Tuesday, June 21, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Explaining the Israeli Left
Haaretz and other leading leftist voices admitted openly that endangering the country by surrendering Gaza, along with Gaza’s border with Egypt, to terrorists was a small price to pay for destroying the religious Zionist movement.
A month before the August 2005 expulsions, Haaretz published an editorial, which explained that it really didn’t matter whether Israel’s security was damaged by the withdrawal.
The real question,” the paper argued, “is not how many mortar shells will fall, or who will guard the Philadelphi Route [between Gaza and Egypt], or whether the Palestinians will dance on the roofs of [the destroyed communities].
“The real question is who sets the national agenda. The disengagement of Israeli policy from its religious fuel is the real disengagement currently on the agenda. On the day after the disengagement, religious Zionism’s status will be different.”
Israel has fought three wars with the Palestinians and one with Hezbollah since that withdrawal. Hundreds of soldiers and civilians have been killed. Thousands have been wounded.
Whereas 25,000 Israelis lived within range of Palestinian mortars and rockets from Gaza in July 2005, today Hamas’s missiles have a range covering nearly all of Israel.
Today we are subjected to daily claims by Leftist politicians, activists and their media partners that Israelis are tired of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. His days in power are over. The “public” now sees that the Left is the only side that brings hope so it behooves the government to listen to the “public” and let the Left rule for a change.
But to the dismay of the Left, the public won’t go along for another ride with them, no matter how much hysteria they promote.
Despite the best efforts of Herzog, Newman, and their allies in the media echo chamber, the public has taken their measure. The public is not interested in electing parties that subvert the national interest to advance their political fortunes. The public is not interested in being led by men and women driven by an irrational and dangerous hatred of their fellow Israelis.
EU thinks 'feeding Israel to the crocs means they will be eaten last'
The event was the initiative of the Israel Allies Foundation, the umbrella organization of pro-Israel caucuses in 35 parliaments around the world, and I Like Israel, an umbrella organization of pro-Israel groups in Germany.
“This conference is taking place under the shadow of a damaging peace initiative that aims to pressure Israel to make irrational concessions and force Israel to give up its sovereignty in the name of a false peace,” Israel Allies Foundation Executive Vice President Josh Reinstein told attendees.
“They believe by feeding Israel to the crocodiles they will be eaten last. This conference is our answer to that initiative.”
Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman Robert Ilatov, who heads the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, attributed the French initiative and its support in Europe to historic anti-Semitism that has deep roots on the continent.
“We don’t understand why our friends in Western Europe create double-standards for Israel,” Ilatov told the crowd. “We don’t understand why they are attacking Israel and not countries in the Middle East that do not protect human rights and protect religious freedom.”
The Israel Narrative Is Wrong
The answer, of course, is that the narrative is simply wrong on every count. Diplomatically speaking, as I’ve noted before, this government is actually one of the more left-wing in Israel’s history: Though Netanyahu doesn’t consider a two-state solution achievable right now, he does accept the idea in principle; in contrast, during Israel’s first 45 years of existence, all governments from both left and right considered a Palestinian state anathema. And Netanyahu’s policy of restraining settlement construction – which, contrary to his “cowardly” image, he has maintained despite considerable opposition from parts of his base – is consistent with his stated commitment to a two-state solution.
Moreover, as the examples above show, his past three governments have actually been among the most progressive in Israel’s history in terms of their practical efforts to improve Arab integration. And unlike his settlement policy, his efforts to advance Arab equality have sparked no significant opposition from either his cabinet or his electorate, even though Israeli Arabs overwhelmingly vote for his political opponents. The reason is simple: Any government which considers Israeli-Palestinian peace unachievable in the foreseeable future has no choice but to invest in Israel’s internal development, in order to ensure that the country is strong enough to survive without peace. And improving Arab integration is crucial to the country’s internal development because Israeli Arabs, currently underrepresented in both higher education and the work force, represent one of the main potential sources of future economic growth.
But proponents of the “far-right-extremism” narrative seem utterly impervious to the facts. So they can only scratch their heads in puzzlement over why Israel’s “most right-wing government ever” is precisely the one that’s taking far-reaching steps to improve the lot of Israeli Arabs.

The Pax Americana Is Dead. Welcome to the Age of the Godfathers.
Under the circumstances, one can expect the use of force and violence to become commonplace in the region—and since, so it seems, the use of chemical weapons in the war in Syria is no longer considered taboo, one can expect greater and greater use of non-conventional weapons. It goes without saying that the effort to acquire nuclear weapons, or at least nuclear capability, will also continue to expand from Iran to other players in the region.
The obvious result of all this is that the Middle East will become a permanently unstable region, subject to frequent convulsions and pervaded with violence and terrorism. It will become a hothouse for radical Islamic ideas and groups that will attract support among the population both within and outside the region.
The shock waves from the crisis in the Middle East have not stopped at the region’s geographical boundaries. Waves of refugees, which will only increase, are knocking on Europe’s gates, while radical Islamic ideology is seeping deeply into Muslim communities all over the world, especially in Europe, and even in the United States. As state frameworks disintegrated and chaos came to prevail in the region, the tide of migration found encouragement and rose sharply, and there is no basis for assuming that it will not continue to rise in the future.
Ironically, America’s withdrawal from playing a role in the Middle East did not save it from being criticized, both within and outside the region, as the main culprit responsible for the present crisis. This stems from the fact that the United States is perceived as the clearest manifestation of the West, and the West is perceived as being guilty of the original sins of imperialism and colonialism, and is therefore seen as the source of the region’s ills. It can be assumed that as the distress and crisis in the region intensify, the resentment of the West and the United States will increase. This being so, the United States is destined to discover what Israel discovered in Lebanon and Gaza: that it is possible to disengage from the Middle East, but the Middle East will not disengage from you.
Israel blasts Europe’s ‘colonialist’ peace initiative
Europe’s approach to Israel appears to be a resurrection of its past colonialism, a senior Israeli official said Tuesday. It was part of an unusually blistering attack on the EU and its Middle East policies, in which the official accused European leaders of cynically employing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to deflect criticism and to distract the public from their inability to solve the continent’s real pressing problems.
“When I look at the sequence of the EU implementing labeling [for settlement products] and now the endorsement of an international conference, I feel that those are the ghosts of a colonial European past coming back to life,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel.
The EU’s 28 foreign ministers on Tuesday endorsed France’s plan to hold an international peace conference in Paris to advance the stalled peace process. Israel has repeatedly rejected the French initiative, arguing that it hardens Palestinian negotiating positions and thus distances peace.
Nahshon said the union was unqualified to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as long as it struggled to properly address its own woes.
Israel Calls EU Backing of International Conference "a Regrettable Step Backwards in the Pursuit of Peace"
Peace with the Palestinians will only be achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations with no preconditions.
International conferences like the one welcomed by the European Council today (20 June) drive peace further away by allowing the Palestinians to continue avoiding both direct negotiations and compromise.
This is a regrettable step backwards in the pursuit of peace to which Israel remains fully committed.
Cameron: We must stay in EU to influence Europe’s approach to Israel
David Cameron has insisted Britain can only impact Europe’s approach to Israel by remaining inside the EU as he called on the community to roundly reject the “divisive and intolerant” campaign of Nigel Farage.
The prime minister used his only address to Anglo-Jewry of the referendum to insist that the country’s influence is “enhanced” rather than diminished by being part of the Union on issues from the economy to climate change to preventing Iran getting the bomb.
He told Jewish Care’s annual dinner: “When we’re fighting terrorism and Islamist extremism are we better doing that out on our own or fighting together with our European partners. When Europe is discussing its attitude towards Israel do you want Britain – Israel’s greatest friends – in there opposing boycotts or do you want us outside the room, powerless to affect the conversation.”
Cameron spoke of his “love” of the country and described Jewish function as some of the most patriotic he’d attended. Invoking his predecessor Winston Churchill, he said the wartime leader chose to fight Hitler alongside allies, rather than operate alone, when he took the “greatest decision in our history”.
UN chief to visit Israel, PA, Gaza to push peace efforts
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is reportedly slated to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week for a two-day round of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
The visit, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday next week, will take him to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, the Walla news site reported Tuesday.
The visit comes amid renewed international diplomatic efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled since 2014.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also slated to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry next week in Europe to discuss, among other issues, the recent French initiative to jumpstart talks.
Channel 2 reported Sunday that Netanyahu plans to tell Kerry he backs potential Egyptian-led efforts to revive negotiations, rather than the international approach being pushed by France.
Herzog blasted by opposition party chief for offer to split Jerusalem
Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid bashed opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Monday for allegedly offering the West Bank and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians in secret talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in 2014-2015, calling the move “dangerous and wrong.”
The criticism marked the opening of a rare rift between the two opposition parties, and came as Herzog has been pilloried by his own party for being an ineffectual leader in challenging the ruling coalition.
Lapid’s remarks came after Channel 10 reported Sunday that Herzog and Abbas worked through proxies ahead of Israeli elections last year to reach a framework for a future peace deal under which Palestinian refugees would receive financial compensation and the Western Wall would remain under Israeli control, Channel 10 news reported on Thursday.
Those talks fell apart after Herzog lost to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2015 election.
During a weekly party meeting, Lapid took Herzog to task for the alleged agreement, calling it a “classic mistake of the left.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Herzog Mulls Jumping Over Shark On Water Skis To Boost Appeal (satire)
Frustrated by his inability to galvanize the Opposition he leads and facing challenges to his stewardship of the Labor Party and Zionist Union faction, MK Isaac Herzog is considering a move aimed at gaining the attention of the electorate and demonstrating the value of making him popular. As such, Knesset sources say, Herzog will go water skiing on the Mediterranean and in the process jump a shark.
Herzog has struggled to fire the imagination of his constituency and came close to forming a national unity government with the Likud Party, factors that prompted others within Labor to question his suitability to lead the Opposition. More charismatic rivals have emerged from within the party’s ranks who seek to supplant him as chairman, while at the same time a number of defectors from Likud have stolen his thunder by making serious explorations into forming a new centrist party that, according to the latest polls, would draw support primarily from Zionist Union voters, rather than Likud. Facing such threats to his position, Herzog told advisers he wants to do something bold to capture public attention and support, such as jumping a shark.
Herzog’s friends and family are uniformly in favor of jumping the shark, according to sources within the party. “We think it’ll be a totally realistic way to show people he enjoys he same things they do, can really connect with them,” said a member of his immediate family who spoke on condition of anonymity, and whom anonymity suits.
Party insiders, however, remain divided on the wisdom of such a move. “I’m all for it,” said Henry Winkler, a longtime Herzog associate. “There’s something wild and free about shark-jumping, and doing it will help Buji connect with young voters, especially, who are looking for someone to bring back happy days.”
Senior official says Israel, US close to deal on defense aid
The multibillion-dollar defense aid package being negotiated between Israel and the US is very close to completion, a senior Israeli official in Washington said Monday morning after a series of meetings at the Pentagon.
According to the unnamed official, Israel wants to complete the 10-year, multibillion-dollar defense aid deal as soon as possible. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that although an announcement would not be forthcoming in the next few days, the remaining gaps between the two countries’ positions could be overcome.
The US and Israel started negotiating a renewal of the 10-year defense package last summer, shortly after the completion of the Iranian nuclear deal.
The memorandum of understanding, as the aid package is formally known, is one of the underpinnings of the US-Israel relationship, and is likely to encompass some $5 billion in defense assistance during the next 10-year period.
In anger, Obama questioned necessity of Israel's qualitative military edge
Frustrated over a stall in an arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Obama once questioned the necessity of maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the region, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this month.
Panetta was confirming a report from Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg, who attributed the claim to him in an article on Obama's foreign policy doctrine published last March.
The former Pentagon chief said the White House, at the time, was deeply concerned that Israel was preparing to unilaterally strike Iran. Simultaneously, the administration was also hoping to complete with Riyadh a significant sale of fighter jets.
According to US law, the Defense Department must ensure that weapons sales to Mideast nations comports with an American guarantee of Israel's qualitative military edge (QME) in the region.
Analysis: Money is not what makes the US-Israel aid deal important
The allocation of billions of dollars in aid to Israel creates American buy-in for what happens in the Jewish State. The country’s neighbors - and particularly its enemies - recognize that and know that the US has Israel’s back.
In addition, the obligation to spend the vast majority of the money in the US, creates a linkage between the IDF and US defense contractors.
Israel wants to buy their hardware and they want to sell them. This means that pressure on the administration, for example, to approve the export sale of a new missile or aircraft to Israel comes from three directions – Israel, its US-based supporters and the defense companies themselves.
The rollout of Israel’s first F-35 stealth fighter jet in Texas on Wednesday, which will make it the first country outside the US to receive the plane, is an example of how this all works.
This connection is what ensures Israel receives the most-advanced technology coming out of the US. While the size of the aid is important, it is actually less critical for Israel than the link the deal creates between the IDF and the Pentagon. That, on it’s own, is priceless.
Eli Lake: Is Israel a Pariah? Not According to Its New Friends
Israel under Netanyahu is also expanding links with China, now the country's third-largest trading partner. Gold told me this week at his Foreign Ministry office that it's almost impossible to get a seat these days on the El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Beijing. A similar story can be told about Israel's relationship with India, whose Narendra Modi is expected to be the first Indian prime minister ever to visit Israel later this year. As the Israelis increase defense trade with India, it has also begun to end some of its historic support for the Palestinians at the United Nations.
Then there is Russia. Netanyahu has met with President Vladimir Putin four times in the last year. He has also worked out a deal, according to senior officials who spoke to me on background, in which Russia will allow Israeli jets to target members of the terrorist group Hezbollah operating in Syria, where Russians now control the air space.
"The prime minister is cognitive of the fact that the United States is the number one ally," Gold told me. "But the relationship with Putin has vastly improved. Instead of being in conflict with him like we were, we are now making sure there is a line open to him."
Finally, Israel is repairing and enhancing relationships in the Middle East. In 2011, Turkey downgraded its ties following Israel's raid on a flotilla trying to breach the naval blockade of Gaza. This month, Turkey's foreign minister announced that his country was one or two meetings away from normalizing the relationship again.
There is also much secret diplomacy between Israel and the Gulf monarchies. Israel has had such contacts with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since the height of the peace process in the 1990s. But Gold told me there was an important difference between Israel's Arab diplomacy today and during the peace process years.
Israel-Turkey détente ‘a matter of days,’ official says
A senior Israeli official on Sunday said the rapprochement negotiations between Jerusalem and Ankara were over 95% complete, and that an agreement to reestablish normalized ties between the two countries could be announced in “a matter of days.”
“Almost everything has been finalized. We’ve concluded over 95% of the negotiations, there are only few details remaining. It could be a matter of days,” the official said according to the Hebrew-language Ynet website.
The official noted the political leadership in both countries was eager to put an end to the downgraded diplomatic ties over the past six years.
“There is no reason this won’t happen,” he said.
According to a TV report on Channel 1 Sunday, Israel and Turkish negotiators are set to meet in a European city on June 26 for the final round of talks.
Analysis: How gas could warm relations between Israel and Turkey
On the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Washington in March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a private meeting with Israel's energy minister, Yuval Steinitz. It was the highest level contact between Israel and Turkey since diplomatic relations broke down six years ago after Israeli forces raided a Turkish ship bound for Gaza, killing 10 Turkish activists.
The meeting, which lasted 20 to 30 minutes and whose details have not been previously disclosed, discussed the war in Syria, Iran's presence there, terrorism - and natural gas. That last item is a key driver of efforts to forge a rapprochement between Israel and Turkey: At stake are reserves of natural gas worth hundreds of billions of dollars under the waters of Israel and Cyprus. To exploit them Israel will likely require the cooperation of Turkey.
In an interview at his office in Jerusalem, Steinitz confirmed the Washington meeting. "It was in a very good atmosphere," he said. "I don't want to say more than that ... I'm a great proponent of this effort to resume diplomatic relations with Turkey."
Since the Washington meeting, high-level envoys from Turkey and Israel have talked privately in Geneva and London to hammer out a deal on restoring relations between the former allies. Discussions have at times become bogged down: Israel wants Turkey to cut ties with Hamas representatives based in Turkey; Ankara wants reassurances on providing aid to Palestinians in Gaza, among other things.
IDF destroys house of terrorist who killed American Taylor Force
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit has announced that during the course of Monday night, Israeli forces destroyed the house of Bashar Massalha, the terrorist who killed American tourist Taylor Force and injured ten others in an attack in Jaffa earlier this year.
Massalha's house was located in the village of Kafr Haja, near Nablus in the West Bank. Although he was killed by security forces at the scene of the attack, the punitive measure was nevertheless carried out as a deterrence against would-be attackers.
Criticism of the practice has labeled the demolitions as illegal collective punishment against the families of terrorists.
The operation was conducted in conjunction with the Border Police and the Civil Administration in the territories.
The Obama Administration’s Awful Response to Palestinian Terror
The recent terror attack in Tel Aviv, Israel, was a classic case of a terrorism, and so were the responses. The UN Security Council’s condemnation of the attack — the first Security Council condemnation since the attacks began last September — was welcome. Since the recent terror wave began in Israel, there have been 218 attacks, leaving 38 people killed and 487 people injured.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s condemnation “in the strongest possible terms” — while also urging Israel to refrain from acts that will further escalate tensions — was typical of the Obama Administration’s response to terrorism carried out against Israelis. Who tells the father or mother of a murdered child, or the wife of a murdered husband, to exercise “restraint” in the same breath that they convey acknowledgement of the loss? We should condemn acts of terror, unequivocally and without caveat.
Nowhere but in the case of Israel and the loss of Israeli lives are such caveats acceptable. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said as much during questioning by the AP’s Matt Lee. Lee asked, “[D]o you recall ever feeling the need to advise, to warn, to urge governments in Europe to use restraint as they respond, when they respond to terrorist attacks?” Toner answered, “I can’t come up with an instance, no.”
Likewise, the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that Israel’s response may “amount to prohibited collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice and frustration felt by Palestinians in this very tense time” is disingenuous.
Breaking the Silence denies links to 'fabricated' PA blood-libel
The far-left Breaking the Silence NGO has accused the Palestinian Authority of fabricating a report in its name, which claimed an Israeli rabbi called on "settlers" to poison Palestinian wells.
The report, circulated by senior PA and PLO officials in both the Turkish and Palestinian media, cited a non-existent "Rabbi Mlmed" as being behind the "ruling", and urged international sanctions against Israel in response - echoing classic anti-Semitic blood libels.
And the PA's web of lies continues to untangle. While the alleged statement in question has now been thoroughly debunked as false, it appears that the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry is the sole source of the fabrication.
In its statement, the PA cited Breaking the Silence - which regularly circulates unsubstantiated allegations against IDF soldiers - as the source of the story. It even names BtS activist Yehuda Shaul as its source.
Three Wounded, 12 Vehicles Damaged in Terrorist Ambush on Rt. 443
A well orchestrated ambush by Arabs on Rt. 443, the alternative highway connecting the Tel Aviv metro area with Jerusalem via Modi’in, resulted in three Israelis injured from stones and broken glass and damage to a dozen vehicles.
According to motorists who spoke to News 0404, late Monday night masked Arab terrorists poured oil on the highway about two miles east of the Maccabim check post, then stood by the side of the road and as each Israeli car arrived and started swerving on the oil, they smashed it with very large stones. At least 12 vehicles were seriously damaged, as windows and windshields were cracked and broken, as well as the sides and roofs.
Security forces were alerted and arrived on the scene shooting at the terrorists.
IDF mistakenly kills 15-year old Palestinian, wounds another responding to stone throwing attack
The IDF mistakenly killed a 15-year old Palestinian teen and mistakenly injured another Palestinian who where near a violent incident of stone throwing along Route 443 in the West Bank late Monday night.
“A preliminary investigation showed that they were close to the scene but were not involved in the violence,” an IDF spokeswoman said on Tuesday morning.
The teen who was killed was later identified as Mahmoud Badran from Beit Ur al-Tahta, which is located in the area of both Ramallah and Route 443.
The wounded Palestinian was transferred to a hospital in Ramallah.
Abdul Karim Kassem, head of the village’s local council said Badran was in a car with other passengers "returning from a pool in a village near us when they came under fire.”
'If the PA didn't incite, Israel wouldn't need to use force'
Israel's foreign ministry has dismissed Palestinian Authority accusations surrounding the death of a Palestinian youth during stone-throwing attacks against Israeli traffic along Route 443.
Three motorists were injured when Arab terrorists hurled rocks, bottles and other projectiles at their cars early Tuesday morning. IDF soldiers opened fire on the rock-throwers in the course of a chase, accidentally killing one person and wounding two others - all three of whom were later revealed to have been uninvolved bystanders.
Two suspected rock-throwers were arrested soon afterwards.
The PA foreign ministry accused Israel of "extrajudicial killings" and called for international sanctions against Israel in response.
But Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanual Nahshon firmly rejected the PA's accusations, branding it "cynical", and instead blaming the Palestinian leadership for stoking the violence.
PA: IDF ‘execution’ of Palestinian teen is proof Netanyahu doesn’t want peace
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused the IDF of “executing” a 15-year-old West Bank resident who the army said was killed accidentally.
Mahmoud Badran, from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta, was shot by the IDF after a violent incident of stone throwing along Route 443 in the West Bank late Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, the IDF spokesman said that a preliminary investigation showed that Badran, and three other Palestinians who were injured, were close to the scene but were not involved in the violence
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the "execution" of the Palestinian teen.
Israeli minister proposes offshore port for Gaza
Israel’s transportation minister said that he is pushing for the construction of an “artificial island” off the coast of Hamas-ruled Gaza to alleviate hardship in the blockaded coastal strip.
Yisrael Katz said Monday his plan calls for an eight square kilometer (three square mile) island linked to Gaza by a five kilometer (three-mile) bridge. He said the island, estimated to cost $5 billion, would include a port and perhaps a future airport. Israel would supervise security checks but it would otherwise be run by Palestinians and the international community.
With Israel and Egypt maintaining a naval blockade of Gaza to prevent the Strip’s Hamas terrorist rulers importing weapons, the Palestinians have long been pleading for a port to connect them to the rest of the world.
Katz said Israel has no objection as long as its security needs are met.
'Majority of Israeli Arabs don't see Hezbollah as terror group'
The majority of Israeli Arabs do not think of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, despite its repeated threats to strike northern Israel, which could potentially wreak havoc on the Arab communities in the area, a prominent figure within the sector told Israel Hayom on Sunday.
The 2006 Second Lebanon War was the first to take a heavy toll on the Israeli Arab sector, as Hezbollah's fire on Israel's north claimed 19 lives among the community, wounded dozens and left many homes in northern Arab towns in ruins.
The northern Israeli city of Haifa, which suffered daily rocket attacks during the 2006 conflict, is home to 65% of Israel's Arab community. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah's belligerent rhetoric often names Haifa as a prime target during any future conflict between Israel and the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group, but the threats, it seems, have not tempered the support Hezbollah has among the Israeli Arab sector.
Israeli Arab leaders told Israel Hayom on Sunday that they and their public support the pan-Arab approach -- that is Hezbollah's assertion negating Israel's claim that it had legitimate cause to launch the 34-day military campaign in Lebanon in the wake of the abduction of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev by the group.
MEMRI: Palestinian 'Al-Hayat' Columnist On Tel Aviv Attack: The Armed Struggle Harms The Palestinians More Than It Helps Them
In his June 12, 2016 column in the London daily Al-Hayat, Majed Kayali responded to the terror attack at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market complex, criticizing the tactic of armed struggle which he said that over the years has harmed the Palestinians more than helped them. He said that even if the attack had elements of heroism and sacrifice, and even if it could be seen as a natural response to the occupation, it did not help the Palestinians but only gave Israel an opportunity to take countermeasures, and also did damage to the Palestinian struggle's global legitimacy and image. According to him, the current manifestation of the armed struggle, that is, attacks by individuals, reveals a clear lack of Palestinian strategy, and shows the helplessness of the Palestinian leadership as well as the Palestinian resistance factions. Adding that under the current difficult circumstances, on both on the Palestinian and the regional levels, there can be no liberation of Palestinian land, he called on the Palestinians to focus on rebuilding their society and political entities, formulate a political vision that is appropriate for the Palestinian problem, and choose ways of struggle that benefit them, as the First Intifada did.
Israel Arrests Sons Of Top PA Official For Possession Of Firearms
The sons of a top Palestinian police officer have been arrested by the Israeli army in the West Bank, the Palestinian media reported on Sunday.
The two sons of Jihad Messeimi, the deputy Palestinian police commissioner in the West Bank, have reportedly been detained for possession of an M16 rifle.
As Breitbart Jerusalem recently reported, young Palestinians, especially Fatah loyalists, increasingly defy their movement’s understandings with Israel and accumulate weapons, leading the Israel Defense Forces to tighten their control over arms proliferation in the West Bank.
Sunday’s arrest came in the wake of a series of incidents in the West Bank where gunmen clashed with Palestinian Authority forces who tried to search refugee camps for illegal weapons.
The resistance mounted by hundreds of militants prevented the PA from collecting weapons in the Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah, and Jerusalem areas.
Israel Intercepts Wet-Suit Shipment Bound for Gaza Terrorists
Israel announced Monday that it has foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of professional wet suits into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
It is believed the wet suits were intended to be used by terrorists in Gaza, including members of the Hamas naval commando unit. The illicit shipment was discovered and seized by security guards and Shin Bet security agency personnel at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza.
The wet suits were hidden among sports equipment and clothing that had been imported by a supplier in a Palestinian Authority-ruled part of the West Bank, and were reshipped to Gaza.
The Israeli Defense Ministry has launched an investigation into the incident.
Egyptian court voids deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
An Egyptian court declared void on Tuesday a maritime border accord with Saudi Arabia that would have seen Egypt lose control of two Red Sea islands, judicial sources said.
The state has the right to appeal the ruling at a higher court, and the accord must also be approved by parliament.
The agreement, which was announced in April, caused uproar and protests in Egypt where many say they were taught at school that Tiran and Sanfir islands were Egyptian.
The ruling is a setback for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who had asked Egyptians in a speech to end to the controversy over the islands deal, which was announced during a visit to Cairo by the Saudi king.
Terrorists infiltrate Jordan from Syria, kill six troops in bombing
A car bomb attack at the Jordanian-Syrian border on Tuesday killed six Jordanian guards and wounded 14 more, a Jordanian army source said.
The explosives-laden vehicle exploded a few hundred meters from a camp for Syrian refugees in a desolate eastern area of the country where the borders of Iraq, Syria and Jordan meet, a Jordanian army statement said. A Jordanian official source said the attack was launched from the Syrian side of the border.
The army said a number of other vehicles used in the attack were destroyed, adding that a number of army personnel had been wounded. The attack that took place at 5.30 a.m. (0230 GMT).
Khamenei Advises Breaking Sanctions
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the gift that keeps on giving. Now, it seems, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is detailing how Iranian engineers and military experts plan to use the loopholes in the deal to advance not only Iran’s nuclear program but further its military industry more broadly. According to Iran’s “Young Journalists Club,” a state-run institution affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Iran is experimenting with advanced carbon fibers and Khamenei is demanding no compromise on the issue:
“Don’t accept the other side’s expectations in regards to ‘carbon fibers utilized for making centrifuges’ and ‘measuring 300 kg nuclear materials’ at any costs,” Khamenei said. The article continued to cite an Iranian engineer who explained:
In making centrifuges, there is always an attempt to make the structures lighter and more resistant and different generations of centrifuges are categorized based on their rate of enrichment and resistance. Centrifuges…need materials with optimized structures for making situations better. Carbons fibers can have very high resistance against twists, friction, and bending caused by centrifugal forces. This is one of the most important components in producing critical equipment, especially nuclear equipment… Because of the limited number of the countries which have this technology, such carbon fibers have very high prices. Because of their different uses, they among materials banned to sell to our country
Iraqi cleric: Netanyahu puppet master of ISIS
A prominent Iraqi cleric has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being the driving force behind the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.
In a recent TV interview translated by MEMRI, Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al-Kubeisi said that ISIS was an asset in the hands of Netanyahu, who "holds the remote control" and "gives orders to all the rulers of America, Europe, and elsewhere."
He also said that the Jews are the masters of the land today and that none of the ISIS fighters "are even circumcised."
Al-Kubeisi further said that his fatwa ruling that people killed fighting ISIS were martyrs did not apply to the mostly-Shi'ite militia Popular Mobilization Units, because they "are killing Muslims just because they are Sunnis," and compared them to Jews.
Asked about ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, he said that he was "so stupid that when he was detained in Camp Bucca... they used him as a scarecrow and then chucked him into the garbage."

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