Monday, January 29, 2018

From Ian:

Pierre Rehov: UNRWA: The UN Agency that Creates Palestinian Refugees
According to the UN's own definition, the status of "refugee" cannot be passed from generation to generation -- as it conveniently has been for the Palestinians. A Palestinian with a European, American or Jordanian passport has no reason to be considered a refugee. Except by UNRWA.

"Since the UN took them over, the Palestinians started burying their dead at night, without declaring them, in order to share their rations. As a result, for nearly 20 years, the official death rate in the camps was close to zero. In addition, there was a lot of movement between the camps. But these displacements were rarely recorded, so that a Palestinian could appear in several camps at the same time..." — Said Aburish, Palestinian Refugee and biographer of the late Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat.

UNRWA is not just a humanitarian agency. Its political stance is evident at all levels of the organization. A report from the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, says that the 2016-2017 curriculum for elementary schools in PA, partly funded by UNRWA, "teaches students to be martyrs, to demonize and deny the existence of Israel, and to focus on a 'return' to an exclusively Palestinian country."
John Kerry Chamberlain, saving Israel from ifself...again
During President Obama's second term in office, Secretary of State John Kerry, like his boss and other members of the same peapod (Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel, etc.), liked to warn Israel about such things as its isolation and alienation if it did not agree to Arab demands to return to its pre-'67 war, '49 armistice lines (they were never borders) which made it an over-sized ghetto, 9-15 miles wide at its waist, where most of its population and infrastructure are located.

President George W. Bush commented that Texas had driveways larger than that. I don't know about driveways, but I also don't doubt the size of some Lone Star ranches. And I'm pretty sure Mrs. Obama had to travel farther than that for shopping trips to Target.

Others, like President Jimmy Carter, supposedly worried/worry (and even wrote books) about Israel's soul and looming "apartheid nature" if it insists on the more secure, defensible, real borders that UNSC Resolution 242 promised in the wake of the '67 fighting--a war Israel was forced to fight after being blockaded by Egypt (a casus belli), shelled by Jordan, abandoned by the UN Emergency Force placed in Sinai after the '56 war (largely fought over another blockade and acts of terror), and other hostile acts and constant threats of annihilation.

All of 242's architects (Lord Caradon, Eugene Rostow, etc.)--and Presidents Johnson, Reagan, and others (including George W. Bush in his letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon)--agreed that Israel would never return to those pre-'67 Auschwitz lines.

That, dear readers, is what the "settlement" issue is mostly all about...besides Jews having both modern, religious, and historical connections to Judea and Samaria (only since the 20th century, called the "West Bank") for over three thousand years.
East Jerusalem-based NGO dissolved for financing terrorism
The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday ordered the dissolution of a nongovernmental organization based in east Jerusalem that was used as a front by a Palestinian terrorist group.

The illicit activities of Lajnat al-Amal al-Zarai, or the Committee of Agricultural Work, were first exposed by Israel Hayom in October 2016.

The group allegedly funneled millions of dollars to the Gaza Strip-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The Registrar of Associations in Israel initiated the NGO's liquidation process in the court, which ruled that the evidence presented supports the allegation that the organization was involved in donor fraud and terror financing.

The alleged donor fraud was uncovered by the International Legal Forum, a local advocacy group, in 2016. It found that the commmittee had defrauded foreign entities and individuals into thinking they were donating funds for humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza, but instead the funds were diverted to terrorist activities.

PMW: Planner of Munich Olympics murders honored by Fatah and Abbas` deputy
In a post on Facebook, the Fatah Movement and its Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul praised one of the planners of the Munich massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israelis at the Olympics in 1972.

The Fatah Movement and Abbas' deputy Al-Aloul called terrorist Ali Hassan Salameh a "heroic commander" and specifically mentioned the Munich attack as one his achievements:
Posted text: "#Video
Today is the anniversary of the death as a Martyr (Shahid) of heroic commander Martyr Ali Hassan Salameh (i.e., a commander of the Black September terror organization), who was called 'the Red Prince.'
He commanded special operations against the Zionist intelligence throughout the world, and the sending of explosive packages from Amsterdam to many agents of the Mossad (i.e., Israeli Secret Intelligence Service) in European capitals. His name was linked to the famous operation in Munich (i.e., terror attack, 11 murdered). [Former Israeli Prime Minister] Golda Meir was attributed with the statement: 'Find this animal and kill him (sic., PMW could find no record of such a quote).'" [Official Fatah Facebook page, Jan. 22, 2018; Facebook page of Mahmoud Al-Aloul, Jan. 22, 2018]

The video, which was produced by the Fatah Commission for Mobilization and Organization, features pictures of terrorist Hassan Ali Salameh and text similar to the post.

Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous statements by PA and Fatah leaders honoring the terrorists from the Black September terror organization and praising the Munich murders as "an excellent operation."
MEMRI: Court Martial And Execution In Effigy Of U.S. President Trump And VP Pence In Bethlehem Refugee Camp
On Saturday, January 27, 2018, a group of Palestinian activists, among them official representatives of the Fatah movement, held a public mock trial of U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, protesting the U.S. freeze on its aid to UNRWA. After the reading of the "verdict," nooses were placed around the necks of Trump and Pence effigies, which were hoisted in the air and then torched. Footage shows one demonstrator beating the Trump effigy with a shoe.

The head of Fatah's branch at the refugee camp, Muhammed Lutfi, gave a speech at the protest, saying that the movement calls on all peoples of the world to stand with the Palestinian people and protect its rights from the American government, which brutally tramples all agreements. A representative of the Popular Resistance Committees, Mazen Al-'Azza, said that "the message is that the Palestinian people will pay with its blood for the right of return and the right to establish an independent state of Palestine." Activists carried signs and posters proclaiming that Israel and the U.S. "represent the real terrorism."[1] One sign read: "Zionism = Nazism = fascism. USA = ISIS = Terror."

Fatah's official social media accounts reported the event and posted photographs of the "execution." It should be mentioned that this is not the first time that Fatah circulates violent incitement against Trump, including images of his hanging in effigy.[2]

Palestinians: Silencing and Intimidating Journalists
The five journalists were arrested shortly after Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas signed the controversial cyber-crime law in June 2017. Critics say the new law is aimed at silencing and intimidating journalists and political opponents of the PA and its president.

Ammar Dweik, head of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights, said the new law is "one of the worst" since the PA was established in 1994.

The Palestinian Authority claims it does not tolerate "incitement." The "incitement" it is referring to, however, is criticism of Abbas and his cronies. In fact, the PA tolerates incitement quite well, and has spent decades driving such incitement -- when it is directed against Israel and the US. Indeed, Palestinians are free to incite against Israel and the US day and night.
Netanyahu to Putin: Nazis taught us evil must be uprooted before it gains power
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, telling him that the lesson of the Nazis was that murderous ideologies must be stopped before they can flourish — an apparent reference to the current situation with Iran.

Ahead of their meeting, which was expected to focus on Israel’s concerns over the Iranian nuclear deal and attempts by Tehran to set up a military presence in Syria, the two leaders visited the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, where they viewed an exhibit dedicated to the 1943 uprising at the Nazi death camp Sobibor, in occupied Poland, that was led by Jewish inmate and Red Army officer, Alexandr Pechersky.

“I very much appreciate this invitation and your personal attendance in this place on this day, that reflects our common struggle against the greatest evil that humanity has known,” Netanyahu said.

“We see here a very moving exhibition of documents from the Sobibor revolt, in which a Jewish officer from the Red Army, against all odds, led the successful breakout, the breakout to freedom.”

“I think that main lesson learned from the rise of the Nazis and afterwards the defeat of the Nazis, is the need to powerfully stand up to murderous ideology in time,” Netanyahu said at the museum. “That is our mission also today, that is what I want to talk to you about: our joint efforts to advance security and stability in our regions, and of course on the mutual cooperation between us, between Russia and Israel.”
Jordan's king calls for Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem
Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday affirmed his support for establishing a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, highlighting his differences with the Trump administration in the U.S. on a central issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The king spoke at the start of a meeting in Amman with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who also expressed concern about President Donald Trump's Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"I think there are very good reasons to question the theory that unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would contribute to the consolidation of peace in the Middle East," Steinmeier was quoted as telling the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad.

One of the pillars of Germany's position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "is the need to preserve the status of holy sites and to negotiate the final status of Jerusalem within the framework of the two-state solution," Steinmeier said.

Jordan's monarch serves as custodian of Al-Aqsa mosque, a major Muslim shrine in east Jerusalem, and the kingdom's Hashemite dynasty derives much of its political legitimacy from its special role in Jerusalem. Jordan is also home to a large Palestinian population.
Nikki Haley has a lot more work to do to if she really wants to cut the UN's budget
The United Nations General Assembly recently approved a two-year budget of $5.397 billion. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley lauded this outcome, which was $285 million less than the previous budget—a 5 percent cut.

The fact is, however, that Amb. Haley has a lot more work to do.

In dollar terms, the budget cut she secured, if maintained, will save U.S. taxpayers over $31 million in 2018 and again in 2019-- but the U.S. will still pay $594 million each year.

That sounds like a lot and it is. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

American taxpayers provide billions of dollars each year to over 100 international organizations. All told, according to the U.N.’s top-level Chief Executives Board, the U.S. contributed over $9.7 billion to the U.N. system in 2016 alone.

The next largest contributor, Germany, paid a third of that amount. Meanwhile, some of the least assessed countries pay a pittance – less than a million dollars per year to the entire U.N. system.

Looking just at the U.N. regular budget, where the U.S. pays 22 percent of the total, we find that a number of countries will pay less than $27,000 each. All told, the U.S. will pay more than 178 other countries combined.
Holocaust survivors to Polish president: You should be ashamed
The controversial Polish bill that would outlaw the use of the term "Polish death camps" and other terms that imply the Polish authorities took part in genocide has outraged Holocaust survivors in Israel.

Three survivors agreed to write open letters in Israel Hayom to Polish President Andrzej Duda, telling him he must not allow the legislation to pass because the truth must not be suppressed.

From Shoshana Breyer of Jerusalem:

The murders would not have occurred in a country that likes Jews

Mr. President,
The bill that absolves Poland of any responsibility for the Holocaust is a historical injustice. Thousands of Poles carried out atrocities against the Jews during the Holocaust. This was because of anti-Semitism and pure evil.

My family and I had to hide in basements, and the situation was dire: We lived in subhuman conditions and were severely deprived of food. My brother was ill and had to stay at an orphanage, and even though the Nazis promised not to hurt orphans, he was sent to Auschwitz.
Poland signals talks with Israel will not change controversial Holocaust bill
Warsaw on Monday said that the talks it had agreed to hold with Israel amid outrage over a controversial bill that would criminalize blaming Poles for Nazi crimes would not interfere with the Polish parliament’s “sovereign decisions,” indicating that the country could be unwilling to substantially change its position.

On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, held talks and “agreed to immediately open a dialogue between staffs of the two countries, in order to try and reach an understanding over the legislation,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office read.

Netanyahu has pilloried the legislation, which prescribes prison time for referring to “Polish death camps” and criminalizes the mention of Polish complicity in Nazi crimes, as “distortion of the truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust.”

But two hours after the Prime Minister’s Office issued its statement, Polish government spokesperson Joanna Kopcińska tweeted: “Prime Minister @MorawieckiM talked today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the current Polish-Israeli relations and historical conditions. It was agreed that there will be a dialogue between the teams of both countries. However the conversation will not concern sovereign decisions of the Polish parliament.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry downplayed her tweet, saying her view does not represent the government.
Pope denounces Holocaust ‘indifference’ amid Polish uproar
Pope Francis said countries have a responsibility to fight anti-Semitism and the “virus of indifference” threatening to erase the memory of the Holocaust.

Francis’s comments to an international conference Monday came as the largely Roman Catholic Poland considers legislation that would outlaw the mention of Polish complicity in the crimes of the Holocaust as well use of the term “Polish death camps.”

The proposed legislation has sparked an outcry in Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking by phone with his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, on Sunday night to protest the move.

Netanyahu has pilloried the law as “distortion of the truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust.”

Francis didn’t mention the dispute, but he spoke of his 2016 visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp site in modern-day Poland, saying he remembered “the roar of the deafening silence” that left room for only tears, prayer and requests for forgiveness.
Seth J Frantzman: Setting history straight – Poland resisted Nazis
On September 1, 1940, a year after Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the German-appointed governor of Warsaw District renamed Pilsudski Square as “Adolf Hitler Platz.”

Eleven-year-old Julian Kulski wrote in his diary about that day: “A great wooden frame now covers the statue of Prince Poniatowski. No patriotic Pole attended the ceremony.” Poniatowski had been a famous Polish leader and close ally of Napoleon. Covering up his image and renaming the square was an attempt by Germany to erase Poland.

Today, Poland and Israel are involved in an angry controversy over a law that could punish those who claim Poland was responsible for Nazi crimes. “I strongly oppose it, one cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. President Reuven Rivlin, Yair Lapid and others have harshly condemned the law.

However, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pointed out that “Auschwitz-Birkenau is not a Polish name and Arbeit Macht Frei is not a Polish phrase,” referencing the German phrase that “Work makes freedom” written above the entrance to the death camp.

The two sides seem to be talking past each other. Poland is not denying the Holocaust through a law designed to punish those who describe the death camps as Polish. The proposed law may be misguided and a bad way to go about dealing with history, but Poland is right: It is not responsible for the Holocaust and the Polish people resisted Nazism valiantly, more so than many other countries that ran to collaborate.
World Jewish Congress slams Polish Holocaust bill’s ‘historical obfuscation’
The World Jewish Congress on Sunday sharply criticized a Polish bill that would make it illegal to blame Poles for crimes carried out during the Holocaust, calling the draft legislation “an act of historical obfuscation and an attack on democracy.”

The bill, which also outlaws the term “Polish death camps,” has been roundly condemned by Israeli leaders and Jewish groups since it was approved by the Polish parliament Friday.

The measure, intended to apply to both Poles and foreigners, must still pass the Senate before being signed by the president.

In a statement, the CEO and executive vice president of the WJC said that, while Poles are “understandably sensitive” about Nazi extermination and concentration camps in occupied Poland being called Polish, “it is a serious mistake for Poland to seek to criminalize those who do not adhere to this practice.”

“Having spent decades in the field of education, I deeply believe that this must be changed through a campaign of education, not criminalization,” said Robert Singer. “Poland’s new law is especially objectionable as it stifles any real confrontation with the most chilling aspect of the country’s wartime history — the extent to which local Poles were complicit in the destruction of their Jewish neighbors.”
Could Israeli guides at Auschwitz be arrested under new law?
Israeli tour guides have expressed concern that a new Polish bill barring citizens and foreign nationals alike from discussing Polish involvement in the Holocaust, or referring to Nazi concentration camps built in Poland as "Polish" could land them in jail.

The proposed bill, which has already passed the Polish legislature's lower house, would apply both in and out of Poland, and would sentence those mentioning Polish complicity in the Holocaust or use of the phrase "Polish death camps" to three years in prison.

Proponents of the bill note that the concentration camps built in Poland were constructed and run by the Nazi German regime after they conquered the country in 1939, while omitting the cooperation of Poles, a string of pogroms during and just after the Holocaust, and the looting of Jewish possessions in Poland.

The new legislation caused consternation among Israeli tour guides who specialize in Holocaust education. According to Haaretz, Gil Paran, who represents a group of tour guides, penned a letter to Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) inquiring whether the group he represents are exposed to criminal proceedings when bringing groups to Polish Holocaust sites such as the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Sobibor extermination camps.

"We want to know whether mentioning the role of the Polish people in Holocaust is a violation of the law and whether an Israeli guide is exposed to legal action," Paran wrote and mentioned that the tour guides he represents frequently invoke Poland's role in operating the death camps.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Upcoming Netanyahu Speech To Polish Parliament Just The Words “Polish Death Camps” Over And Over (satire)
Sources within the Prime Minister’s Office reported today that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will deliver an address to the Polish legislature later this week consisting entirely of the phrase “Polish death camps” repeated again and again.

The Israeli premier will deliver remarks to the Zgromadzenie Narodowe, or National Assembly, this coming Thursday, as part of worldwide observances around International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date of the observance coincides with the anniversary of the Red Army’s liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945, the deadliest of many Nazi-run facilities on Polish soil for the extermination of Europe’s Jews and other “undesirables.”

The lower house of Poland’s parliament passed a measure last week outlawing mention of any role Polish government entities may have had in the Holocaust, riding a wave of nationalist sentiment and insecurity over the country’s history as both a victim of Nazi brutality and the host of the majority of the Holocaust’s labor and extermination camps focused on destroying the Jewish population. The law specifically outlaws the phrase “Polish death camps,” a locution that many Poles feel implies an unjust focus on a Polish role in the atrocities, when in fact the camps were a German project, just as “Spanish flu,” “German measles,” “African sleeping sickness,” and “Swedish meatballs” unjustly make the listener or reader assign collective responsibility to the locales invoked. Employing his diplomatic immunity, Netanyahu will repeat the taboo phrase for the duration of his speech.
'Terror victim's town will get full state recognition'
Inside Israel

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Liberman) at a party meeting Monday expressed optimism that the Knesset will agree to grant retroactive recognition to the outpost community of Havat Gilad in Samaria.

Havat Gilad (Gilad's farm) was founded 15 years ago, on land legally purchased and privately owned by Moshe Zar, and named for his son Gilad, killed by terrorists, but did not obtain official Interior Ministry recognition as a Judea and Samaria community and therefore the government does not invest in its infrastructure.

Havat Gilad resident Rabbi Raziel Shevach, 32, was murdered on January 9 in a terror attack near his hometown. He is survived by his wife and six children, the youngest of whom is ten months old.

"I hope that [next] Sunday, the Israeli government will approve Havat Gilad, and we will be able to continue the legal process required to make it a legal and recognized town," Liberman said.

On Sunday, Netanyahu said that that the delay in raising the issue of Havat Gilad is the result of "tactical reasons," and that the issue will be brought up at next week’s meeting, in conjunction Defense Minister Liberman, who has formulated a proposal to normalize the community.

Liberman rebuffed criticism regarding the delays to legislation intended to legalize Havat Gilad, adding that the issue will addressed next week.
App exposes locations of IDF bases and patrols
The "Strava" athletic activity application, which allows users to share possible running routes, exposed the locations of various IDF bases, as well as the activities of soldiers' patrols and the locations of training sessions.

The app monitors the soldiers' activities, as well as their patrol routes, displaying both as possible running routes.

Natan Roser, a 20-year-old Australian university student, told Channel 2, "I looked at it and immediately understood how bad this is. I understood that the best way to deal with it is to expose the problem, so that it can be fixed. Somebody would have realized it at some point, and I happened to be the one to make the connection."

An IDF spokesperson responded, "Lately, the IDF has used smart watches. Soldiers have been instructed not to allow the watches or similar applications, as well as social media, to detect their location, and they have been instructed on how to safely use these items in a way which does not endanger the IDF or their personal safety."
US Middle East envoy tours Gaza border communities
U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt toured Israeli communities along the Gaza border on Sunday, accompanied by Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

During the tour, Greenblatt was shown a number of recently discovered terror tunnels that cross from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

Following the tour, Greenblatt posted on Facebook to criticize the Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza.

"Instead of helping the residents of Gaza, Hamas wastes its resources on missiles and tunnels," he wrote.

Mordechai also posted on Facebook after the tour, writing, "The difficult situation in Gaza is the result of Hamas' policies."
IDF foils attempt by 2 Palestinians in army uniforms to infiltrate settlement
A pair of Palestinians dressed in army uniforms tried to infiltrate a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank on Sunday, the IDF said.

One of the suspects, who was detained by the troops near Itamar, had a pair of binoculars, but no weapons.

Troops were interrogating the suspect who was caught in order to determine whether the pair had been attempting to carry out a terror attack or had criminal motive, Hadashot TV news reported.

Soldiers were scouring the area between the settlement and the Palestinian village of Beit Furik for the second suspect, the army said.
Firebombs found after Palestinians spotted trying to sneak into settlement
Molotov cocktails found near the West Bank settlement of Itamar, December 29, 2018. (IDF spokesperson)

Soldiers combing the area where two Palestinians apparently tried to sneak into an Israeli settlement found six Molotov cocktails, the army said Monday.

The incendiaries were discovered near the settlement of Itamar in the northern West Bank.

On Sunday night, the army said it had foiled an attempt by two Palestinians dressed in Israeli army uniforms to enter the community.

One of the suspects was detained Sunday night and the other fled toward the nearby Palestinian village of Beit Furik.

The firebombs were found near the area where the two Palestinians were spotted, the army said. It said searches were ongoing.
Christian Nuns in Bethlehem Subjected to Violence, and the Media is Silent
Every Israeli slight against Christians, whether real or perceived, becomes the topic of international headlines.

Take for instance the occasions of anti-Christian graffiti scrawled on churches in Jerusalem by a handful of radical Jewish youth. As upsetting as those incidents were, no real harm was done, and both the authorities and local Jewish community were quick to stand with the wronged churches.

And yet, Israel was falsely lambasted in the mainstream media as a place unwelcoming to and even hostile toward Christians.

So, it's more than a little curious that a far more severe trial being faced by Christian nuns in nearby Bethlehem is being all but ignored.

Middle East Concern, one of the few organizations willing to expose the plight of Christians living under the Palestinian Authority, reports that portions of the St. Mary's Coptic Convent in Bethlehem have been unlawfully taken over by a local Muslim family, and the nuns living there exposed to routine physical abuse.

Sisters Maria and Esther have filed official complaints against the Mahatna family, but Palestinian Authority courts have failed to take any real action.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Other Military Wings in Gaza Are Our Blood Brothers, Not Rivals
Palestinian Security Forces spokesman Gen. Adnan Dumairi said that he harbors no hostility toward the fighters of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and the other military wings operating in Gaza. "They are our blood brothers. We are brothers who share the same history, the same weapons. Brothers in everything," he said. The interview with Dumairi aired on the Palestinian Authority's Maan TV channel on November 11.

IsraellyCool: The New Old Hamas “Martyr”
Hamas has announced a new “martyr.” And by new, I mean pretty old.

Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”, one of its heroes Mujahideen, who died after suffering from a terminal illness.

The Qassam Brigades the military statement on Sunday: “The Mujahid Qassam Ahmed Hassan Salem Awaidah (70 years) from city Rafah southern Gaza Strip died of incurable disease.

She added “to leave our world what is not or rather not weakness or failure, but dedicated himself God ”

UN workers in Gaza protest Trump’s funding freeze
Thousands of employees at the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees protested Monday in Gaza against US President Donald Trump’s suspension of tens of millions of dollars in aid.

The United States suspended $65 million to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) earlier this month, as well as a separate $45 million in food aid.

Thousands of teachers, medical professionals and other staff gathered in Gaza City to protest the cuts that UNRWA officials have warned could threaten the education of more than half a million children.

The agency provides support for more than three million Palestinians across the Middle East, descendants of Palestinians who left their lands in the State of Israel during and after the 1948 War of Independence.
Hospital in Gaza freezes services after fuel runs out
A hospital in the northern Gaza Strip suspended its services on Monday due to a lack of fuel, the hospital and a spokesperson for the Hamas-run health ministry said.

“All health services provided at Beit Hanoun hospital were suspended due to power cuts and the lack of fuel for the hospital’s backup generators,” the hospital wrote in a statement posted to its official Facebook page.

Ashraf al-Qidre, a spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry, said that many patients in the Beit Hanoun hospital were transferred to other hospitals that are still working.

The Palestinian Authority recently agreed to end cuts on electricity payments for Gaza, with the Strip now supposed to get six hours of power at a time, followed by 12 hours without.
Palestinian Authority Launches GoFundMe after US Aid Cuts (satire)
The Palestinian Authority has announced it will launch a GoFundMe page, after the U.S. State Department’s $80 million aid reduction and further threats from Donald Trump to cut all aid.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas decried the cuts. “After decades of brutal and humiliating occupation, this is a slap in the face of the Palestinian nation and will be devastating to its people. Our reduced circumstances will mean my new $13 million-dollar Presidential Palace will only have only one helicopter pad and no runway for my new $50 million private jet. Unacceptable!”

“Therefore, I have announced we will crowd-fund the remainder through our new GoFundMe page: This Land is Not Your Land, This Land is Our Land fundraising campaign. The money will be used to finance the second helicopter pad and a chocolate fountain that will represent the glory of the Palestinian people.”

“I mean how else am I supposed to fight for Palestinian independence without looking like an absolute baller? It’s not like I could pay for any of it myself.”
IDF warns Lebanese that Iran is turning their country into a ‘missile factory’
Israel’s top military spokesman accused Iran of turning Lebanon into “one big missile factory,” in a rare Arabic op-ed published Sunday on Lebanese news outlets.

In the piece, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Iran’s extensive support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group had turned the country into a “branch” of the Islamic Republic.

“Lebanon is becoming, by default and by the failure of the Lebanese authorities, one big missile factory,” wrote Manelis, according to a Hebrew translation from the Israel Defense Forces.

“It is no longer the just transfer of weapons, money and advice. Iran has de facto opened a new branch — ‘the Lebanon Branch.’ Iran is here,” he added.

Over the past year, Israel has warned against Iranian efforts to set up weapons production facilities in Lebanon, with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman telling United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres during an August visit to Israel that Iran is “working to set up factories to manufacture accurate weapons within Lebanon itself.”
Responding to IDF op-ed, Hezbollah lawmaker says Israel is afraid
A Hezbollah lawmaker on Monday struck back against a rare op-ed published in Lebanese media by an Israeli army spokesperson, saying his warnings of Iran manufacturing rockets in the country were “provocative nonsense” and that Hezbollah was now in a position to destroy the Israeli army.

Israel’s top military spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis accused Hezbollah of morphing Lebanon into a branch of Iran, and of turning Lebanon into “one big missile factory,” in a piece published Sunday in Arabic in several Lebanese news outlets.

In response, Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad, writing in Al-Hewar Al-Motamaden, one of the Lebanese blog sites Manelis published in, said, “Israel should not be unmindful and engage itself in a war that would destroy it… Hezbollah has become today stronger and has what it takes to destroy the Israeli army,” he wrote.

“Israel has become isolated internationally and regionally. Its media spins are a cover for its inability to shows itself as strong,” he added.
Netanyahu says he will press Putin on Iranian missiles in Lebanon
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he would press Russian President Vladimir Putin on keeping Iran from extending its footprint in the Middle East, including efforts to manufacture missiles in Lebanon.

Netanyahu left in the morning for a lightning trip to Moscow, where Iran is expected to be high on the agenda during his meeting with Putin.

“I will discuss with President Putin Iran’s relentless efforts to establish a military presence in Syria, which we strongly oppose and are also taking action against,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We will also discuss Iran’s effort to turn Lebanon into one giant missile site, a site for precision missiles against the State of Israel, which we will not tolerate,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu is accompanied on the trip, his latest in a series of jaunts to Moscow, by National Security Council head Meir Ben Shabbat and Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, among other officials.
A historic Holocaust awareness awakening in Saudi Arabia, of all places: Applaud this significant step from the heart of Islam
Saturday, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The UN resolution that established the commemoration urges all countries “to develop educational programs to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again.” To its credit, Saudi Arabia has taken an important first step toward fulfilling that charge.

Saudi Arabia? Land of religious purity, whose king (Faisal) once celebrated the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as historical fact, whose UN representative (Jamil Baroody, 1976) once denounced Anne Frank’s diary as a forgery and claimed the murder of millions of Jews by the Nazis was fiction? The country that not only counted among its countrymen 15 of 19 perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks but whose religious hierarchy exported bigotry and intolerance to mosques and madrasas around the world for decades, fueling the hate on which Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas and all Islamist extremist movements thrived?

Yes, that Saudi Arabia. Here’s the background.

In early December, I led a delegation of lay leaders of the foreign policy think tank I direct on a visit to Riyadh, the Saudi capital. Among the high-ranking officials we met during our three-day visit was Dr. Mohammed Al Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League.

This is the organization that has long been cited as the key facilitator of Saudi Arabia’s global effort to export a radical, hate-filled, anti-West, anti-Semitic version of Islam. Just last year, a prominent British research institute labeled Saudi Arabia the main source of Islamic extremism in the United Kingdom and cited the MWL as a critical linchpin in that project.

In practice, the change inside MWL appears to have begun with the August 2016 appointment of Al Issa, a former Saudi justice minister. Taking his lead from Muhammad bin Salman, the current crown prince who has vowed to cleanse his country of extremism and return it to “moderate Islam,” Al Issa seems to have a specific mandate to transform the MWL from an organization synonymous with extremism to one that preaches tolerance.

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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 14 years and 30,000 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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