Saturday, August 27, 2016

From Ian:

Arab Support for Palestinians Frays
It’s relatively easy for anti-Israel activists to persuade ignorant young Westerners that Israel is an “apartheid state” when the main opposition to this canard comes from Jews, who can be smeared as “interested parties.” It’s much harder when a Muslim Bedouin comes up afterward and says, “My name is Mohammad, and I served in the Israel Air Force, and I’m preparing Bedouin guides to serve. I’m here to protect Israel from the BDS lies. You must know that Israeli Arabs have the freedom to live, work, worship and travel.”
Like Wannous, Ka’abiya is still very much in the minority, but again, neither is he unique. His best-known colleagues include diplomat George Deek, who argues that Israeli Arabs can and should “live as a contributing minority” in Israel just like “the Jews in Europe, who kept their religion and identity for centuries but still managed to influence,” and Father Gabriel Naddaf, who has been successfully encouraging his fellow Christian Arabs to serve in the Israeli army and has defended Israel at the UN.
In arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian status quo is unsustainable, both the Israeli left and its American Jewish counterpart rely heavily on fears that the ongoing conflict is eroding Western support for Israel, and that therefore, time is on the Palestinians’ side. But given the West’s growing and unhappy acquaintance with radical Islam, Israel’s improving status in other parts of the world (as detailed in my previous post), and the nascent change in Arab attitudes toward the Palestinian issue, it’s looking far more likely that time is on Israel’s side.
In the long run, these developments could also help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by convincing Palestinians that Israel isn’t likely to disappear, so negotiating a reasonable peace deal is their best option. But whether or not that ever happens, there’s no reason for Israel to feel pressured to make hasty concessions for fear of diplomatic isolation. As recent developments make clear, Israel can afford to wait.
More on Palestine is Part of Syria
Continuing to research the link between Palestinianism and its Syrian roots on the question of whether the term "Palestine" was an actual one or did the Arabs who resided in the territory actually see themselves of Syrians, or South-Syrians.
Nuri As-Sa'id's Fertile Crescent Project 1943
The following proposals of mine are based on the close and firm ties between
Iraq and all the Arabs inhabiting historical Syria. The States of the Arabian Peninsula
The Arab States and the Arab League have an economic system which differs from our own, though they are very close to us in respect of language, customs and religion. On the other hand, Egypt has a bigger population than that of backward (i) States. It also has its (own) problems in the Sudan and elsewhere. Because of this, I have assumed that these States are not inclined to join an Arab federation (2) or an Arab League from the start (3). But if the union (ittihad) of Iraq and Syria does materialize, it may then be very likely that these States mentioned (4) may in the course of time show their desire to join this union. But I expect that this union - even if confined to Iraq and Syria - will at the very beginning lead to the facilitation of joint consultation among all the Arab States and to all these States acting in concert, whether they are inside the union or outside it...
...In my view, the only equitable solution indeed, the only hope of securing permanent peace, reassurance and progress in these Arab areas, is for the United Nat- ions to declare now the following:
(1) That Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Trans Jordan be reunited into one State.
Douglas Murray: From Cannes to Bavaria, politicians fiddle with burkini bans while Europe boils
To diminish that pool, European governments should avoid unnecessary policies (such as policing swimwear) that exacerbate unnecessary grievances and focus instead on those necessary policies – slowing Muslim immigration, carrying out proper vetting of those who arrive and expelling anyone who preaches hatred – whether they cause grievances or not.
With this approach currently seen as politically impossible, it is increasingly clear that the governments of Europe are preparing for the worst. In Germany in recent days, the government has been advising citizens to stockpile essentials, including water. A leaked government document also raises the issue of conscription in Germany.
For a country that last year took in perhaps as many as 1.5 million additional Muslims, these are signs of panic. Clearly the Germans are expecting that at some point one of the mass-casualty, possibly chemical or biological attacks that Islamist groups have been trying to carry out for years will be successful.
Aside from the fact there is little that the public in Germany, or Britain, could do in such a situation, such warnings are additionally unwise because they do much of the terrorists’ job for them. The German government and Chancellor Merkel, in particular, have a huge problem on their hands.
On the one hand, they cannot admit that their indiscriminate open borders policy – even before 2015 – to have been a mistake. On the other, they rightly fear the public backlash that is already nascent but which would explode should any mass casualty attack occur.
And so it is unsurprising that Germany has been having its own burkini debate in recent weeks, with politicians discussing the wisdom of a ban. It is not only the perfect summer story, but also the perfect modern European story. Not one life will be saved by banning the burkini. But the politicians who have presented Europe with this huge societal change now find they have no answers in the face of growing public anger at the circumstances they have brought about.
When a problem has no solutions, the only thing left to do is to change the topic. And so, in the wake of daily attacks, our continent is spending the summer talking beach-wear. Some people may think this is better than nothing. But it isn’t. It is fiddling while Europe boils.

Daphne Anson: "As a Growth Industry Antisemitism Has Become Immense ... Jeremy Corbyn is ... a Primitive Troglodyte"
"We are living in a crazy time ... in a world of total and absolute chaos ... As a growth industry antisemitism has become immense ... Europe is under siege ... Jeremy Corbyn is promoting the worst form of leftist antisemitism and he himself is a primitive troglodyte ... "
That's just part of Isi Leibler's compelling introduction to Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld discussing "the British Disease".
Anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party against the Background of Brexit
In recent months, a large number of extreme anti-Semitic expressions by elected representatives of the British Labour Party have come to light. The publicity has forced Labour, which is under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, to investigate anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism in the party. The anti-Semitism issue is overshadowed by the many consequences of Brexit, which include a major crisis in Labour.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is the former Chairman of the Board of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. His many books deal with European-Israeli and European-Jewish issues. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism, and the International Leadership Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

CIA declassified intel files reveal briefings on Israel
The day before the Yom Kippur War broke out on October 6, 1973, US intelligence assessments reported large-scale military exercises in Egypt, but that “they do not appear to be preparations for an offensive against Israel.”
The assessment was found in one of about 2,500 documents released by the CIA on Wednesday, containing the US government’s intelligence analysis on key national security issues during the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, from January 1969 to January 1977. The release took place at an event at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, California.
Another document from the day the war began said that neither side seemed inclined to start hostilities. According to media reports that had seen the documents, officials were concerned that Syria could mobilize its defenses, alarming the Israelis, which would “increase the risk of military clashes, which neither side originally intended.”
A different issue involving Israel that was dealt with in the released documents was the US assessment of Israeli retaliation for the murder of 11 athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
A brief on September 6, 1972, the day after, said that Israel “seems certain to avenge” the attack.
IDF opens probe into death of Palestinian said to have charged at troops
The IDF’s Military Police Investigative Unit opened an official investigation into the shooting death Friday of a Palestinian man after he allegedly charged at troops in a guard post near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah.
Preliminary reports say the suspect most likely did not pose a threat to the soldiers, according to Haaretz and Channel 10.
Palestinian medical officials say Silwad resident Iyad Hamad, 38, a father of three, was shot in the back. Hamad is said to have suffered from mental illness and was receiving psychiatric treatment, Israeli media reported.
According to the IDF, troops stationed outside Silwad identified a suspect running toward them and opened fire, killing him. Initial reports Friday said the man had 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.
2 Palestinians arrested with knives at West Bank checkpoints
Israeli security forces arrested two young Palestinians on Saturday at checkpoints in separate locations in the West Bank, both carrying knives.
At the Qalandiya checkpoint just north of Jerusalem, a young Palestinian woman was arrested Saturday afternoon after she was found to be carrying a knife in her bag.
The blade was discovered during a security inspection as the woman, said to be in her 20s, tried to pass through the checkpoint on foot.
At around the same time, Border Police officers stopped an 18-year-old youth at a checkpoint close to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, south of Jerusalem.
'IDF preparing for scenario in which hundreds of terrorists from Sinai attack'
This week Col. Yehuda HaCohen will be wrapping up his service as commander of the Sagi Brigade.
HaCohen worked for the last two years to prepare the brigade for scenarios that the IDF had never even thought of before.
The Sagi Brigade sits on a 170 kilometer stretch watching over the Israeli-Sinai border. Under the Red Division, positioned in the Southern command, the brigade is responsible for watching over the western Negev.
The Division, named after Mount Sagi, was established in 2007 after Israel saw an increase in infiltration and smuggling from the Sinai.
For the past two years the division has seen a new threat coming from the Sinai, the global terrorist organization Islamic State, which has turned the area into a complex security challenge.
In the days before he says his goodbyes to the brigade and begins his studies at the National Security College, HaCohen met with The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Ma'ariv at an observation post on the Egyptian border.
In the heart of the seemingly calm and quiet desert sits the world’s most brutal terror organization. No one has any doubts, an attack could occur at any moment.
IDF soldiers fire warning shots at suspects approaching Israel-Syria border
Israeli soldiers fired warning shots at an undisclosed number of suspects approaching the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights on Saturday.
There were no reports of injuries.
The suspects left the area after the shots were fired, the military said, adding mildly that such incidents happen on occasion.
Incidents on the border throughout the Syrian civil war have sometimes led to retaliatory attacks by Israel.
Earlier this month, a mortar round hit a minefield on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights causing no damage or injuries. Israel responded with a retaliatory strike, targeting a Syrian army launcher on the Syrian side of the Golan.
USA Today Report Shines Light on Terrorist Motivations, Israeli Responses
In only 487-words, a USA Today report (“Attack lull ends as Israeli is stabbed by Palestinian,” Aug. 12, 2016) on a Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem provided readers with information frequently omitted by major U.S. news media outlets. Although the article initially erred by claiming that an Aug. 11, 2016 terror attack was “the first such attack after a five-week lull,” it nonetheless offered some valuable reporting and insights.
As CAMERA has noted (“After CAMERA Contacts about Error, USA Today Corrects on Palestinian Terror ‘Lull,’” Aug. 26, 2016), the August 11 assault was, in fact, not “the first such attack” since July 1, 2016. Other incidents were detailed by, among others, Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Following contact from CAMERA, Today editors commendably issued a correction.
The rest of the article, however, was informative and offered details seldom found elsewhere.
Rubin highlighted Israel’s strategy in confronting the so-called “stabbing intifada” in which Palestinian Arabs have, since September 2015, attacked Israelis with rocks, knives, vehicles, and guns, among other weapons. Rubin pointed out that “Israel has tamped down attacks by retaliating against the assailants’ families rather than cracking down on all Palestinians and provoking a widespread push for new violence against Israelis, according to security analysts.”
By contrast, some news media have inaccurately depicted Israeli counterterror responses as both indiscriminate and disproportionate (see, for example “Ha’aretz Validates Bernie with Bad Information,” CAMERA, April 18, 2016).
Report: Israel Breaks Own Record; More Goods, Trucks Entering Gaza Than Ever Before
A record was broken this year, with more deliveries entering Gaza from Israel than ever before, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Thursday.
According to the report, in the first half of 2016, a whopping 88,800 trucks of goods were transferred to the Hamas-controlled enclave through the Kerem Shalom border crossing in southern Gaza. This phenomenon, said Walla, is connected partially to the thawing of relations between Israel and Turkey.
Though the reconciliation agreement reached by the two neighboring countries in June – and ratified by the Turkish parliament last week – has not resolved tensions over what Turkey considers to be an unjust Israeli naval blockade, Israel has nevertheless been encouraging Turkish aid to Gaza. This, said Walla, is due to waning donations from other countries for the rehabilitation of the Strip, following the damage that was done during Operation Protective Edge two years ago. Turkey, it added, recently transferred funds to Gaza for 11 different projects, among them the erection of mosques, orphanages and community centers.
Fatah said to beg Abbas: Cancel local elections, Hamas will win West Bank
Officials in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party have reportedly called on him to cancel upcoming municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, fearing that rival jihadist group Hamas will secure an overwhelming victory.
Fatah and Hamas are locked in a high-stakes struggle ahead of the October 8 vote. Abbas’s Fatah movement currently holds power in the West Bank, where he heads the Palestinian Authority, while Hamas has ruled Gaza since it ousted Fatah in a bloody 2007 coup. A year earlier, in elections for the Palestinian parliament, Hamas won 74 of 132 seats, and Fatah just 45.
Channel 2 television reported Friday that leading Fatah officials have told Abbas that they face defeat to Hamas in the West Bank and that this will mean “the destruction” of Fatah.
The report also said that members of the PA security forces are trying to intimidate some Hamas candidates in the West Bank into ending their election bids. Candidate lists are due to close in the coming days.
Malware discovered at petrochemical plants, Iran claims
Iran said it discovered and removed malicious software from two petrochemical complexes, denying that the malware had played a role in the recent fires at the plants.
The head of Iran’s civilian defense told state agency IRNA that in a “periodical inspection of petrochemical units, a type of industrial malware was detected and the necessary defensive measures were taken.”
Gholamreza Jalali said the malware was not active and did play a role in the blazes.
“The discovery of this industrial virus is not related to recent fires,” he said, according to Reuters.
Iran’s oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said last week that the fires were a result of cut-backs in health and safety inspections in the privatized petrochemical companies.
Sasson Heskel's 'House of Dreams' still stands
There has recently been a flurry of reports (including on Point of No Return) that Sassoon Heskel’s home, the “House of Dreams,” in Baghdad was destroyed earlier this month. Researchers for Diarna, (the geo-mapping project), inside and outside of Iraq have confirmed that a house once belonging to Sassoon Heskel was destroyed, but the “House of Dreams” still stands.
See Diarna's report:
Sassoon Heskel, the one-time finance minister of the Republic of Iraq, had two residences in Baghdad, both near the Tigris River and Al-Rasheed Street. People generally only know about one of his houses, and not the other, leading to the confusion. The house most people know about is the house near the Al-Sinak Bridge and Al-Rasheed St., which is known as “the House of Dreams.” Located at 33.328854, 44.403940, this is the house that Najem Wali described in his 21 March 2011 article “A visit to the house of dreams” and which Diana S. describes in the post-script of “Sassoon Eskell and the House of Dreams” posted to the Point of No Return blog on 13 September 2011.
The House of Dreams had an interesting history after the Ba’ath Party came to power in Iraq. The House was used for a number of different purposes: as a telephone exchange, a theater, army barracks, and most recently and currently, the offices of the Iraqi Independent Film Center. At this point, we can confirm that this house was not destroyed.
In Germany, Israelis help to launch anti-BDS group
Israelis along with Germans launched the Action Forum group, which included a protest against BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activists targeting Jewish state products in front of a Berlin department store on Thursday.
The group’s goals are to counter “one-sided and wrong information” about Israel in the German media, as well as to combat BDS, Gaby Spronz, an Israeli engineer working in Germany and one of the founders of Action Forum, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday The group has 1,500 members, most of whom are in Germany, Spronz said.
Action Forum jump-started its activity with 20 activists distributing flyers against BDS at Alexander Square in front of the Galeria Kaufhof department store on Thursday.
“BDS is against Israel’s right to exist and for a Jew-free Palestine from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea,” the Action Forum flyer read.
“They are anti-Semites who are calling for a ban of Jewish products,” activist Jan Zimmermann told the Post at the demonstration.
BBC News passes up on an unusual Middle East story
Eighteen months have passed since the BBC last reported on the topic of the sick and wounded Syrians receiving medical care in Israel and so its audiences may not be aware of the fact that the provision of that humanitarian aid continues.
One of the patients arriving at the border earlier this year presented a particular challenge to the medical teams.
“The girl arrived at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa in recent weeks with very serious wounds that she received after finding herself caught in a firefight between rival militias […]
Some two weeks after she arrived at the hospital, after her wounds had nearly healed, Rambam doctors discovered the young girl had cancer.
They refused to release her, insisting that they could not let her cancer go untreated. […]
Woody Allen: Anti-Semites are looking for a scapegoat
Anti-Semitism is driven by the desire to scapegoat others, Woody Allen said in an interview published this week, and even if it were eradicated, some other form of hatred would take its place.
“It’s in the nature of people to have someone to scapegoat,” Allen told the Guardian during a promotion drive for his new movie “Café Society.”
“If there were no Jews in the world they would take it out on blacks,” he said. “If no blacks, they’d move over to Catholics. No Catholics? Something else. Finally, if everyone is exactly the same, the left-handed people would start killing the right-handed people. You just need an other [on whom] to vent your hostility and frustration.”
The 80-year-old director stressed that although he personally has not noticed a rise in anti-Semitism, his friends have.
French Jewish leader: Comparing burkini ban to Holocaust is indecent
The head of France’s Jewish communities condemned a politician’s likening of a ban on modest swimwear for Muslim women to the persecution of French Jews during the Holocaust.
CRIF president Francis Kalifat made his first public statement on the debate over the burkini in a statement published on the group’s website Friday, two weeks after the first of some 30 French municipalities passed bans on wearing the full-body swimsuit. France’s highest court ruled Friday that the bans are illegal.
In his statement, Kalifat condemned tweets by Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the Left Party, who has said that in France, “Jews were persecuted, then Protestants, and today Muslims.”
Kalifat said Melonchon’s allusion to the Holocaust, in which a quarter of French Jewry was wiped out by the Nazis and their local collaborators, was “a pinnacle of absurdity and indecency.” The comments, Kalifat said, were designed to “pander to Melenchon’s voters.”
Polish Soccer Fans Set Fire to ‘Jewish’ Effigies, Unfurl Antisemitic Banner Calling for Burning of Jews
A group of Polish soccer hooligans put on a horrifying display of antisemitism last Friday, setting fire to “Jewish” effigies and parading a banner calling for the burning of Jews, Polish news website Gazeta Wyborcza reported.
According to the report, some 50 supporters of the Widzew Łódź soccer team had gathered outside a local train station to rally against rival team ŁKS Łódź.
The ruffians unfurled an antisemitic banner, which stated, “19.08, today the Jews were named. Let them burn, motherf***ers.” The message was intended as a direct insult to the ŁKS Łódź team, which was founded in 1908 and is often derided as Jewish by fans of other soccer clubs.
Photos from the demonstration show effigies appearing to be dressed as Orthodox Jews being strung from rope and set on fire.
A respesentatiove of the local anti-racism group Never Again said that the demonstrators were acting without fear, and with the sense that there would be no repercussions for their actions. Police are reportedly investigating the incident.
Jonny Daniels, head of the Holocaust research group From the Depths who works closely with the Polish government, called for authorities to take strong measures against the Widzew Łódź fans.
Town rallies around Jewish family hit by swastika graffiti
A Jewish woman in suburban Philadelphia woke up last week to a spray-painted swastika on her trash bin, and now her neighbors and strangers from other countries are rallying to support her by painting their own garbage cans with flowers, hearts, birds and butterflies.
It was a typical Aug. 19 morning for Esther Cohen-Eskin when she went outside and saw the Nazi symbol on her bin. She said she felt horrible and knew she was targeted because the sign didn’t appear anywhere else in her Havertown neighborhood, where she’s lived for almost 20 years.
“It’s not like someone wrote some obscenity on my trash can or gave me the finger,” she said in a telephone interview Thursday. “The swastika is such a deep-rooted sign of hatred for everyone, especially Judaism, that I felt so targeted.”
She spoke to her husband and called police, who have begun an investigation.
She called a friend for advice and he told her: “The only way to triumph hate is with love.” Hearing that, Cohen-Eskin, an artist, decided to paint over the swastika with flowers, and to stick letters in mailboxes asking her neighbors to paint their trash bins as well, turning symbols of hate into symbols of love.
13 Jewish graves vandalized in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Thirteen Jewish graves were damaged as headstones were smashed and knocked over Friday at a municipal cemetery in West Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Police were called Friday afternoon to the scene, where smashed pieces of glass could be found atop overturned headstones.
Eight young people are said to have carried out the attack with hammers and blocks, with a larger crowd looking on, according to Northern Ireland Assembly member William Humphrey, Belfast Live reported.
Humphrey said he was “disgusted and appalled” at the vandalism, which the police is treating as a hate crime.
This isn’t the first incident of its kind in Belfast. In 2015, a memorial to a Christian Zionist officer was vandalized, and in 2014, windows at a local synagogue were smashed.
WATCH: IDF Unveils First Combat Robot
The Israeli military has begun training infantry units to use advanced robotic systems in urban warfare situations, Ynet reported on Sunday.
While the IDF’s Engineering Corps already employs surveillance robots to detect tunnels, this is the first time that a combat robot — called MTGR for “micro tactical ground robot” — will be used by the IDF’s infantry brigades on a large scale.
The MTGR travels on two tracks and has a microphone, five cameras that give it a 360 degree view, the ability to carry loads of up to ten pounds, and built-in batteries that power it for up to two hours. The MTGR is manufactured by Roboteam, an Israeli company founded by IDF veterans Yosi Wolf and Elad Levy.
According to Maj. Ehud, the head of the robotics department at the IDF’s technology division, the robots will help protect soldiers by “allowing friendly forces on the ground to know what is waiting around the corner and even further.”
“It operates alongside fighters and is capable of moving with them in the field, recording images day and night, listening, and provides important reconnaissance abilities in urban warfare,” he said. “This is not a cheap tool, as it costs tens of thousands of dollars, because of the advanced technology.”
Report: IsraAID First Foreign NGO Assisting Rescue Efforts in Italy After Deadly Earthquake
Following promises of aid from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, an Israeli humanitarian group specializing in disaster response has arrived in Italy to assist relief efforts after this week’s devastating earthquake.
The 20-member IsraAID team, which includes trauma specialists and search-and-rescue personnel, was the first foreign, non-governmental humanitarian group to help local counterparts with recovery efforts at the earthquake epicenter, Jewish Philanthropy reported.
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy on Wednesday night, killing at least 267 people. Over half of the confirmed fatalities were in Amatrice, a historic hilltop town that was brimming with visitors ahead of its annual food festival this weekend.
Some 2,100 people have taken refuge in temporary camps near the affected areas, according to Italian authorities.
Netanyahu issued a statement shortly following the disaster, saying: “I send my condolences to the people of Italy regarding the victims of the earthquake and my wishes for a quick recovery to the injured.” He also offered to dispatch rescue personnel.
IsraAID’s teams often assist disaster-stricken areas across the world. Earlier this week, the group announced that it will send a delegation to aid with recovery efforts in Louisiana following the catastrophic flooding in Baton Rouge.

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