Friday, August 26, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Trump and the American Dream
On the eve of his 2008 electoral victory, Barack Obama pledged to “fundamentally transform,” America.
He kept his word.
And it is this fundamental transformation and the Republican leadership’s failure to stop it that transformed a loud-mouthed, brash billionaire into the Republican nominee. It was this transformation, and the Republican establishment’s failure to block it, that made it impossible for moderates like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush to win the Republican primaries in 2016.
Not only has the country been transformed, the Republican electorate has been transformed.
Today America is steeped in crisis. Foreign audiences concentrate on the crisis of American power overseas. Today, due to Obama’s decision to prefer his failed attempt at rapprochement with Iran over longtime US allies in the region, the Americans have lost their strategic superiority in the Middle East and are on the way to losing whatever residual influence they still maintain over regional affairs.
Turkey’s ground invasion of Syria on Wednesday is a clear sign of the disintegration of America’s regional position. While the invasion was ostensibly launched against ISIS, the plain fact is that its main target is the Kurds. That is, NATO member Turkey invaded Syria to take out the US’s primary ally in its campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
And the US is providing air cover to the Turkish invaders while abandoning the Kurds.
Every advance the US has made in its campaign against ISIS has been achieved on the backs of the Kurds. And yet, Vice President Joe Biden, who was visiting in Ankara the day of the Turkish invasion, openly threatened the Kurds. Biden said the US will abandon them if they refuse to conform with Turkey’s demand that they withdraw to the eastern side of the Euphrates River.
Biden’s move merely reinforced the growing impression that the US is only dangerous to its allies. The Iranians, for instance responded to the Turkish move by harassing the US Navy destroyer USS Nitze as it traversed the Strait of Hormuz. Rather than sink the Iranian vessels that threatened it, the Nitze responded by shooting off a couple of flares. The State Department then whined about the assault, calling Iran’s act of war “unprofessional.”
And the worst part about the US’s strategic crackup is that it is but one of the crises endangering America today.

Beersheba, where Abraham and Isaac dug wells? The UN says it’s Bi’ir as-Sab
In an official letter this week, the United Nations specifically referred to Israel’s southern city of Beersheba by its Arabic name — Ber asaabeaa.
The letter requested the release of a UN Development Program employee, whom Israel has accused of aiding the Hamas terrorist group, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said Thursday.
The name Beersheba comes from the Hebrew Be’er Sheva, meaning well of seven or well of oaths. Though the exact origin of the name is disputed, according to the Bible the city gained its moniker as a result of the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac digging seven wells in the area, after having sworn two separate oaths there with the Philistine King Abimelech.
Though Beersheba was part of the proposed Arab territory in the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, the city is located deep inside the sovereign borders of the state since 1948, which have been recognized by the international body.
Located in a dry riverbed, near a freshwater aquifer, the most ancient remains of Beersheba are from the 12th and 11th centuries BCE. The city was built up throughout the centuries, becoming a regional capital in the 8th century BCE.

Vic Rosenthal: Can Russia be Israel’s ally?
It’s hard to understand Vladimir Putin’s attitude toward Jews.
On the one hand, Putin-controlled media continues to pour out vulgar anti-Jewish memes, including a recent TV program in which Jews sunk the Titanic, blew up Chernobyl and took down the World Trade Center. And Russia has surprising connections and influence in European radical right-wing political parties like Hungary’s Jobbik, France’s National Front and more.
On the other hand, at the same time, Russia is hosting a conference of 500 European rabbis in order to discuss the problem of Jew hatred in Europe, and in January Putin even suggested that Jews fleeing Europe should go to Russia. Jews “should come here, to Russia. They left the Soviet Union; now they should come back,” he said.
On the one hand, there appear to be good relations between Putin and Israel’s PM Netanyahu. Arrangements in place to prevent accidental clashes between Israeli and Russian air forces operating in Syria seem to be working. It does not seem to be the case that Putin is preventing Israel from taking action against attempts to transfer game-changing weapons to Hezbollah.
On the other hand, Russia is supplying modern weapons to Iran, and it appears to be cooperating with the Iranian regime’s project to control the arc of land from its eastern border through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean, as well as opening a direct line through Anbar province in Iraq, via Jordan, to Israel’s midsection. This is not “good for the Jews.”
David Singer: Palestine – Russia Following France On Diplomatic Journey To Nowhere
Abbas made his rejection of this demand very clear on 30 November 2014 when speaking to leaders of the Arab world in Cairo:
“We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel.”
Abbas has now backed up this statement by threatening to sue Britain for issuing the Balfour Declaration in 1917 – which ultimately led to the League of Nations unanimously approving the Mandate for Palestine in 1922 calling for the “reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine”.
Abbas has been emboldened in taking this stance after the Obama administration wavered in America’s previous long-standing commitment to support this Israeli non-negotiable demand.
US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to downplay supporting Israel’s position when he told a Senate panel in March 2014:
“Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in Resolution 181 where there are more than 40—30 mentions of ‘Jewish state’. In addition, chairman Arafat in 1988 and again in 2004 confirmed that he agreed it would be a Jewish state. And there are any other number of mentions.”
Any Arafat declarations are meaningless – having been replaced with statements of outright rejection by Abbas. Arafat cannot rule from the grave.
Obama will soon be political history and his successor – either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – have both made clear that the Obama-Kerry position will be reversed.
Hillary Clinton declared on 4 November 2015
“I am deeply committed to Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state”
Donald Trump stated on 26 March 2016:
“Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel. But the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that.”
France’s attempt to convene an international conference later this year has been apparently undertaken without first attempting to get Abbas to moderate his stance by finally acknowledging and accepting the decisions of the international community expressed in the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
White House Echo Chamber Architect to Keynote Pro-Iran Lobby Conference
The senior White House official who bragged about creating a pro-Iran “echo chamber” to mislead Americans about last summer’s nuclear agreement is scheduled to keynote a conference sponsored by an organization that has long been accused of acting as a pro-Tehran lobbying front.
Ben Rhodes, a top national security adviser to President Obama, is slated to be the keynote speaker at an upcoming gathering hosted by the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC, which played a key role in bolstering the nuclear agreement and has long operated under suspicion that it acts as Tehran’s lobbying shop.
Rhodes has been engulfed in a growing scandal following the revelation that he enlisted a roster of journalists and experts to spin the public in favor of the deal.
Outside organizations such as NIAC and the Ploughshares Fund, which is co-sponsoring the upcoming conference, were cited as key parts of the White House’s effort to mislead the public about the deal.
The Sept. 25 event also is being co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic group that has been criticized for funding anti-Israel activities and organizations that support boycotts of the Jewish state. The fund bankrolls some of the leading backers of the global BDS movement against Israel, which has raised concerns among some that the administration is breaking its promises to oppose this movement.
The NIAC event is being viewed as another sign that the White House is seeking to boost these organizations in return for their efforts to push the nuclear deal and support the pro-Iran “echo chamber.”
Roseanne says Clinton presidency will be ‘death of Israel’
American Jewish actress Roseanne Barr lashed out Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a series of tweets this week, claiming her presidency would mean the “death of Israel.”
“Hillary will be the absolute death of Israel-she will sell #nukes to Hamas next if price is right [sic],” Barr tweeted Wednesday. “She listens to Sid Paul and Max Blumenthal,” she wrote, a reference to former Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal, and his two sons Max, an avowed anti-Zionist, and Paul.
Barr continued tweeting comments in the same vein for the rest of the week.
On Friday, she wrote “hillary clinton is surrounded by jew haters who make fun of the holocaust & jewish suffering yet her mkultra supporters call Trump a bigot! [sic]”
Clinton slams Trump for bringing anti-Semitic hate groups into mainstream
In her most blistering attack of Republican nominee Donald Trump yet, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton accused the real estate mogul of popularizing prejudice in a manner unprecedented in modern American history.
Specifically addressing his support from the “alt-right” movement, the Democratic nominee excoriated Trump’s unwillingness to reject that brand of hate-driven politics, and casted that as a dangerous omen of what could come if he were sent to the White House.
“When Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them,” she told a crowd in Reno, Nevada on Thursday.
“From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties,” she added.
“Now, some people will say that his bluster and bigotry is just over-heated campaign rhetoric – an outrageous person saying outrageous things for attention. But look at the policies Trump has proposed. They would put prejudice into practice.”
Outside Saban fundraiser, BLM protests for Palestinians
Black Lives Matter reportedly was among several groups protesting on behalf of Palestinian rights outside a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hosted by the Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl.
Monday's event in Southern California at the Beverly Park home of the entertainment mogul brought in $5 million, the Jewish Insider reported, citing CNN. Some 80 people attended the fundraiser, paying $100,000 per couple, according to Variety.
Saban has been one of Clinton's principal backers for several years. The Sabans have already contributed nearly $10 million to super PACs supporting Clinton’s candidacy, according to the Jewish Insider.
Some 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators protested outside the fence of Saban's gated community against what they called his opposition to Palestinian human rights, the left-wing activist news website Alternet reported, which noted Black Lives Matter as among the protesting groups. The others included Al-Awda: The Palestinian Right to Return and Friends of Sabeel.
How Can Black Lives Matter Support Antisemitism Yet Claim to Promote Justice?
In its new platform, Black Lives Matter (BLM) has, despite the total lack of relevance to its own agenda or interests, thrown whatever heft it has behind the antisemitic movement to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Israel. In doing so, it is inarguably contributing to the campaign to “other” the world’s only Jewish state and, with it, the Jews themselves.
Using the justification that US military aid to Israel “diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs,” the platform launches into a ridiculous, one-sided assault on Israel. It accuses Israel of committing “genocide” against the Palestinians (a word rendered utterly meaningless when used to describe a situation in the which the alleged target population increases each year). It labels Israel “an apartheid state,” accuses Israel of arresting four-year-olds “without due process,” and of bulldozing Palestinian homes “to make way for illegal Israeli settlements.” It supports the aims and activities of the BDS movement. It has all the sobriety and nuance one might expect from a play written and performed by the pre-K kids at Hamas summer camp.
These are not, as the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt inexplicably phrased it, things about which “we strongly disagree.” We can “strongly disagree” about appropriate marginal tax rates. But we don’t merely “disagree” with rabidly anti-Jewish lies told in furtherance of a movement that exists to single out Jews for discrimination and hatred. We condemn them and reject those who propagate them. “Disagreement” suggests there is a point at which we could reach agreement. How does one meet halfway on “Israel is committing genocide?”
No, these are disqualifying falsehoods that should send any sympathizer of good conscience fleeing for the exits. Even if you agree with some or all other aims of BLM, isn’t lying about and supporting the isolation and demonization of another group of people precisely the opposite of what a movement for equality and justice should be about?
Black Lives Matter, The Oxford Union Labour Club, UNESCO. Where did we go wrong?
Those who remember UN resolution 3379 (1975) which incorrectly stated that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”, will no doubt recall the political battles that Jews in the diaspora had to endure, especially on campus and within left wing circles. Yet, as a community, we seemed to be organised in fighting those who tried to delegitimise Zionism. We were eventually rewarded in 1991 when the UN voted by 111 votes to 25, with 13 abstentions, to repeal the resolution and right a terrible wrong. It will probably come as no surprise that the majority of the 25 who voted against were, as the New York Times reported, “mostly Islamic and hard-line Communists [States]”.
Not only was this a great victory, but it signalled a period where Israel’s legitimacy was no longer being questioned in mainstream circles. Fast forward 25 years or so, and it seems we have completed a 1800 turn. We see blatant anti-Semitism in the form of anti-Zionism in UNWRA, in UNESCO, in the UN Human Rights Council, in the British Labour party and associated groups such as the Oxford Union Labour Club, and more recently in NGOs such as World Vision. And we also observe it in groups such as Black Lives Matter, who instead of concentrating on the struggle for equality for the Black community, have decided to not only side with the Palestinian struggle, but at the same time deny Jewish self-determination in our historical homeland.
So what has happened over the last 25 years to create this U-turn towards Zionism and with it an increase in global anti-Semitism? Some could argue it is the lack of a final peace agreement with the Palestinians, whilst others may point to poor Israeli communications and advocacy. Some may put it down to pure and simple anti-Semitism. Whatever the reason, what does seem apparent is that the Palestinians have managed to link their ‘struggle’ to almost every other struggle in the world, thereby reinforcing the image they have created of being continually oppressed. They have successful managed to convince many in the world, especially those on the left and in political institutions such as the EU and the UN, that they are the modern day ‘David’ and Israel is ‘Goliath’. That they are the indigenous people and the Jews are the colonialist settlers who have stolen their land. They have even had success in some circles in challenging Ashkenazi Jews’ lineage to Judaism itself!
UK Labour parley at risk as Israel-linked security firm it spurned rejects plea for help
Britain’s main opposition Labour party may have to cancel its annual flagship conference next month because it cannot find a company to provide security. G4S, the firm which has secured the gathering for 20 years, was dropped by Labour under its Israel-criticizing leader Jeremy Corbyn two months ago because of its links to Israel. This week, Labour went back to G4S with a plea for help, British news outlets reported Thursday, but was rebuffed.
With no security firm to handle the conference, the UK Home Office and police could shut down the conference altogether, a dramatic move that would strike a significant blow to the party, as the annual conference is a centerpiece of the political calendar and is used to garner support for new policies and initiatives. Corbyn is in the midst of a leadership challenge, and the result is set to be announced on September 24, the day before the conference.
Labour dropped the British-Danish G4S multinational security firm over its relationship with Israel following a controversial vote last year by members of its National Executive Committee. It then sought to find a replacement for the September 25 Liverpool event, in vain.
Unable to find an alternative security firm, the left-wing party went back to G4S earlier this week, only to be turned down.
Labour's security shambles takes a turn for the worse
It’s exactly one month until Labour conference and the party’s security shambles just got a whole lot worse. After the NEC voted to boycott G4S, the only firm willing to do the job were Showsec, a non-unionised security firm. This option was deemed unsatisfactory and so the party have had to go ‘cap in hand’ to G4S. Alas, the Telegraph reports that the firm rejected Labour’s offer over concerns about ‘staff safety’.
So, will the conference be cancelled? There is another option. The party could ask the police for extra security. However, this would cost them as where security workers for Showsec cost around £9 per hour, a PC comes to £59.65 an hour.
By way of assistance, Mr S has come up with a rough estimate of what the party should start put to aside for this. G4S claim that in previous years they have used a workforce of 100 to provide security for conference. Presuming 100 policeman were hired to work ten hours a day each over four days, this would cost the party £238,600.
Will Labour finally put its money where its mouth is? If so, it seems the millions raised from new member forking out £25 is about to come in very handy.
How Israel Became a Role Model in Fighting Terrorism
In the wake of last month's tragedy in Nice, just like after the attacks in Paris on November 13th, the same solution was put forward for France: “the Israeli model,” where the terrorist threat is part of daily life.
In Tel Aviv, military experts invited on television sets appeared to be modest, avoiding any kind of reference to an “Israeli anti-terrorist model.” The Jewish state, whose people have been through seven wars and two intifadas since its creation, has become a textbook case for how to handle a permanent state of insecurity. This expertise could be a source of inspiration for European decision-makers.
In the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, Cannes mayor David Lisnard called upon former Israeli Brigadier-General Nitzan Nuriel to help local authorities and emergency intervention teams prepare for a possible attack during the world-famous Cannes film festival. Last April Nuriel, who also headed Israel's anti-terrorism bureau from 2007 to 2012, conducted a terror simulation at the festival’s convention center to test the city’s reinforced security measures. He had previously carried out an audit based on lessons learned from the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2004 Madrid bombings, the two disasters professionals remember most.
One of his recommendations was to “secure the seafront” and enhance controls on all land and sea access points to the city of Cannes. Asked about the Nice attack, he told Les Échos: “I have the feeling France wasn’t really prepared for such a disaster.”
German MP: Hamas’ Theft of Millions From Gaza Charity “Massively Damages” Trust in Aid Work
A leading parliamentarian from Germany’s opposition party said that Hamas’ theft of millions of dollars from a Christian charity operating in the Gaza Strip has eroded the trust necessary for foreign donors to finance aid projects in the Palestinian territory, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The National Interest on Tuesday.
“World Vision massively damages the trust necessary for aid work for the people in Gaza,” Volker Beck, a Green Party MP, told Weinthal. “Hamas is a terrorist organization, which should not be financed with taxpayer funds.” Germany, which donated $1.1 million to World Vision in 2010, joined Australia in announcing that it would withhold further contributions from the NGO pending an investigation into the charges.
The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, announced earlier this month that it had arrested Mohammad el-Halabi, the director of World Vision’s Gaza branch, who admitted to funneling tens of millions from the charity’s coffers to Hamas for the purpose of building tunnels and purchasing weapons.
The cessation of aid to World Vision comes on the heels of other German efforts to curb terrorist financing by nonprofits. Berlin designated the German branch of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, an Istanbul-based Islamic organization, as a terrorist entity in 2010 for extending financial support to terrorist organizations, Weinthal noted. The Turkish IHH group was involved in efforts to break Israel’s lawful naval blockade of Gaza in 2010.
Israel denies secrecy on Gaza aid workers suspected of helping Hamas
Israel on Friday rejected claims that it did not update Western donor states on the arrests of an aid worker in Gaza who was allegedly involved in the transfer of millions of dollars to the Hamas terror group and of a UN engineer facing similar allegations.
According to Haaretz newspaper, Israel received complaints from “key allies” regarding the detention of senior World Vision employee Mohammed el-Halabi, who has been charged for funneling tens of millions of dollars of the charity’s funds to Hamas for terror purposes. World Vision, an international Christian aid group with headquarters in Washington State and the United Kingdom, works in nearly 100 countries. With a budget of approximately $2.6 billion and nearly 50,000 employees, it is one of the largest US-based relief organizations and has operated in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza since the 1970s.
But the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem denied that it failed to update donor nations on the suspicions against el-Halabi, or those against Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, an engineer in the UN’s Development Program, who was arrested by the Shin Bet security service in July for allegedly funneling resources to the terrorist group.
“The claim that Israel had not updated the donor countries to World Vision and UNDP regarding the background of the arrest of the suspects is incorrect,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.
“Since the indictments against UNDP and World Vision personnel on their involvement in Hamas terror activities, relevant information has been conveyed, through various channels, to the countries involved in the humanitarian activity,” it added. “The Foreign Ministry will continue coordinating the transfer of information.”
ISIS Suspect Worked for ICNA
The FBI has arrested a former employee of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Erick Jamal Hendricks, for conspiring to set up a North Carolina cell for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a U.S.-designated terrorist group. ICNA—despite its radical roots as a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood—is frequently treated as a credible source by some in the news media when reporting on Muslims in the United States.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Hendricks was arrested on Aug. 4, 2016 and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization. Hendricks, an Arkansas-born convert to Islam, is alleged by federal prosecutors to have recruited ISIS sympathizers online for potential terrorist attacks in the U.S.
Hendricks has claimed that he is innocent and what is more, an opponent of radical Islam who was working as a paid informant for the FBI.
Although the Observer reported that Hendricks “had ties to a mosque in Virginia [Dar Al-Hijrah in Falls Church] that has been linked to an Islamic organization whose members have included terrorists,” the paper failed to note that Hendricks also has ties to the ICNA.
The Clarion Project, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that monitors Islamic extremism, pointed out that Hendricks “was the youth coordinator for a mosque that belongs to the ‘moderate’ Islamic Circle of North America.”
Decoupling Diplomacy from ‘Peace’
In a world where entire countries are collapsing, it’s not surprising that the collapse of a decades-old diplomatic axiom has been largely ignored. This axiom holds that Israel’s international relations are dependent on the fate of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Relations will improve if the government makes progress toward peace and worsen if the peace process stalemates. Yet Israel today, under a government widely (though wrongly) deemed its “most right-wing ever” and equally widely (though equally wrongly) blamed for the nonexistent peace process, has been expanding and deepening its diplomatic relationships at a dizzying pace, as the past week once again shows.
On Monday, on the way home from a visit to Guinea–a Muslim-majority country with which Israel resumed relations this summer after a 49-year hiatus–Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold stopped off in another African country with which Israel still has no formal ties. According to Haaretz, no Israeli diplomat has ever before been invited to this country. That same day, Kazakhstan’s defense minister came to Israel to meet with his Israeli counterpart prior to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned visit to this Muslim-majority country later this year. According to the Jerusalem Post, that will make Netanyahu the first sitting Israeli premier ever to visit Central Asia. And while Nigerian opposition has apparently stalled a bid by several African countries to invite Netanyahu to this year’s summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the president of Togo has announced that he will host a meeting between Netanyahu and ECOWAS leaders next spring, in yet another first. Nor are such developments unusual these days; just last month, I wrote a post listing several other such firsts.
Granted, the main impetus for this change has nothing to with Israel; rather, it’s the global upsurge in Islamist terror, which has spurred more and more countries to seek to benefit from Israel’s unhappily vast experience in combating such terror. Nevertheless, it’s no accident that these blossoming diplomatic ties are happening specifically under a “right-wing” government.
UN, EU help Palestinians build ICC suit against Israel
The United Nations and the European Union have actively helped the Palestinian Authority build its global advocacy campaign against the Jewish state; including it’s filing of "war crimes” complaints” about Israel before the International Criminal Court.
Over the last year the UN and the EU were participants in the creation of a $2.1 million empowerment plan for Palestinian women.
However, according to the details of the plan, which was unveiled Wednesday in Ramallah, $1.3 million of that sum would be spent on internationalized activities to fight Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank.
The plan was designed with the help of a 481,773 Euro grant from the EU so that Palestinians could comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Report: Egypt blocked UN endorsement of Quartet report
The American and European effort to have the U.N. adopt the recent Quartet report on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was derailed by Egypt, the Walla news website reported Friday.
Quoting Western diplomats, the report said the EU and the United States wanted the council to endorse the findings and recommendations of the July 1 report, which called on both sides to take measures to advance the two-state solution, but Egypt, which is a non-permanent member of the council, successfully stopped that effort.
Negotiations on a draft presidential statement -- a non-binding document issued by the president of the council -- began shortly after the report was presented to the U.N., and according to the diplomats, the EU and the U.S. were also exploring the possibility of drafting a full-fledged resolution calling on the two sides to embrace the report.
The report was critical of both Israel and the Palestinians, the diplomats said Egypt was under pressure by the Palestinian authority to prevent any official statement on the report because of its rebuke of Palestinian incitement and terrorism.
Hamas, natural gas and other good reasons Israel and Turkey should stick together
After initially seeming to benefit from the Arab Spring, Turkey soon began sustaining loss after loss. Former Turkish allies Assad and ex-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lost control of their respective countries. At least 2.7 million refugees are estimated to have poured into Turkey since the start of the Syrian civil war. And waves of Islamic State members and Kurdish terrorists have launched devastating attacks on Turkish soil.
Perhaps Turkey’s biggest worry is the growing power of Kurdish militias in Syria, which appears to have helped motivate Erdogan on Wednesday to send tanks, warplanes and special forces across the border.
A potential shared concern for Israel and Turkey is Iran’s growing regional clout, particularly in Syria, though Israel is focused on the south and Turkey the north.
“Israel doesn’t want Iran to have as much influence in Syria as it did before the civil war. Turkey doesn’t want Iran to dominate Syria and Iraq. This looks like basis for cooperation,” said Lindenstrauss.
Short of military collaboration — a hallmark of the Israel-Turkey relationship prior to the last decade — the two countries’ restored diplomatic relations should at least help them avoid miscalculations, which both sides have learned can quickly turn deadly and contentious in the Middle East.
Palestinian who ran at troops shot dead near West Bank settlement
A Palestinian man was shot dead by IDF troops Friday morning when he ran toward a guard post near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah.
Initial reports said that the man opened fire on the post and Israeli troops returned fire, but the IDF later said it appeared that the suspect was not armed when he approached the guard post near the adjacent Palestinian village of Silwad. He did not heed the soldiers’ repeated orders to halt and was shot, Army Radio reported.
Channel 2 reported on Friday evening that the Palestinian was being described by security forces as a terrorist. It noted that Israel ordered a security alert earlier in the week amid reports that a Palestinian suspect had disappeared from his home having said he intended to carry out a terror attack, and that the security alert was cancelled on Friday morning.
A senior Palestinian official later named the man as Iyad Hamad, 38, and said he suffered from mental illness and was unarmed, Channel 2 said.
Palestinian Libels: Dumb and Dumber
For years, the Palestinians, including Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority and Fatah party, have incited the Palestinian public to violence and murder by spreading libels against Israel. These libels range from old chestnuts like Israeli Jews planning to destroy Muslim holy sites, echoing the 1920's libels by Grand Mufti Haj Amin al Husseini that resulted in the gruesome massacres of Jews in Hebron and Safed, to such absurdities as Israel supplying Palestinian youth with drugs or aphrodisiac chewing gum to corrupt them.
And the libels have become increasingly absurd. Palestinian Media Watch describes the latest anti-Israel accusations by Fatah and PLO officials and they are astonishing in their stupidity. For example, in the official PA daily newspaper, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki accused Israeli dentists of injecting Palestinian terrorist Na'im Al-Shawamreh with muscular dystrophy when he was incarcerated in an Israeli prison.
Of course, anyone with a smattering of medical knowledge knows that muscular dystrophy arises from mutations in the genes that code for the protein necessary to build and repair muscles. In other words, it is an inherited disorder, not an acquired one, even though some forms of the disease manifest themselves only in adulthood. Shawamreh, whose disease manifested itself during his incarceration, died three years after his release from prison. But Zaki and his colleagues who resort to such obviously dumb libels care little about facts when it comes to defaming Israel.
Even dumber is the theory expressed on PA State TV by PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Ahmed Majdalani that Israel is distributing guns to Palestinians so that they can fight amongst themselves.
NGO Slams Hamas’ Obfuscation Of Data On Suicides
A 24-year-old Palestinian man is fighting for his life at a Khan Younis hospital, south of Gaza City, after he tried to kill himself by drinking pesticides and other chemicals.
There has been a 35-40 percent increase in suicide attempts in 2016 compared to 2013-2015, the Europe-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has found.
The Monitor issued a statement on Monday saying that the Hamas government’s Health Ministry refuses to release data about suicide, medical negligence, and homicide cases while harassing journalists and human rights workers who look into the matter.
The organization said that this is a “violation of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the freedom to seek information and circulate it.”
Obama’ s Red Line to Aleppo
Diplomacy was supposed to have wiped away the shame. When President Obama backed down after he warned the Syrian government the use of chemical weapons against would cross a “red line,” the excuse was that a diplomatic process brokered with the Assad regime’s Russian patrons would get rid of the problem. Secretary of State John Kerry boasted that the Russians had persuaded Bashar Assad to hand over the stores of these deadly weapons. The administration’s objectives had, he said, been accomplished without the need to resort to force. But it turns out Kerry’s assurances were false.
A new United Nations report published yesterday said that the Syrians have again used chemical weapons against their own people twice since the Russians were supposed to have solved President Obama’s embarrassing problem. As part of the deal, Assad had signed a treaty banning the use of chemical weapons and had supposedly surrendered his stockpile after the use of his forces used sarin in an attack on a Damascus suburb that killed hundreds. Skeptics wondered whether the Russians had really collected all of the chemicals but the administration was too invested in a policy that not only gave the president a pass for his humiliating red line retreat but also seemed to justify his decision to stay out of the Syrian conflict to look too closely at what had actually happened. But the critics were right.
Whatever it was that the Syrians handed over to the Russians to be destroyed, they have clearly kept some of their chemical weapons and have shown a willingness to use them against Syrian citizens. It’s just as clear that Syria’s Russian allies are probably aware of this but are not only unprepared to pressure Damascus on the issue but also will defend Assad against any attempts by the West to use the United Nations Security Council to hold him accountable.
Turkey Just Gassed US-Backed Kurdish Forces, YPG Says
Elements belonging to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) say Turkish forces have shelled their positions with chemical weapons north of the Syrian city of Manbij.
The Rojava Defense Units released photos of the aftermath of the alleged attacks Thursday, though claims that chemical weapons were used have yet to be corroborated. Turkish state media agency Anadolu confirmed Turkish forces fired upon the YPG after allegedly obtaining intelligence that Kurdish forces were advancing on the nearby city of Jarablus. Turkey and its Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies, backed by U.S. air support, took Jarablus from Islamic State forces Wednesday in Operation Euphrates Shield.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that if YPG forces did not move back east of the nearby Euphrates river, they would take “necessary measures.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reassured Turkey Thursday that YPG forces would withdraw so Turkish forces could take Jarablus, but reports show at least some of the Kurdish forces failed to do so.
Erdogan's mighty hypocrisy
The terrorist attack and retaliation took place two days after the Turkish parliament ratified the rapprochement agreement with Israel reached in June. Six years ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Hamas loyalist, sparked the diplomatic schism that ostensibly is being overturned now.
Yet, even as Jerusalem and Ankara began to prepare for the exchange of ambassadors, Erdogan's Foreign Ministry ripped into Israel, "strongly condemning" its "disproportionate attacks, unacceptable whatever prompted them."
"The normalization of our country's relations with Israel does not mean we will stay silent in the face of such attacks against the Palestinian people," its statement read.
Israel's Foreign Ministry shot back. "The normalization of our relations with Turkey does not mean that we will remain silent in the face of its baseless condemnations," it stated. "Israel will continue to defend its civilians from all rocket fire on our territory, in accordance with international law and our conscience. Turkey should think twice before criticizing the military actions of others."
This was an allusion, among other things, to Erdogan's vicious crackdown on anyone in the country suspected of taking part in -- or even privately supporting -- the attempted coup on July 15 against his reign of terror.
As if to prove that he never "thinks twice" before engaging in hypocrisy and brutality, Erdogan launched a full-fledged military operation in the town of Jarablus, along the Turkey-Syria border, on Wednesday, three days after his government lashed out at Israel for responding to the rocket attack from Gaza.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Jerusalem Divided Over Goy Pride Parade (satire)
An application by a group of non-Jews to march through the capital city of the Jewish State in a demonstration of political and cultural defiance has pitted various factions against one another over whether such an even should be permitted to take place in the holy city.
The first annual Goy Pride Parade is scheduled to take place next Friday, and organizers say they have already secured the necessary permits from the police and relevant municipal agencies. The event’s anticipated participation is estimated at up to 800 marchers, with hundreds lining the route. However, conservative religious elements on the city council and in ultra-orthodox neighborhoods have offered resistance that threatens the city’s governing coalition and has given rise to heated rhetoric that some fear will spill over into actual violence.
“This is the Jewish capital, and if the goyim want to express pride in their own cities, they are welcome to do so,” proclaimed Rabbi Mendele Fakhnyukt, who chairs the Yeridas Hadoirois faction on the city council. “But not here. The holiness of Yerushalayim will not be defiled by these irresponsible people trying to assert some sort of ‘pride’ over being goyim. It’s an outrage and an abomination.”
Fakhnyukt’s constituents in the Romema neighborhood plastered the area with posters calling the scheduled parade a horrific event, and demanded that the residents descend on the parade route in the tens of thousands and obstruct it. “Tell the goyim in no uncertain terms that this is no place for their tumoh,” read the posters, using the Hebrew word for spiritual defilement.

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