Saturday, May 20, 2017

From Ian:

Michael Lumish: The Galling Hypocrisy of Jewish Trump Haters
There are a few reasons for this. One is the obvious hypocrisy of your position. You honestly do not care that Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood despite the fact that the Brotherhood has been screaming for the genocide of the Jews since the time of Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb who wrote "Our Struggle Against the Jews."
Anyway, let's start a list and we can add to it each time that you spread around your toxic hatred.
1) Obama supported the Brotherhood.
2) Obama lobbied for UN 2334 which robs the Jewish people of our patrimony on the land of our ancestors.
And, for the moment, let's add:
3) Obama supported the empowerment of Iran and normalized their gaining of nuclear weaponry within the coming few years.
But the thing of it is since I know that Eron and the Haters are doing everything they possibly can to derail this presidency no matter what he does, it creates considerable sympathy in my heart for the guy.
So, I have to say, you're doing a terrific job.
I did not vote for either Trump or Hillary, but now I am beginning to wish that I had voted for Trump out of sympathy for the poor bastard due to the fact that poisonous wretches puke vomit on him on a daily basis.
From where I sit, by throwing such garbage at the guy continually you have essentially immunized him from criticism.
Congratulations.
The United Nations and the Palestinians
Book Excerpt: David Brog, 'Reclaiming Israel's History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace'
There is one way in which the Palestinian refugees are unique. The United Nations has created a special organization for Palestinian refugees that both defines them differently and cares for them separately from every other refugee population on earth. In so doing, the international community has been a full partner in helping the Palestinian refugees preserve their status and nurture their grievances.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the body that cares for all of the world's refugees except for the Palestinians. The UNHCR defines a "refugee" as someone who is driven from "the country of his nationality" by a well-founded fear of persecution. This definition imposes two important limitations on the category it creates. First, refugees do not transfer this status with their genes: any children born to them in exile are not considered refugees. Second, refugees lose their refugee status as soon as they are granted citizenship in a new country.
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the United Nations established a new organization dedicated exclusively to the Palestinian refugees: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA defines a "Palestine refugee" as anyone who was displaced by the 1948 War plus the "descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children." In other words, Palestinian refugees pass their refugee status to their children in perpetuity.
In addition, UNRWA continues to recognize a Palestinian refugee as such even if he or she has obtained citizenship in another country. For example, there are approximately two million Palestinian refugees currently living in Jordan. They are all counted as refugees even though over ninety percent of these individuals are full Jordanian citizens.

Who's Standing in the Way of Peace in the Middle East? Hint: It's Not Israel
The conventional wisdom about resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict goes something like this: "If Israel would just give the Palestinians land for their own state, there would be peace in the Middle East. Israel is the party standing in the way of lasting peace in the region."
United Nations ambassadors, world leaders, diplomats and even U.S. presidents have all touted a two-state solution as the way to bring lasting peace to the Middle East, and many repeat the familiar narrative that Israel is the main obstacle to that two-state, peaceful solution. But author David Brog says the problem with that narrative is that it's just not true.
Five times since 1937, Jews in the region have agreed to proposals to divide territory into two states – one Jewish, one Palestinian – living side-by-side in peace.
Every one of those offers has been rejected by Arab leaders.
The last land-for-peace offer was made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, in which the Palestinians would have received 93 percent of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) for a state, and eastern Jerusalem as its capital. That offer was flatly rejected by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Brog says it's time to set the record straight on this and other myths about Israel. He does that in a new book, Reclaiming Israel's History: Roots, Rights and the Struggle for Peace.



Despite Trump’s Israel Missteps, There Are Opportunities for Mideast Peace
There is a natural tendency among political journalists to concentrate on the policy flips and hyperbolic statements that make politics so compelling, rather than upon the duller consistencies that make our democratic system more or less reliable. From the latter vantage point, there are some key points worth emphasizing about current American-Israeli ties.
First, Trump isn’t the first president to have waded into a disagreement with Israel. One can think of numerous clashes during the last 50 years, from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, which the relationship has readily survived.
Second, it’s clear that there are a variety of voices within the administration speaking on this issue, with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman following up McMaster’s remarks with assurances that, in their view, the Western Wall belongs to Israel. This heightens the insecurity that only Trump knows what he is really thinking (and rethinking); we should not expect this to change while he’s in office.
Third, it should be remembered that many on the political right in Israel made the mistake of taking Trump’s campaign rhetoric at face value. They might not have been as shocked by this week’s events had they not suffered from these delusions in the first place.
Fourth, does anyone doubt that Trump, once in Israel, will use his showmanship to publicly soothe the rattled bilateral relationship? Or that his immediate goal is to leave the Israelis asking themselves what they were worried about?
For as long as Trump is consumed by his domestic crisis, it is unlikely that a final deal between the Palestinians and Israel will remain anything more than a lofty ambition. But Trump’s crisis doesn’t change the fact that there is a realignment in the region between Israel and the Arab states — and potentially the Palestinians — based on shared interests, from economic development to confronting the Iranian threat. These opportunities really do form the basis for a meaningful peace process — one, moreover, that won’t depend on the fate of a single president.
Leading US Rabbi Urges President Trump to Reject Jimmy Carter’s Advice on Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking
President Donald Trump should tune out ex-President Jimmy Carter when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the head of a leading US-based Jewish human rights group said on Thursday.
Rabbi Marvin Hier — the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — made the statement after the 92-year-old Carter, who helped broker the historic 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, said in a CNN interview, “I hope that President Trump will make progress in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians and that he will bring justice to the Palestinians and alleviation of their long-term — 50-years now — suffering as an occupied territory. Of course, the Palestinians also have to be willing to recognize Israel as a nation living side-by-side with them in peace.”
Hier took the former president to task, saying, “Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter is the wrong person giving President Trump advice on how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Carter refuses to recognize that this is not a conflict between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government and this has no relationship to his negotiations between Israel and Egypt.”
“Rather,” Hier — who gave a benediction at Trump’s inauguration in January — continued, “the current conflict is between Israel and two separate Palestinian entities, one of them controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel. No Israeli prime minister is going to make peace with two separate Palestine states.”
“The only solution is the removal of Hamas from power in Gaza,” Hier concluded.
Blatantly ignoring danger
In contrast, Clinton's plan, which both Barak and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to, leads to the division of Jerusalem and to Israel's abandoning its broad hold on the Jordan Valley, which is a true departure from Rabin's views that demanded the latter be interpreted in the broadest possible way.
In his binary thinking pattern, Barak described Israel's decision-making junctures as requiring the leadership choose one of two paths: withdrawal from Judea and Samaria or deterioration into an apartheid state. But as the main articles of the Oslo Accords have been implemented, how can anyone seriously suggest that our continued control of another people is akin to apartheid? The completion of the Israeli withdrawal from areas A and B in Judea and Samaria in 1996 and the 2005 disengagement from Gaza are proof that our rule over another people has ended.
About 90% of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria has been under the Palestinian Authority's rule since the mid-1990s and Gaza's population has been under Hamas rule since 2007. Therefore, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict currently focuses on the Jerusalem area and Area C in Judea and Samaria. Rabin argued that Israeli control in these areas -- all the settlements, military bases, main highways and the vital area leading to the Jordan Valley -- was the minimum necessary to preserve defensible Israeli borders.
Ahead of Trump's visit and his expectation to "reach a deal" between Israel and the Palestinian, Israel would be wise to express a position that enjoys a broad national consensus: Yes to the Rabin outline as based on the principles of his last speech, and no to the Clinton-Barak plan.
JPost Editorial: Trump’s Kotel politics
The battles over the Western Wall reflect the traditional clash between the policy of the State Department and other parts of the US government which are more sympathetic to Israeli policy in Jerusalem. Since the UN Partition plan of 1947 called on Jerusalem to be part of a “special international regime administered by the United Nations,” the US has never recognized Israeli sovereignty in any part of the city. The first US ambassador to Israel, James McDonald, was instructed not to attend the opening session of the Knesset in Jerusalem in 1949. “If I were to go to Jerusalem to attend the function, that might be regarded as US tacit approval of the Israel claim to Jerusalem,” he recalled in his memoirs, My Mission in Israel 1948-1951. US policy has changed since then, but not in its overall rejection of Israeli rights to the Kotel. Since the Oslo period, the US has indicated it would be willing to move its embassy and recognize Israeli rights in Jerusalem if Israel signed a peace agreement with the Palestinians and the Palestinians agree to the changes in US policy. That gives Palestinians veto power over Israel’s rights to Judaism’s holiest accessible site in the world.
Trump’s visit should include a visit to the Western Wall even if he is not accompanied by President Reuven Rivlin or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump is visiting Saudi Arabia and the Vatican, where he will make symbolic statements about Islam and Christianity, so it is fitting that he should also go to Judaism’s holy site.
When it comes to gaining official recognition for Israel’s rights to the Kotel from the US and the international community, Israel faces an uphill battle. The Palestinians and Jordan, which is a steward of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, deeply oppose Israel’s claims and there is little prospect that any peace agreement will affirm them. Since the 1930s, Islamic activists have sought to reduce Jewish rights to the Western Wall, calling it an Islamic site. The hostile resolutions at UNESCO have also sought to reduce the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
Against this onslaught Israel has very few allies in the international community that will affirm Jerusalem’s rights over the Old City or east Jerusalem, or even the Western Wall itself. That isn’t likely to change. But Israel can try to make inroads with allies such as Ambassador Haley and the administration to chip away at the iron wall the Palestinians have erected against Israel’s right to the Kotel.
Bibi Should Tell Trump to Go Take a Selfie
Wrong, a senior administration official told me recently. This president’s Israel-Palestine policy is in fact very different from that of his predecessor. For instance, if Trump sees that the Palestinians are yanking his chain, he’ll walk away from the table. But Obama did that too—back in 2011, before letting John Kerry take his own shot at glory in order to tie the Israelis down while Obama sealed his deal with Iran.
Here’s some breaking news, guys—the Palestinian Authority is not serious about a peace deal. A quarter century of American stewardship of the peace process has given us mountains of evidence that there is not a deal to be had any time in the near future. Yasser Arafat left Bill Clinton standing with his hat in his hand in 2000, an insult that the American president never forgot or forgave. Mahmoud Abbas turned down deals from George W. Bush in 2008 and from John Kerry in 2014. Trump should perhaps be commended for his open-mindedness in wanting to give Abbas another chance and to see for himself what this peace-process business is all about—but let him do it on his own time and his own expense because that’s not why he was elected.
Trump was elected because he was going to drain the swamp, and there is no fouler cesspool in U.S. foreign policy than the peace process. It’s an industry that creates a lobby of many thousand creeps around the world who have a vested interest in prolonging a pointless exercise regardless of how many Israeli, Arab, or American lives are sacrificed along the way so they can go on mouthing platitudes at Davos. Trump is not going to walk away from the peace process because the swamp will drag him in—it already has.
Trump was elected because he said he saw through the politicians, and he understood the toxicity of our political system. Now it appears that he didn’t know the score. The Republican nominees and the Democratic candidate all knew the peace process is a toxic fraud, but they also knew that you have to pay it lip service and show your bona fides or the smart set will pick you apart like carrion. So is Trump now a part of the problem he set out to solve? (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Petition urges Trump to demand return of fallen IDF soldiers’ bodies
Israeli and American bereaved families are petitioning US President Donald Trump to demand that the Palestinian Authority secure the return of two slain Israeli soldiers whose remains have been held by Hamas in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul both went missing during the war between Israel and Hamas. The IDF has long said the two were killed during combat and that Hamas took their bodies. The terror group has never confirmed their deaths.
According to a press release issued by the families, a new petition is calling on Trump not to accept any demands made by the PA before the two bodies are returned.
On May 21 a copy of the petition will be provided to the US Consulate in Jerusalem, with the request that it be delivered to President Trump, who arrives the next day.
According to the organizers, during Operation Protective Edge, “67 Israeli soldiers were killed in action, including Israelis, Americans and a Frenchman. All of Israel’s soldiers killed in action [during the operation] have been laid to rest, except for Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.
Report: Trump to offer 6-12 months of peace talks, without settlement freeze
As US President Donald Trump began his Middle East tour in Saudi Arabia Saturday, the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat claimed that the president intends to present Israelis and Palestinians with a new peace initiative when he arrives in Jerusalem on Monday.
According to the London-based newspaper, which quoted unnamed Western sources, Trump will suggest direct negotiations between the sides for a limited time period of 6-12 months. The offer will not include a demand for a settlement construction freeze by Israel, the unconfirmed report said.
The source quoted by the paper said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had told Trump he would agree to the initiative.
Trump was said to believe a new approach to negotiations was needed, though his suggested tactic was not given.
Trump told the Israel Hayom newspaper in an interview Thursday that he “honestly, truly” thinks he can broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
“I think that there is a great opportunity to reach a deal,” the president said. “I am working very hard so that finally the Israelis and Palestinians will have peace, and I hope that this can happen quicker than anyone ever imagined.”
Erekat warns Trump embassy move would end peace process
Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would end the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned on Saturday.
The warning came two days ahead of a visit to Israel and the West Bank by US President Donald Trump. US officials have said that he is still considering the move, which he promised during his election campaign.
“We believe that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would mean the end of the peace process,” said Erekat, who is also second-in-command of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) during a World Economic Forum meeting at the Dead Sea in Jordan on Saturday. Erekat met with former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, a member of the Zionist Union party, at the gathering, where the two expressed their optimism for Trump’s reported Mideast bid.
The Palestinians and the Arab world fiercely oppose a potential relocation of the US embassy, repeatedly warning that it could spark fresh unrest.
Palestinian factions call for 'Day of Rage' during Trump visit
Palestinian factions in the West Bank are calling for "A Day of Rage" to coincide with US President Donald Trump's visit to Bethlehem on Tuesday, where he is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Trump, who is currently in Saudi Arabia for his first international trip since taking office in January, will arrive in Israel on Monday and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where the two are expected to discuss prospects for peace negotiations and security issues.
One Palestinian organization, called the Islamic and National Forces, initiated the "Rage Day" call in a statement in conjunction with other West Bank factions, saying that they want to send a message to the American president that "the Palestinian people insist on their right to self-determination and national independence with east Jerusalem as its sovereign capital."
The statement added that "the US position supporting the occupation" and the Trump's administration "intention to return to American-sponsored negotiations" is unacceptable and "reject" such overtures.
As Trump Flies to Saudi Arabia, Jewish Human Rights Group Exposes Antisemitic Judaism Course at Leading Mecca University
As US President Donald Trump departed on Friday for Saudi Arabia — the opening stop on his first foreign tour in office — a prominent Jewish human rights organization called on the desert kingdom to close down a course on Judaism at a leading Saudi university that promotes antisemitic demonization of Jews.
In a letter to Ibrahim Youssef S. Albalawi — the Saudi ambassador to UNESCO, the UN’s cultural organization — Dr. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) noted that Trump was “about to visit your country, undoubtedly, an occasion when you would wish to present an image of supporting dialogue and tolerance between different cultures and civilizations.”
Samuels drew Albalawi’s intention to the course entitled “Judaism 241,” offered by the Islamic Studies Department at Umm al-Qura University. Located in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Umm al-Qura is one of Saudi Arabia’s top universities, with an annual budget of approximately $250 million.
“At a time when Riyadh shares with Jerusalem mutual existential concerns, we urge you to publicly condemn this outrage, and see that measures are taken to close this hate-mongering course,” Samuels declared.
Samuels, who reviewed the course materials, highlighted that the point of departure of the Judaism course is “that the Jews rely on three sources: ‘The Torah, The Talmud, The Protocols of Zion.'”
Saudi FM: Trump can broker Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and we’ll help
Saudi Arabia is confident in US President Donald Trump’s abilities to conclude a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and Riyadh is prepared to help, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday evening, during a press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Jubeir spoke of the “kingdom’s optimism that President Trump, with a new approach and determination, can bring a conclusion to this long conflict. He certainly has the vision, and we believe he has the strength and the decisiveness. And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands prepared to work with the United States in order to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians and Israelis and Arabs.”
The Saudi FM said he was speaking on behalf of the king following an earlier meeting between the US President and the Saudi monarch.
Jubeir said Saudi Arabia stresses the “importance of working toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
U.S.-Saudi Arabia Ink ‘Largest Single Arms Deal in American History’
The United States and Saudi Arabia have inked a $110 billion arms deal, the largest in American history, according to senior Trump administration officials who described the agreement as part of a major effort to counter Iranian threats in the region.
The arms deal will see the U.S. providing Saudi Arabia with a "full spectrum of capabilities," including tanks, artillery, helicopters, armored carriers, combat ships, and an assortment of other advanced weapons systems, according to senior Trump administration officials working on the agreement.
The massive arms package is part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to boost U.S. allies in the region amid a growing threat from Iran, which has invested heavily in its own military since the landmark nuclear agreement was inked with the former Obama administration.
A large portion of the cash assets and other financial resources granted to Iran under the deal have been used to purchase advanced weapons and invest in the country’s ballistic missile program, which violates international agreements.
Trump administration officials touted the agreement, which will be officially announced by President Donald Trump on Saturday as he travels across the Middle East on his first foreign trip, as a major step towards countering Iranian intransigence in the region, which has spooked U.S. allies.
The package of arms is specifically meant to address regional threats, officials said.
Melania Trump skips headscarf as she arrives in Saudi Arabia
Accompanying her husband on his first international trip, US first lady Melania Trump on Saturday stepped off of Air Force One conservatively dressed in long sleeves and pants to conform to the strict dress code that Saudi Arabia enforces for its female citizens. But one thing was missing from her black and gold-belted ensemble: a head scarf.
Instead, Mrs. Trump’s below-the-shoulder brown hair blew freely in the breeze at King Khalid International Airport in the capital city of Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia is the first stop on a four-nation, five-stop tour that will also take Trump to Israel, Italy and Belgium beforeUS President Donald Trump returns to the White House at the end of next week. The first lady is joining the president for the entire trip.
Under the kingdom’s strict dress code for women, Saudi women and most female visitors are required to wear a loose, black robe, known as an abaya, in public. Most women in Saudi Arabia also cover their hair and face with a veil known as the niqab.
But covering one’s head is not required for foreigners, and some Western women choose to forego the headscarf while in Saudi Arabia.
US-Based Israeli Reporter Calls Saudi Denial of Visa to Cover Trump’s Visit ‘Huge Humiliation’ for White House
An Israeli reporter who was denied a visa to enter Saudi Arabia to cover President Donald Trump’s visit to the desert kingdom this weekend told The Algemeiner she thought the rejection amounted to a “huge humiliation” for the White House.
Orly Azoulay — the Washington bureau chief for Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth — explained that she had initially been approved to travel on the press plane accompanying the president to Saudi Arabia in his first overseas trip since taking office. But at the last minute, Azoulay stated, Saudi officials called the White House and said her visa request had not been approved.
The reporter, a dual Israeli-American citizen, said she believed she was not granted a visa because of her affiliation with Yedioth Ahronoth.
“It is a snub for the president,” Azoulay said. “I was part of the formal travel press, and that means that the Saudis could select who is coming with the president of the United States. In the past I traveled to Saudi Arabia three times…They were ready to issue me a visa then. But now, maybe they want to send some signal to the White House and the president.”
Azoulay also expressed her outrage in a tweet that she addressed directly to Trump, saying, “Saudis refused me visa to come on your trip because I am an Israeli reporter. Humiliating? Take me on AF1 [Air Force One]!”
UNESCO’s Jerusalem Lies
Earlier this month, coinciding with Israel’s 69th Independence Day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution entitled “Occupied Palestine.” The resolution denies Israel any sovereign claim to its own capital city, Jerusalem, and falsely describes Israel as the city’s “occupying power.” The anti-Israel measure also speaks of the “cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem.”
Clearly, the intention of the UNESCO resolution is to repudiate Israel’s Jewish history and sovereignty in favor of Arab claims.
Lying behind this Arab diplomatic offensive is an Arab street and Muslim world, neither of which have reconciled themselves to Israel’s existence nor even the peoplehood of the Jews — and thus the Jewish immemorial association and claim to Jerusalem.
This clamor and fixation on Jerusalem, quite recent in Muslim history, has led many in the international community to conclude that Jerusalem is holy to Islam and central to Palestinian Arab consciousness. This is, however, a propaganda fiction.
Though possessing important Muslim shrines, such as the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosques, Jerusalem holds no great significance for Islam, as history shows.
Jerusalem rates not a single mention in the Quran, and it is not the direction in which Muslims turn to pray. References in the Quran and hadith to the ‘farthest mosque,’ which has sometimes been invoked to connect Islam to Jerusalem, clearly doesn’t refer to a mosque that didn’t exist in Muhammad’s day.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT UN EVENT SAYS HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE IS AN EXCUSE FOR JEWISH RACISM AND CALLS FOR "PALESTINE OCCUPATION REMEMBRANCE DAY"
The keynote speaker of a UN-organized "Palestinian Diaspora" meeting, Said Musa, claimed Holocaust remembrance is an excuse for Jewish racism and then called on the UN to create a "Palestine Occupation Remembrance Day." The meeting, entitled "Building Bridges with Palestinian Diaspora", was held on February 4, 2017 in Managua, Nicaragua, organized by the UN's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Said Musa, a former Prime Minister of Belize who claims Palestinian descent, was invited to be the keynote speaker by the Committee.
Musa also accused Israel of ethnic cleansing, extermination, crimes against humanity, racial exclusivity and apartheid, before concluding with support for President Obama's UN Security Council on Israeli settlements, and a call for boycotts of the Jewish state.
In Musa's words:
"2017 is a time when the world seems to be upside down, when those who ruthlessly expel people from their ancestral land and kill those who resist are called victims, and those who are driven out and massacred are called terrorists. It is time to go back to basics. The State of Israel was built on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, when over 700,000 Palestinians were forcefully driven from their homes and thousands were brutally killed. We call this the Nakba, and although it began in 1947, it has continued since and is still practiced today...
Despite dangerous route through Hawara, Itamar residents won’t use safer bypass
The main road running through the town of Hawara is virtually the sole meeting-point for Israeli and Palestinian civilians in the northern West Bank.
Part of Route 60, it is the north-south artery linking six major Palestinian cities as well as four Israeli settlements in the Samaria regional council: Yitzhar, Har Bracha, Elon Moreh and Itamar.
Israelis wishing to travel from those settlements to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem have little choice but to take Route 60 through the Palestinian town.
There is a bypass route. But that would require an extra 30 minutes — time few people are willing to sacrifice on a daily basis.
After the past week’s events, however, some might consider waking up half-an-hour earlier a habit worth getting used to.
On Thursday, an Israeli settler driving on Route 60 to his home in Itamar was met in Hawara by dozens of Palestinian rioters demonstrating in solidarity with security prisoners currently hunger-striking in Israeli jails.
Bennett to UN rep:'Apologize for shameful condemnation'
Education Minister and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett responded sharply to the condemnation by the UN's Middle East Representative, Nikolay Mladenov, of the event at Hawarra and the killing of a Palestinian.
Bennett said that "I call on Mladenov to apologize for this shameful condemnation. A Jewish citizen was attacked with rocks by an incited mob and nearly murdered. He acted in self-defense. Did you check the facts before you condemned?
IsraellyCool: How Israel Haters Describe The Attempted Lynch: A Case Study In Shameless Lying
I have already written about the misdirected condemnation towards the Israeli who was almost lynched by Arabs in Hawara. In this post, I want to illustrate just how shameless in their lying the haters truly are.
Let us look again at video of the incident.
All of us have eyes. The Israeli’s car slowly enters the area of the protesters, who quickly surround the car. The car is forced to a standstill, as they kick his car and strike it with rocks. He moves forward to try to escape, knocking over some people, until the ambulance cuts him off. He is trapped and his life is clearly in danger. The Arabs surround him again and strike his car before he apparently fires his weapon.
We also have images of the damage to the car.
Now let’s look at how some of the haters are describing what happened.
Exhibit A: Richard Silverstein

No context, no mention of his life being in danger – just a focus on the fact he knocked over some protesters and then fired his weapon, which he did when trying to escape with his life
.
Police arrest knife-wielding 14-year-old girl in West Bank
Border Police officers on Saturday thwarted an attempted stabbing attack at the Qalandiya checkpoint in the West Bank, south of Ramallah, police said.
The suspect — a 14-year-old Palestinian girl — was arrested by officers while carrying a knife in her hand after failing to obey their calls to halt, according to police. According to Hebrew media reports, officers used pepper spray in order to stop the girl.
Officials added that the suspect was taken in for questioning after her arrest.
No shots were reported fired in the incident.
UKIP suspends candidate who justified Holocaust
The UK’s nationalist UKIP party has suspended a candidate for parliament after it emerged he wrote anti-Semitic remarks regularly on Twitter, including one that justified the Holocaust.
UKIP said it was investigating Paddy Singh’s actions, and “withdrawing support for his candidacy” in the June 8 general elections, according to the BBC.
The Campaign Against Antiseitism, a British watchdog, on Friday published its dossier on Paddy Singh, UKIP’s candidate for the Wiltshire North constituency in the elections.
The tweets were discovered on the Twitter account he operates for his travel agency, Hindoostan Tours, between 2014 and 2015, the group said, adding Singh admitted to writing them and apologized for publishing them.
One message read: “At times I ask myself were the Nazis right in herding the Jews into concentration camps.”
With Modern Language Association Vote Underway, Promoters of Anti-BDS Motion ‘Hopeful’ Of Passage
A driving force behind a resolution urging the principal humanities academic organization in the US to formally reject the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement told The Algemeiner on Friday that he was “hopeful” the motion would pass.
Cary Nelson — the Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — said that he and others in the anti-boycott faction of the Modern Language Association (MLA) have “put a great deal of work into member outreach,” though they have the steep challenge of obtaining the required 10% of total MLA membership voting in favor, or about 2,400 votes, for the position to be ratified.
“Many very good, non-controversial resolutions do not gain a 10% vote, mainly because most members do not consider voting a personal priority,” said Nelson.
The resolution would formally pit the MLA against the attempt to isolate Israeli scholars and academic institutions from the world stage. It states that support for BDS “contradicts the MLA’s purpose to promote teaching and research on language and literature…[and] could curtail debates with representatives of Israeli universities…thereby blocking possible dialogue and general scholarly exchange.”
As part of the campaign for the motion, Nelson said the group “MLA Members for Scholars’ Rights” created five videos featuring academics “explaining why academic boycotts are destructive and discriminatory.”
US Launches Airstrikes in Syria Against Pro-Assad Regime Forces
The U.S. military launched fresh air strikes against pro-Assad troops in Syria after they ignored repeated warnings from both coalition and Russian forces, officials told Fox News Thursday.
The Syrian forces, in several vehicles including at least one tank, were near the Jordanian border and deemed a threat to coalition partners on the ground, a Pentagon official said. They were repeatedly ordered to stop their advance toward a de-escalation zone, but ignored the warning, officials said.
"The coalition commander assessed the threat and after shows of force didn't stop the regime forces and those forces refused to move out of the deconfliction zone, the commander on the ground called for the air strike as a matter of force protection," a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.
Another military source told The Associated Press it appeared the Syrian forces were poised to attack an area that included U.S. advisers.
"They were building a fighting position" about 55 kilometers from a U.S.-coalition base close to At Tanf, where advisers train members of the Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian Arab Coalition, the second official said.
Mattis Gives Update on ISIS: ‘They Are No Longer Carrying an Air of Strength’
Defense Secretary James Mattis updated the press on the coalition effort against the Islamic State terrorist group on Friday.
"From the Philippines to Europe and beyond, while ISIS remains dangerous, they are no longer carrying an air of strength," he said.
Mattis said that President Donald Trump ordered an "accelerated" operation against ISIS, noting two significant changes that resulted from Trump's review of the Pentagon's findings.
"First, he delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities," Mattis said. " Secondly, he directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of seized locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy and their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS."
Mattis said that their intent is to prevent escaped foreign fighters from returning home and that this will need to be a coalition effort of commitment at the political and military level to defeat ISIS.
"Twenty-six of our coalition nations contribute militarily, including more than 4,000 non-US troops in the ground and in the air," Mattis said. "Our recent coalition meetings in Brussels, Copenhagen, and elsewhere reflect an energized campaign among contributing nations."
Mattis then pivoted to talking about the military's accomplishments during their campaign to combat ISIS.
Rouhani re-elected in Iranian Presidential elections
Iranians yearning for more freedom at home and less isolation abroad have emphatically re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, throwing down a challenge to the conservative clergy that still holds ultimate sway.
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmanifazli announced Rouhani's victory on Saturday on state television. Rouhani secured 57 percent of the vote in Friday's election, compared to 38 percent for his main rival, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi, according to figures cited by Rahmanifazli.
Although the powers of the elected president are limited by those of unelected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who outranks him, the scale of Rouhani's victory gives the pro-reform camp a strong mandate to seek the sort of change that hardliners have managed to thwart for decades.
Rouhani's opponent Raisi, a protege of Khamenei, had united the conservative faction and had been tipped in Iranian media as a potential successor for the 77-year-old supreme leader who has been in power since 1989. His defeat leaves the conservatives without an obvious flag bearer.
The re-election is likely to safeguard the nuclear agreement Rouhani's government reached with global powers in 2015, under which most international sanctions have been lifted in return for Iran curbing its nuclear program.
And it delivers a setback to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the powerful security force which controls a vast industrial empire in Iran. They had thrown their support behind Raisi to safeguard its interests.
Trump’s Disappointing Silence on Erdogan’s Excesses
The man with the bullhorn had already been knocked to the ground, and repeatedly kicked and beaten. Despite that, the man in the sharp suit (and with a handgun on his hip), raced up and launched a fierce kick, hitting the man with the bullhorn square in the face.
The man with the bullhorn was protesting visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The man in the suit was an Erdogan bodyguard. This beating, which was captured on video by Voice of America, took place on Tuesday, just 1.4 miles from the White House, where Erdogan met with President Donald Trump.
Nine people were injured in the melee, including two who required hospitalization. A similar, but smaller, brawl broke out last year when Erdogan was greeted by protesters outside a speech at the Brookings Institution.
On Wednesday, the State Department issued a statement saying that it would tell the Turkish government that it is “concerned by the violent incidents. …. Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest.”
It’s difficult these days for stories outside the White House’s struggle to contain the Russia investigation to gain much traction.
But events in and near the White House on Tuesday should not get lost in the shuffle. Even without the violence by Erdogan’s goon squad, his White House visit should concern those who expected the Trump administration to follow through on its tough talk about confronting radical Islam.
State Department Summons Turkish Ambassador After Erdogan’s Bodyguards Beat Down Protesters on American Soil
The United States State Department has summoned Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic after video evidence emerged showing Islamist Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards punching, kicking, and head-locking anti-regime protesters on American soil.
“We can confirm that Ambassador Kilic was summoned to the State Department and met with Under Secretary [Thomas] Shannon on Wednesday,” a State Department representative told NBC News Thursday.
State Department officials also confirmed that two members of Erdogan’s security detail were temporarily detained after Tuesday’s attack on Kurdish, Armenian, and Yazidi protesters. However, international law forbade D.C. Metropolitan police and federal law enforcement from arresting the Turkish attackers. Heads of state and their entire entourage are protected under the umbrella of diplomatic immunity. As members of Erdogan’s security detail, most of the attackers were able to safely retreat to the Turkish embassy compound after viciously beating down protesters and police. The other two attackers detained were released shortly after being taken in.
As The Daily Wire reported Thursday, recently-released video evidence appears to show the Turkish president personally ordering the attack on the protesters clearly assembled on U.S. soil. In the video, Erdogan is shown stepping out of his tinted black Mercedes-Benz, parked at the residence of the Turkish ambassador, and calmly watching as his bodyguards step outside of the embassy compound and enter U.S. soil outside to choke women, shove police, and punch young men.
US Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring Greater Oversight on European Antisemitism
The US House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation requiring greater State Department reporting on European antisemitism.
The bill, known as the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017, requires enhanced annual reporting to Congress on antisemitic incidents in Europe, the safety and security of European Jews, and efforts by the US to partner with European entities to combat antisemitism.
“This bill would require the US government — and encourage our global partners — to continue to take a hard look at anti-Semitism in Europe, provide a thorough assessment of trends, and outline what the United States and our partners are doing to meet this challenge,” said a statement by the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, chaired by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
The bill will now head to the Senate and eventually President Donald Trump for approval.
The meteoric rise of Gal Gadot
For close to a decade, the most visible and famous Israeli was none other than supermodel Bar Refaeli.
But with the upcoming release of Wonder Woman, Refaeli is being ousted from her throne by the one and only Gal Gadot.
The stunning model and movie star is not exactly a newcomer to Hollywood – she’s been appearing in hit movies since 2009. But with the release in just a couple weeks of Wonder Woman, the blockbuster Warner Bros. movie with Gadot in the leading role, her star is about to catapult into the stratosphere. After all, it’s not every day one is featured on a series of massive billboards in New York’s Times Square.
This isn’t even Gadot’s first film playing Wonder Woman, the DC Comics superhero and warrior princess. She first played the role in the 2016 film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – which, while it got mostly negative reviews, grossed more than $870 million.
E! News called Gadot’s performance “the bright spot in an otherwise dim movie-going experience.”
But on June 2, when Gadot hits the silver screen with a headlining role in a summer blockbuster, she’ll reach levels of fame even she could never have imagined. And then she’ll play Wonder Woman yet again in Justice League, which is set to be released in November.
The unbelievable heroic story of Ireland’s overlooked ‘Oscar Schindler’
As the Gestapo surrounds the palace of an Italian anti-Fascist aristocrat, an Irish priest dashes to the cellar. He is wanted by the Nazis for his role in the daring rescues of Jews, POWs and refugees, but this time it seems there is no escape. Miraculously, a coal delivery being made to the palace offers the perfect cover — the cleric blackens his face, hides his cassock and slips away to freedom through the narrow cobbled streets of Rome.
This dramatic scene, recreated in the 1983 movie “The Scarlet and the Black” starring Gregory Peck as Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, was just one of a number of close shaves for the doughty Irish priest and Vatican diplomat during his heroic campaign to thwart the Gestapo in the Eternal City during World War II.
“Monsignor O’Flaherty left the safety of the Vatican to run his escape line,” said Jerry O’Grady, chairman of the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society in the priest’s hometown in Killarney, Ireland. “The Gestapo had a price on his head and they tried to kidnap him many times.”
The Society is now preparing an application to Yad Vashem to have their local hero, who is credited with concealing hundreds of Jews from the Gestapo, listed as Righteous Among the Nations.
O’Flaherty grew up the son of a golf steward in Killarney, Ireland, and his skill at the game helped ease his way into Roman society. The priest played with social luminaries such as Mussolini’s son-in-law Count Galeazzo Ciano, as well as the former Spanish King Alphonso. All his connections were to become very useful when he took on the unforeseen mantle of rescuer.
In the last years of the war, as the Italian government collapsed O’Flaherty organized a group of priests, anti-Fascist and diplomats to help shelter Jews, escaped POWs and refugees. He set up a network of safe havens in rented apartments and religious houses throughout Rome.
Auction of Anne Frank poem will finance Holocaust memorial
A friend of Anne Frank who recently sold a poem handwritten by the teenage diarist for $155,000 has donated a third of the money to the building of a Holocaust memorial for Dutch Jews.
Jacqueline van Maarsen, who was a childhood friend of Anne Frank, received the poem in the 1970s from her sister, Christiane, who gave her the poem because Jacqueline was closer to Anne, the NOS public broadcaster reported Thursday. The sisters are not Jewish.
In November, van Maarsen auctioned off the poem, which is dated March 28, 1942. She told NOS that she will donate a little over $50,000 from the proceeds for the building of a commemorative wall featuring the names of more than 102,000 Dutch Jews who were killed in the Holocaust.
Addressed to “Cri-Cri,” Christiane van Maarsen, the poem was signed by Anne Frank. While the first four lines of the text are well known among such poems “written by girls, for girls,” the Bubb Kuyper auction house that sold the poem has so far not traced the origins of the final four lines.




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