Friday, October 28, 2016

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Palestinians step up the jihad of the lie
The claim that Britain gave a Palestinian country to the Jews is a lie.
On July 24 1922, the League of Nations unanimously gave its recognition to “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” As a result, it gave Britain a mandate to settle the Jews there as of right.
In 1917 the Arabs living in Palestine did not identify themselves as Palestinians. They were either nomadic or identified with Arab countries, such as Syria. When people referred to Palestinians in the first half of the last century, they meant the Jews.
The Jews are the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national kingdom. It is the Arabs who are bent upon a colonialist crime, seeking to steal the Jews’ land from them once again.
As ever, though, Israel’s government, with its swaggering, macho refusal to deal strategically and forensically with the cognitive war being waged against it, has responded merely with sarcasm and outrage.
Israel needs instead to educate the world in quite how unhinged these lies are.
For many in the West themselves don’t know the true facts and so don’t understand that the Palestinians are motivated by a madness.
These lies prove unequivocally that the real agenda of even so-called “moderate Palestinians” is to eradicate Israel. Their hostility to the Jewish homeland is so pathological they perpetrate the most ludicrous falsehoods to write the Jews out of their own history.
The Palestinians think their big historical lie will finish Israel off. In fact it could rebound on them badly and finish off their own cause – but only if Israel recognizes the opportunity it should now seize.
Caroline Glick: Checkmating Obama
In one of the immortal lines of Godfather 2, mafia boss Michael Corleone discusses the fate of his brother, who betrayed him, with his enforcer.
“I don’t want anything to happen to him while my mother is alive,” Corleone said.
Message received.
The brother was murdered after their mother’s funeral.
Last week it was reported that the Obama administration has delivered a message to the Palestinian Authority. The administration has warned the PA that the US will veto any anti-Israel resolution brought before the UN Security Council before the US presidential elections on November 8.
Message received.
Open season on Israel at the Security Council will commence November 9. The Palestinians are planning appropriately.
Israel needs to plan, too. Israel’s most urgent diplomatic mission today is to develop and implement a strategy that will outflank President Barack Obama in his final eight weeks in power.
Lobbying the administration is pointless. Obama has waited eight years to exact his revenge on Israel for not supporting his hostile, strategically irrational policies. And he has no interest in letting bygones be bygones.
Before turning to what Israel must do, first we need to understand what Israel can do.
A good place to begin is by considering what just transpired at UNESCO, where twice in a week, UNESCO bodies resolved to erase 3,000 years of Jewish history in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
The fight that Israel waged at UNESCO is not the fight it needs to wage at the Security Council. The stakes at the Security Council are far higher.
Charles Krauthammer: Is Obama preparing a parting shot at Israel?
There is a reason such a move has been resisted by eight previous U.S. administrations: It overthrows the central premise of Middle East peacemaking — land for peace. Under which the Palestinians get their state after negotiations in which the parties agree on recognized boundaries, exchange mutual recognition and declare a permanent end to the conflict.
Land for peace would be replaced by land for nothing. Endorsing in advance a Palestinian state and what would essentially be a full Israeli withdrawal removes the Palestinian incentive to negotiate and strips Israel of territorial bargaining chips of the kind it used, for example, to achieve peace with Egypt.
The result would be not just perpetual war but incalculable damage to Israel. And irreversible, too, because the resolution would be protected from alteration by the Russian and/or Chinese veto.
As for the damage, consider but one example: the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, destroyed and ethnically cleansed of Jews by its Arab conquerors in the war of 1948-1949. It was rebuilt by Israel after 1967. It would now be open to the absurd judicial charge that the Jewish state’s possession of the Jewish Quarter constitutes a criminal occupation of another country.
Israel would be hauled endlessly into courts (both national and international) to face sanctions, boycotts (now under color of law) and arrest of its leaders. All this for violating a U.N. mandate to which no Israeli government, left or right, could possibly accede.
Before the election, Obama dare not attempt this final legacy item, to go along with the Iran deal and the Castro conciliation, for fear of damaging Clinton. His last opportunity comes after Election Day. The one person who might deter him, points out Hannah, is Clinton herself, by committing Obama to do nothing before he leaves office that would tie her hands should she become president.
Clinton’s supporters who care about Israel and about peace need to urge her to do that now. It will soon be too late. Soon Obama will be free to deliver a devastating parting shot to Israel and to the prime minister he detests.

Ruthie Blum: The PA's war on the Balfour Declaration
Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians' chief "peace" negotiator, took the opportunity, as he always does, to use U.S. criticism of Israel as a way to prove that the Jewish state was born and lives in sin.
In a Washington Post opinion piece on Tuesday, Erekat did this in the context of the Balfour Declaration, which he called the "symbolic beginning of the denial of our rights." Chastising the world for not taking significant steps to end the travesty of Israel's existence, he spewed customary lies about how the Jewish state came into being.
"The Palestinian people were violently dispossessed from their homes and exiled from their homeland in 1948, endured the occupation in 1967, only to be forced into the historic compromise recognizing the 1967 border as the borders of the state of Palestine," he wrote, conveniently omitting the true story of Israel's War of Independence and Six-Day War 19 years later -- the assault of surrounding Arab armies on a tiny fledgling country that spent much of its time trying to come to an arrangement with those bent on its annihilation.
Erekat's piece was in keeping with Abbas' announcement in July that the PA was going to file a lawsuit against Britain for the Balfour Declaration. This was conveyed by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki to the Arab League Summit in Mauritania, which Abbas was unable to attend, due to the death of his brother.
In spite of the fact that Omar Abbas had been treated for cancer at a Tel Aviv hospital -- as have family members of many other honchos in Fatah and Hamas -- the Palestinian leader was going ahead with his litigation against the U.K. over the 100-year-old document, "after which hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived from Europe and other places in Palestine at the expense of our people."
With such a blatant admission of its actual position on Jewish statehood -- going so far as to wage war on the Balfour Declaration -- the Palestinian Authority should be treated with the disdain and derision it deserves.
Vic Rosenthal: The British betrayal of the Jewish people
Today the “discovery” of Jew-hatred among British politicians, particularly in the Labour Party, is news. But the relationship of the Jews to Albion, since the citizens of York wiped out their Jewish community in 1190, hasn’t been smooth.
Recently, I read a review by Sheree Roth of a neglected 1938 book, William B. Ziff’s The Rape of Palestine. Although Roth is primarily concerned with the (very important and persuasive) evidence in Ziff’s book refuting the Arab claim to be the “original” or “indigenous” inhabitants of the Land of Israel, the book is primarily concerned with the history of the British Mandatory power over Palestine. The book is available at Amazon (though currently out of stock), but its copyright has lapsed and someone has placed the entire text here for our enjoyment.
The British betrayal of the Jewish people must be reckoned as one of the great crimes of the 20th century. Entrusted with the Mandate to ultimately make possible a Jewish National Home, Britain instead fought its realization tooth and nail, ultimately becoming complicit in the Nazi Holocaust. Even after the war, when the evil consequences of its policies should have been clear, when Germany herself began to recognize her obligation to what was left of the Jewish people, Britain continued to fight against the establishment of a Jewish state, battling attempts to resettle Jewish refugees, even arming and providing military advisors to the Arab armies that in 1948 tried to finish the job Hitler started.
Accepting Palestinian Culture
This culture that venerates murder and death isn’t just part of the Palestinian past. It also inspires the carnage of the present. By continually honoring Khalaf and a host of other murderers of Jews, the PA is validating a mindset that views terrorism as laudable. The lesson imparted to children is clear and can be traced to the most recent upsurge in terror known as the “stabbing intifada” in which Palestinian teenagers and even young children have played a tragic part. It is impossible to separate the incitement to terror by PA schools and media and the decisions of so many youngsters to sacrifice their lives by attacking random Jews with knives. These kids are certain they will be hailed as “martyrs” and “heroes”—like Khalaf—no matter how gruesome their assaults might be.
Nor is this culture one that is separated from diplomacy. The century-old war against Zionism is inextricably linked to Palestinian identity. Putting Khalaf’s name on schools and honoring other terrorists in similar ways explains why the PA has chosen to try to sue Britain over the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which recognized the Jews’ right to a national home. It’s also of a piece with the Palestinians most recent diplomatic success: a series of votes at the UN’s education, scientific, and cultural organization—UNESCO—in which they have persuaded the world body to view Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall as exclusively Muslim shrines.
If a two-state solution is to be achieved, Palestinians must learn to share the country, and that murder of Jews will have to cease to be their national sport. Until that happens, it won’t matter how much Western leaders like President Obama—who appears to be considering supporting the Palestinians at the United Nations after the presidential election is concluded and he is freed from political constraints—do to tilt the diplomatic playing field in their direction. As they’ve always done, they will reject every peace offer no matter how generous or sensible it might be.
Theirs is a culture that denies history and turns morality on its head by treating killers as role models. Palestinians believe it is unreasonable to ask them to give it up. But if their conflict with Israel is ever to be solved, that is exactly what they must do.
Ivanka Trump says her father will move US embassy to Jerusalem ‘100%’ if elected
Speaking at a synagogue in Florida, Ivanka Trump assured Jewish voters that her father would “100 percent” move the US embassy to Jerusalem if he is elected president.
Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism in 2010 and is married to a Jewish man, called her father, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, an “unbelievable champion” for the State of Israel and for the Jewish people during a talk on Thursday at The Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside, Florida, the Jewish Insider reported. “You won’t be dissapointed,” she told the audience during the talk, which was filmed in part.
In addition to saying Donald Trump will move the embassy to Jerusalem, which she called “the eternal capital,” she also said he supported her conversion to Judaism before her marriage to Jared Kushner.
“I so respect the fact that he supported me from day one,” she said. “There was no question, there was no argument. He was very supportive.”
Asked how Judaism has inspired her to be what she is today, Ivanka Trump said, “I feel like Judaism helps your moral compass.” Judaism “has been a great blessing in my life,” she added.
J Street prepares for shift in approach under Clinton
A lobby that seeks to pressure Israel over its policies toward Palestinians has found itself between a rock and a hard place as it works to elect a Democratic presidential successor less willing to use its tactics.
J Street, a group that primarily advocates for a twostate solution to the conflict, has largely aligned itself with US President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party – which has repeatedly entered into an open feud with the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over its continued settlement activity in the West Bank.
But in a Frontlines report published on page 13, top aides to Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, said, if elected, she plans to shift the administration’s tone with Israel – away from public fighting in favor of private disagreements – to reestablish trust with the Israeli people.
J Street has frequently lauded Obama’s approach. “I don’t think it matters to J Street whether the conversations are private or public. What matters is that it’s very clear the lines the United States is drawing on what has to stop, from both parties,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, said in an interview.
Ben-Ami said he expects a smooth transition should Clinton win on November 8.
“They are in line, so that handoff of the baton is going to be very smooth because the goal line is the same for both of them,” he said.
WikiLeaks: Clinton's aides do Soros' bidding
New emails released by WikiLeaks reveal how aides to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went out of their way to ensure that billionaire George Soros was kept happy.
According to the leaked emails, Soros would reach out to Clinton's assistant, John Podesta, whenever he felt like it and make his wishes known to the Clinton camp, before and during the election campaign.
Soros was not shy about sharing his opinions on a range of subjects, from advising Podesta on who should be nominated to replace deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to insisting on the appointment of moderators to diplomatic disputes of which the US was not a party.
Soros was also able to drag Clinton to fundraising events her campaign staff would not have had her go to.
“I would only do this for political reasons (ie to make Soros happy),” wrote Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in response to a request that Clinton attend one such event for a liberal organization called "America Votes".
Editor's notes: Do UNESCO and ISIS seek the same - deletion of Jewish history?
I spoke to Hasson on Wednesday just hours after the UNESCO vote, and coincidentally, after the Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of an ancient papyrus written in Hebrew and dating back to the Kingdom of Judah in the seventh century BCE, the period of the First Temple. The papyrus has “Jerusalem” written on it, in what is the earliest extra-biblical source mentioning the Jewish capital in Hebrew.
“All around us there are attempts by different people and organizations to erase history and culture,” Hasson told me. “It started with the Taliban and ISIS’s destruction in Iraq and Syria. UNESCO is trying to do the same, just by diplomatic efforts.”
Hasson claimed that the announcement regarding the discovery of the papyrus coincidentally fell on the same day as the UNESCO vote, and that it had been scheduled months before to coincide with an academic conference. But, he said, the point got across.
“The more we dig throughout Israel, the more we find scientific support of our historical roots in this land,” he said. “I have yet to find proof of Palestinian roots to the land.”
Hasson is right that UNESCO should be ashamed of itself, but so should some of the countries that Israel tends to view as its friends and allies. By giving a hand to the UNESCO resolution, other Western countries where Christianity is the primary faith are supporting the dele- tion of their own history and faith.
If there is one lesson from Israel’s history as a state and the decades of terror it has faced, it is that while terrorists might start their attacks against Israel, they quickly move on to other countries, other faiths and other people. Israel might be chosen first, but when hundreds of people are then murdered in Paris, London or New York, the targets become one and the same.
Some of these countries still have difficulty recognizing that we are all aligned in the same battle of the Free World against the forces of radical Islamic terror. To allow resolutions like UNESCO’s to pass this week is another failure to recognize just that. They might start with Jerusalem, but they will quickly move on.
NGO Monitor: UNESCO had help from Israeli NGOs and their Funders
UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), whose motto is “Building peace in the minds of men and women,” recently committed a heinous crime — or to be entirely accurate, two crimes — against the Jewish people. In attacks seeking to erase Jewish history in Jerusalem, as part of the narrative war, the UN perpetrated the equivalent of the wanton desecration committed by the Taliban and ISIS in their unholy crusades. UNESCO also claimed that Jewish visitors were “storming” the Temple Mount; and the October 12 resolution also refers to the Western Wall Plaza (a central place for Jewish prayer for centuries) as the “Al Buraq Plaza.”
In committing these crimes, the Palestinians and Jordanian governments that led the efforts, and the member states in the different UNESCO frameworks (including EU-members Finland, Poland and Portugal, which abstained, allowing the resolutions to pass) did not act alone.
For years, some of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the network that demonizes Israel with false claims of “war crimes” have also targeted the Jewish history of Jerusalem. In their publications, parliamentary appearances around the world, UN submissions, and “guided tours” of Jerusalem for foreign diplomats and journalists, these groups repeat Palestinian accusations that Israel is guilty of the “Judaization of Jerusalem” and propagate the incendiary myth that “Al-Aqsa is in danger”, while ignoring Palestinian attacks against Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount and systematic efforts to destroy archeological evidence of Jewish ties.
In May 2016, for example, the NGO known as Ir Amim (the City of the Nations) published a report jointly with Peace Now, which included the accusation that the objective of Israel’s policy “is to Judaize the Old City basin — in the Muslim Quarter…and surrounding neighborhoods.” On Twitter, Ir Amim also attempted to spin and whitewash the UNESCO attacks, absurdly claiming that the focus was “NOT Jewish connection to Temple Mt but ISR’s duties under intnl law to protect status quo.”
Abstention on UNESCO Vote? Not Good Enough
There has been much commentary on the voting patterns of UNESCO member countries on several outrageous resolutions on Jerusalem which explicitly or implicitly deny the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel and its capital.
It has been noted that the votes reflect the inherent bias of United Nations bodies against Israel. In the General Assembly, for example, there is an automatic majority against Israel regarding any issue surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It has also been noted that the second vote of the executive committee was an improvement over the first in that a number of countries, most notably France, shifted their original yes votes to abstentions.
These shifts seem to signify that those countries recognize, as Secretary-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova has said, that a resolution that ignores the Jewish connection to Jerusalem is inappropriate and harmful. However, for political reasons, pressure from the Islamic world or other concerns about Israeli policy, they could not bring themselves to vote no. An abstention seems to many to be a safe harbor from the roiling surf of international diplomacy.
An abstention, however, misses the true significance of these initiatives and allows a destructive dynamic to continue to operate which stands in the way of Israeli-Palestinian peace and a necessary two-state solution.
Palestinian denial of the Jewish connection to Israel lies at the heart of the conflict that has raged for a hundred years. It is no accident that as we enter 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is calling on the British to apologize for that historic pronouncement.
New UN "Expert" on Human Rights in "Occupied Palestinian Territories" Equates Palestinian Terror and Israeli Self-Defense
On October 27, 2016, U.N. special rapporteur on "human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories" Michael Lynk presented his first report to the UN General Assembly since his appointment to the position in March 2016. The report confirms that Lynk will utilize his new post to continue his anti-Israel agenda. His lop-sided job description, which dates back more than 20 years, is to condemn Israel and not to investigate Palestinians. Like his many predecessors who found no problem allegedly promoting "human rights" from the vantage point of a discriminatory mandate, Lynk did exactly what he was hired to do.
For instance...
Equate deaths of Palestinian terrorists and their victims:
"During the escalation of violence, more than 230 Palestinians and at least 32 Israelis were killed over the course of 2015 and 2016 in the context of demonstrations by Palestinians, as well as Palestinian attacks or alleged attacks, and the often lethal response of the Israeli security forces...The large majority of those killed have been Palestinians - often as a result of disproportionate use of deadly force by Israeli security forces..."
Express "concern" that Palestinian terrorists are killed - not that they commit terror attacks:

"[O]f those killed in the West Bank between October 2015 and January 2016, 88 were Palestinians whom the Israeli authorities suspected were responsible for attacks or attempted attacks. Two concerns arise with respect to these cases. First, that they occurred at all - that lethal force is used so often, and frequently without justification. Second, the fact that, in a majority of cases in which a member of the Israeli security forces used lethal force, no investigation was conducted or if an investigation was conducted, it was closed without any action being taken against the perpetrator..."
Republican Senators Urge Obama to Cut Ties with Anti-Israel UN Organization UNESCO
"U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), David Perdue (R-GA), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) are urging President Obama to suspend ties with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) following its adoption today of another shameful, anti-Israel resolution denying any connection between Jews, Christians and holy sites in Jerusalem, such as the Temple Mount and Western Wall...
The ... text of the senators' letter to President Obama is below:
'We write to express grave concern about continuing efforts by member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to delegitimize Israel. Today, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee adopted "Old City of Jerusalem and Its Walls," another resolution that denies any historical connections of Jews and Christians to Jerusalem's holiest sites, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Authored by Palestinian and Jordanian delegations and submitted by Kuwait, Lebanon and Tunisia, this inflammatory resolution also repeatedly describes Israel as "the Occupying Power." Given that U.S. law already forbids American taxpayer money from going to UNESCO, we urge your administration to join Israel in suspending ties to UNESCO...
At a time when the Middle East is in turmoil and historical heritage sites are being destroyed by groups such as ISIS, it is imperative that the U.S. stands with Israel, our closest ally and the sole democracy in the region. Recent UNESCO resolutions that deny Jewish and Christian ties to holy sites in Jerusalem not only reinforce the necessity of withholding American funding from this counterproductive U.N. organization, but also call into question future U.S. membership in UNESCO....'"
I now realize Israel is not the center of the world, says UN envoy
A year after being exiled to New York by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Danny Danon feels he has proved himself to all those people who called his appointment a catastrophe waiting to happen. ‘As far as I’m concerned, the results speak for themselves,’ he says, taking pride in small victories. ‘We did things that have never been done before by Israelis at the UN.’
Before boarding the plane to New York to become Israel’s ambassador at the United Nations, Danny Danon met with his predecessors. They had gossip and different tips to give him, but there was one thing they all said: The UN is divided into two completely different worlds. What you see on television is not what happens in the quiet rooms, in the secret meetings, in the late night phone calls. This is something Danon discovered during his first weeks in office, but even now, a year later, he is still slightly amused and finds it hard to believe.
“The difference between the public and non-public UN is almost inconceivable,” he says, smiling. “I was prepared for it, but the penny doesn’t drop until you sit with an ambassador from an Arab state for breakfast and you discuss everything - their wife and the kids and life in New York - and then half an hour later you get into the elevator at the UN with him and he doesn’t know you. You become air. I don’t know if I’m his mistress or if he is my mistress, but it feels strange. I haven’t gotten used to it yet.”
UN Watch: "Tyrannies Elected to UNHRC" - Hillel Neuer on ABC Radio's RN Breakfast Show

PreOccupiedTerritory: Leftist Elite To Create Israeli House Of Lords (satire)
A dangerous streak of democratic elections that failed to return the Israeli Left to power has the secular, progressive, self-appointed conscience of the society in the latter stages of a plan to establish and run a House of Lords, following the model of Britain before the latter’s House of Lords became largely ceremonial.
Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken, his editorial staff, New Israel Fund director Rachel Liel, and the heads of NGOs such as B’tselem, Breaking the Silence, and Peace Now, have been working since the March 2015 election that kept Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud in power to implement a new governmental model for Israel, one that allows the clearly superior Left to veto the policies of the benighted populace that does not know what is good for it. The planned House of Lords is scheduled to begin its oversight and legislative operations at the end of next year, at which point it will assert those powers over the elected Knesset and government-appointed ministers, as well as over the military and other State institutions.
“If the people refuse to vote for our manifestly superior political agenda, then they manifestly do not deserve to participate in government,” explained Schocken during an interview at his office. “It would not be very progressive of us to simply accept the democratic will of the people – that is not what progressives do. If one looks at the example of the Soviets, who pioneered the progressive agenda in the twentieth century, it becomes clear that those who know best must take hold of the reins regardless of what the so-called popular will desires.”
Israeli Defense Forces position vandalized with Swastikas
An IDF position near Nablus in the West Bank was vandalized with swastikas overnight according to Israel Radio.
The vandals also spray painted the position with slogans calling for "death to Jews."
The star of David was equated to the swastikas.
In October 2014 anti-Semitic graffiti equating Jews and Nazis was found scrawled on the Temple Mount, leading to an outpouring of anger by Jewish and Zionist organizations.
The graffiti, showing a Star of David and a swastika joined by an equal sign, was found during a time of tension between Muslims and Jews at the holy site, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently calling for Jewish pilgrims to be barred “by any means.”
Soldiers fire at Palestinian rock thrower in West Bank
A 23-year-old Palestinian was arrested in Hebron near the Tomb of the Patriarchs Friday after being caught with a knife, and told security officials he had intended to carry out a stabbing attack.
The man was taken in for questioning after security forces at a checkpoint, who suspected his behavior, searched him and found the knife on his person. He told border police officers he had wanted to execute an attack.
In a statement Border Police said officers’ alertness “may have prevented a stabbing attack against them or against worshipers.”
Earlier IDF troops in the West Bank’s Etzion settlement bloc fired at a Palestinian after he hurled rocks at a military vehicle, the army said.
The attacker was apparently unharmed. He escaped and soldiers were searching the area for him.
The army said soldiers first fired warning shots as they attempted to apprehend the suspect, then fired towards him when he failed to comply.
IDF Fortifies Lebanon Border to Fend off Future Hezbollah Infiltration
The Israel Defense Forces is fortifying a stretch of the Lebanese border to prepare for possible infiltration by Hezbollah fighters in a future conflict.
The 18.6-mile endeavor consists of a series of engineered barriers, including reinforced concrete panels several feet high, concrete blocks, fortified towers and upgrades to existing fences originally built in the 1980s, the Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot reported.
The project is expected eventually to cover the entire 75-mile Israel-Lebanon border.
As much of Israeli resources have been focused on beefing-up the border along Gaza, the IDF Northern Command has taken to using alternative methods.
“We can’t dig everywhere, so we found other solutions, such as reinforcing the border fence, and we placed large boulders near Hanita [a kibbutz in northern Israel] to act as an obstacle,” said Col. Zaky Yeffet.
“The concrete panels we placed in areas guard against small-arms fire and anti-tank missiles,” he said. “Additionally, we cleared brush wherever we could along the border to allow us to see approaching threats more easily.”
Under pressure, Abbas plans first Fatah congress since 2009
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party aims to hold its first congress since 2009 by the end of this year, an official said, in what some analysts have called a bid by the 81-year-old to stave off rivals.
The plan to hold the congress of the mainstream party he heads comes as Arab states have reportedly been pressuring Abbas to bring longtime rival Mohammed Dahlan back from exile in the United Arab Emirates.
While Abbas’s advisers insist the congress is being organized simply because it is overdue, some analysts see it as an opportunity for him to reshuffle key positions and sideline Dahlan allies.
A member of the Fatah Central Committee said on condition of anonymity that the congress would take place “before the end of the year,” hopefully in November.
It will be Fatah’s seventh since its formation and the first since 2009.
Abbas meets Hamas leaders Mashaal and Haniyeh in Qatar
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held a rare meeting with the heads of rival party Hamas in Qatar on Thursday, in direct talks aimed at ending years of hostility between the two movements.
The 81-year-old Abbas met with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Hamas’s Gaza leader, Ismail Haniyeh, for a “business lunch” in Doha, the PA’s official news agency Wafa said.
According to the report, the two sides agreed on the need to end the almost decade-long internecine battle, stating that “reconciliation is the main pathway to protecting the Palestinian national project and to counter the Israeli government plots aimed at destroying the two-state option.”
Wafa’s account was at odds with Hamas’s general narrative: The terror group in control of Gaza does not officially support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead openly declaring it seeks to retake historic Palestine through violent means.
Hamas has been in conflict with Abbas’s Fatah movement, which runs the West Bank, since 2007, despite multiple attempts to broker reconciliation.
In Arabic Facebook Post, Coordinator of Israeli Activities in West Bank, Gaza Warns Palestinians Against Hamas Exploitation; Calls Work on Tunnels a ‘Death Sentence’
In a warning to residents of Gaza that Hamas is exploiting them, the head of the Israeli Defense Ministry unit responsible for civilian issues there and in the West Bank said on Facebook that anyone engaged in tunnel construction for the terrorist organization is “writing his own death sentence,” the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Thursday.
According to the report, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories IDF Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai wrote in Arabic, “Since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in the summer of 2014, 30 Palestinians have been killed while digging tunnels. Some were killed in tunnel collapses, some in ‘work accidents’ and the rest, God knows from what else… The tunnels are becoming a flourishing ‘Made in Hamas’ death industry. Hamas is using you to further its own interests. You dig tunnels for those who do not care about your lives.”
This, said nrg, echoed comments made a few weeks ago by an anonymous senior Israeli military official, who claimed that the new underground barrier being built by Israel along its border with Gaza will turn the Hamas tunnel network into a “death trap.”
As was reported in The Algemeiner last month, the IDF has begun erecting the giant wall, which will extend several stories above ground and below.
IsraellyCool: Palestinians Clueless About Meaning of Word “Palestine”
You have to see it to believe it. Although I would have believed it without seeing it, given what I already know about their narrative.
No wonder their museum is empty.
Palestinians: Where does the name 'Palestine' come from?

PreOccupiedTerritory: Kurds Mulling Rebranding As ‘Palestine’ To Gain International Recognition (satire)
The Kurdistan Regional Government, along with the main Kurdish political factions in Syria, Turkey, and Iran are mulling a rebranding attempt in order to get the world to recognize their plight and their goal of self-determination, and they intend to gain that attention by piggybacking on the public relations achievements of the Palestinian national movement.
“Since Palestine is a very hip name right now, we think it will further enhance our chances of international recognition if we call ourselves Palestinians,” said Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government. “After Sweden and the UK recognized Palestine, but not Kurdistan, we’re mulling a rebranding to get the international community to recognize us, at least by default,” he added.
A recent Pew poll found that 67% of Kurds agreed with the statement that “being whiny and nagging about Jews will get you recognition faster than historical, moral, or ethnic reasons.” The committee has yet to decide on the exact wording of their new ethnos and polities, but it appears that they will be using a “P” instead of “B” or “F” in their version of the country’s name.
Palestinian reactions have been surprisingly tolerant. “As it is, we’re an invented people, so it’s no big deal to have others use the name as well,” offered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “And it can benefit both peoples – now we can pad our population statistics with the millions of Kurds, and UN agencies such as UNRWA can claim to be serving that many more Palestinians, so they can raise more money, and add it to PLO- I mean Palestinian Authority coffers. It’s win-win.”
IS using tens of thousands as human shields in Mosul, UN says
The Islamic State group appears to be using tens of thousands of people as “human shields” in and around Mosul, where Iraqi forces are waging a large-scale offensive aimed at retaking the country’s second largest city, the UN human rights office said Friday.
It has received reports of more than 200 people being killed for refusing to comply with IS orders or previously belonging to Iraqi security forces. It said “credible reports” suggest IS has been forcing tens of thousands from their homes in districts around Mosul.
“ISIL’s depraved, cowardly strategy is to attempt to use the presence of civilian hostages to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations, effectively using tens of thousands of women, men and children as human shields,” spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva, using an alternative acronym for the extremist group.
She said 232 people, mostly former officers, were reportedly shot Wednesday, and 24 on Tuesday. The group is widely believed to be rooting out anyone who could potentially rise up against it, focusing on Iraqis with military training or past links to security forces.
State Dept Won’t Call Alleged Russian, Syrian Airstrikes on School a ‘War Crime’
The State Department on Thursday would not call the recent airstrikes allegedly carried out by either Russian or Syrian planes on a school a “war crime.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked during the department’s daily press briefing about the strikes on a school complex on Wednesday that killed at least 35 people, including 20 children. Rescuers expect several of those who were wounded to die as well. The White House said Thursday that it believes either Russia or the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the airstrikes.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power castigated Russia and the Assad regime’s actions in Syria while addressing her Russian counterpart on Wednesday.
“You don’t get congratulations and get credit for not committing war crimes for a day, or a week,” Power said. “That’s not how the international system is structured, and nor should it ever be.”
Kirby was asked if Power’s comments mean that the United States officially recognizes Russian and Syrian airstrikes, like the ones on the school, as war crimes.
“The secretary has been equally as candid and forthright about this and saying that what he’s seeing can only be couched as violations of international law,” Kirby said. “The term ‘war crimes’ itself has a very legalistic definition and it’s not for me at this podium or for us here at the State Department to make that definitive qualification.”
State Dept. Won't Call Russian & Assad Regime Airstrikes on School a 'War Crime'

Israel’s UN mission hosts Yazidi refugee who escaped IS sexual abuse
Israel’s mission to the United Nations hosted a Yazidi woman who escaped the Islamic State after enduring sexual and physical abuse.
Marwa Al Aliko, a native of Iraq, spoke Thursday during an event at the UN headquarters in New York about trauma treatment for refugees fleeing from the terror group as well as conflicts in Syria and her native country. Israel’s UN envoy, Danny Danon, hosted the event.
Al Aliko shared testimony of her sexual slavery by Islamic State terrorists as well as other abuses.
“The ISIS fighters took us captive and put us in a small room. We were 52 women. Every night the men would come to us and do as they pleased,” she told the audience, according to a statement.
She added: “I thought about suicide. They continued to move us from place to place until one day I saw an opportunity and was able to escape.”
Thousands of Yazidi women and girls reportedly are being held as slaves by IS. The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking religious minority.
Danon praised Al Aliko for sharing her story.

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