Monday, January 30, 2017

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians' Fort of Torture
Because it is not Israelis who are perpetrating the abuse, the reports are ho-hum to these journalists.
Hamas is an extremist Islamist movement that does not consider itself obliged to abide by international laws and treaties concerning basic human rights. Indeed, the concept of human rights simply does not exist under Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where public freedoms, including freedom of speech and of the press, are non-existent.
In 2013, two Palestinian detainees reportedly died of torture in the Jericho Central Prison.
A London-based human rights organization reported 3,175 cases of human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions, by the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces in the West Bank during 2016. Hundreds of those detained include university students and lecturers, as well as schoolteachers. During the same year, the PA security forces also detained 27 Palestinian journalists.
Unfortunately for them, they are not going on hunger strikes in an Israeli prison, where such actions garner the immediate interest of the mainstream media.
Many are willing to tell their stories. But who is willing to listen? Not Western governments, human rights organizations and journalists. Most of them seek evil in Israel, and Israel alone.
Hamas admits antisemitism, why do so many whitewash it?
A senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, told Al-Jazeera recently that the organization was going to revise its charter and “addresses the antisemitic language.”
The new charter would remove references to “religion and race.” Hamas would make clear that it was only “against the Zionists, against the occupation of our lands.”
The Hamas admission that its 1988 charter is anti-semitic leads to the question: why did so many commentators, including Jewish journalists and Israeli academics, claim for so long that Hamas was moderate and ignore the antisemitism? The same voices who condemn President Donald Trump for racism and accuse his advisers of antisemitism eschew any mention of Hamas antisemitism.
A Jewish Voice for Peace “fact sheet” from 2015 about Gaza barely mentions Hamas and when it does it portrays it as a victim of Israel “breaking” truces with it and complains “most disturbingly” that Israel assassinated Hamas leader Ahmad Jabari. For years the public has been subjected to a misinformation campaign about Hamas. Those who call for a more liberal Israeli and Western society have often sought to whitewash Hamas.
The truth about Hamas antisemitism is readily available.
Israeli professor Dina Porat wrote in 2014 that throughout the Hamas charter’s 36 articles there are descriptions that “contain clearly antisemitic motifs that are expressed without mincing words. Zionism constitutes a Nazi- and Tatar-like invasion of Palestine, the charter states that, and Jewish Nazism is an evil enemy (article 20) that conducts itself like Nazism... the historical description is informed by and directly based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
Professor Meir Litvak wrote in 2005 in the Palestine-Israel Journal (PIJ) that “the harsh expressions made by Hamas should not be dismissed as mere rhetoric, as they serve to inculcate a state of mind among the movement’s activists and followers as well as socialize a younger generation of Palestinians.”
In short, Hamas provides education designed to create extreme antisemitism, welfare that comes with the Protocols attached.
Now you can come clean, Mr. Obama
Obama had the same schemes in mind as per Haman, consider his final trick at the last hour of his presidency.
No less than $221 million he parceled over to the same Palestinian Arabs whose main business is murdering Israelis.
Trump has since foiled the plot by placing a hold on the gift.
But there was much that could not be stopped as over a period of eight years Obama proved again and again that he had no love for the Jewish people.
No love for Christians, either, by the way. He would never bow to the Queen of England. But for the King of Saudi Arabia, yes he bowed.
He bowed to that type throughout his two terms. Never forget his joining the wolves at the UN to pass Resolution 2334 that was intended to devour the Jewish State.
Never forget his snubbing of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of America’s only true friend in the entire Middle East.
Never forget his secret deals with Iran – those billions of our money he forked over to his pals the mullahs.
The only reason for that was to give them the means to build bombs and rockets aimed at Israel and the United States.
Obama had no love for either country, certainly not Israel, and not even America, where by hook and by crook he got himself elected those two times.

The Refugee Ban and the Holocaust
The foreign policy failures of the Obama years are father to Trump’s callous treatment of refugees.
This country needs a serious and humane immigration and refugee policy that is both enlightened and sustainable. We didn’t have it under Obama; we are unlikely to have it under Trump. Despite deporting hundreds of thousands of illegals, Obama never embraced the cause of defending America’s borders or regulating immigration in ways that clearly reassured marginalized American communities that the U.S. government was first and foremost committed to their welfare and to the defense of their way of life. And he never took responsibility for the ways in which his own repeated errors of judgment about the Middle East contributed to the mass refugee flows that he then tried to guilt-trip Americans into accommodating. Dumb cosmopolitanism leads to dumb nationalist reaction. The Obama years led to the Trump win—even as W’s years led to Obama.
Bad foreign policy, not bad immigration policy, was the primary American contribution to the global disasters of the 1940s, the Holocaust very much included. This is also true today, and the need for an enlightened but grounded nationalism, as opposed to unicorn-hunting cosmopolitanism and braggadocious jingoism, is as strong and as urgent as it has ever been—but appears as much out of reach as it was in the 1930s.
And so here we are: steering erratically into stormy waters, haunted by the cries of the refugees and the dispossessed, squabbling among ourselves as the clouds grow darker overhead. Not since the 1930s has the world, or American foreign policy, been in this much trouble. We are growing more angry and more bitter even as the need for clear thought and wise action grows.
CAMERA: Netanyahu Supports Silent on Trump Travel Ban
"PM's anti-Jewish support for Trump's anti-Muslim decree" is a front-page headline of Haaretz's English print edition yesterday.
Similarly, Haaretz's online headline states: "Netanyahu’s anti-Jewish Support for Trump’s anti-Muslim Decree."
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not expressed any support for President Trump's move against immigration. In fact, Netanyahu has come under criticism for keeping silentabout Trump's executive order. The Times of Israel reported yesterday:
Nor does the analysis by Chemi Shalev accompanying the erroneous Haaretz headline substantiate the claim that Netanyahu supports Trump's executive order. Shalev instead focuses on the timing of Netanyahu's tweet expressing approval Trump's decision to build a wall on the Mexican border -- in close proximity to the executive order regarding Syrians and Muslim immigrants.
IsraellyCool: Trump’s “Muslim Ban” Exposes Leftist & BDS Hypocrisy
As I’m sure you are all now aware, on the Shabbat after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning entry to the United States to all people from seven Islamic countries. Since then it has met with near universal condemnation from the Left (as well as substantial opprobrium from the Right as well).
But as I watched these Far Leftists fill up my Twitter Feed with condemnations, I started to get very angry. There are currently sixteen(!) countries that ban all Israelis from entering, eight of whom also ban anyone who has an Israeli stamp in their passport! Other than Somalia, all seven countries that were banned by this weekend’s executive order – Iran, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – have officially banned all Israelis since its reestablishment nearly seventy years ago.
While Americans didn’t wait a single day to protest this unjust and ineffective policy, to the best of my knowledge, there has not been a single protest against these policies in any of the above countries, on the contrary, there have been plenty of anti-normalization protests in favor of them. Leftists have come out into the streets to protest their own government’s discriminatory law, but have not said a word about the same exact laws that have existed for decades.
It’s Racist To Pigeonhole The Quebec Attackers Unless You Say They Were Inspired By Trump By the Huffington Post Editorial Staff (satire)
Last night’s mosque attack in Quebec has us in tears. Such violence against innocents never ceases to shock. In its wake we must be exceedingly careful not to assume the motives or identities of the perpetrators, unless those assumptions involve non-liberal Westerners.
Thus, it would be illiberal to claim, without definitive evidence, that the shooters were motivated by Islam. However, it remains within the bounds of acceptable discourse to associate the terrorist act with followers of President Trump or any of his supporters. We ask that our readers adhere to this sensible distinction as we stand with the people of Canada during this difficult time. Except Trump supporters. You’re not welcome here.
President Obama showed the way when he refrained from using the term “Islamic terrorism.” His preferred phrase, “violent extremism,” is much more in keeping with right-thinking sensibilities, and avoiding any automatic connection between Islam and terrorism would serve as a proper preservation of his legacy. It is all the much more important when a bigot now inhabits the White House, a man who would ban Muslims from the US. Well, Muslims from seven very specific countries previously identified by the Obama administration as problematic. It’s still racist, though, because Trump.
As tensions flare, Netanyahu says Trump wall tweet wasn’t about Mexico
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday denied he had expressed support for US President Donald Trump’s push for a border wall with Mexico, after a tweet by the Israeli leader sparked a diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Mexico City.
At the same time, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray reportedly called on Netanyahu to apologize, saying his comments “felt like an act of aggression.”
“We hope that Israel’s government will be sensitive enough to correct Netanyahu’s statement,” Videgaray said.
On Saturday night, Netanyahu appeared to back Trump’s plan, pointing to Israel’s success in reducing illegal migration with the construction of a border fence with Egypt.
“President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” Netanyahu wrote in English on Twitter on Saturday, in a post that drew an angry response from Mexico.
On Monday, the prime minister told the weekly Likud faction meeting he was merely responding to Trump’s praise for the Egypt border in the social media post, which was later retweeted by the US president.
Israel’s Magal pushes for Mexico wall deal as Trump buoys shares
An Israeli security company is making a push in Washington this week to help build Donald Trump’s Mexican border wall following the U.S. president’s praise of Israel’s success in boosting security by fencing off its frontiers.
Shares of Yehud, Israel-based Magal Security Systems Ltd. jumped 5.6 percent on Jan. 27, the day after Trump told Fox News a security barrier could almost completely stop border breaches. The company’s shares have risen nearly 50 percent since Trump’s election.
Executives from Magal’s U.S.-based Senstar unit will show off its FiberPatrol product at a Jan. 31 conference on border security. Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other agencies will talk to the gathering of defense contractors in Alexandria, Virginia, according to Magal Chief Executive Officer Saar Koursh. The system, which embeds fiber-optic sensors in long stretches of fences and walls, is already used for perimeter security at airports and seaports around the world, he said.
“We have the right product and we have the experience in Israel that helps in showcasing our product,” Koursh said in a telephone interview Jan. 26.
Magal was a major contractor on Israel’s West Bank barrier, a stretch of sensor-laden fences and concrete walls that was begun in 2002 to counter a wave of Palestinian suicide-bombings. The company has also helped build a fence along Israel’s border with Egypt, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented on Saturday as an example for Trump’s Mexican wall.
No point in feud with Trump over Holocaust statement — top minister
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday said the omission of Jews from the White House’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement was likely a “mishap or a misunderstanding,” even though the Trump administration has insisted it was intentional.
The White House came under fire from Jewish groups and others Friday after releasing a statement to mark Holocaust remembrance that did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism, but officials have said they were intending to highlight the fact that the Nazis had many victims, not just Jews, and that they had “no regrets” about the formulation.
In the first official Israeli response to the controversy, the defense minister downplayed the issue, stressing that it was not worth “starting a fight” with the Trump administration.
The omission was likely “a mishap or a misunderstanding,” Liberman said at the start of the weekly Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting in the Knesset.
“I don’t think there is room here for a diplomatic demarche,” Liberman said.
The defense minister said he “hopes” next year’s statement is worded differently and highlights Jewish suffering, but “we aren’t looking for a fight, not with the White House nor with anyone else.”
A New Strategy for the Israel-Palestinian Conflict: Tell the Truth
For decades, the American government has implicitly and explicitly adopted the Arab narrative about the Palestinians. Thus, ranking U.S. officials have spoken as if Jews and Palestinians have equal claim to Jerusalem, refused to admit that west Jerusalem is Israel’s capital (or even part of Israel), pretended that the “right of return” of Palestinian “refugees” (really the descendants of refugees) is seriously up for negotiation, and acted as if Palestinian society or its leadership is sincerely interested in peace. Max Singer argues that Washington can do much good by insisting on the truth:
The biggest falsehood the U.S. needs to expose is that there exists “Palestinian territory” that Israel refuses to “give back” because of its expansionist ambitions and purported security needs. It would be controversial, rather than a falsehood, to say that justice and peace require Israel to turn over to a Palestinian state all or almost all the land it seized in its defensive war in 1967. But there is a big difference between the controversial statement that the West Bank should become Palestinian territory as part of a peace agreement and the false statement that these areas are now, or ever were in the past, Palestinian territory.
The distinction . . . determines whether Israeli proposals to provide land for a Palestinian state are returning stolen property or are offers to give up disputed land to which it has serious claims, in order to make a healthy peace with its neighbor. From the Palestinian point of view, [this is the difference] between an immoral submission to a thief who has more power and a wise compromise with neighbors who have overlapping claims of right. . . .
Gulf Boycott Israel Group Criticizes Budding Normalization
The Gulf boycott Israel movement issued a statement slamming Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal (pictured) for meeting with Israel’s former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at the World Economic Forum last week.
“It’s not the first time the boycott of the enemy has not been respected by Turki al-Faisal and others,” the statement said. “It is the latest in a string of meetings between the prince and Zionist officials. In 2014 he met with the minister, and later he publicly shook hands with the Israeli minister of war, the butcher of Gaza Moshe Ya’alon in 2015, and later met with Yaakov Amidror, the national security advisor to the Prime Minister of settlements and Zionist imperialism, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as a series of public meetings in what seems like a prelude to imposing normalization on our people.”
The prince’s “normalization meetings” don’t only “defy Saudi Arabia’s official policy, but it also disrespects millions of Saudis who oppose any kind of normalization with the Zionist entity and refuse to shake the hands of the Zionists that have the blood of their Palestinian brethren on them.”
Palestinians slam UN chief's remarks on Jewish ties to Temple Mount
Palestinian officials criticized United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday for saying that a Jewish temple existed atop the Temple Mount.
“[Gueterres] ignored UNESCO’s decision that considered the Al-Aksa Mosque of pure Islamic heritage,” Adnan al-Husseini, Palestinian Authority Jerusalem Affairs minister told Xinhua, a Chinese news outlet, clarifying that the UN secretary-general “violated all legal, diplomatic and humanitarian customs, overstepped his role as secretary general, and…must issue an apology to the Palestinian people.”
Speaking to Israel Radio on Friday, Guterres reportedly said that it is "completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple."
The new UN chief added that there is "no doubt" that Jerusalem is holy to all three of the major monotheistic religions. He also said, according to Israel Radio, that he had no intention of pushing for a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, though he believes in the two-state solution and would assist in that goal if asked.
Why Israel has the most technologically advanced military on Earth
In 1950, just two years after the state of Israel was founded, the country’s first commercial delegation set off for South America.
Israel desperately needed trading partners. Unlike its Arab adversaries, Israel did not have natural resources to fund its economy. There was no oil or minerals. Nothing.
The delegation held a couple of meetings but was mostly met with laughs. The Israelis were trying to sell oranges, kerosene stove tops and fake teeth. For countries like Argentina, which grew its own oranges and was connected to the electrical grid, the products were pretty useless.
It’s hard to imagine this is what Israeli exports looked like a mere 67 years ago. Today, Israel is a high-tech superpower and one of the world’s top weapons exporters with approximately $6.5 billion in annual arms sales.
Since 1985, for example, Israel is the world’s largest exporter of drones, responsible for about 60 percent of the global market, trailed by the US, whose market share is under 25 percent. Its customers are everywhere — Russia, South Korea, Australia, France, Germany and Brazil.
Haifa murder suspect 'motivated by hatred for Jews'
Nationalistic intent was the motive for the January 3 shooting attack that left one Israeli killed and another moderately wounded in Haifa, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) cleared for publication on Monday.
According to the Shin Bet, the interrogation of Muhammad Shinawi, a resident of the Haifa neighborhood of Halisa, revealed that he had deliberately shot Guy Cafri, 47, and Yechiel Illouz, 48, with a Carlo Gustav gun that he had in his possession because of his "hatred for Jews."
Cafri was killed and Illouz, a judge on the Haifa Rabbinical Court was seriously injured in the pair of shootings, which shook the coastal city.
Initially, police suspected a criminal motive for the pair of shootings and the victims - who are not known to police as persons of interests - were shot in a case of mistaken identity. Yet, as the case developed nationalistic motivations have become the central suspicion.
Police: Israeli Arab called 'Jew lover' went on killing spree
Three shooting incidents that took place in Haifa on Jan. 3 were a spree perpetrated by a single gunman, the Israel Police revealed Monday.
Yehiel Iluz, 48, a senior judge on a Haifa rabbinic conversion court, was moderately wounded in the first shooting attack; Guy Kafri, 47, a van driver from Haifa's Nesher neighborhood, was killed in the second attack; and a woman targeted in the third attack was unharmed.
The suspect, Muhammad Shinawi, 21, a resident of Haifa's Halisa neighborhood, was indicted Monday before the Haifa District Court for the murder of Kafri, the attempted murder of Iluz, committing an act of terror, carrying a concealed weapon, attempted robbery, and vehicle theft.
According to the indictment, Shinawi was radicalized following the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and even more so over the past few years, and "he began believing Jews are infidels who should be killed."
He decided to murder Jews after his girlfriend allegedly teased him for being a "Zionist Jew" and a "Jew lover."
East Jerusalem terrorist sentenced to life for deadly 2015 ramming attack
A Jerusalem district court announced on Monday the verdict of Khaled Koutineh, an east Jerusalem resident who was indicted in April 2016 of murder and attempted murder felonies, both of which he carried out on the eve of Israeli Holocaust Memorial Day on April 15, 2015.
Koutineh was sentenced to life in prison for murder and as well as an additional 20 years behind bars for attempted murder. He was also charged with paying a fine of 516,000 NIS. The monetary compensation will go to the parents of victim who was killed and to a second victim who was wounded in the attack.
Koutineh ran over the two Israeli pedestrians who were standing at a bus stop on the Bar-Lev Boulevard in Jerusalem (Route 1) in what was later classified as a terror attack spurred by the perpetrator's ideological and nationalistic motives.
One of the pedestrians, Shalom Yohai Sharki, was gravely injured and later died of his wounds. The other victim also sustained grave injuries and was hospitalized, but survived the attack and has recovered since.
2 Palestinians Jailed for Planning ISIS-Inspired Terror Attack in Jerusalem
Two Palestinians were sentenced to time in prison on Monday after being found guilty of planning a terror attack inspired by the Islamic State organization (ISIS).
Musab Aliyan and Samir Abed Rabbo, both residents of east Jerusalem, built an explosive device and planned to use it against an Israeli security forces vehicle in the capital.
Aliyan was sentenced to 10 years in prison, while Abed Rabbo was sentenced to nine years.
According to the indictment, the two conspired to carry out the attack in the name of ISIS.
Aliyan, 24, began supporting the organization in 2014. He attended a religion study group, where he was introduced to the ISIS ideology.
He saw himself as part of the extremist organization, identified with it, and supports it, the indictment notes.
Breaking the Silence Expose ‘Corruption’: Hebron Jews Ply Soldiers with Shabbat Meals, Pizza
Then there’s the ultimate evil carried out by those settlers, according to BtS: “Though it is forbidden, settlers often provide soldiers with gifts, visit them in their guard posts, offer them food and beverage, and even host them for meals in their homes.” Ah, the humanity! How much must those poor soldiers endure? In fact, the report was able to document that whenever a unit is about to leave its post near a settlement, the local Jews get a pizza delivery for every soldier.
And then, of course, just as the soldiers have enjoyed a Shabbat meal or chewed up their slice, the “settlers” lobby and preach political ideologies in order to proselytize the soldiers to adopt settler ideologies.
Indeed, things have gotten so bad, the BtS report argues that “the systematic failure of consecutive Israeli governments to address the issues and phenomena elucidated by this report, enable the further entrenchment of this conduct to become a permanent fixture of IDF activities in the West Bank.”
Also, the fact that those Israeli governments have been largely pro-settler didn’t help any. How dare they not suppress those Judea and Samaria Jews? Something must be done, before they corrupt even more good IDF soldiers with their Shabbat meals and pizza pies.
Analysis: Hezbollah's road to regaining legitimacy goes through Israel
Armored cars, American APCs, Russian tanks and hundreds of soldiers in uniform: this is what Hezbollah's military parade in the Syrian town of Al-Qusayr in November looked like. The impression given by the images that arrived from the event was that this is no longer a terror organization, but rather a full-fledged army, and it seems that the message that Hezbollah's leaders were sending was received loud and clear: We came to Syria in order to win. We are here to stay.
"The military parade sends a three-fold message," political analyst Qassem Kubir says. "An internal Lebanese message, that the fighting alongside the Syrian regime is not up for debate; a message to Israel, that Hezbollah is continuing to develop its military capabilities; and a message to the international community, that the organization and its allies are ready for any development in Syria."
And perhaps this parade holds an additional message, directed within the organization, that tells its fighters they have the important role of protecting the Syrian regime. This led to Hezbollah's massive military and political influence in the country and to the fact the group is considered the leading force in the battles against the rebels and is seen as an active ally that can be trusted.
The Shi'ite organization laid down roots in the Sunni country long before 2011, when riots broke out that eventually led to the ongoing civil war. Hezbollah has been in Syria since before the Arab Spring. It was already there in June 2000, when Basher Assad took power.
Report: Chemical weapons found in ISIS storehouses in Iraq
The Islamic State group was planning to launch long- and short-range missiles tipped with chemical and biological warheads from western Mosul, Iraqi special forces said, according to a Sky News report.
The information followed an analysis by the French special forces, who are working in cooperation with the Iraqi military.
Sky News reporters were taken to a warehouse and unloading site, where dozens of missiles were stored alongside improvised launchers. Among the weapons, suspected to have come from Syria, was a Scud missile, which was hidden in a forested area.
The area had a strong chemical smell and French officials warned of contamination. The chemical substance present has yet to be identified, and commanders are referring to it simply as "poison."
In call with Riyadh, Trump vows to ‘rigorously enforce’ Iran deal
President Donald Trump committed on Sunday to enforcing the Iranian nuclear deal, despite his campaign pledge to dismantle the landmark accord that he has repeatedly called “disastrous” and “one of the dumbest deals” he’s ever seen.
In a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud, the president pledged to “rigorously enforc[e] the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” referring to the deal’s formal name, according to a White House readout of the conversation.
As a candidate, Trump often sent mixed signals about how he would handle the Iranian nuclear threat if he was elected. In his address at last year’s AIPAC Policy Conference, he vowed both to rip up the pact and enforce it.
“My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran,” Trump said at the conference in March 2016, calling the controversial agreement signed between the P5+1 world powers and Tehran “catastrophic for America, for Israel and for the whole of the Middle East.” Later in the speech he called to “at the very least” implement the deal that lifted international sanctions on Iran in exchange for it curbing its nuclear program.

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