Wednesday, September 13, 2017

From Ian:

If Israel played by America's rules, Iraq and Syria would have nuclear weapons
Israel and North Korea are on opposite sides of the Asian landmass, separated by 5,000 miles. But Israelis feels close to the nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang. They have faced this sort of crisis before, and may again.
In the mid-1970s, it became clear to Israel that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was working on acquiring nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. Saddam had already demonstrated an uninhibited brutality in dealing with his internal enemies and his neighbours. He aspired to be the leader of the Arab world. Defeating Israel was at the top of his to-do list.
After coming to office in 1977, Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin tried to convince the U.S. and Europe that Saddam was a clear and present danger to the Jewish state, and that action had to be taken. Begin was not taken seriously.
But Begin was serious, and in 1981 he decided that Israel would have to stop the Iraqi dictator all by itself. His political opponents, led by the estimable Shimon Peres, considered this to be dangerous folly. Foreign minister Moshe Dayan, the legendary former military chief of staff, voted against unilateral action on the grounds that it would hurt Israel’s international standing. Defense minister Ezer Weizmann, the former head of the air force (and Dayan’s brother-in-law) was also against a military option. He thought the mission would be unacceptably risky.
Begin had no military expertise. But his family had been wiped out in the Holocaust. He looked at Saddam, who was openly threatening Israel, and saw Hitler. To Begin, sitting around hoping for the best was not a strategy; it was an invitation to aggression. If there was going to be a cost—political, diplomatic, military—better to pay before, not after, the Iraqis had the bomb.
It's Time to Update America's Important Anti-Boycott Law for Israel
Bipartisan legislation is making its way through Congress that would bar Americans from joining in boycotts by international organizations against companies doing business in Israel. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act has attracted criticism from free-speech advocates. These concerns are unfounded.
In 1977, the Carter administration supported and Congress passed legislation that prohibited American companies from complying with boycotts imposed by foreign governments against nations friendly to the U.S. The measure aimed squarely at the Arab League's secondary boycott of Israel. Over 40 years, the law helped to break the back of the Arab boycott.
The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would extend the 1977 law to international organizations. It couldn't come at a better time. Already, the UN Human Rights Council is creating a database of companies that operate in or have business relationships in the West Bank beyond Israel's 1949 Armistice lines, which includes all of Jerusalem, Israel's capital.
Under this legislation, companies and individuals would not be able to boycott Israel at the behest of international governmental organizations, just as they are now prohibited from doing at the behest of Arab nations. Congress has wide constitutional authority to limit such discriminatory international commercial conduct that lawmakers find contrary to U.S. national interests.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt is chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. Stuart Eizenstat helped negotiate anti-boycott laws in 1977 as President Jimmy Carter's chief White House domestic policy adviser.
Coca-Cola, Teva on UN blacklist of settlement-friendly firms — report
A United Nations blacklist of companies operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights includes some of the biggest firms in Israeli industry as well as some household names in the US.
Among those on the UN Human Rights Council list are Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and Caterpillar, Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.
The US has threatened to withdraw from the international forum if the list is published.
Israeli companies on list reportedly include pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi.
Some of the international companies — namely Airbnb, Caterpillar, and TripAdvisor, as well as Priceline — were previously reported by The Washington Post to be on the list.
The list was recently delivered to the Foreign Ministry, the report said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, on a working visit to US, said in a statement that “the UN is playing with fire.”

Gerald Steinberg: The Israeli visa law and other own goals in the BDS wars
Among Israeli politicians and pundits, the recognition of threats from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and demonisation, through labels such as ‘apartheid’ and ‘war criminal,’ dawned very slowly. When the response came, it took the form of an overreaction and a series of own-goals that, if anything, have made matters worse.
The most damaging involves policies preventing the entry of BDS activists (actual and imagined) into Israel, first through the actions of overzealous officials in the Interior Ministry at Ben Gurion International Airport, and later through Knesset legislation. This led to intense criticism, and became another major source of friction between Jewish critics of Israel in the Diaspora and the government.
For a large part of the Israeli political spectrum, including right, center and center-left, BDS is seen as a form of antisemitism that singles-out the country for criticism, blunts effective counterterror measures and seeks to end Jewish self-determination. The economic damage has been minimal, but the demonisation that feeds attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world is seen as a major danger. The fear is that such activities, modeled on the fight against South African apartheid and launched at a 2001 UN conference in Durban South Africa, will erode Israeli sovereign equality, including legal sanctions in the UN. While Israel is militarily and economically powerful, a strong sense of isolation and vulnerability continues to permeate large parts of Israeli society, and various forms demonisation amplify these concerns.
The network of NGOs leading BDS is also involved in lawfare, in the form of attempts to bring cases against Israelis to the International Criminal Court and in individual countries, including the UK. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and government ministers have referred to these campaigns as a form of strategic warfare – a view shared by centrist politicians such as Yair Lapid.
But on the Left, BDS in general, and in the ‘selective’ form of boycotts of West Bank and Golan Heights products, are seen as legitimate forms of protest with the limited objective of ending the post-1967 occupation. This is true even for some liberals who consider themselves to be on the Zionist Left. Peter Beinart, for example, wrote that ‘we should lobby to exclude settler-produced goods from America’s free-trade deal with Israel’. Similarly, Kathleen Peratis, a board member at Human Rights Watch, has written that ‘settlement businesses help make settler life possible’ and hence should be boycotted. But for many Israelis, these distinctions are different aspects of the same battlefront. Selective boycotts use the same tools and slogans as the wider BDS movement, erasing the nuances, particularly in harsh political debates.
MKs: Impose anti-boycott law on groups undercutting Israel
Following the imposition of penalties on Amnesty International this week, right-wing MKs on Tuesday urged the government to take similar steps against other groups that call for global sanctions against Israel.
On Monday, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon enforced the 2011 Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott Law, and penalized Amnesty International over a campaign it launched in July called "Israel's Occupation: 50 Years of Dispossession."
As part of the campaign, the organization called on the world to boycott products from Judea and Samaria and to impose an arms embargo on Israel for its supposed war crimes in the settlements.
The law, known in short as the "anti-boycott" law, allows the finance minister to impose civil sanctions on entities that promote or take part in economic, cultural or academic boycotts against institutions or people because of their "affiliation with Israel." The minister may deny certain tax benefits to such organizations regardless of whether they take an active role or simply pledge to take part in such activity.
Kahlon's decision to penalize Amnesty International marks the first time any organization in Israel has faced legal consequences under the provisions of the 2011 law.
Matan Peleg, head of the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization, welcomed the decision.
Yisrael Medad: And That Other Holy Site
Back in 2010, Nadav Shragai wrote: UNTIL 1996, NOBODY CALLED RACHEL’S TOMB A MOSQUE
He does note that
an official of the Sephardi kollels (religious study centers) in Jerusalem, Avraham Behar Avraham...obtained recognition for the status and rights of Jews at the site from the Turkish authorities. This was, in practice, the original firman (royal decree) issued by the Ottoman authorities in Turkey recognizing Jewish rights at Rachel’s Tomb.
The firman was necessary since the Muslims disputed ownership by the Jews of Rachel’s Tomb and even tried by brute force to prevent Jewish visits to the site. From time to time Jews were robbed or beaten by Arab residents of the vicinity, and even the protection money that was paid did not always prevail. Avraham Behar Avraham approached the authorities in Istanbul on this matter and in 1827 the Turks issued the firman that gave legal force to Rachel’s Tomb being recognized as a Jewish holy site.

And I found this:
In 2010,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bitterly attacked as “absurd” a UN statement that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are an integral part of the “occupied” Palestinian territories.
“The attempt to disconnect the nation of Israel from its heritage is absurd,” he said in a statement his office issued on Friday, in response to an October 21 decision regarding both sites by the executive board of the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.
The Palestinians' "Jewish Problem"
The Palestinians do not like US President Donald Trump's envoys to the Middle East. Why? The answer -- which they make blindingly clear -- is because they are Jews.
In the Palestinian perspective, all three envoys -- Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, cannot be honest brokers or represent US interests because, as Jews, their loyalty to Israel surpasses, in the Palestinian view, their loyalty to the United States.
Sound like anti-Semitism? Yes, it does, and such assumptions provide further evidence of Palestinian prejudices and misconceptions. The Palestinians take for granted that any Jew serving in the US administration or other governments around the world should be treated with suspicion and mistrust.
Moreover, the Palestinians do not hesitate to broadcast this view.
Take for example, the recent Palestinian uproar over statements made by Friedman in an interview with the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post.
One phrase that Friedman said during the interview has drawn strong condemnations from the Palestinians and some other Arabs. According to the Jerusalem Post: "The Left, he explained, is portrayed as believing that only if the 'alleged occupation' ended would Israel become a better society."
Specifically, it was the use of the term "alleged occupation" that prompted the Palestinians to launch a smear campaign against Friedman -- one that includes references to his being a Jew as well as a to his being a supporter of Israel. This, as far as the Palestinians are concerned, is enough to disqualify him from serving as US Ambassador to Israel or playing any role whatsoever as an honest and fair mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
One political analyst with close ties to the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership in Ramallah called for removing Friedman from his job altogether.
The New Israel Fund - Vilifying Israel, Again
A board member of the New Israel Fund Australia recently appeared on the ABC's Q&A with a "Dorothy Dix" question for Israeli opposition Member of Knesset Merav Michaeli - a question critical of "Mr Binayamin Netanyahu's nationalist government" policies on foreign-funded NGOs, and implying that Israel's democracy is under threat.
The Israeli-government policy that he criticised, and encouraged Merav Michaeli to criticise, doesn't "shut down" the voice of any NGOs. It simply demands that NGOs that receive substantial funding from foreign sources must declare those sources.
Last year, the Knesset passed a law that requiring NGOs that receive more than half their funding from abroad – including from European governments – to disclose it prominently in official reports. The law requires groups to declare they are reliant on foreign funding in all dealings with officials, and on TV, newspapers, billboards and online.
What's "undemocratic" about that?
The NIF has for many years funded NGOs, like Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Peace Now and Yesh Din, which are active in campaigns that portray Israel as a racist, apartheid state (demonization); undermine Israel’s right to exist (de-legitimization); accuse Israel of war crimes (lawfare); and promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), aimed at destroying Israel as a Jewish nation.
Deputy FM tears apart 'Palestinian refugee' myth
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) spoke to Fox News about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the United Nations' role in perpetuating the myth of Palestinian refugees.
"First of all what's really good about the way this administration is thinking about the region in general [is] they understand that still the biggest issue is Iranian issue," Hotovely said. "The fact [is] that Israel today, more than ever, has closer relations with the moderate Arab countries such as Egypt and Jordan, and even Saudi Arabia."
Hotovely believes that many people understand the conflict will not be resolved until the Palestinian Authority changes the way it educates children.
"We were just talking about the fact that their textbooks unfortunately are still full of hate and the denial of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state," she explained. "And this is I think the key to get forward in the peace process."
Regarding the relief the United Nations provides to the Palestinian Arabs, Hotovely noted that the "UN bias against Israel" goes through "certain agencies." She believes that since America is the main donor and the funds come off American taxpayers' money, US taxpayers deserve transparency.
"Some people don't even know where the money is going to," she noted.
"Think about it, you're giving your money in order to make sure that there won't be any more refugees, and what this agency is doing is creating more and more refugees. This is ridiculous."

British Cabinet Minister: UK Will Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Balfour Declaration ‘With Pride’
The United Kingdom will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration “with pride,” a British Cabinet minister said on Monday.
At a meeting in the British capital with a visiting World Jewish Congress delegation, Sajid Javid — the secretary of state for communities and local government — stated, “Someone said we should apologize for the declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that’s not going to happen. To apologize for the Balfour Declaration would be to apologize for the existence of Israel and to question its right to exist.”
In the Balfour Declaration, which was published in November 1917, the British government announced its support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Last year, the Palestinian Authority said it intended to sue the UK over the declaration, claiming it had led to a “catastrophe” for the Palestinian people. And last September, PA President Mahmoud Abbas — during a UN General Assembly address – called on the UK to apologize for the declaration.
In his remarks on Monday, Javid — a member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party — highlighted the ongoing failure of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement to harm UK-Israel ties.
“I’ll be 100 percent clear,” he said. “I do not support calls for a boycott, my party does not support calls for a boycott. For all its bluster, the BDS campaign is most notable I think, for its lack of success.”
Report: McMaster says Hezbollah not a terror group
A new bombshell report alleges that a meeting between high-level Israeli officials and their American counterparts last month deteriorated when National Security Adviser H.R McMaster brushed off Israel's concerns about Hezbollah, at one point backing up an aide who denied that Hezbollah is a terror organization.
According to the report on Channel 10 and PJ Media, McMaster yelled at Israeli officials, and denied that the Iran-backed militia is a terrorist group.
Israeli had sent a high-level delegation to meet with their American counterparts on August 27, in order to discuss the looming threat by the Hezbollah terror group. Israel is worried that the militia is becoming entrenched on its Syrian border, and were incensed with McMaster brought along NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism Mustafa Javed Ali, even asking her to leave the room whenn she denied that Hezbollah is a terror group.
McMaster also repeatedly brushed off Israel's concerns about Hezbollah, at one point yelling at the Israeli delegation, which included Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence head Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, and Zohar Palti, who heads the Defense Ministry's political-security department.
IsraellyCool: Jimmy Carter, Biggest Failure of US President, Calls Trump A ‘Disappointment’
Naturally, Carter also opens his piehole on Israel
He also dismissed Trump’s optimism that he can engineer Middle East peace. Trump has tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with handling the issue that has vexed US administrations for generations, but the president notably backed off the long-held US position calling for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
Carter said he is ‘‘practically hopeless’’ that anything Trump comes up with would give ‘‘justice to the Palestinians.’’
‘‘I don’t think Trump or his family members are making any process in that respect,’’ he said. Carter criticized both Israeli and Palestinian leaders for a lack of flexibility, but he singled out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, a Trump ally, for having ‘‘no intention at all of having a two-state solution.’’

Of course, this is not surprising from the dark Sith lord who has claimed Hamas wants peace, but Israel doesn’t.
The only thing Carter has succeeded at is living a really long time. Much longer than he deserves.
Cancelled Togo summit might move to Israel
Some 14 African heads of government had already said they would attend the Israel-Africa summit in Togo before it was postponed on Monday, and a senior diplomatic official said that a meeting with those leaders will take place in Africa or Israel in the near future.
According to the senior diplomatic official, although there was some Arab pressure on Togo to scuttle the meeting that was intended to further promote Israel's ties with Africa, the main reason had to do with internal political problems facing President Faure Gnassingbé.
Hundreds of thousands of people protested last week in the streets in the Togolese capital of Lome and other cities against Gnassingbé, who has been in power since 2005.
Another diplomatic official, Foreign Ministry director general Yuval Rotem, said that Israel's return to Africa will not be without setbacks.
“It is a process which from time to time will face difficulties,” he said. “But we are committed to this process, and are reinforcing the manpower in our [the Foreign Ministry's] Africa department.”
Danon begins term as UN General Assembly Vice President
With the opening of the 72nd Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly this week, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has begun serving as a Vice President of the General Assembly. Danon will preside over a General Assembly session for the first time when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses the UN next Tuesday (September 19).
Ambassador Danon was elected to this position as a representative of the Western European and Others (WEOG) regional group. In addition to presiding over GA meetings, Danon will take part in setting the Assembly’s agenda, as well as oversee rules and decorum during sessions.
“I am proud to represent Israel in this important role that reinforces our position as an equal partner at the UN,” Danon said. “We have proven once again that there is no role we cannot fulfill in the world’s most important international organization,” the Ambassador concluded.
Facing US, Israeli pressure, Palestinians pull bid to join UN tourism body
The Palestinians on Wednesday retracting their request for a vote on becoming a member state in the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) amid American and Israeli pressure, a source in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel.
The vote, which was supposed to take place on Wednesday, was postponed until the organization’s next plenary session, in two years.
The Foreign Ministry welcomed the decision and said it was due to “great Israeli efforts spearheaded by [Tourism] Minister Yariv Levin, who led the Israeli delegation.”
The PA submitted its request for membership in UNTWO in September 2016.
According to the agenda for UNTWO’s 22nd session, which began Monday in Chengdu, China, the PA was up for membership, along with the Union of the Comoros and the Federal Republic of Somalia.
To become a member, the Palestinians would have required a two-thirds majority vote.
PreOccupiedTerritory: PLO Proposes Halt Of Incitement To Genocide Until After Peace Deal (satire)
Underlining its niche as the moderate Palestinian faction that favors a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ruling faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization offered new ideas today for restarting final-status talks with Israel by floating a proposal to put a stop to all official Palestinian incitement to murder as many Jews as possible, until after a treaty has been signed.
Mahmoud Abbas, who functions both as President of the Palestinian Authority and Chairman of the PLO, directed his Fatah faction to suggest the idea in international media. In addition to cementing his reputation as a moderate and a peacemaker, despite avoiding any peace deals with Israel to date, Abbas places the ball in Israel’s diplomatic court and redirects political pressure to his Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“While we do not accept the outrageous suggestion that defending our homeland by encouraging the killing of every Jew we possibly can constitutes ‘incitement,’ for the sake of of peace we are willing to make this concession,” read a statement by Abbas. “We are willing to put on hold all calls for attacks on Jews, all public rewards for those who kill Jews, all official honors for those involved in attempts to kill Jews, until such time as we have achieved an independent Palestine that can finish the job of killing all the Jews.”
Netanyahu: Argentina has gone from hostility to friendship with Israel
Argentina's attitude towards Israel has gone from the hostility of the period of the rule of Nestor Kirchner and later his wife Cristina from 2003 to 2015, to one of genuine friendship under current President Mauricio Macri, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, shortly after meeting the president in Buenos Aires.
“What happened here is that a new era has begun,” Netanyahu told reporters during a briefing. He said that Macri, who is trying to change Argentina's overly regulated and centralized economy, is looking to Israel as an example.
Economic issues, rather than diplomatic ones dominated their meeting, he said, noting that the Palestinians were not discussed once.
Following his meeting with Macri, Netanyahu met with another South American ally, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, who flew to Buenos Aires for the meeting.
Before the meeting, Cartes – who was assisted in his 2013 elections by an Israeli consulting firm started by Ari Harow, Netanyahu's chief of staff who is now a state's witness in cases involving Netanyahu -- said Israel and Paraguay are working very well together, “though I think there is much more to do.”
“Relations are like a muscle, you have to practice and work every day,” he said. “But you have to know that we like you very much."
Netanyahu invites Argentine president to visit Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended a "warm invitation" to Argentine President Mauricio Macri to visit Israel during a treaty-signing ceremony in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.
"It's incredible that in the 70 years of Israel's existence, no Israeli prime minister visited any country in the Western Hemisphere south of the United States," Netanyahu said. "We are beginning here the dawn of a new era, and not accidentally we begin it here in Argentina with you, Mr. President."
Israel and Argentina signed four agreements following a meeting between Netanyahu and Macri that the Prime Minister's Office described as having gone very well.
During the signing ceremony, Netanyahu praised Macri for his "commitment and integrity" in getting to the bottom of a controversial investigation into the 1994 attacks on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor probing the attack, was found dead in January 2015, hours before he was to appear in the Argentine National Congress and outline accusations against Cristina Kirchner, the previous Argentine president. Kirchner allegedly tried to clear the way for a "grains for oil" deal with Iran by whitewashing Iran's role in the bombing.
PM Netanyahu says Israel endorses Kurdish independence
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel supports Kurdish independence.
The statement, made ahead of a key referendum on the matter set for Sept. 25, said that Israel rejects the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and considers it a terrorist organization, but noted that Israel "supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own."
The referendum will be held in the three governorates that make up the Kurds' self-ruled region in Iraq, as well as disputed areas that are controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.
Israel has long been sympathetic to the Kurds and has now become the first country to officially endorse them in the vote.
Meanwhile, Turkey has urged Iraqi Kurds to call off the vote on independence.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the referendum will add to problems in the conflict-ridden region.
"This referendum is of no benefit to [Kurdish regional President Masoud] Barzani, it is of no benefit to Kurds, it is of no benefit to the people of the region," he said.
Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population and is battling Kurdish rebels, has close ties with Iraq's autonomous region but is strongly opposed to an independent Kurdish state.
Barzani defended the referendum, saying it was "entirely legal."
Russia urges Syria not to respond to Israel's attack
Russia has urged Syrian President Bashar Assad not to retaliate against Israel after an airstrike on the country's Scientific Studies and Research Center, which the Syrian regime attributes to Israel, a senior Russia official dealing with Middle East affairs told Yedioth Ahronoth in an conversation in Moscow over the weekend.
The official said Moscow advised Syria and Hezbollah "not to respond and concentrate on the big picture."
The official also noted Russia is aware of Israel's concerns of Iranian entrenchment in Syria, reassuring Moscow will make sure to prevent Tehran from establishing a foothold in the Golan Heights significant enough to pose a threat to Israel.
"If Hezbollah and Iran overstep their bounds in their involvement in Syria, we will suppress them," the official said, adding that Russia is "aware of Israel's concerns. They were made clear at the last meeting between (Russian President) Putin and (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu."
Senior officials in Moscow revealed that the main argument raised by Netanyahu and Mossad Director Yossi Cohen during their meeting with Putin was that Iran was working to significantly strengthen its hold on Syria.
Attempted stabbing thwarted near Hebron, attacker shot
A Palestinian man tried to carry out a stabbing attack on Wednesday at a bus stop at the entrance to the Kiryat Arba settlement before being shot and wounded, the IDF said.
The military said the man ran toward a bus stop at the Elias Junction brandishing a knife. He was spotted by troops who opened fire, injuring him.
No Israeli civilians or soldiers were injured, the army said, adding that he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Hebrew media reports said he was in a serious condition.
Kiryat Arba is adjacent to the divided West Bank city of Hebron.
The attack came a day after Border Police officers arrested a Palestinian teenager carrying a knife at a checkpoint in Hebron, the third such incident over the past week.
After being asked by police to lift his shirt — where he was hiding the knife — as he passed through a checkpoint near the city’s Tomb of the Patriarch’s holy site, the 15-year-old pulled the knife on the officers, who in turn aimed their weapons at him, a police spokeswoman said.
Report: Egypt won't mediate between Hamas and Israel on captives, bodies
Egyptian intelligence informed Hamas representatives it is unable to continue mediating between the terrorist organization and Israel over the issue of prisoners of war and missing persons, a source in the Persian Gulf said Wednesday.
The report did not explain why Egypt withdrew its hand from the issue, but said the country expressed its support for any country willing to fill the void.
Egypt's decision will make it difficult to continue the minimal communication that exists between Israel and Hamas, and comes only three weeks after the Israeli in charge of the issue, Col. (res.) Lior Lotan, resigned from his position.
A permanent replacement has not yet been chosen.
"My deep familiarity with the families of the prisoners of war and missing Israelis, and my privilege to serve their fateful mission — returning their sons home — has left me with a deep impression and constant commitment to them," he said.
"I have also been exposed to the cruelty and cynicism with which Hamas operates on the issue... We thank you for the trust you have placed in me, for guiding the issue and for the right to serve the state and the people," he added.
The families of the captives and missing expressed concern that Lotan's resignation would end the possibility of their sons' return from Hamas captivity.
Palestinians reveal PA torture to JPost, seek justice in Israeli courts
Sami is one of 51 Palestinians tortured by the Palestinian Authority for cooperating with Israel who the Jerusalem District Court, in a blockbuster July 19 ruling, confirmed can sue the PA in Israeli courts for damages.
It involves Palestinian citizens coming before the courts of the Israeli “occupation” to get justice for their mistreatment by their own PA law enforcement between the late 1990s to early 2000s. The decision came after years of testimonies.
Even if Palestinians were cooperating with Israel, if it was to thwart terrorist attacks on Israelis, the court said that the PA is obligated to assist in such efforts under the Oslo Accords. Accordingly, the court said the PA could not treat such Palestinians as criminals, much less torture them.
The majority of the group will now attend hearings before the court on the amount of damages they can expect to receive, as the PA will try to attack the individual’s proofs of their damages. One of the victims is suing for NIS 74 million and the grand total from all of the victims is projected at between NIS 500 million and NIS 700 million – with the different amounts demanded reflecting the severity and length of the torture,
Elon Moreh resident, lawyer and former prosecutor Menachem Kornvich handled the early years of the case about complex jurisdictional and international law issues. As the case moved toward the details of the individual cases, law partners Barak Kedem, Aryeh Arbus, Netanel Rom, and David Zur took over and will continue taking the cases forward.
MEMRI: Will Of Palestinian Stabbing Attacker Qatiba Zahran Reveals He Set Out To Die As A Martyr – But PA Claims He Was Executed By Israel In Cold Blood
On September 8, 2017, Israel released the body of Qatiba Zahran (17), from the town of 'Alar near Tulkarm, who was shot and killed while attempting to stab an Israeli border guard at the Za'atra checkpoint in Nablus on August 18, 2017. Upon delivering the body to the family, 'Issam Abu Bakr, the governor of Tulkarm – a position to which he was appointed by Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas – said that Israel routinely targets Palestinian civilians. At Zahran's funeral, the next day, Tulkarm Deputy Governor Mustafa Takatka accused Israel of committing "crimes" against the Palestinians, and declared that the Palestinian people, under the leadership of President Mahmoud 'Abbas, would continue to persist on the path of struggle. The claim that Israel had "executed" Zahran had already been made the day after attack, August 19, when the Palestinian Foreign Ministry accused the "occupation authorities" of executing him in cold blood. This was in disregard of the fact that before setting out to perpetrate out the attack, Zahran had posted, on his Facebook page, his last will and testament, announcing his intention to die as a "martyr" in order to "avenge the blood of the martyrs in Palestine."
Qatiba Zahran's Will: I Will Not Die Of Distress; Martyrdom Beckons Me; I Will Be A Groom In Paradise
New UN report reveals Palestinians routinely rape and beat their children
A new report from the UN calls sex with girls under the age of 15 - "marriage" - at least if you are a Palestinian. In the rest of the world, the phenomenon would be called rape or sexual slavery. Though hidden in UN jargon, the report from the UN's children's agency, UNICEF, shockingly reveals: "2% of all Palestinian women aged 15 to 49 years married before the age of 15." One-quarter of Palestinian girls "marry" before 18.
The UNICEF report on "Palestinian children and women in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Palestine," was produced to justify how the agency plans to spend 80 million dollars on Palestinians over the next three years. The driving premise of their planning is that "occupation" is the root cause of the problems of Palestinian children and women. In UNICEF's alternative universe, successive attempts by Arabs to eradicate a Jewish state over seven decades are morally neutral "conflict cycles."
UNICEF's effort to place the blame for Palestinian behavior on everyone but Palestinians, results in other shocking conclusions. According to the report, having sex with children is some kind of understandable "coping" mechanism. In UNICEF's words: "Child labour and child marriage are increasingly used as coping mechanisms, especially in countries affected by the Syrian conflict."
The UNICEF report also reveals that Palestinians routinely beat their children. It says: "In the community, schools and households, violent disciplinary practices prevail. In the State of Palestine, 70 per cent of students are exposed to violence at school. A staggering 92 per cent of children aged 1 to 14 years experienced violent disciplining at home in the month prior to a 2014 survey and 27.4 per cent of males were exposed to severe physical punishment, compared with 18.9 per cent of females."
PreOccupiedTerritory: At Suicide Bomber Hut, We Don’t Get Much Repeat Business By Aiselyu Siffor, proprietor (satire)
I’ve been in the suicide bomb sales business for years. Business has been, well, booming, and I’ve certainly done well for myself in this line of work, but despite attracting tons of new customers all the time, we don’t get much repeat business.
That statistic has me worried, because everyone knows the key to a commercial enterprise’s long-term survival lies in maintaining the existing customer base. A business that relies exclusively on one-time clientele runs an elevated risk of failure – and the failure rate for retail businesses already gives entrepreneurs pause. So while sales have not disappointed, there’s no telling when my good fortune will run out.
We have certainly tried to attract repeat business, with mixed success, at best. I’ve tried to get my customers to fill out a form with contact information, to download our app, to give us some way of informing them when we have sales, specials, or interesting deals. Just last week we ran a two-for-one promotion with our suicide vest and ski mask combo, and we tracked how our buyers heard of it. Of the seventeen units we sold – mostly to Iraqi and Syrian buyers – not a single one indicated it was a case of repeat business. I love my first-time customers; I just wish we could develop a fruitful, long-term commercial relationship.
Some establishments cultivate repeat business by investing in the local community and getting involved. We’ve done that, of course: sponsoring Ramadan events; running a booth at the village fair and helping the neighbors with their Yezidi sex slave operation; and donating explosives to local charities, just to give examples. It seems to attract plenty of once-off customers, but none of those ventures have produced significant repeat business.
Top Iranian Official Denounces UN Nuclear Watchdog Chief Yukiya Amano, Confirms Tehran Will Not Open Military Sites to International Inspection
A senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader has fiercely denounced Yukiya Amano – the head of the UN’s nuclear monitoring body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – for his assertion that IAEA inspectors are entitled to access all “relevant locations,” including military sites, inside Iran.
“The claim of such a right is fabricated by Mr. Amano,” Ali Akbar Velayati – a former Iranian foreign minister who now advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on international affairs – told the regime’s official news agency, IRNA, on Tuesday. “If he was independent, and his decisions were based fully on independence, he would have pressed inspecting the nuclear centers of the Zionist regime, because nuclear arms in the occupied lands set as the biggest danger to the entire Middle East region.”
Velayati’s attack on Amano is notable in that it comes two days after the IAEA chief confirmed that Iran, in the view of the agency, is abiding by the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the official name of the nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, led by the United States, in July 2015.
“The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the deal are being implemented,” Amano told the quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-member Board of Governors in Vienna. Amano also told the meeting that Iran had agreed to a “high number” of short-notice inspections of its nuclear sites, without specifically addressing the concern voiced last month by Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, that the IAEA does not have enough access in Iran.
Textbook featuring Israeli flag raises ire in Egypt
A textbook for eight grade students showing Israel's flag on a map of the Middle East has raised ire in Egypt.
Historian Bassam el-Shammaa told Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm al-Saba'a he contacted the independent publisher of the textbook "Our Arab homeland... geographic trends and Islamic culture," which is unaffiliated with the Education Ministry in the country, after noticing an Israeli flag appears on the map instead of the Palestinian one.
The publisher admitted to el-Shammaa this was an error that would be rectified in future copies of the book.
El-Shammaa suggested to the publisher to issue a message to libraries and schools to remove the map from the books in order to "avoid this serious error," but the publisher "believed this solution was hard to execute."
In light of the extensive press coverage the textbook received, the Egyptian Education Ministry announced it was launching an urgent investigation into the matter.
Ridaa Hijari, the head of the general education department, said steps would be taken against the publisher if the investigation found the textbook did not receive a license from the Education Ministry.
"When I learned about the issue, I turned to the office of the adviser for sociological studies and asked for a copy of the book so I could see it," Hijari said. "Then we'll see who supervised it, who checked the book... We will also issue an instruction to pull the book from stores and bar its distribution."

IsraellyCool: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Hezbollah’s Military Strategy Revealed!
Two weeks ago the United Nations Security Council voted to renew the mandate for UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon). While none of the journalists reporting on this story were able to find any evidence of UNIFIL doing anything that could legitimately be called peacekeeping, the Judean People’s Front was able to use its spies to procure this highly classified video detailing Hezbollah’s military plans should UNIFIL still be in Lebanon when it launches its next war with Israel.
We have condensed this exclusive video into an easily sharable GIF to ensure that Hezbollah’s plans don’t remain a secret:

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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