Wednesday, July 05, 2017

From Ian:

Daniel Pipes: End the false Israeli-Palestinian equality
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords' signing in September 1993, when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, representing his government, shook hands with Yasser Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on the White House lawn. No one found that strange or inappropriate then, but things look different nearly a quarter-century later.
As the elected head of a democratic and sovereign government, Rabin never should have consented to Arafat, the henchman of an unofficial, dictatorial, murderous organization, being given equal status with himself.
Rather, he should have stayed aloof. Appearing together created a dysfunctional illusion of equivalence that over subsequent decades has became assumed, ingrained and unquestioned. This false equivalence has became even more inaccurate with time, as Israel has gone from one success to another and the Palestinian Authority has brought on a reign of ever-deeper anarchy, dependency, and repression.
It's not just that Israel stands among the world leaders in science, technology, the humanities, the arts, military power and intelligence capabilities, not just that its economy is 25 times larger than the Palestinian one; Israel is a land where the rule of law applies to all (at one point until recently, a former president and a former prime minister were simultaneously sitting in prison) and individual rights are not just promised but delivered. Meanwhile, the head of the Palestinian Authority, presently in the 12th year of his four-year term, has been unable to prevent both creeping anarchy in the West Bank and a rogue group from taking over in Gaza, half of his putative domain.

Melanie Phillips: Trouble in purgatory
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Watch me here discussing with Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network antisemitism in the British Labour party – and also the extraordinary spectacle at the UN of Iran and Saudi Arabia accusing each other of terrorism.


MEMRI: Sheikh Prays To Allah For Slaughtering of Americans and Europeans!
In an address at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian cleric Sheikh Nadhal Siam, also known as "Abu Ibrahim," criticized the Saudi and Qatari regimes, which, he said, were "immersed in collaboration" with the Americans and the English, respectively. His prayers to Allah to "enable us to slaughter" the Americans, the Europeans and the "criminal and treacherous" Arab rulers were answered by cries of "Amen" from his audience. The video was posted on YouTube on June 18.




Anti-Israel UNESCO resolution 'pathetic,' Foreign Ministry says
The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Tuesday reaffirmed a resolution that refers to Israel as an "occupying power" in the Old City of Jerusalem and condemns Israeli archaeological excavations around the capital.
Ten countries supported the resolution, three opposed it, and eight abstained.
The 10 countries that voted in favor of the resolution are Azerbaijan, Cuba, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
Burkina Faso, Jamaica and the Philippines voted against the motion, while Angola, Croatia, Finland, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea and Tanzania abstained.
Israel's Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen said, "The wording of the resolution was softened in comparison to last year. This time, there is no mention of the Temple Mount. The results of the vote are certainly encouraging ahead of the more important battle this weekend over Palestinian demands to list the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site."
UNESCO's previous resolution on Jerusalem referred to the Temple Mount only as Al-Aqsa mosque, effectively denying Jewish ties to the site.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called the vote "sad, unnecessary and pathetic," underscoring that the resolution was unable to garner a majority of votes.
Amb. Dore Gold: Israel and UNESCO: A New Era Has Not Yet Arrived
UNESCO yet again adopted an outrageous resolution defining Israeli activity in east Jerusalem as illegal and referring to the Temple Mount as a “Muslim site of worship.” True, ten states voted for the resolution, but taking together the eight states that abstained with the three states that opposed the resolution, more states refused to back the anti-Israel initiative this time than the number that were prepared to lend their support.
Among the states abstaining were significant African states like Angola and Tanzania. Burkina Faso opposed the resolution outright. The voting pattern of these states demonstrates the importance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to expand Israeli ties in Africa. Tanzania participated in the summit meeting Netanyahu held in Uganda last July commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Entebbe raid. This time, not a single European state backed the resolution.
There are states that should be the focus of Israeli and U.S. diplomacy in the future. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan supported the UNESCO resolution despite Israeli efforts toward these countries. Cuba also backed the resolution, though it has been trying to improve its relations with Washington. Surprisingly, Vietnam, which has been improving economic ties with Israel, along with the other Asian economic “tigers,” went along with the initiative. The visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel at the time of the vote symbolized the kinds of changes in Israel’s international relations that should help defeat these anti-Israel moves in years ahead.
Growing ties, persistent lies
As Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel's envoy to UNESCO, noted, the idea of a U.N. body enacting resolutions that deny Jewish history in the same country where most of the victims of the Holocaust were slaughtered demonstrates the survival of the ideology of Jew-hatred seven decades later. That these resolutions were proposed in part by Jordan, a nation whose monarchical government depends on Israeli strategic cover for its very survival, is more than ironic. It shows how even friendly Arab governments are still promoting anti-Semitic themes that ensure that hatred for Israel and Jews remains an integral part of their national culture.
These votes in which Jewish rights are delegitimized can be dismissed as meaningless displays. But the BDS movement -- a mainstream force in Europe even if it is still just a loud minority confined to college campuses in the United States -- takes inspiration and receives a degree of undeserved legitimacy from them. With students in elite colleges around the world increasingly being inculcated with anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism, the shock troops for future efforts to isolate Israel are already being trained.
This should serve as a reminder to Israel's leaders and representatives, as well as those groups in the Diaspora tasked with defending the Jewish state, that the battle is far from over. On the contrary, if Israel and its friends concentrate only on talking about security or the wonders of Israeli entrepreneurial and scientific genius while ignoring arguments that defend their country's right to its homeland and holy places, they make a tragic mistake.
Even as Israel celebrates diplomatic breakthroughs, its representatives must also remind the world of the justice of Zionism and Israel's cause. A failure to do so will ensure not only more such farces at UNESCO but also a growing international movement dedicated to renewing the battle to isolate Israel.
Yishai Fleisher: National identity theft at UNESCO
Indeed, behind the facade of the protection of endangered sites, UNESCO has become a tool in a nefarious campaign to eradicate the evidence of Jewish indigeneity in the land of Israel and conversely malign the Jews as occupying colonialists. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has actually become the legitimate arm of the war against Israel, pushing a jihadist agenda while dressed in a sensible European suit and tie.
In Krakow the Palestinians are fast-tracking the UNESCO process by claiming that Hebron is a site in danger. However, Israel is pushing back on this point and during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry, deputy minister Tzipi Hotovely spoke with foreign ambassadors and explained that the Tomb of the Patriarchs is not in danger, and displayed maps and photographs proving that PA claims of abuses are a farce.
Yet other people in Israel are skeptical about tackling the deeply ingrained antisemitism at the UN. However, recently US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley articulated new US opposition to anti-Israelism at the UN, saying “that the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”
So now, more than ever, the time has come to confront the UN. The Polish government, which enjoys excellent relations with Israel, should demand that UNESCO table the anti-Israel vote so that a pogrom on Jewish history not be perpetrated on Polish soil. The US, the main funder of the UN, and the host of its headquarters, should continue to make good on its promises to push back on the UN machine. And, of course, Israel should itself fully defund UNESCO and strengthen Jewish presence in Hebron by unfreezing Jewish building there.
We must send a clear signal: if the UN and UNESCO cannot uphold the values and principles necessary to protect world cultures and heritage sites, let its validity be brought to question – not that of the Jewish People.


Cuba complains of minute of silence for Holocaust victims at UNESCO meeting, then calls one for Palestinians
Transcript: Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Fellow ambassadors, at the beginning of my remarks I would like to thank the countries who stood by our side today and have once again prevented a dishonorable consensus on an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish decision. Your moral clarity brings honor to your countries.
I would like to share with you a special angle on the decision taken today which makes this resolution all the more outrageous and hurtful to every Jew, and especially to Holocaust survivors.
During the last 24 hours, survivors have sent a letter to the Polish Foreign Minister, and appeared in the Israeli press expressing their feelings and dismay at the UNESCO resolution. If there is anyone amongst you who can dispute their feelings, he must have a vicious heart.
We are assembled here, next to the largest mass grave of the Jewish people, but it’s also the biggest, darkest grave into which humanity had ever descended.
The sites, the sounds, the smells, the blood, and the horrors that occurred here in the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau were not confined to the camp’s electrified fences. Indeed, under right weather conditions the smell of the crematorium may have reached the very place where we are now seated.
A month ago I approached the Arab delegations through one of their ambassadors with a special request. I asked them to be sensitive to this sensitive location and not to table the anti-Jewish resolution regarding Jerusalem. I told them that it would help to build positive relations.
But sadly, we are here today with not just one, but with two such anti-Israeli resolutions.
After moment of silence for Holocaust victims, Cuba calls moment of silence for Palestinians


PA: Nikki Haley engaging in 'crusade against Palestinian people'
A senior Palestinian Authority official on Wednesday blasted US President Donald Trump's United Nations envoy, accusing her of carrying out a "crusade against the Palestinian people."
Hanan Ashrawi, an senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said Nikki Haley was leading a "one-woman crusade ... against Palestine and the Palestinian people individually and collectively."
"Through an obsessive and targeted campaign of intimidation and threats, Miss Haley's crusade does not miss an opportunity to put pressure on anyone that seeks to challenge Israeli impunity," she added.
Ashrawi said Haley was echoing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon defended Haley's work.
"Small wonder Hanan Ashrawi is unhappy - @nikkihaley fights for a fair treatment of #Israel, exactly what the #Palestinians don't want...," he wrote on Twitter.
PA officials have privately expressed increasing alarm at the Trump administration's pro-Israel stance as the US president seeks to restart peace negotiations.
However until Wednesday they had publicly refrained from criticizing senior US officials.
Haley visited Israel in June.
UNESCO to award heritage site to convicted mass murderer
Convicted terrorist Tiyassir Abu Sanina may be about to receive authority over the Cave of the Patriarchs (Mearat Hamachpela) on July 7, pending a decision by UNESCO.
Meanwhile, in a short video, Hevron Mayor Tiyassir Abu Sanina speaks about how he had hoped to murder more people in his terror attack than he actually succeeded in murdering.
In the video, filmed one year ago, Abu Sanina describes how he had planned to postpone his terror attack if less than 50 potential victims were present.
He also says he planned his attack for 8 months, and intended it to kill both IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians.
Abu Sanina is a member of the same terror cell which carried out the May 1980 terror attack on Beit Hadassah, killing six civilians and wounding twenty more.
All the terrorists who participated in the attack were given life sentences, but released during the prisoner swaps of the 1980s.
Despite this, UNESCO is expected to hand authority over the Cave of the Patriarchs to Abu Sanina, as a representative of the Palestinian Authority.
Legal Insurrection: It’s not true that you always remember your first
I was 15, but I really don’t remember it even though someone just texted me a photo
A relative was going through some old family files today, and found a clipping of a letter to the editor in the local newspaper that appeared on December 12, 1974. He texted me a photo of it.
The title was “Irony at UN?”
It was written by me. I was 15 at the time.
The letter probably is the first piece I ever published.
But I don’t remember it.
It’s kind of spooky for me to read it. It could have been written yesterday.
Canada Rewards Terrorists; Israel Punishes Them
Two news stories concerning terrorism should make Canadians realize that not only are we being governed under the doctrine of "sock and awe," but that our values have turned upside down in a bizarro world, one of our own making.
First to Israel, where on Monday the government revealed it has filed a precedent-setting lawsuit against the family of a terrorist who drove a truck into a group of military personnel killing four Israeli soldiers.
Attacker Fadi al-Qunbar was shot dead shot and killed in January, and the matter would have rested there. But this time Israel has made the landmark decision to sue against any inheritance the terrorist left to his family. The lawsuit, which is expected to be the first of many similar cases, demands a total of more than $2.3 million.
Israel's Minister of the Interior Arye Dery told the Haaretz newspaper, "From now on, anyone who plots, plans or considers carrying out a terrorist attack will know that his family will pay a heavy price for his deed."
Not so in Canada.
On the same day as the terrorist Fadi al-Qumbar was being penalized by Israel, in Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government announced that convicted terrorist Omar Khadr, who in October 2010 had pleaded guilty to "murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, spying, conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism," was to receive a $10M "compensation"for his troubles and an official apology from the Government of Canada.
Mr. Khadr, now 30, was 15 in July 2002 when he lived in an Afghan compound with a group of bomb-building Islamic jihadis planting roadside explosives. Afterwards, U.S. troops stormed the house and this is where a grenade thrown by Khadr killed Sergeant Christopher Speer, a medic who was helmet-less and dressed in Afghan clothing.
Australia: The Madness Continues
"While terrorism's origins have many factors, Islamic terrorists, as heinous as their acts are, they are often merely doing what the scriptures are telling them." — Tanveer Ahmed, Muslim psychiatrist.
In Australia, according to judges, women and children must accept sexual assaults because it is part of the "Islamic culture" of their attackers. It would seem that in parts of Australia, this "Islamic culture" has replaced the rule of law. None of the above, however, seems to be enough to appease Muslim sentiments. In March, Anne Aly, Australia's first female Muslim MP, said that racial-discrimination laws should be expanded to cover insults based on religion as well.
In March, a teacher at Punchbowl Primary School quit her job after she and her family received death threats from the children in the school, with some of them saying they would behead her. The teacher's complaints to the New South Wales Department of Education were dismissed.
Colin Rubenstein: Recognising Palestine ignores need for peace
Australia - Supporting unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state just rewards and encourages these destructive Palestinian tactics. As long as they believe they just need to keep doing more of the same to achieve a state without any concessions to Israel's right to exist in peace, they will continue to do so. Peace requires the international community to make it very clear to the Palestinian leadership that they must cease their intransigence and support for terrorism if they wish to advance their cause (if that is indeed a state alongside, rather than one instead of Israel) - while also making it clear to Israel that it will be supported as long as it continues to offer a genuine two-state resolution.
Those favouring recognition of "Palestine" often cite Israeli settlements as the reason, claiming Palestine must be recognised now because continued settlement expansion will soon make a Palestinian state impossible to achieve. While settlements are certainly an important issue, this claim is just not true.
Since 2003, no new settlements have been established and existing settlements have not been permitted to expand their current geographic boundaries. Even Palestinian leaders admit settlements take up less than 2 per cent of the West Bank - and again, that proportion is not growing. Furthermore, most population growth has been within settlements it is generally accepted Israel will keep in exchange for land swaps in any peace agreement. Settlements certainly did not prevent generous Israeli offers of Palestinian statehood in 2000-01 and 2008, which involved evacuating many outlying settlements.
Those who genuinely have the best interests of the Palestinians at heart should be urging them to negotiate in good faith with Israel, and to genuinely accept Israel's right to exist - which is the only way they can achieve peace - not rewarding then for doing the opposite.
The Pattern of Palestinian Lies to US Presidents
When Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House in May, he assured Donald Trump that “we are raising our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.” But when President Trump met with Abbas in Bethlehem, the US leader was furious. “You lied to me,” Trump reportedly said. “The Israelis showed me that you are involved in incitement.”
Indeed, there’s an abundance of proof that Abbas is a systemic liar. For example, Abbas and his Fatah cohorts constantly praise Palestinians who have murdered innocent Israelis — despite claiming to support “peace.” Fatah leader Nabil Shaath recently said that the Palestinians’ right to use “armed struggle” was “indisputable.”
In addition to misleading Trump, Abbas also lied to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about stopping payments to terrorists’ families. Tillerson later had to admit — once again — that the Trump administration had been duped. Abbas apparently told Jared Kushner that the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists and their families were the government’s “social responsibility.”
Sadly, this is not the first series of lies that PA governments have tried to hoist on American presidents.
Yasser Arafat lied to President George W. Bush when he promised that he was no longer involved in terrorism or importing weapons into PA territories.
The Palestinians Have No “Right” to Territorial Concessions
Those demanding that Israel immediately “end its occupation” of the West Bank routinely make their case in legal terms: the Jewish state’s presence outside the 1948 armistice lines is “illegal”; Palestinians have a “right” to their own state in the West Bank and Gaza; the rights of Palestinians are being violated daily. Ruth Gavison contends that this approach, in addition to misapplying the principles of international law, misconstrues a political issue as a legal issue.
According to [those who address the question in terms of rights], an agreement with the Palestinians isn’t based on painful concessions from both sides but on pressure on Israel to make it do what it must. . . . [This understanding] is based on the assumption that such a step will change the conditions that led to the war in 1967 [so that] Israel will no longer face military and diplomatic challenges that reject its right to exist as the national home of the Jewish people.
Translating the question of the occupation into the language of law and human rights conceals the political, security, and ideological aspects that are supposed to be decided in the political arena. This is how, in Israel, [opponents of current policies] have taken to legal wrangling whose goal is to remove Jewish residents from the places claimed to be illegal, or to exposure of Israeli soldiers’ [alleged] violations of the laws of war.
Accordingly, civil-society organizations depict their fight against the occupation as a fight for human rights or the rule of law. This has implications both in Israel and abroad. Countries aren’t supposed to intervene in political struggles in another country. But if there is a violation of human rights or democracy itself—[so-called] “international” values—the ban on intervention is weakened. And many Western countries rely on this distinction when they finance civil-society groups in foreign countries.
EXCLUSIVE: Norwegian MP Tipped for U.N. Top Security Council Anti-Terror Post
A 33-year-old Norwegian MP who has supported headscarf restrictions in Norway, but once also backed the breaking of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, could soon fill a top anti-terror post at the United Nations Security Council.
High-level U.N. officials tell Breitbart News that Hadia Tajik, a top Norwegian Party MP and the country’s first Muslim cabinet member, is one of the main contenders for the role of Executive Director of the U.N.’s Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), replacing Frenchman Jean-Paul Laborde.
The CTED carries out the policy decisions of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and gives expert advice to member states and is therefore vital in setting the Security Council’s anti-terror agenda and priorities. With terror crises in places like Yemen, Libya, Iraq, and Syria making up some of the Security Council’s top priorities, whoever gets the spot will be a sign of U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s influence as she works to get the unwieldy U.N. to change course on a number of issues.
A discussion on who should replace Laborde could arrive as early as this week, sources said. It is not clear where Laborde could go, as there has been no announcement of an impending retirement or transfer. A spokesman for the Secretary-General told Breitbart News that they had no announcement to make at this time.
Family of murdered French Jewish woman files complaint against police
Lawyer tells i24NEWS police must explain why they didn't enter building while Sarah Halimi was still alive
A lawyer for the family of Sarah Halimi told i24NEWS on Monday that a complaint will be filed against the police for failing to enter the building and preventing the Jewish woman's death in April.
Sarah Halimi was beaten and thrown to her death from the window of her Paris apartment by her 27-year-old neighbor Kobili Traore.
French police arrived on the scene but reportedly refused to enter the building until specialist backup had arrived, during which time a neighbor recorded Halimi's screams as she was attacked by her neighbor.
Witnesses testified that Traore shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") during the attack, while Halimi's daughter said that he had two years ago called her a "dirty Jew."
"I can confirm that I have filed a complaint with the Paris public prosecutor against the police," said lawyer Gilles William Goldnadel, explaining that it is up to the investigation to determine which branch of the force bears responsibility for the failure to save Halimi's life.
"It is totally incomprehensible, in the literal sense of the word, to explain why the police did not intervene for an hour when for at least thirty minutes of that a woman was tortured by her assassin."
New DNA from Argentina Jewish center bombing points to suicide attack
A new set of DNA has been identified among the 85 victims of the AMIA Buenos Aires Jewish Center attack, strengthening the hypothesis that the 1994 attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
The discovery was announced on Monday by the AMIA Special Investigation Unit of the General Prosecution, two weeks before the 23rd anniversary of the bombing that also injured hundreds. The final report after two years of investigation by a forensics team, reveals for first time the existence of a genetic profile among the reserved remains in the laboratory of the Federal Police that “doesn’t belong to any known victims.”
With this information the prosecutors in charge of the special unit are working on “the hypothesis of the suicide bomber” and have already taken steps “in the field of international cooperation to try to match the profile obtained with that of samples of relatives of the suspected individual.” The suspected individual isn’t mentioned in the report released to the public but is part of a previous report by the special unit, where he is named as Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese citizen and an alleged member of the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Jerusalem to approve 800 new housing units
The Jerusalem municipality will bring for approval at the coming local committee a program for 800 new housing units in the neighborhoods of Pisgat Zeev, Neve Yaakov, Ramot, and Gilo.
In addition, building plans for 114 units in eastern Jerusalem will be brought for approval for the Arab population.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said this afternoon, Wednesday, that he was aiming to enable more young people to build their lives in Jerusalem.
“Building in Jerusalem is essential and important, and will continue with full force in order to enable more young people to live in Jerusalem, to build their future in it and strengthen the capital of Israel.”
'Blocking Hezbollah weapons gains is IDF's top priority'
Eleven years after the Second Lebanon War, stopping Hezbollah from improving the accuracy of its missiles and rockets is the “top priority” of the army, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot stated Wednesday.
Speaking at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Eisenkot stated that IDF has used the time since the Second Lebanon War to dramatically improve its abilities and now has better intelligence and operational capabilities than ever before.
According to Eisenkot, in the 11 years since the Second Lebanon War ended, relative quiet has prevailed along the northern border and Israelis “should put things in perspective and not panic” regarding reports that Iran has helped Hezbollah to operate and manage underground weapons factories.
Still, the Chief of Staff said curbing Iranian influence in the Middle East is a major challenge, no less than defeating ISIS.
Russia may deploy military in Syrian buffer zones within weeks
Russia may deploy its military to police the borders of planned de-escalation zones in Syria within two to three weeks after finalizing an agreement with Turkey and Iran, Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev said on Tuesday.
Russia hopes to sign the final documents with the two countries on Wednesday, Lavrentyev told reporters after a series of meetings in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
Russia and Iran, which back President Bashar Assad's government, and Turkey, which supports some of the rebels, agreed in principle to create four "de-escalation zones" in Syria in a previous round of talks in May, but put off a planned June meeting where they were supposed to work out the details.
Since the May agreement was announced, the rebel-held stronghold of Idlib province in the northwest of Syria has been mostly calm.
But fighting has continued on other front lines in western Syria, including Eastern Ghouta of Damascus and the southwestern city of Deraa, where government forces and their allies are trying to crush remaining pockets of rebellion.
'We have to prepare for the day after Abbas'
Israel must prepare for the post-Mahmoud Abbas era in the Palestinian Authority, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze'ev Elkin told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday.
"I have been saying for more than a year that the Palestinian Authority will not survive Mahmoud Abbas's departure, because he oppressed any political culture in the Palestinian Authority, any political process, there's no functioning parliament, and no ability to organize elections in which they will not lose to Hamas,” he said.
“They tried to organize municipal elections and in the end they were forced to hold them only in Judea and Samaria and without Hamas because it was clear that they would lose to Hamas. They have no political authorization mechanism, not through elections, not through parliament. There are many candidates for leadership and they will fight each other with power groups. I think that just as Abbas was one of the founding fathers of the Palestinian Authority, he will also bury the Palestinian Authority. There is a certain historical justice here,” continued Elkin.
"The Oslo Accords were disastrous for Israel, and I think that there is an interesting situation here in which the Palestinians themselves will be brought to a standstill because of internal struggles," Elkin added.
IDF Blog: 10 Years of Hamas in Gaza


Palestinians overwhelmingly oppose Abbas pressure on Gaza
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s tough measures to force Hamas to cede control of the Gaza Strip are overwhelmingly opposed by Palestinians, according to a poll released Wednesday.
Since April, Abbas has cut funds for Israeli-supplied electricity to Gaza by 35 percent, reduced by one-third the salaries of tens of thousands of PA employees in Gaza, and reduced the medical budget for Gaza by a reported 90%. On Tuesday, he forced over 6,000 PA employees Gaza into early retirement.
A poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 84% of Palestinians oppose cutting the electricity and 88% oppose reducing the salaries to government employees.
Abbas’s government has admitted these measures are aimed at forcing Hamas to give up control in Gaza, which it took over in a violent conflict with the PA-controlling Fatah party in 2007.
‘Three-state’ reality emerges as Hamas-Dahlan leadership takes shape in Gaza
The new agreement will mark Dahlan’s return to center stage — freshly empowered, in contrast to the perceived weakness of Abbas and senior Fatah figures in the West Bank.
Hamas in recent days rejected a proposed compromise agreement with Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, put forward by UN Middle East envoy Nikolay Mladenov, apparently because of the more attractive Egyptian-Dahlan possibilities.
The emerging agreement, made up of 15 clauses, heralds historic change on the political front, potentially formalizing the division between Gaza and the West Bank.
There is still no love is lost between Hamas and Dahlan — and that’s an understatement — or between Hamas and Mashrawi. Years of bitterness will not evaporate overnight. As soon as one side feels threatened by the other, the notion of reconciliation will disappear and they will be at war again. That’s what happened a decade ago.
But for now, all eyes are on the returning Mashrawi.
Improving ties between Egypt and Hamas unsettle Palestinian politics
A series of meetings between Hamas and senior officials in Cairo in recent weeks points to improving ties between Egypt and the Islamist Palestinian movement, with implications for Gaza, Palestinian politics and the wider region.
For much of the last decade, Egypt has joined Israel in enforcing a land, sea and air blockade of the Gaza Strip, a move to punish Hamas and its armed wing, which seized the territory in 2007 and has controlled it since.
The situation has worsened in the past month as Israel, at the request of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), has cut electricity to Gaza, leaving it with barely four hours of power a day.
The sanctions are part of a years-long effort by the PA, led by the rival Fatah party, to force Hamas to relinquish power in Gaza and join a unified government.
Egypt agrees to open Rafah border crossing
Relations between Hamas and Egypt are growing warmer, as the Egyptians prepare for the opening of the Rafah Border Crossing this September, allowing free passage of Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and back.
Millions of dollars were invested in preparing the Rafah Crossing for its reopening in recent months.
Israeli security sources noted that the opening of the southern crossing and the deepening of Egyptian involvement in the Gaza Strip could have positive implications for the security situation along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Its opening may also go some way to alleviating feelings of isolation in the strip, which is currently creating unrest among its residents which some fear may eventually erupt into renewed violence against Israel.
The development follows Egypt's agreement to help Gaza with its electricity crisis and Hamas starting construction of a buffer zone at the border between Sinai and the Gaza Strip.
Starved of power, Gaza’s Palestinians buckle under an oppressive heatwave
The UN said 1.2 million people in Gaza who were already facing food insecurity are now facing increased economic obstacles to eating.
As for who is responsible for the crisis, “most of the anger is directed at Hamas,” said Sami, the medical intern. He said the electricity crisis finds its way into nearly all conversations and that he hears “people repeatedly hating Hamas for this particular reason.”
Khaled, the humanitarian worker, said he understands the feeling of people in Israel who want to protect their children. But he argued Israeli policies were actually undermining their security.
Noting that around 50% of Gazans are under 18, he said, “What kind of generation in Gaza will Israel see in five or 10 years? Suffering from electricity cuts, from lack of water, from wars — the mindset of the youth will develop accordingly.
“People should be given their basic rights. I don’t see any link between Israel’s security and Gaza’s children not getting clean water. You have to break the cycle at some point,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment for this story. In the past Israeli authorities have argued that an internal Palestinian dispute between Hamas and the PA is behind the power crisis in Gaza, and that Israel is not a party to it. Both Israel and the PA charge that Hamas, which openly seeks the destruction of Israel, would have the money to supply Gaza’s power and water needs if it didn’t expend a large part of its resources on armament and preparation for future conflict with the Jewish state.
PreOccupiedTerritory: We Palestinians Support Assad Because The Rebels Threaten Our Monopoly On Victimhood By Ismail Haniyeh (satire)
Shifting allegiances in the Arab world can prove confusing, but as the fortunes of various tyrannical regimes wax and wane, it should surprise no one that shifts in allegiance vary accordingly. We in Hamas initially stood with the uprising against Syrian President Basher Assad, but as the war progressed, we gradually realized which side our pita is buttered on: it makes no sense to support the rebels, because acknowledging their grievances means surrendering the exclusivity in international attention and sympathy that Palestinians demand for their plight.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died since the war erupted six years ago amid the Arab Spring, a figure that dwarfs the tens of thousands of Palestinians killed in an entire century of conflict with the Zionists. But using mere numbers distorts the reality that the sacred Palestinian cause must forever remain the main priority for the Arab and Muslim worlds, and that the deaths of almost half a million, mostly at the hand of Assad and his allies, can at best be a distraction from the central goal of liberating Palestine from the clutches of the sinister Jew. If people begin to focus on the plight of the Syrian people, or even, Allah forbid, non-Muslims such as the Yezidi, our monopoly on victimhood is broken, and our raison d’être fades. So basically, to hell with Syria. Not that it has far to go.
I do not offer praise of our Fatah rivals easily, but in this case I must acknowledge the prescience of Mahmoud Abbas in never deviating from support for the Assad regime, even as Syrian soldiers and regime-allied militias massacred Palestinians along with everyone else. He showed shrewdness in realizing that implying sympathy for, or solidarity with, other oppressed populations would necessarily devolve into ceding the precious limelight to them, even if only partially. In a world in which every cause must be subordinated to the liberation of Palestine, such sharing of international attention detracts from the centrality of Palestine. It is other causes that we exploit, and not the other way around.
MEMRI: Kuwaiti Shi'ite Journalist To Shi'ites In Arab Countries: Iranian Interference In Region's Countries Harms Us, We Must Oppose It
In an article posted February 17, 2017 on the Middle East Online website, Kuwaiti Shi'ite journalist Khalil 'Ali Haidar wrote that many Shi'ites in Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia feel that Iranian policy in the Middle East and Iran's interference in the affairs of Arab countries not only does not represent them, but actually harms them, and yet they do not openly oppose it. In the article, titled "Shi'ites of Kuwait, Iran Is Not [Our] Safe Haven," Haidar called on the Shi'ites living in Arab countries to openly oppose Iranian policy and thereby avoid the hatred and hostility of their Sunni compatriots. He said that "the Shi'ites have already paid a steep price in their reputation, their security, their wellbeing, and the future of their children, due to their extended silence" in the face of Iranian policy, and that the time has come for them to make their voices heard.
The following are excerpts from the article:
"How did political Shi'ism, Hizbullah, and [Iran's] Islamic Revolution so easily conquer public opinion and the emotions of the Shi'ites in the Gulf region and the Arab areas? Why don't we hear the Shi'ites outside Iran opposing Iranian foreign policy, and specifically the [Iranian] positions for which they pay the price… so that everyone will understand that the Iranian policy does not represent the opinion of all Shi'ites in the Arab world? Numerous Shi'ites in Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia believe that Iranian policy in general does not represent the opinions of [all] Shi'ites. [In fact, they believe] that since 1979 Iranian policy has endangered the political interests of the Shi'ites in the countries where they live in the Arab world and elsewhere, and caused their isolation in the community, and perhaps even threats and vengeful acts against them. This is evident in the incident of the husseiniyya in Saudi Arabia; [ii] in the destruction of Shi'ite mosques in Pakistan; in what we read and see on television, on the Internet, and in the newspapers, as well as in the terror attacks in Beirut.
Claiming Israel ‘Backs’ ISIS, Iran Announces Extra $600 Million for Missile Program, IRGC
The head of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee announced this week that the Tehran regime would be spending an extra $600 million to strengthen both its missile program and the notorious Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — which has directed military interventions in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other countries in the region.
Citing the latest Iranian conspiracy theory that Israel was financing and supporting the Sunni terrorist organization ISIS — “as evidenced by presence of their injured members in hospitals of the Zionist regime” — committee chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that “one main axis of [Iran’s] retaliatory plan is serious support of the country’s missile program as the only available means of confronting enemy threats.”
“As such, approximately 300 million dollars have been allocated to promote Iran’s missile program while a similar amount has been assigned to support Quds Force of IRGC, in the absence of whom, terrorists would be ruling in Damascus and Baghdad,” Boroujerdi continued, in remarks reported by Iranian state media outlets.
Among the benefits to Iran of the nuclear deal agreed with six world powers — led by the US — in July 2015 was a windfall of $150 billion that many analysts feared would be allocated to its military programs. Iran’s ongoing ballistic missile development program was one of the key reasons behind the US Senate’s near-unanimous decision to impose tough new sanctions on the regime last month.
US condemns North Korea's missile tests as global threat
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed Tuesday that North Korea had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, and called for global action to counter the escalating threat posed by the rogue regime.
Earlier Tuesday, North Korea announced it had successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, which flew 933 kilometers (580 miles) and reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles) over a flight time of 39 minutes. According to experts, a missile like this could hit the U.S. state of Alaska.
The launch came days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations are due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea's weapons programs, which it has pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Tillerson warned that any country that hosts North Korean workers, provides economic or military aid to North Korea, or fails to implement U.N. Security Council sanctions against the country is "aiding and abetting a dangerous regime."




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