Friday, April 28, 2017

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Getting Away with Murder
American taxpayers’ money is being used by the Palestinian Authority to encourage and glorify murderous terrorism. A group of Republican lawmakers has drafted legislation to end this scandalous state of affairs and Israel should support this legislative effort, even if it risks destabilizing the PA .
The tragic story of Taylor Force has become a rallying cry in the push to force the Palestinian Authority to stop funding the families of so-called martyrs and payrolling convicted terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.
On March 8, 2016, Force was stabbed to death on the Jaffa beachfront after Bashar Masalha, a Palestinian from Kalkilya, went on a murder spree that left 12 others wounded, including a pregnant woman.
Israel knew that Masalha’s funeral would become a demonstration of support for terrorism and delayed the release of his body until May.
According to a transcript provided by Palestinian Media Watch, the official PA news agency reported that friends, family and people of the region celebrated Masalha’s funeral as if it were “a large national wedding.” Why a wedding? Because “martyrs” who die while carrying out an act considered to sanctify Islam are rewarded in the afterlife with 72 “virgins of paradise.” Nowhere in the news coverage was Masalha’s “martyr” status challenged.
Other-worldly compensation is not the only kind enjoyed by terrorists like Masalha. Official PA policy provides an annual stipend for “martyrs” who are killed while attempting to murder innocent civilians, thus incentivizing murderous terrorism.
Caroline Glick: Netanyahu’s bold move against Europe
For instance, one of the major ways that European- funded groups subvert the government is by suing the government in local courts. The government must require the foreign governments that fund these groups to appear as sides in the court battles. In this manner, the government can ask the courts to compel these foreign governments to hand over documents relevant to the cases being adjudicated.
So, too, the government should require foreign government- funded groups to submit all communications between their representatives and those governments, and all internal documents of foreign governmental funders relating to their decision to fund the Israel-registered group. Given that the goal of the funding is to interfere with domestic Israeli affairs, those communications should not enjoy diplomatic immunity.
The penalty for failing to present all the required documents will be the imposition of a 100% tax on the foreign government contributions to the Israel-registered nonprofit.
Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of Netanyahu’s diplomatic gambit this week is that opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog refused to support him. Instead, Herzog sided with Gabriel. He insisted that Netanyahu harmed Israel’s relations with Germany by demanding to be treated in a manner that comports with international norms.
For decades, the political Left has claimed that it can manage Israel’s diplomatic ties better than the Right, which it castigates as inept, incompetent and dangerous to Israel’s international standing. By failing to recognize why Netanyahu’s move was vital for Israel’s international standing, or to understand that international conditions have changed sufficiently to allow Israel to stand up for itself, Herzog and his colleagues showed that their boastful claims to diplomatic capabilities are empty.
Netanyahu took a necessary first step toward implementing a constructive strategy for handling Western diplomatic warfare. More steps are still required for this strategy to succeed. But at least, for the first time in years, Israel is finally taking a constructive position in its own defense. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Douglas Murray: Terrorism teaches a lesson that some still refuse to learn
Another knife-attack was thwarted yesterday in Westminster. Overnight there were anti-terror raids in Kent and London. These were unconnected, but police say that they have foiled an ‘active terror plot.’ All this will blend into the background soon, as much as last month’s attack in Westminster already has. Not because we don’t remember anything, but because we never learn anything.
After last month’s attack in Westminster there seemed to be an even more concerted effort than usual to say that the perpetrator – a Muslim convert called Khalid Masood – probably suffered from some mental illness, was a mere madman, criminal or drug addict. Various Muslims who knew Masood promised in the media that he hadn’t really been religious at all.
This swiftly became the story. Man drives car into pedestrians on Westminster bridge and stabs a policeman to death. Nothing to see here. Certainly nothing to do with Islam. Probably to do with everything else in the world. But nothing to do with Islam.
The Church of England helped to spread around this fudge. At an interfaith service held in Westminster Abbey shortly after the attack (and before PC Keith Palmer was even buried) the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend John Hall declared that the nation was ‘bewildered’ by the attack (as it may well be with the amount of disinformation and misleading speculation going around).
Prager U: Where Are the Moderate Muslims?
After every terrorist attack, politicians and pundits reassure us that the atrocity does not represent the true beliefs of the "moderate Muslim majority." But how many moderates are there? And what exactly does "moderate" mean? Military instructor and researcher Hussein Aboubakr explains.

Melanie Phillips: The British Foreign Office remains true to type
The British prime minister, Theresa May, appears to be a genuine supporter of Israel. In which case she needs to address the fact that her Foreign Office is not.
The Palestinians have been demanding that the British government apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration which supported “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
This declaration was embodied in the 1922 Mandate under which Britain accepted the administration of Palestine and the obligation to settle the Jews there.
The demand for an apology led to a British petition signed by more than 13,000 people. A few days ago the government dismissed it. “The Balfour Declaration,” it said, “is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel.”
Let’s put to one side that, in the 1930s, the British actually reneged on the Mandate, betrayed the Jewish people and instead of settling them in Palestine kept them out during the Holocaust. The statement dismissed the demand for an apology. So far, therefore, so good.
Yet just as happened after the Declaration itself, the Foreign Office then proceeded to negate its own position. For it went on to say in effect that the Balfour Declaration was a mistake.
“Much has happened since 1917,” it said. “We recognize that the Declaration should have called for the protection of political rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, particularly their right to self-determination.”
This statement displays quite astounding ignorance.
Mark Regev: I accepted invitation to speak at SOAS to put forward Israel’s case
Engaging with university students is an important aspect of any ambassador’s job, especially when their country is the subject of keen interest and academic enquiry. Such is the case in the UK when it comes to Israel. Over the past year, I have been invited to some twenty universities to discuss the Jewish state, the Palestinians, the Middle East, and Israel’s desire for peace.
A visit to SOAS, an institution that specialises in my region, ought to have been routine. Regrettably, there was nothing routine about last Thursday: for over a decade, no Israeli government voice had been heard at SOAS.
This absence of an official Israeli perspective conforms to a troubling trend. In recent years, there has been a tendency within some academic circles at SOAS to rewrite history and portray Israel as a colonial imposition on the region’s indigenous peoples.
This groupthink tends to ignore the central role played by the West in the formation of several nations in the Middle East following the break-up of the Ottoman Empire – from Syria, to Lebanon, to Iraq, to Jordan – while falsely portraying the Jews as infiltrators and the Jewish state as imperialist.
Jews and Arabs alike are indigenous to the Middle East, and to deny this is to deny the history of the Middle East itself.
These same voices speak of Israel as a serial aggressor, dismissing the history of Palestinian rejectionism and casting murderous attacks against innocent civilians as some form of heroic resistance.
Jews Murdered in Holocaust Called ‘Cowards’ at London Protest Outside Israeli Ambassador’s SOAS Lecture
Some 400 demonstrators came out to protest Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev’s appearance at a prominent London university on Thursday, with one protester recorded saying that the Jews murdered in the Holocaust were “cowards.”
According to footage posted on social media, the demonstrators filled the campus of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), waving Palestinian flags, blaring music and chanting the popular call for the destruction of the Jewish state, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.”
There were about 100 pro-Israel counter-demonstrators, according to eyewitnesses, some of whom attempted to converse with the other side, but reported being shoved and having abuses lobbed at them in response. According to eyewitness accounts, Israeli flags were ripped out of the hands of individuals in the Zionist camp and smeared with fake blood.
The pro-Israel demonstrators also sang and chanted slogans.
Tamir Oren — the director of public affairs for StandWithUs UK — told The Algemeiner that Hezbollah flags and hats were seen around the quad, which was also papered with fliers from a group called “SOAS United Against Apartheid.”
“The ambassador came to SOAS to answer the most difficult questions about Israel, and so he did,” said Oren, adding that the Q&A session covered issues such as settlements and alleged IDF war crimes.
Khulan Dav, a member of the SOAS Jewish Society and an organizer of the Regev lecture, said the event was a success, featuring an “amazing, absolutely respectful conversation.”
Dav said it was “peaceful” inside the event venue, though at first it was difficult for the audience of some 70 SOAS students to hear the ambassador over the protesters’ loudspeakers, a problem rectified with the help of a mic.
How the White House Can Bring Mahmoud Abbas to the Negotiating Table
Next month, the Palestinian Authority president is expected to arrive in Washington to meet with President Trump, perhaps as a prelude to a summit between Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu under American auspices. A Palestinian delegation is currently in the U.S. to conduct preliminary meetings with administration officials. Eran Lerman discusses what can be accomplished:
The most important aspect [in the present discussions] may remain unspoken. It can be defined as “strategic reassurance”: the realization that after years of uncertainty under Barack Obama, the American administration . . . is once again committed without reservation to its friends in the region, the so-called “camp of stability.”
President Obama’s abandonment of [the former Egyptian president], Hosni Mubarak, regardless of the merits of the case, was catastrophic in terms of the loss of any residual political courage on Abbas’s part. Obama was sympathetic to the Palestinians’ cause, but his policies generated an acute level of uncertainty for the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, laced with what seemed like a measure of support on Obama’s part for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. This was not an environment in which to take fateful decisions.
The Trump team seems to be working to restore confidence and reconstruct [alliances with] both Israel and the pro-Western Arab states. In this new environment, it could be safer for Abbas to take measured risks and enter into an open-ended negotiation with Netanyahu. The effort may still fall apart, if only because the Palestinians have fallen into the habit of posing preconditions. But there seems to be a better chance of drawing them in when they feel that their traditional patrons in the Arab world, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are once again basking in the sunshine of American strategic support. . . .
Israeli Defense Minister: Israel Open to Dialogue with Moderate Arab States
In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post Magazine, Liberman said that the Arab Peace Initiative approved by the Arab League in 2002 has “some good points and some very bad points, such as the ‘right of return,’ which we will never accept.”
“With all due respect,” he continued.
“I don’t see any other country in the Middle East where they [the Arab League members] have succeeded in bringing peace.”
“We don’t have any illusions, but we are open to dialogue with Arab states. It’s more crucial for them than it is for us.”
According to Liberman, the Arab Sunni states understand that the biggest threat for them is not Israel but Iran and Iranian proxies, pointing to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the Houthi militia in Yemen.
“Iran is a big threat to the entire region, not just to Israel,” he said. “We are a strong country able to protect ourselves; maybe the others are not. Iran is trying to undermine many countries,” referring to Tehran’s regional expansion to countries such as Bahrain and Yemen.
“We need to explain to our allies that Iran is the biggest threat in the region. I am surprised to see that there is [more of] an understanding in the world about this,” he said. “At the Munich Security Conference last month [in March], Iran was the biggest topic. Everyone spoke about Iran, not about the Palestinians. The speech by [Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister] Adel al-Jubeir was very interesting; it was the first time I saw a high-ranking Saudi official talking about this.”
Dennis Ross: If Arab States Are Involved in the Peace Process, They Will Seek to Fulfill Palestinian Aspirations
Today, Israel and many of the Arab Gulf states see a common strategic threat emanating from Iran. In Saudi Arabia in August 2016, leading Saudi officials told me, "Israel is not an enemy." They were instead preoccupied with Iran and its use of Shia militias to weaken Arab states and gain hegemony in the region.
The Saudis and Emiratis, and their Arab allies, see the Iranian threat in existential terms. Saudi officials said they could anticipate far-reaching collaboration with Israel once the Palestinian conflict was resolved.
There is, in all likelihood, security cooperation going on below the radar screen. No one calls attention to it, but that does not make it any less real.
After Israel struck a convoy on January 18, 2015, traveling near the Golan Heights, killing an Iranian Quds Force general, Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, and a Hizbullah operative, Jihad Mughniyeh (the son of Imad Mughniyeh), the Twitter-sphere in Saudi Arabia lit up applauding what the Israelis had done.
While the logic for an Arab or regional role in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is strong, there should be no illusions.
The Arab states will want to show that they are delivering for the Palestinians what they cannot deliver for themselves. They will not forsake Palestinian national aspirations but seek to fulfill them.
Trump: Ask me in month about moving embassy to Jerusalem
US President Donald Trump refused to confirm reports that he would announce the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during a visit to Israel next month, but hinted Thursday that he may clarify the issue at that time.
On Thursday, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis (R), who earlier this year led a one-man fact-finding trip to scout locations for the embassy, said Trump would announce the relocation when he visits Israel at the end of May, fulfilling a campaign promise he appeared to walk back after assuming office.
Asked about the relocation by Reuters, Trump demurred.
“Ask me in a month on that,” he told the news agency.
Trump also appeared to express frustration that Israelis and Palestinians continued to not have a peace deal, saying there was no reason for the conflict to persist.
“I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” he said. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever.”
Trump has said several times that he would work to broker an agreement to end the decades-old conflict, citing his business acumen and saying peace would be “the ultimate deal.”
All 100 US senators to UN: End ‘unacceptable’ anti-Israel bias
All 100 US senators signed a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Thursday demanding an end to the “unacceptable” anti-Israel bias in the international body.
The strongly worded letter, authored by Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and released on Friday, was signed by every member of the US Senate.
“Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other UN member in good standing,” the letter said, describing the “continued targeting of Israel” in the world body as “unacceptable.”
The letter urged several concrete steps to improve Israel’s treatment by the organization, singling out for criticism UNRWA, which deals with Palestinian refugees; the UN Human Rights Council for its singular focus on the Jewish state; and UNESCO, for denying Jewish ties to holy sites in Jerusalem.
The senators called on the UN to eliminate or reform “a number of standing committees, which far too often serve no purpose other than to attack Israel and inspire the anti-Israel boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) movement.”
While praising UNESCO for its important work on Holocaust education, the senators criticized the body for allowing its member states to “continue to advance measures that target Israel and deny the Jewish and Christian connections to Jerusalem.”
New Pro-Israel Congressional Caucus: Future Peace Only Possible if Palestinians Accept Defeat
The only hope for potential future peace in the Middle East is if Palestinians accept they have been defeated by the Jewish state, according to a new pro-Israel group that was launched on Thursday on Capitol Hill.
The Congressional Israel Victory Caucus (CIVC) is co-chaired by Republican Congressmen Ron DeSantis of Florida and Bill Johnson of Ohio. At CIVC’s opening event on Thursday — which was organized by the Middle East Forum think tank — Johnson said, “We founded this caucus primarily on one single, irrefutable principle — Israel has a fundamental right to exist and defend herself, and that is not negotiable.”
“Israel has been at war with its immediate neighbors over its right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people for nearly 70 years and we believe Israel has been victorious in this war and that this reality must be recognized in order for any peace to be achieved between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors,” Johnson continued.
In his remarks, DeSantis said, “Our goal here in Congress should be to stand with strong allies like Israel — not to force them to do this or that, but to stand with them and let them make decisions that benefit their own peace and security and economic advancement.”
Daniel Pipes — the president of the Middle East Forum – stated that the “alternative to endless negotiations which nobody believes in” was to “convince the Palestinians they have lost.”
“Wars end when one side gives up,” Pipes said. “Victory means imposing your will on your enemy so he no longer wants to continue fighting.”
WATCH: Code Pink Disrupts Launch of Pro-Israel Congressional Caucus: 'Israel Is an Apartheid State!'
Two leftist females with the CODEPINK activist organization disrupted the launch of the Middle East Forum’s Israel Victory Project in Congress on Thursday before security removed them from the historic meeting in the Rayburn House Office Building.
The Project on Thursday helped to launch the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, which seeks to generate new policy ideas for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The Caucus is being led by U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH).
“Palestinians deserve equal rights,” CODEPINK’s campaign director Ariel Gold said as she removed a sign which had “Free Palestine” written on it from her pink Kipling backpack. “Israel is an apartheid state. It was founded on racism and ethnic cleansing,” Gold said as an officer approached and removed her from the room.
Someone in the crowd shouted “terrorist supporters out! You have no place here. This is a place for freedom and democracy!”
Benjamin Netanyahu strongly rejects US censure of Israeli housing moves in Jerusalem
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued to fight back publicly on Thursday against White House criticism of recent Israeli construction plans in Jerusalem, telling the US media that he was “baffled” by some of it.
The White House had charged that Israeli actions over the Green Line in Jerusalem, both in the neighborhoods of Givat Hamatos and Silwan, had poisoned the atmosphere and distanced Israel even from its closest friends.
Netanyahu told MSNBC that the criticism of the building plans for 2,610 homes in Givat Hamatos was leveled at a new neighborhood, in which half were earmarked for Palestinians who would live alongside their Jewish neighbors.
“Why not have them live together?” he asked.
But it was the White House’s criticism of Jews moving into Jerusalem’s Israeli Arab neighborhood of Silwan this week that Netanyahu said was “actually baffling to me.”
28-Apr-17: Calling the Jordanians to account for the cold-blooded murder of three Green Berets
Recently we have had the honor of coming to know the father of one of three US Special Forces servicemen whose deaths while serving the United States on the territory of one its supposed allies in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during November 2016 has barely been reported. We wrote about it at the time, and it turns out our predictions were not far from the mark: "18-Nov-16: American service personnel killings in the Mid East get scant reporting and even less comprehension".
Jordan is holding the shooter and will not extradite him to the United States either.
Here is a first-person account, reproduced in full, written by Jim Moriarty, a man who served his country via three tours of duty as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, and is today a Houston attorney and a bereaved and angry father. His son was one of the three murdered in Jordan.
Jordan must stand to account for deaths of U.S. soldiers | James R. Moriarty | Houston Chronicle (Associated Press) | March 30, 2017
A Jordanian soldier killed my son Army Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty and two of his Green Beret brothers as they returned at midday to King Faisal air base in Jordan on Nov. 4, 2016.
Since then, the government of Jordan has repeatedly misled the world about the incident, which I believe was nothing less than murder.
Netanyahu slams German FM for insulting victims of Holocaust
In unusually strong language, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel for lacking sensitivity toward the victims of the Holocaust and endangering the security of the Jewish state with his support of an anti-Israel NGO.
Netanyahu told Germany's largest circulation paper Bild on Friday that, "I find it extremely tactless for such a meeting (with left-wing NGOs Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem) to take place at this time." Adding that, "On this day we mourn the murdered members of our people and our fallen soldiers."
Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.
Gabriel opted to meet with hard-left NGOs instead of with Netanyahu earlier this week. Breaking the Silence uses anonymous testimonies to claim that IDF soldiers commit war crimes.
"My basic principle is simple," Netanyahu said, "I don't welcome diplomats from other countries who visit Israel and at the same time meet with organizations that call our soldiers war criminals."
"The Israeli army is the one force that keeps our people safe today.”
NGO Monitor: Belgium's Shame PM 'sorry' for helping get Saudi Arabia on UN women's rights panel; scandal exposed by UN Watch
The Geneva-based UN Watch — the non-governmental human rights group which exposed the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia to its women’s rights commission — welcomed Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel’s statement of “regret” for helping elect the Wahhabist monarchy to the world body tasked with “empowering women” and “promoting gender equality.”
“Human rights activists everywhere ought to accept this rare apology,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, “provided that it is matched with a real commitment to ending the U.N.’s routine elevation of gross human rights abusers to influential human rights bodies, which only empowers the regimes, not the victims.”
“Saudi Arabia may have a large part of the world’s oil wealth,” said Neuer, “but their contempt for the basic rights of women should never be legitimized by U.N. bodies or by liberal democracies such as Belgium.”
Belgium’s disclosure of how it voted is likely to increase pressure on other countries to do the same, and it refutes diplomats’ claims that such information is obliged to be hidden from the public.
“Because we know there were at least four other EU nations who voted for Saudi Arabia, today we call on France, Sweden, Norway, and the UK, who are among the other members of the 54-nation U.N. Economic and Social Council. to likewise assume responsibility and express regret if indeed they backed Riyadh.”
Swedish deputy PM equates Israeli and Palestinian incitement
Sweden’s deputy prime minister this week equated Israeli and Palestinian incitement, implying that schoolbooks from both sides demonize the other in equal measure.
Isabella Lövin, who is also Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation, also defended the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, from accusations it promulgates anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in the schools its operates.
“The government is aware that there is an extensive debate on the extent in which incitement occurs in schoolbooks on Israeli and Palestinian sides, and that the issue is contested,” said Lövin in a parliamentary debate over Swedish aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel has recently stepped up its efforts to portray the Palestinians, including the relatively moderate Fatah party of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, as fanning hatred and calling for violence against Israelis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday posted a video on Twitter showcasing several examples of Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israelis.
Canada committed to Israel's security
Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, reiterated Canada's commitment to fight anti-Semitism and to support Israel in a speech given this week at the World Jewish Congress’ Plenary Assembly in New York.
Freeland pointed out that the Jewish people are the most likely religious group in Canada to be targeted for hate crimes.
“According to our most recent data,” she said, “17 percent of all hate incidents in Canada targeted Jewish people despite the fact that the Jewish population is less than one percent of the Canadian population. This is totally unacceptable. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the safety and security of Canada’s Jewish community.”
Freeland further noted that as an open pluralistic democratic society, Canada is committed to becoming a world leader in counter-radicalization.
She criticized the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist organization as “a hateful, backward looking death cult. We can and we will prevail in the battle against it. We need to have the courage of our convictions.”
Freeland concluded her remarks by addressing Canada's ties with Israel.
6 Palestinians said injured in violent clashes with IDF
Six Palestinians were wounded Friday by live fire during a number of clashes in the West Bank between Israeli security forces and protesters, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent told The Times of Israel.
The clashes occurred amid a “day of rage” called by the Fatah leadership in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike in Israeli jails.
Friday marks the twelfth day of the strike.
Three people were injured by live fire in the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. They were in stable condition, the spokesperson said.
Additionally, outside Beit Omar, a village near Hebron, three were wounded by gunfire, and are in stable condition, the spokesperson said.
The Red Crescent spokesperson added that eight people were treated for suffocation from being exposed to tear gas during clashes in Beta, a village near the city of Nablus.
The IDF said that around 2,000 Palestinians took part in protests across the West Bank, some of which turned violent. The IDF responded with riot dispersal means, which in some instances included rubber bullets. The IDF could not immediately confirm whether live fire was used.
Arab League: Israel 'abusing' Palestinian prisoners
Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Wednesday urged the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to intervene and halt what it called Israeli authorities' "abuse" of Palestinian prisoners.
Abul Gheit sent a letter to ICRC president Peter Maurer requesting "the committee (ICRC) urgently intervene with Israeli authorities to stop the various abuses being committed against those prisoners of war", the Arab League said.
The letter comes amid a mass hunger strike by terrorist prisoners over demands ranging from improved medical care to greater access to telephone calls.
The terrorist prisoners, led by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, launched the hunger strike last week, but by the end of the week the hunger strike showed signs of weakening.
Barghouti is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his role in planning suicide terror attacks during the second intifada from 2000 to 2005.
Abul Gheit's letter to the ICRC is part of contacts "with international actors to stop violations against Palestinian prisoners of war in Israeli prisons", the League said in a statement.
Human Rights Group: Israel Bears ‘Ultimate Responsibility’ for Gaza Electricity Supply as Crisis Looms
Israel should refuse the Palestinian Authority’s request to cut off electricity supplies to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on the grounds that it is the “ultimate occupying power” in the coastal enclave, a Human Rights Watch (HRW) official told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Speaking from Tel Aviv, Omar Shakir — the Israel and Palestine Director for HRW — called on the Israeli government and the PA to “ensure that electricity supplies to Gaza are maintained.”
Shakir was speaking after the PA informed Israel it would no longer pay for the electricity which the Jewish state provides to Gaza, a move which could plunge the territory’s two million Palestinian residents into a long-term blackout.
The Fatah-controlled PA’s move — which reverses its ten-year policy of paying for Gaza’s electricity despite having been violently ousted from the Strip by Hamas in 2007 — comes at a time of escalating PA-Hamas tensions that may yet mushroom into a major headache for Israel.
“Palestinians in Gaza are already facing electricity shortages, sometimes only three or four hours a day,” Shakir said. “Their humanitarian needs should not be used as a political football.”
Would It Be OK If I Used Aid Money To Line My Pockets Instead Of Paying Murderers? By Mahmoud Abbas (satire)
Western governments appear to be cracking down on how we Palestinians use the funds they provide for us to run our little fiefdom, including an unprecedented insistence that we not use those monies to pay lifetime pensions to our brave murderers sitting in Israeli jails, and to the families of those martyred in attempts to kill Jews. The strength of pro-Israel sentiment in, for example, the US Congress, plus President Trump’s departure from everything Obama, make it unlikely that we’re going to see this unjust requirement reversed. So I just have one important question, given that we can’t live without the financial assistance: can I use the aid money to line my pockets and the pockets of my cronies instead?
It’s a cultural thing. President Trump, you might even understand – I see you exploiting the prominence and prestige of your office to promote your personal properties and business interests, as well as those of your family and supporters. All I ask is that I be allowed to do the same with the funds your government provides.
Of course this would not be the only source of such lucre. I have amassed significant wealth over the years from international monetary assistance; it’s what we do in these parts. The heads of Hamas, as you well know, have enriched themselves immensely from funds provided by well-meaning international donors who thought they were helping the people of Gaza. It’s a time-honored tradition to siphon every last dinar a Mideast potentate can manage from every possible source: witness the luxury the rulers in our region enjoy even as their subjects wallow in poverty and despair. If I may venture a comparison, it seems to dovetail quite well with Republican Party sensibilities.
Turkey’s Turn toward Russia Could Threaten NATO
Over the past few years, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made efforts to improve relations with Russia; despite rocky moments, the two countries do indeed appear to be moving closer. Michael Rubin warns of the consequences:
Putin approaches diplomacy not as an exercise in finding win-win solutions but rather as a zero-sum game: a partnership with Turkey cannot be only about diplomacy but must have the effect of permanently separating it from the West. Here, Erdogan, who holds the West in disdain because of its support for Turkey’s old secularist order, plays his part. Even as Turkish and Western diplomats and military officials pay lip service to [shared commitments], Erdogan has fed Turks a steady stream of hatred and conspiracy theories directed at the West in general and at NATO in particular. . . . Russian political and conspiracy theorist Aleksandr Dugin appears more often in the Turkish press than does the U.S. ambassador.
The Turkish military tilt toward Russia has gone beyond the symbolic. As depicted by Turkish diplomats and Western reporters, the [ongoing] purge of Turkish military officers is directed against followers of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, but Turkish officers with significant service in NATO have been as great a target, if not greater. To have served in NATO commands is now seen by Turkish officers as a ticket to prison, not promotion. Earlier this month, Turkey and Russia held joint naval exercises. . . .
German Companies Silent on Iran’s Holocaust Denial Following Call to Cease Business
A cadre of German companies seeking to engage in business with Iran is remaining silent in the face of calls by an international advocacy group to shun working with the Islamic Republic until it disavows its institutionalized anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel.
United Against Nuclear Iran, or UANI, has petitioned more than a dozen major German companies, asking them to sign a declaration promising to not do business with Iran until its leadership stops denying the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.
The declaration, which was sent to the companies ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, has not been signed by a single German company thus far, according to UANI, which has advocated against doing business with Iran since the landmark nuclear agreement was signed.
Iranian leaders continue to deny the Holocaust, calling it a myth, and have publicized efforts in recent years to mock the Holocaust through an international Holocaust denial cartoon contest.
UANI maintains that no German company should engage in business with a nation that wholly denies the Holocaust, particularly in light of Germany’s chief role in the systematic murder of more than six million Jews.
"The Iranian government has institutionalized a culture of anti-Semitism, which is built upon three intertwined tenets: (1) The demonization of Zionists and Jews, (2) advocacy for the destruction of the State of Israel, and (3) Holocaust denial," UANI wrote in a letter sent to leading companies, including Allianz, Volkswagen, Siemens, and several others.
"Holocaust denial, in particular, is a core fountainhead of Iran’s modern anti-Semitism that is domestically endorsed and internationally exported," the letter states.

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