemetery where I’m buried, and its leader – someone who can think bigger than the others – will engage in some headstone-toppling along the way.
Well, why stop there? Once we’re already considering scenarios in which someone not-forgettable is the one who smashes, burns, knocks over, or defaces my grave, let’s not rule out an organized effort with somebody high-ranking at the helm. It would have to be a real hands-on leader, a person who revels in leading by example. That way, if my tombstone happens to be in the right place, my remains could have the distinction of being desecrated by a person of real influence.
IS-linked group said to issue leaflets threatening Christians in Jerusalem
Leaflets threatening Christians and signed by an organization referring to itself as the “Islamic State in Palestine” were distributed in East Jerusalem Thursday, Israel’s Channel 10 news reported.
The flyers, which displayed an image of the black flag associated with the Islamic State terrorist group, warned Christian residents of the city that “vengeance” will be exacted upon them, the TV report stated.
The report did not detail where the leaflets were distributed or in what quantity. There are some 12,000 Christian residents in the city, according to recent figures.
There have been intermittent reports of attempts by IS-affiliated groups to organize in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel, and a trickle of cases of Israeli Arabs journeying to join IS forces elsewhere in the region or being arrested en route to do so.
IsraellyCool: Required Reading: New Hamas Website
Here’s another example: one of the answers in their #AskHamas section.
Does Israel have a right to exist?
Israel is not a normal state. It is a settler colonial state that was created during and after mass expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Sixty-seven years on, millions of Palestinians remain victim of occupation, exile and dispersion. Recognizing Israel effectively means legitimizing what Israel has done to the Palestinian people and legitimizing all Zionist claims upon which Israel was created.
The relation between the Palestinian people and Israel is not between sovereign states. It is a relation driven by Israeli colonialism, dispossession, and military occupation and the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom and self-determination. This is the reality of the matter; there is no way around it.

Now compare to statements by the likes of Jimmy Carter:
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas this weekend at his headquarters in Ramallah, and declared that Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is not a “terrorist.” Carter said that he would not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it was a “waste of time,” and that Meshaal not only wanted a “peace process,” but would commit to recognizing Israel as part of a deal brokered by Saudi Arabia.
Hamas Says Israel Released Father of 'The Green Prince'
Israel on Thursday released a founding member of the Hamas terrorist organization in Judea and Samaria, the terror group claimed, a year after he and hundreds of other Hamas terrorists were arrested following the murder of three Israeli teenagers last June.
Hamas claims that Hassan Yousef, a seasoned terrorist leader who has spent years in jail and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) parliament in 2006 while in Israeli custody, has worked entirely in the "political wing" of the terror group, which largely leads the diplomatic offensive against Israel and secures weapons and backing.
He is also known for having disowned his son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, after he worked as an informant for the Israel Security Agency (ISA) under the codename "The Green Prince."
"Occupation forces (Israel) on Thursday released Hassan Yousef after he was in administrative detention for an entire year," Hamas said in a report on its website,
The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Egypt Closes Rafah Crossing After Three Days
Egyptian authorities on Thursday closed the Rafah Crossing as planned, after it had been open for three consecutive days, reports the Ma’an news agency.
The Gaza Crossing and Borders Department said that four buses managed to enter Egypt on Thursday before the crossing closed, and a fifth bus crossed into the Egyptian side but was turned back.
Three ambulances carrying patients and companions also left through the crossing, as cement and building materials were transported into Gaza.
During the three days of being open in both directions, 921 Palestinian Arabs exited Gaza, and 229 entered it while 60 people were rejected entry, the department said.
Support Syrian Kurdish Forces Now
There is only one group that has had any modicum of success fighting radicals and counter Assad inside Syria, and that is the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel? (YPG), the People’s Protection Units or the Syrian Peshmerga. I was fortunate to meet the YPG last year during a trip to northeastern Syria. They have sacrificed tremendously: I visited both memorial shrines, spaces reserved for families of martyrs, and fresh graves, while also hanging out at YPG checkpoints and talking to YPG commanders. Aside from a few airdrops around Kobane and, in the last few days, some air support around Ayn Issa, a town north of Raqqa, they have received little from the United States. The Syrian opposition that the United States does support has little to show for its money.
The YPG – and the Syrian Kurdish administration to which they answer – has the added benefit of being largely tolerant. They host tens of thousands of Arab refugees from the Aleppo area, and churches, mosques and, for that matter, Yezidi temples. And yet, the Obama administration and Kerry specifically give the Syrian Kurds the cold shoulder. The State Department refuses Salih Muslim, the Syrian Kurdish leader, a visa and it is a rarity that U.S. diplomats will speak with him, even if in the same room. Kerry has welcomed Syrian militants with blood on their hands to join the international diplomatic process but continues to veto any real Kurdish participation, at least among the Kurds representative of the Rojava administration.
In the last few days, the YPG has captured a strategic town just 30 miles north of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital. It’s an opportunity that should be supported. Clearly, the YPG fulfill Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s “will to fight” prerequisite. If Obama truly wishes to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State, then working with the YPG should be the central pillar. It’s time to work in the realm of reality and seize every opportunity, rather than continue to embrace the fantasy of Assad’s responsibility or other Syrian opposition’s credibility and moderation.
Michael Totten: Turkey Chooses ISIS Over the Kurds
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is furious that the Kurds in Syria are advancing against ISIS.
Ponder the ramifications of that sentence.
Turkey is a member of NATO. On paper, at least, it’s one of America’s greatest allies. ISIS, meanwhile, is the world’s most deranged army of psychopaths. Even Al Qaeda disowns it. The Kurds, though, are America’s most reliable allies in the Middle East alongside the Israelis.
So our nominal ally thinks it’s a problem when one of our real allies makes gains against the most vicious terrorist army on the planet.
We’ve been arguing amongst ourselves here in America about which is worse, the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis or ISIS. I can make a case either way. Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, but ISIS is more barbaric than any of Iran’s proxies. ISIS is more likely to kill Americans in America, but it may not be possible to defeat them until after the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis is defanged because a substantial percentage of the Middle East’s Sunni Arabs see it as the only thing standing between them and Iranian overlordship.
There’s no obvious answer. We can have a healthy, reasonable, civil debate about how to proceed.
In Turkey, however, the conversation is different. The question over there is whether ISIS or the Kurds are the lesser of evils.

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