Wednesday, December 21, 2016

From Ian:

Rabbi Nachman's grave desecrated with pig's head, 'blood' in Ukraine
Astonished visitors arrived to a gruesome antisemitic scene of a pig's head and red paint splatters Wednesday morning at the venerated Rabbi Nachman's grave in Uman, Ukraine.
The act of vandalism is believed to have occurred late Tuesday night.
The Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, Moshe Asman, said in an interview with Army Radio: "We will look into it, we have ways to do this, along with the police and local intelligence institutions, we will try to reach them. Vandals threw a pig's head and shed blood."
"The question now is who did it, it wasn't easy to move it there, because the area is inhabited by a lot of Jews."
"There haven't been events like this, but there are always cases of antisemitism before the New Year. In such a small place sometimes there are incidents, but I don't have any more details, we will learn more from the investigation," he added.
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid on Wednesday morning urged the Ukrainian Ambassador in Israel, Hennadii Nadolenko, to swiftly investigate the incident and demanded that the Ukrainian government act quickly to ensure the security of the many Jewish visitors who regularly visit the site.
This Female IDF Soldier Fights Off 23 Terrorists in Ambush Attack After Being Shot
Captain Or Ben-Yehuda of the Israeli Defense Forces has cemented a legacy that will endure well past her lifetime. The young, decorated IDF Captain was in charge of a company of soldiers when they were violently attacked by nearly two dozen terrorists near the Egyptian border.
Due to her leadership and bravery, she and her men were able to survive.
Captain Ben-Yehuda was in charge of the Caracal Battalion which was stationed near the Israeli / Egyptian border. Three suspicious vehicles quickly approached the battalion’s position and Captain Ben-Yehuda along with a driver went to check them out.
As they approached the first vehicle, nearly two dozen armed men opened fire on their position in an ambush attack. Both Captain Ben-Yehuda and her driver were immediately shot in the volley of gunfire.
Despite suffering from a gunshot wound, Captain Ben-Yehuda managed to get on the radio and call for backup, administer first aid to her driver and return several magazines worth of gunfire back at her attackers.

Barry Shaw: Obama’s Inaction in Syria Has Disgraced the Nobel Peace Prize
Attempts to achieve peace through inaction are bound to fail. Just ask the people of Aleppo. Attempts to achieve peace through appeasement are bound to fail. Just ask Neville Chamberlain. Peace only comes from assertive action that destroys a rampaging enemy’s will to survive. Just ask Winston Churchill. World War II should have taught us that.
Doing nothing in the face of an Assad-inflicted genocide in Syria — which is supported by Iran and Russia — has shown us where inaction leads.
Obama’s promise to live up to the vain standards of the Nobel Peace Prize lies in the ashes of Aleppo.
Obama’s dereliction of his international and humanitarian responsibilities by failing to implement his infamous “red lines”warning made a mockery of the Nobel Prize. His non-violent policy and impotence to act gave the green light to the resultant Syrian genocide.
Syria is another step that follows in the awful tradition of Rwanda, Sudan and many more. Collectively, they show us that only using force against evil-doers will protect innocent lives against acts of unchallenged heinous massacre.
When good men of influence do nothing but complain, evil triumphs. Obama was a complainer, not a doer.

Gil Troy: Obama's failed foreign policy
Last week we discovered that Barack Obama violated his constitutional duty to “preserve, protect, and defend” the United States by doing nothing as Russian hacking targeted American democracy.
As Putin launched an ideological 9/11 attacking the integrity of American elections, Obama cowered. Facing this cyber-Pearl Harbor, Obama, fearing fear itself, dithered, worrying about inciting further hacking.
He admitted: “What I was concerned about in particular was making sure that that wasn’t compounded by potential hacking that could hamper vote counting.”
Shockingly, the week ended with silence from most Obamians and the American Jewish left about this unprecedented betrayal of a president’s basic mission.
Instead, they denounced… David Friedman, Donald Trump’s pick to be America’s ambassador to Israel. Somehow, an American patriot’s support for Israeli settlements more upset these shortsighted ideologues than the Russians’ contempt for American democracy – or the president’s impotence.
Whatever you think of Israel’s settlements, this misplaced fury epitomizes Obama’s failed foreign policy. The outgoing US president has spawned a callow, cowardly series of leadership miscarriages that bullied friends and empowered enemies. He feared Putin’s Russia, wooed Ahmadinejad’s Iran and boosted Castro’s Cuba.
David Collier: 325 miles to Aleppo, Syria. Hard lessons for Israel
325 miles to aleppoIt is difficult not to be moved by events in Syria. Images from Aleppo, Syria are heart-breaking. It is also fair to say, most of us in the west, despite vocally shouting that ‘something needs to be done’, haven’t got much idea about exactly what. Syria is a tale of 1000 trenches with 2000 armies.
During the ‘Arab spring’ in 2011, I remember being engaged in debate over events in Libya. As ‘interventionists’ were encountering difficulty coordinating international support for anti-Gaddafi action, I was pointing towards Syria, worried international impotence was signaling to Assad he could act with impunity. Action in Libya was the ‘easy’ choice.
At the time, most commentary over the ‘Arab Spring’ was positive. Thousands of experts, mostly liberal elites listening to the sound of their own echo, applauding the ‘rising up’ of the Arab street. This policy brief from the European Policy Centre discusses how Europe should ‘open up’ to ‘democracies in the making’. Brian Whitaker in the Guardian suggested on 14/3/2011 that “the Arab spring is brighter than ever”.
My pessimism in conversations on the topic was unwelcome. Nobody wanted the input of the doomsayer. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in the Guardian led with a headline “Arabs are democracy’s new pioneers”. They asked “what these new experiments in freedom and democracy will teach the world over the next decade?” It is now 2016, we are half way into that ‘next decade’. This piece is in answer to that puzzle.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Islamic State, Ltd.
What is happening and will continue to happen to the Islamic State Jihadists will be quite similar: those who elect to be put on trial will remain alive, those who fight may even reach Paradise, and those who surrender have sons who will continue the Jihad against the West. At this very time, there is already a conflict between Jihadist groups in Libya who are products of Islamic State, and these conflicts may soon turn into open warfare between the different organizations.
However, there is another group of fighters who will return to Europe after an absence of years. They feel that the local European arena has been waiting for them and is ready and willing for a counter-revolution to take place so as to save it from the enemy. We have already seen some of the results of this group's struggle - in the Paris triangle on Friday night, November 13, 2015.
Europe is in a dilemma over whether to allow Islamic state fighters who are citizens of the various European states to return to their countries of origin. According to the liberal "human rights" approach, countries must provide these people with a fair trial, listen to their version of the story and allow them to defend themselves. On the other hand, there is a general feeling among the public that a liberal modern state should not protect the right of an individual to shake the very foundations of its existence.
To summarize, let me state that we are in the midst of the process of the export of jihadists from the Islamic revolution to all four corners of the globe, with emphasis on those with Islamic populations, as those residents extend a friendly welcoming environment to Jihadists, provide them with easy access to ways of enlisting more militants, and offer available shelter in case government law enforcers look for suspects. Some tens of Muslims with Israeli identity cards reached Islamic State over the past five years. We would like to think that the authorities are aware of the problem and are prepared to act in a way that will keep democracy not only in name but also in action.
Germans hunt for Tunisian man after IS claims truck attack
German police launched a manhunt Wednesday for a Tunisian suspected of driving the truck that plowed through a Berlin Christmas market in a deadly assault claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Twelve people were killed when the Polish-registered articulated truck, laden with steel beams, slammed into the crowded holiday market on Monday, smashing wooden stalls and crushing victims.
Media reports said asylum office papers believed to belong to the man were found in the cab of the 40-ton truck used in the attack that killed 12 people.
The man is in his early 20s, known by three different names, and was born in the southern city of Tataouine, the reports said.
Truck Terror Attack in Berlin Mimics Palestinian Car-Ramming Tactics
As far back as July 2008, a Palestinian terrorist driving a large construction vehicle plowed into cars and pedestrians in central Jerusalem, killing three people and wounding more than 40.
Three weeks later, a Palestinian tractor driver rammed into an Israeli public bus and five cars, wounding 15 people.
Two months later, a Palestinian from eastern Jerusalem deliberately drove his BMW into a crowd in Jerusalem near the Old City, wounding 17.
In August 2014, a Palestinian drove a tractor into a bus in central Jerusalem, wounding six victims.
Optimistic search continues for Israeli woman missing in Berlin attack
The son and daughter of an Israeli woman missing since the Berlin truck-ramming at a Christmas market Monday night arrived in the city overnight Tuesday to help with the search for their mother and to visit their father, who was seriously injured in the terror attack.
Twelve people were killed and almost 50 wounded when a truck tore through the crowd on the day before, smashing wooden stalls and crushing victims in scenes reminiscent of July’s deadly attack in the French Riviera city of Nice.
The woman was named as Dalia Elyakim, 60. Her husband, who was seriously injured in the attack was anmed as Rami Elyakim, also 60. The two were visiting Berlin from Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.
The children of the couple visited their father Rami in the hospital where he remains in serious but stable condition, the Hebrew-language Walla website reported Wednesday. They also gave DNA samples to assist in identifying their mother.
Ambassador to Germany Yakov Hadas-Handelsman said, “We are making great efforts to find the woman.”
“Most of those injured in the attack have still not been identified and that gives us hope,” he said in the Walla report. “We are checking every possibility in the hope of ruling out also the worst possible outcome.”
State Department spokesman brands settlements ‘illegal’
State Department spokesman John Kirby reaffirmed the US commitment to a two-state solution and longstanding opposition to Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank — referring in unusually harsh language to the enterprise’s “illegality” — five days after President-elect Donald Trump announced he would appoint an outspoken settlements supporter, David Friedman, to be the next US ambassador to Israel.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday afternoon, Kirby responded to Friedman’s nomination by saying the Obama administration’s stance opposing settlement expansion covers “generations of US policy on both sides of the aisle.”
“Our policy is entirely consistent with that longstanding view about settlements, and to the degree also, not just the illegality of them, but that they are not helping us get to a two-state solution, and everybody says that they want to get to a two-state solution,” Kirby said.
Designating Israel’s settlement of the West Bank “illegal” is unusual for an American official, as US policy has long avoided invoking international law.
According to veteran Middle East peace negotiator Dennis Ross, such a characterization would undercut the US negotiating position of seeking to keep in place the major blocs that Israel would likely retain under any permanent accord in exchange for mutually agreed upon land swaps within Israel proper for a future Palestinian state.
“Since the Reagan administration, the US made a policy that settlements were a political issue and not a legal issue,” Ross told The Times of Israel in October 2015.
Two States and the Embassy
The Palestinians have responded to recent statements from the Trump transition team in a predictable manner. They’re treating the possibility that at long last a U.S. president will make good on a campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as an outrage. Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat put Trump and the Israelis on notice yesterday in a conference call heard at a Wilson Center policy forum. Erekat said the Palestinian Authority would revoke its recognition of Israel—which was part of the Oslo Accords—and claimed that popular Muslim outrage about the belated U.S. recognition of where Israel’s capital has been for the past 67 years would force the closure of every American embassy in the Arab world.
While their withdrawal of recognition is a bluff, given the desire of the Palestinians to stir up as much trouble for the U.S. as possible if the embassy move happens, Erekat may be right about the latter prediction. But critics of the incoming administration, instead of merely bemoaning the possible ramifications of Trump’s plan and referring to it as a deathblow to the two-state solution, should perhaps ask themselves why it is the Palestinians are so mad about the prospect?
The usual answer is that U.S. recognition of any part of Jerusalem as being sovereign Israeli territory and the country’s capital would prejudge the outcome of peace talks that would set the borders of a putative two-state solution. The State Department has insisted that any change in America’s diplomatic arrangements are permanently on hold awaiting the conclusion of a peace treaty.
But those who consider Trump’s possible embassy coup an attack on the two-state solution have it backwards.
The whole point of those pushing for withdrawal from the West Bank and for re-dividing Jerusalem in order to create an independent Palestinian state (in addition to the one that already exists in all but name in Gaza that is run by Hamas), is to force Israel to treat the 1967 lines as the border between the two countries. That’s why President Obama demanded that the 1967 lines be the starting point for all negotiations. But if the 67 lines are to be considered sacred then that also means that West Jerusalem—the parts of the city that were not illegally occupied by Jordan during the War of Independence and which functioned as Israel’s capital from 1949 to 1967—really is part of Israel and should be treated that way.
Tunisia seeking Swiss, Belgian nationals in killing of Hamas drone expert
Tunisian officials are searching for two suspects of Belgian and Swiss nationalities as they investigate the assassination of an engineer with ties to Hamas, attributed by the terror group to Israel.
The Tunisian deputy prosecutor general Mourad Turki said the portrait of a “Belgian national of Maghrebian origin” had been transmitted to Interpol. Another suspect “of Swiss nationality” was also wanted.
The killing of Mohamed Al-Zoari, who was shot dead on Thursday in the city of Sfax, continued to stir Tunisia on Monday, with parliament planning a crisis meeting, as well as several calls for demonstrations throughout the country.
Zoari, a 49-year-old engineer, was killed at the wheel of his car outside his house in Sfax on Thursday. He was buried on Saturday.
Hamas told AFP on Saturday that Zoari was a drone expert and was killed by “Zionist treachery,” referring to Israel.
After a morning meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub was due to speak later Monday at a press conference with his justice counterpart Ghazi Jribi.
Attorney general confirms MK admitted smuggling papers into prison
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit confirmed that Joint (Arab) List MK Basel Ghattas admitted to smuggling contraband to Palestinian inmates in Israeli prison in a letter Wednesday, ahead of a Knesset committee hearing on stripping the lawmaker of parliamentary immunity.
In his urgent letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday morning asking that Ghattas’s immunity be lifted, Mandelblit also confirmed there was video footage of Ghattas handing over papers to one prisoner — Walid Daka — and giving four envelopes to a second inmate, Basel Ben Sulieman Bezre.
Daka is serving a 37-year sentence for the abduction and murder of 19-year-old IDF soldier Moshe Tamam and Bezre is serving a 15-year sentence for terror offenses.
The House Committee is to vote later in the day on Ghattas’s immunity in a bid to advance the criminal proceedings against the Arab lawmaker.
If the committee decides in favor of removing his immunity the matter would move to the Knesset itself, where fellow lawmakers would hold a final vote on Ghattas’s fate.
Parliament doesn’t usually meet on Thursday so a special plenum session would be called during which Ghattas will be given an opportunity to plead against the move.
MEMRI: "Millions of Martyrs Marching to Jerusalem"
Israeli Knesset Member Ayman Odeh at Seventh Fatah Conference: Next Conference Will Be Held in Palestinian Capital of East Jerusalem; Crowd Chants: "Millions of Martyrs Marching to Jerusalem"
Israeli Knesset member Ayman Odeh, speaking on November 29 at the Seventh Fatah Conference held in Ramallah, said:
"We will be with you at the Eighth Fatah Conference in East Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine."
Odeh's address was received by applause and by chants of "Millions of martyrs are marching to Jerusalem." The proceedings of the Fatah conference were broadcast on Palestine TV.

UN warns Palestinian population will double to 9.5 million by 2050
A new UN study projecting rapid growth in the Palestinian population should serve as a “wake up call” to Israel and the international community, a senior UN official said Tuesday.
The report said that without international attention, growth in the Palestinian population, particularly Gaza, will lead to an even greater crisis in unemployment, overwhelm a strained infrastructure and increase the lure of militant groups.
“We are on a downward spiral, especially in Gaza, and things are getting worse by the day,” said Anders Thomsen, director of the UN Population Fund’s office in the Palestinian territories. “If that continues, you can of course only imagine that this will be an environment ripe for radicalization and for the conflicts, so I think that should be avoided.”
The population in the Palestinian territories will double to 9.5 million by 2050, according to the UN study. By 2030, the Palestinian territories would need 1 million new jobs just to keep unemployment at the rate it is now, the study found. Unemployment is currently 43 percent in Gaza and 18 percent in West Bank.
It will be difficult to create new jobs to meet the growth in population, and unemployment numbers will likely soar, possibly becoming among the world’s highest.
“The report is a wake-up call for both Palestinian planners, for the international community but also for Israel,” said Thomsen.
ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Jordan attack
The Islamic State jihadi group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's shooting attack at a popular tourist site in Karak, Jordan, that killed 10 people, according to Jordanian security and intelligence officials.
Terrorists opened fire on a group of police officers and then took a number of people, including tourists, hostage, barricading themselves in the city's Crusader-era Karak Castle. Eight police officers, a Canadian tourist and a local resident were killed in the attack. The attackers were killed in a shoot-out with security forces.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack.
"On behalf of the people and government of Israel, I strongly condemn yesterday's terrorist attack in Jordan," he said. "We send our sympathies to the families of the victims and wish the wounded a speedy and full recovery."
According to Arab media reports, security officials expressed concern some of the attackers might have escaped as they exchanged gunfire with Jordanian Special Forces. A few hours later, however, all four of the attackers were reported to have been killed in the gunfire.
Trump’s Iran Deal Trap: ‘Renegotiation’ vs. ‘Enforcement’
You can have enforcement/sanctions or renegotiation, but not both. To undo the effects of the Iran deal, the Obama administration’s deceptive marketing campaign has to be turned on its head. If the point of the Deal was Obama’s larger re-alignment strategy, the way to halt that strategy is to actually enforce the limited terms of the deal itself—and to push back hard against Iranian encroachments in other areas, instead of passively or actively supporting them as the current administration has. If the Obama White House warned that the only option to the deal was war, the Trump administration has to convince European allies as well as domestic opponents that the only way to avoid American, or Israeli, military action is to enforce the deal that everyone has already agreed to.
Barack Obama played his cards perfectly, given that his goal was to re-align the United States with Iran as a means to getting the United States out of the Middle East: The nuclear deal was simply a means to that larger end. But the opening Obama left for a foe who hoped to undo the strategic deception he authored is that the nuclear deal with Iran is a phony agreement—meaning that it was never meant to stand on its own. The strategic (and actual) payoffs for sticking to the agreement exist outside the scope of the agreement itself.
Enforcing the actual agreement while refusing to cooperate with Iran on its other strategic goals—like destroying Syria, arming Hezbollah, buying billions of dollars’ worth of advanced jet planes for ferrying weapons and troops, and building ballistic missiles—will therefore most likely cause the agreement to collapse sooner rather than later. A deal collapse will, in turn, lead to much greater pressure on Iran, including the pressure of a possibly imminent military action, or military action itself. The stark, nearly binary nature of these alternatives is also a direct consequence of the deal that Obama structured—except, of course, that Obama never contemplated taking military action against Iran: His policy at all points was exactly the opposite. In fact, he believed that creating a choice between realignment and war would help him pass the deal and thereby lock in realignment.
Obama’s grand strategy may have been too clever by half. Should Iran decide to walk away from the deal after IRGC companies are designated, for instance, or because of their efforts on behalf of a genocide in Syria, or because they are developing banned missiles that can hit Europe, Tel Aviv, and the United States, what happens next is on Iran’s head—not ours.
Iran to begin gas injection into new, advanced centrifuges
Iran’s nuclear energy agency indicated Tuesday that Tehran would soon begin injecting gas into the latest generation of advanced centrifuges, IR-8, in a move that marks the next step to make them operational and that Iran says is permitted under the terms of the nuclear deal signed last year with six world powers.
“The IR8 tests have come to an end and they will go into the stage of gas injection in the next few weeks,” a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, announced at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the semi-official Fars new agency.
The report added that this step will proceed in accordance with “the nuclear deal that allows research activities on the eighth generation of Iran’s centrifuge machines, known as the IR-8.”
Iran has said that its IR-8 centrifuges enrich uranium 20 times faster than the IR-1 centrifuges, which the country used prior to the deal.
Under the terms of the agreement as issued in a fact sheet released by the US State Department last year, Iran “will not use its IR-2, IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, or IR-8 models to produce enriched uranium for at least ten years. For ten years, enrichment and enrichment research and development will be limited to ensure a breakout timeline of at least 1 year. Beyond 10 years, Iran will abide by its enrichment and enrichment R&D plan submitted to the IAEA, and pursuant to the JCPOA, under the Additional Protocol resulting in certain limitations on enrichment capacity.”
Iran has maintained that, under the accord, it was allowed to conduct R&D on its more advanced centrifuges.
Netanyahu: Israel ready to take in wounded Syrians from Aleppo
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that he instructed his government to find ways to extend medical assistance to Syrians injured in the latest round of fighting, especially those from the embattled city of Aleppo.
“We see the tragedy of terrible suffering of civilians and I’ve asked the Foreign Ministry to seek ways to expand our medical assistance to the civilian casualities of the Syrian tragedy, specifically in Aleppo where we’re prepared to take in wounded women and children, and also men if they’re not combatants,” Netanyahu told foreign journalists during a meeting in Jerusalem.
“We’d like to do that: Bring them to Israel, take care of them in our hospitals as we’ve done with thousands of Syrian civilians. We’re looking into ways of doing this; it’s being explored as we speak.”
Addressing foreign reporters and diplomats at the Government Press Office’s annual New Year’s reception, Netanyahu said he sees no end of the fighting and that he could not imagine a peaceful resolution to the civil war that would restore the pre-war status quo.
“Do I see a resolution of the Syrian situation? No,” he said emphatically. “It’s certainly not going to be one happy Syria, that’s for sure. Will it be a united Syria? I doubt it. You have enclaves there and I don’t think they’re about to disappear.”
There is great suffering among the country’s civilian population, but there is very little Israel could do to help them, the prime minister added. “I don’t know if we can resolve [the Syrian civil war]. But we can help mitigate some of the suffering, that’s the best that Israel can do.”
JCPA: An Existential Battle for the Demographic Future of Syria
Assuming things remain as they are, Syria will not have many Arab Sunni Muslims living there in the future.
As long as the present Shiite fundamentalist government remains in power in Iran, what is happening in Syria is an existential threat to the Arab Sunni regimes, Israel, and others. But if there is a change in regime in Iran, all bets are off. Under the Shah, Iran was a respected member of the international community and concerned first and foremost about internal Iranian affairs. If a new leadership with similar concerns like those of pre-Islamic revolutionary Iran took over, the Shiite-Sunni eternal battle would most likely become less of an issue in inter-Muslim and international affairs.
Even so, we would still expect Russia to remain allied with a non-Islamic Republican Iran, Syria with its new demographic reality, and others such as China and India who also fear Sunni fundamentalism.
But as things stand now in Syria, without a convincing show of American force or even the force of will in Syria or elsewhere in the region, it is reasonable to assume that Russia and Iran will continue to carry out their campaign in Syria, culminating with a nearly complete population exchange, from Sunni to Shiite. In such a scenario, a future government in Syria can be expected to deepen its alliance with Russia and Iran, and act increasingly to oppose the United States and its Western democratic allies.
Whatever the case, if the war in Syria continues – and there are no signs to suggest the contrary – we can expect that in the future, Syria will most likely look demographically completely different from what it did before the Arab Spring.
Israelis Have Crowdfunded a Million Shekels for Syrian Children in Less Than a Week
Today, responding to the human catastrophe unfolding in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to devise ways for the Jewish state to increase humanitarian aid to its neighbor’s victims. “We have already treated thousands of wounded from the tragedy in Syria,” Netanyahu said at a press meeting. “I want us to find ways of bringing women, children and also men, if they are non-combatants, from Aleppo for treatment in Israeli hospitals.”
But Israelis haven’t been waiting for their government to act on behalf of beleaguered Syrians: They’ve already crowdfunded a million shekels (approximately $250,000) for Syrian children. The “Just Beyond Our Border” campaign was launched this past Thursday and has shot well past its 600,000 shekel goal with over a month left to the campaign. As of this publication, it has raised 983,147 NIS. (UPDATE: Now 1,009,686 NIS.) The funds will go towards medicines, blankets, clothing, food, infant formula, and other essentials for Syrians and their children.
The campaign was launched with this arresting Hebrew video:
“We must see the truth that is in front of our eyes,” the narrator states. Supporting the children of Syria, he continues, stems from Israelis’ “Jewish obligation, human obligation, and moral obligation not to look away and to extend a hand.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Impotence Of Int’l Community In Syria Supposed To Reassure Israel About ‘Shared’ Jerusalem (satire)
Lack of political will around the globe to intervene in the bloodshed plaguing Syria is apparently supposed to help convince decision-makers in Israel to relinquish exclusive claims to Jerusalem in favor of an internationally-enforced sharing of the city and its holy sites, diplomats observed today.
Many successive US presidential administrations have insisted that Jerusalem be treated by the international community as a corpus separatum, a bubble administered by a consortium of outside nations, instead of as the declared capital of Israel. American and general Western reluctance to act militarily to impair or stop the genocide occurring in Syria plays an important role in that argument, demonstrating the commitment the West would have to defending the rights of Israelis and Jews to access their holy sites and ancestral heritage if Palestinian or wider Arab powers move to claim the city for themselves and bar Jews from it.
A US State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity told PreOccupied Territory that she and her colleagues remain prepared to argue for the implementation of the corpus separatum even though the original proposal for Jerusalem to have that status was never adopted by the international community, given unanimous Arab rejection of the 1947 UN Partition Plan for British-Mandate Palestine. “We continue to believe that removing Jerusalem and its holy sites, with their fraught ramifications for who controls them, from jurisdiction of any specific power holds one of the keys to a peaceful resolution of this conflict,” she explained. “The incoming president might differ with the rank-and-file of this department in that regard, but we will remain steadfast in advising him and the staff he has appointed to push for the internationalization of Jerusalem under any final accord, with the fate of Aleppo as important evidence in the workability of any such resolution.”

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