Sunday, January 27, 2019

From Ian:

One in 20 British adults doesn’t believe Holocaust happened, poll finds
A poll released to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day has found that 1 in 20 British adults does not believe the Holocaust happened and 12 percent think the scale of the genocide has been exaggerated.

Nearly half of those questioned said they did not know how many Jews were murdered by the Nazis, The Guardian reported, and one in five people thought fewer than two million Jews were killed. Some six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Olivia Marks-Woldman from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which commissioned the poll, responded to the findings, telling the BBC: “Such widespread ignorance and even denial is shocking.

“Without a basic understanding of this recent history, we are in danger of failing to learn where a lack of respect for difference and hostility to others can ultimately lead.”

In a statement to The Guardian, Marks-Woldman clarified that, “I must stress that I don’t think [the poll respondents] are active Holocaust deniers — people who deliberately propagate and disseminate vile distortions. But their ignorance means they are susceptible to myths and distortions.”
P.I.-turned Nazi hunter blames passive Jewish leaders for the 99.9% who got away
Rambam has come to realize that “[Nazis] had a 99.9 percent chance of dying in their bed. No prosecution, exposure, no so-called hunting.”

After he’d seek out people who had committed murder with their own hands, his biggest shock was how unafraid they were. They were not concerned, and were certain they had nothing to fear, that nobody was going to bother them, Rambam said.

“The vast majority of these war criminals were true believers,” he said.

That included Antanas Ceponis, who had a picture of Hitler on his fridge. Rambam took a photo of him posing with his rifle next to the photo in his Ceponis’s Toronto area home.

“No shame, no fear. He confessed, talked about chasing and shooting Jews,” he said.

The result? Authorities seized the rifle.

Rambam believes significant blame for the lack of prosecution falls on the Jewish establishment who failed their moral responsibility. He said the Jewish leadership was beyond livid with him at exposing their passivity with these embarrassing revelations.

“There’s no reason why these Nazis couldn’t have been found and pursued. I proved that,” he claimed.
Seth Frantzman: When Ethiopian Jews tried to save European Jews from the Holocaust
In August 1943, the height of the Holocaust, Ethiopian Jewish leaders approached the Emperor of Ethiopia with a daring proposal. They asked Haile Selassie to help Jews in Europe flee to Ethiopia and assist Jewish refugees by hosting them in Ethiopian Jewish villages.

Three months after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and two months after all four of the Auschwitz crematoria were functioning, the Palestine Post, ancestor of today’s Jerusalem Post, published an article detailing Jewish immigration to Ethiopia. “Possibilities of Jewish immigration into Abyssinia were discussed by the Ethiopian Minister in London with Mr. Harry Goodman and Dr. Springer of Agudath Israel,” the August 8, 1943 article says. “A leading member of the Falasha (black Jewish) community expressed the desire to assist European Jewry and to welcome them in Falasha towns.” Falasha was the term used to describe Jews in Ethiopia at the time.

Discussions were ongoing in Addis Ababa where the emperor, who had returned to Ethiopia in May 1941 after it was liberated from Italian occupation with British help, was showing support for the plan. 1,500 Greek refugees, including Greek Jews, had arrived in Ethiopia in 1943, the article says. Emperor Selassie had stayed at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1936 and was familiar with the Jewish minority in his country. Selassie also worked closely with Orde Wingate, the British officer who was a passionate Zionist and who led Gideon Force which helped defeat the Italians in Ethiopia. Ethiopian leaders and the Ethiopian Jewish community were therefore familiar with the local Jewish community and the plight of Jews worldwide at the time.

Ethiopian Jews suffered under the Italian occupation but by 1943 they were able to reach out to the emperor to suggest hosting Jews fleeing Europe. By that time it was too late for many of the Jews of Europe ensnared in the Nazi noose. The full story of the 1943 effort to convince Ethiopia to re-settle Jews fleeing Europe has not been researched and details about it remain unknown. For instance Harry Goodman, who is mentioned in the article, was a well known member of the Orthodox Agudath Israel World Organization. He published articles in the Jewish Weekly and broadcast messages to Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe.

In Europe, anti-Semitism is back with a vengeance
Hugo Bettauer's book "The City Without Jews" was published in Vienna in 1922. In it, Bettauer, a Jew who converted to evangelical Christianity, depicted a socially, economically and politically destitute Vienna that attributed all of its troubles to the Jews and expelled them from the city in cattle cars. Upon emptying the city of Jews, the Viennese discovered they had been left with nothing. The disappearance of the Jews led to the city's final collapse. The expellers demanded the Jews be brought back and upon their return, welcomed them with great appreciation.

"The City Without Jews" was an immediate bestseller and in 1924, it was adapted into a silent movie. But reality frowned upon Bettauer's happy ending. In 1925, at the age of 52, he was murdered by a Nazi activist. In 1933, the Nazis took control of the German government. Austria was later annexed by the Third Reich and 1942, 20 years after his book was printed, almost all of Vienna's Jews were transported to concentration camps and death camps from which they would never return. Europe's Jews were deported and murdered. A majority of the world's Jews once lived on the continent; only 3 million remain. And they are now reliving history.

Seventy-four years after the Holocaust came to an end, and almost 100 years to the publication of "The City Without Jews," Jewish lives are once again at risk. This is no longer just anti-Semitic incitement; the desecration of cemeteries, synagogues and gravestones or the graffiti spraypainted on Jewish institutions, stores, schools or private homes. In recent years, Jews have been murdered simply for being Jewish in France, Belgium and Denmark. And the number of the anti-Semitic attacks – both physical and verbal – is once again on the rise.
Daniel Pipes: Europe's Jews vs Israel
Note the contrast: When Matteo Salvini, Italy's interior minister, recently visited Jerusalem, which he hailed as the capital of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him a "great friend of Israel." Back home, however, Italy's liberal Jews denounced Salvini for, among other things, his Roma policy and his alleged "racism against foreigners and migrants."

A similar battle, pitting the mighty State of Israel against small and shrinking Jewish communities, takes place in many European countries, invariably arguing over the same subject: what the press calls far-right, populist, nativist, or nationalist parties – and what I call civilizationist parties (because they primarily aspire to maintain Western civilization). Israelis unsurprisingly focus on these parties' foreign policy, broadly seeing them as its best friends in Europe, while Europe's Jewish establishment no less predictably emphasizes the parties' domestic profile, portraying them as incorrigibly anti-Semitic, even auguring a return to the 20th century's fascistic dictatorships.

However parochial and marginal this intra-Jewish battle may seem to the larger world, it actually matters greatly, potentially influencing the future course of Europe. That results from the unique moral authority bestowed by the Holocaust on Jews to judge who is a fascist and who is not. Or, in the more subdued phrasing of The Wall Street Journal, "While Jewish voters may represent a relatively small portion of the electorate in many European countries, winning their support could help improve the public image of far-right parties." If Jerusalem prevails, civilizationists can more easily and quickly join Europe's political mainstream, reach power, and tackle their priority issues of controlling immigration and combatting Islamization. If the local Jewish establishment prevails, civilizationists will struggle longer to gain legitimacy, and thus will reach power more slowly and attain their goals with far more pain.

2018 was deadliest year for anti-Semitic violence since 1994 – Israeli report
The Diaspora Affairs Ministry on Sunday released a report on global anti-Semitism, showing a worldwide increase in attacks against Jews and Jewish targets last year, and the highest number of fatalities in anti-Semitic attacks around the world in 25 years.

“The year 2018 saw record highs of anti-Semitism in the streets, online and in the political arena, around the world,” said Naftali Bennett, who serves as Diaspora affairs minister as well as education minister. “It is a year that saw the highest number of Jews murdered in anti-Semitic attacks since the 1990s.”

In 2018, 13 Jews died in three fatal anti-Semitic attacks, the highest number since the 1994 terror attack on the Argentinian Jewish community AMIA building in Buenos Aires left 85 dead. In the worst attack this year, 11 Jewish worshipers were gunned down in a Pittsburgh synagogue on October 27. The other incidents were the January 2018 killing of California student Blaze Bernstein, who was Jewish and gay, by a white supremacist, and the March murder of French Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll.

“The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs will continue to work to build bridges with Jews around the world, and to eradicate anti-Semitism through legal, diplomatic and public diplomacy channels,” Bennett said in a statement. “Especially this week, when the world marks International Holocaust Memorial Day, I call on governments around the world to act: rid your societies of anti-Semitism, and take a harsh stance against the hatred of Jews.”
Netanyahu downplays right-wing anti-Semitism, contradicting Israeli study
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for a fight against rising Muslim and left-wing anti-Semitism in Europe, hours after the government published a report that said the far-right posed the greatest threat to Jews on the continent.

Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on International Holocaust Memorial Day, Netanyahu said that right-wing anti-Semitism in Europe was well established, but that a recent rise in anti-Zionism was driving anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment across the continent.

“On Friday, vandals smashed the monument to the Jews of Thessaloniki who perished in the Holocaust. I strongly condemn this, and call on the international community to act against emerging anti-Semitism, especially the emerging anti-Semitism in Europe,” the prime minister said, according to remarks released by his office.

“Anti-Semitism from the right is not a new phenomenon there. What is new in Europe is the combination of Islamic anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitism of the extreme left, which includes anti-Zionism, such as has recently occurred in Great Britain and in Ireland,” he said. “What a disgrace.”

Britain’s Labour Party has faced multiple accusations of anti-Semitism on the part of members and representatives, as well as leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Lyn Julius: Arabs are torch-bearers for Nazi anti-Semitism
On the day that the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, the U.K. liberal newspaper The Guardian declared in an editorial: “The Arabs, meanwhile, cannot be blamed for feeling that Europe’s blood debt to the Jews was paid with what they see as their territory.”
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini (left) meets with Adolf Hitler in 1941. Credit: German Federal Archives.
The myth of the Arabs as innocent bystanders, who had no responsibility for the Holocaust—and indeed, paid the price for a European crime when Israel was established—is widely believed.

The Arabs, like other Third World peoples, are only ever seen as victims of Western oppression and colonialism. They cannot themselves be guilty of oppressing others.

The West self-righteously deplores the old European anti-Semitism of the “far right.” But a new Green-Brown-Red anti-Semitism—encouraged by an alliance of the Far Left, the Greens and Islamist sympathizers—is studiously downplayed, ignored by the media, or blamed on Israel.

Truth be told, the virus of Nazi anti-Semitism was exported to the Arab and Muslim world as early as the 1930s. It gave ideological inspiration to Arab nationalist parties like the Ba’athists in Syria and Iraq and paramilitary groups like Young Egypt, founded in 1933. Anti-Jewish conspiracy theories are the central plank of the totalitarian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, and their ideological cousins, Islamic State, who sought to impose Allah’s kingdom on Earth through jihad and forced conversion of non-Muslims.

The Holocaust was, in the words of author Robert Satloff, as much an Arab story as a European. In spite of efforts to trumpet the stories of individual “righteous” Muslims who rescued Jews (particularly in Albania), scholars continue to uncover evidence of Arab sympathy and collaboration with Nazism.
PMW: PA Antisemitism alive and kicking on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
As the world commemorates International Holocaust Day today, Palestinian Media Watch documents that Palestinian Authority leaders are still spreading antisemitic hatred. These hate messages are also directed at Palestinian children, and thus passed on to the next generation. While the world is busy discussing ways to uproot and eradicate Antisemitism, the PA is busy cementing and preserving it.

PMW finds that antisemitic messages have increased in the PA in recent years. They are not mere hate incitement but represent a systematic hate ideology.

The Jews are presented as the source of all evil in the world, as in these hate messages on official PA TV:

"There is no global corruption that they are not behind"

"If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it"

"Always plotting against humanity - not just against the Muslims, but rather against all humanity"

PA leader Abbas' close advisor declared that the conflict with Israel "is not new" but is the continuation of the battle throughout history against Jews who represented "evil, falsehood, and Satan." Israel, he says, is therefore "Satan's project." Abbas himself has said that the Jews suffered the Holocaust due to their behavior - because of their "social roles" connected to "usury and banks." A PA religious figure explained that Hitler was sent by Allah to punish the Jews, as were the Babylonians, Romans, and other Europeans.

Significantly, PA Antisemitism includes the teaching that these alleged character traits are inherent to Jews and unchanging, and therefore Jews must be eliminated for the benefit of humanity. This is how it was worded in a sermon on official PA TV just six weeks ago:

"These malignant genes... they transfer them from generation to generation. They inherit it from father to son."

The line from the Holocaust to Ireland's BDS vote starts in Rome
On January 30th, 1933 Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany but in order to obtain the dictatorial power he desired he needed to modify the Constitution. To modify the constitution Hitler needed the support of two thirds of the Reichstag representatives, he could not have obtained support of two thirds of the Reichstag representatives without the support of the Zentrum political party which was controlled by the Catholics.

As the spiritual leader of Catholics worldwide, the Pope had influence over German Catholics and he could have asked them not to support Hitler's reform of the constitution. Without the support of the Zentrum political party Hitler would not have been able to modify the constitution and obtain dictatorial power, without the support of the Zentrum political party dominated by Catholics the Holocaust could have been avoided.

During World War II dozens of Catholic Priests joined the Nazi Party. After the war, the Vatican helped SS officers escape providing them false documents and an escape route through the "Vatican's ratline".

The same way that the Vatican could have used its influence in Germany in 1933 it could have used its influence in Ireland (where 87% of the population is Catholic) to prevent the anti-semitic BDS vote. On January 24, 2019 Arutz Sheva reported that "Israeli foreign ministry officials excoriated Ireland’s backing for a bill banning business ties with Jews in Judea, Samaria, and parts of Jerusalem, delivering a sharp reprimand to the Irish ambassador to Israel."

“It was made clear to the ambassador that this hypocritical and anti-Semitic legislation will have serious consequences for Israeli-Irish relations and [Ireland’s] standing in the region if [the bill] is advanced,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Friday.

“It would be better if Ireland confronted dictators and evil terrorist groups instead of [attacking] Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”
Daughter of Holocaust survivors decries museum honoring modern-day refugees
A daughter of survivors said she would stop giving talks at a Dutch Holocaust museum because it planned to host an event in support of modern-day refugees.

Lea van Coeverden is critical of the Camp Westerbork memorial museum’s plan to host a June event titled “Night of the Refugee.” She and other critics say the event inaccurately suggest that the plight of modern-day refugees is comparable to the victims of the Nazi genocide who were imprisoned at Westerbork.

“Because of the comparison of the the Holocaust to the debate about refugees, I have decided to no longer work with” the museum, she wrote, according to a report of her letter by the Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK.

The vice chairman of the Dutch Central Jewish Board, Ronny Naftaniel, said holding the event in Westerbork is inappropriate because it implies a comparison between today’s refugee crisis and the systemic annihilation of European Jewry.

But the museum’s director, Dirk Mulder, said Westerbork is an appropriate venue because the camp began in 1939 as a refugee facility set up for German Jews by the Dutch government. Only later, he said, did the invading Nazis turn Westerbork into a transit camp through which thousands of Jews passed on their way to extermination.
Far-right Poles protest government at Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day
A far-right Polish activist gathered with other nationalists outside the former Auschwitz death camp to protest Poland’s government.

The man, Piotr Rybak, accuses the government of remembering only Jews and not murdered Poles in yearly observances at the memorial site.

The accusation is incorrect. The Auschwitz observances are inclusive and ecumenical, paying homage to all of the camp’s victims.

Rybak and about 45 others carrying the national flag hope to enter the Holocaust memorial site to place a wreath on the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp. The far-right activist has previously been imprisoned for burning the effigy of a Jew.

The incident comes amid a surge of right-wing extremism in Poland.
Caroline Glick: The Palestinians Say No; Trump Should Listen
In 2016, the Second Circuit overturned the District Court ruling, claiming that since the Americans killed and injured in the attacks weren’t specifically targeted as Americans, the court had no jurisdiction over the PLO. This ruling flew in the face of the intention of the Anti-Terrorism Act as described by members of the Senate and House spanning the ideological spectrum, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) in amicus curiae briefs submitted to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court decided not to hear Sokolow’s appeal, based on an amicus curiae brief submitted by the Solicitor General. As the New York Sun noted at the time, in the interregnum last year between then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s departure and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s confirmation, the Solicitor General, acting on a recommendation from the State Department, filed a brief with the Supreme Court siding with the PLO and asking the Court not to hear the plaintiffs’ appeal.

Congress responded to the Court’s decision by passing ATCA. As Grassley, one of the sponsors of the 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act, said upon introducing the updated act last year, its purpose was to reiterate “Congress’s original intent, that terrorist groups and their supporters be brought to justice in U.S. courts, regardless of where the attacks occurred.”

Just as its response to the passage of the Taylor Force Act put paid to the notion that the PA is interested either in peace or in fighting terror, so the PA’s response to the passage of ATCA made clear that the PA stands with terrorists and against terror victims, and has no intention whatsoever of changing its position.

Last month, the PA’s Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah wrote to Pompeo to inform him that in light of ATCA, the PA will no longer accept U.S. assistance. In his words, “ATCA references various forms of U.S. assistance to the Government of Palestine [sic.]. Further, the ATCA purports to alter the rules of jurisdiction over the Government of Palestine [sic.] in U.S. legal proceedings if it continues to accept such aid after January 31, 2019.”

It is hard to think of what more the Palestinians can do to convince the Trump administration that they do not want to make peace with Israel.
Russia denies allying with Iran in Syria, says Israeli security a ‘top priority’
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Friday denied that Moscow is allied with Iran in Syria, and said Israel’s security was one of his government’s “top priorities.”

“We in no way underestimate the importance of measures that would ensure very strong security of the State of Israel,” Ryabkov told CNN in an interview. “The Israelis know this, the US knows this, everyone else, including the Iranians, the Turks, the government in Damascus [know this]. This is one of the top priorities of Russia.”

Ryabkov said it was inaccurate to categorize Russia and Iran as allies, as the two countries only “worked together” in Syria.

“[The Iranians] were very helpful when we convened the National Congress of the people of Syria in Sochi, but we do not see at any given moment completely eye-to-eye on what happens,” he said.

Ryabkov said Russia last year managed to convince Iran to withdraw its forces some 85 kilometers (53 miles) from Israel’s northern border. He said Moscow was “prepared to go even further” at the time, but negotiations with Iran fell apart over the reimposition of US sanctions.

Ryabkov’s comments came days after a flare-up between Israel and Iran on the Syrian frontier.
Pakistani Jew ‘allowed’ to visit Israel
Fishel Benkhald‏, a Pakistani Jew, said on Wednesday that he has been allowed to visit Israel on his Pakistani passport by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Taking to Twitter, Benkhald said, “Dear @ImranKhanPTI on 2-Jan Ministry of Foreign Affairs called to informing that I can visit Jerusalem Isreal on Pakistani passport. I’m applying visa from Isreali embassy. Thank u Dr Faisal @ForeignOfficePk.”

He said he will now apply for a visa and wait for Israel’s approval. “I will be coming to Jerusalem Israel in April,” he added.

Dubbed as “Pakistan’s last Jew,” Benkhald, a resident of the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, was originally registered as a Muslim and was named Faisal Khalid. After several months of bureaucratic struggle and paperwork, he was finally recognised by the Islamic country’s authorities as a Jew in March, 2018.

Last year, Benkhald requested the government to allow him to visit Jerusalem, Israel, on his Pakistani passport.

Pakistan does not recognise Israel and, therefore, doesn’t have diplomatic relations with it.

The Foreign Office is yet to comment on the matter.

In August 2018, he had claimed that he was “verbally and physically attacked” by a “Pakistani Islamist” outside a private bank because of his public demand for making religious pilgrimage visit to Jerusalem.
After banning Israelis, Malaysia blocked from hosting Paralympics swimming meet
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced Sunday that it was stripping Malaysia of the right to host a Paralympic swimming championship due to its ban on Israeli athletes, saying it was “disappointed” with Kuala Lumpur’s position.

“Politics and sport are never a good mix,” said IPC President Andrew Parsons in a statement after the body’s governing board made the decision in London. “We are disappointed that Israeli athletes would not have been allowed to compete in Malaysia.”

Earlier this month, Israel’s Foreign Ministry denounced Malaysia for banning the Israelis from the summer’s World Para Swimming Championships on the island of Borneo, calling the move “shameful” and saying that if the athletes aren’t allowed in, a new host should be found.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that the Israeli swimmers would not be let into the country, and his foreign minister, Saifuddin Abdullah, said the predominantly Muslim country “will not host any more events involving Israel or its representatives.”
Israel recognizes opposition leader’s new government in Venezuela
Israel on Sunday officially recognized the interim government of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, in a move that is certain to please the US government but may cause problems for the local Jewish community.

“Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of the countries of Latin America and countries in Europe in recognizing the new leadership in Venezuela,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a short statement.

Last week, the administration of US President Donald Trump reportedly asked Israel to publicly back Washington’s attempt to force the resignation of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and throw support behind Guaido, who has declared himself interim president of the South American country.

Jerusalem was said to be stalling on an announcement amid concerns the Maduro regime could respond with measures that could imperil members of the Venezuelan Jewish community.

Over the weekend, Israeli officials told Channel 13 news that State Department officials had made the request to diplomats at the embassy in Washington DC on Thursday, and that other US allies who have yet to declare their support for either side have also been asked to issue statements in support of Guaido.
Israel said to balk at backing US on Venezuela over fears for Jewish community
Israeli officials told Channel 13 news that State Department officials made the request to diplomats at the embassy in Washington DC on Thursday, and that other US allies who have yet to declare their support for either side have also been asked to issue statements of support for Guaido.

According to the outlet, Foreign Ministry officials will meet in Jerusalem on Sunday to discuss the request and draft a recommendation for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will then have to decide whether Israel will join its Western allies in support of Guaido, or maintain its silence.

While Venezuela once had one of the largest Jewish communities in the region, numbering some 25,000 in 1999, only about 6,000 Jews are believed to remain in the country, with many of the rest fleeing to Israel, Canada, the US and elsewhere.

Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who broke off ties with Israel in 2009, have both been strident critics of Israel, and some Jewish community leaders have expressed fears of the government stoking anti-Semitism.

The US has been pushing for the international community to back Maduro’s ouster.
Left Party group slammed over 'anti-Semitic' Venezuela cartoon
A far-left faction within Germany's socialist Left Party has retracted a cartoon insinuating that Israel was instigating a violent coup in Venezuela after party members accused it of anti-Semitism.

The Cuba Si Hessen group posted the image on Facebook on Wednesday. It shows a grim reaper cloaked in a United States flag and holding a bloody scythe painted to resemble the flag of Israel.

The figure knocks at a door titled "Venezuela." Blood spills out of other opened doors marked "Iraq," "Libya," "Syria" and "Ukraine."

The group captioned the image with: "We stand on the side of the legitimate Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, and oppose any form of intervention. Yankee go home!"

'We didn't notice the Star of David'

One of the Left Party's pro-Israel factions, Shalom, condemned the post on its Facebook page a day later.
Read more: Things to know about Germany's Left party

The image used "anti-Semitic references" to side with "crude anti-Americanists" in its interpretation of the political crisis in Venezuela, it said.

PM: Nasrallah ’embarrassed’ by Israel’s success in destroying Hezbollah tunnels
Nasrallah’s claim regarding when work began on some of the tunnels appeared to line up with a Channel 13 report earlier this month. Israel has said it was aware of Hezbollah’s tunnel operations for several years.

Nasrallah also suggested that Israeli citizens should question the information they were being given on the tunnels, on the basis that northern residents’ concerns about the presence of attack tunnels had been dismissed for years.

“Moshe Ya’alon confirmed during Operation Northern Shield that there were tunnels,” he said, presumably referring to the former defense minister’s admission that officials had lied about the existence of the tunnels. “My question to the settlers in the north: Do you think Netanyahu, Eisenkot, and the new chief of staff are lying to you now or telling the truth?”

Nasrallah went on to claim that the tunnels were hardly central to Hezbollah’s attack plan in a future war, and that Israeli leaders had inflated their importance “to leave the [army] with a significant achievement” to boast of.

He confirmed Israeli leaders’ accusations that “part of our plan for the next war is to enter the Galilee, a part of our plan we are capable of, God willing. The important thing is that we have this capability and we have had it for years.”
Nasrallah: Israeli tunnel op hasn’t curbed ’10 percent’ of Galilee invasion plan
Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Hezbollah terror group, on Saturday dismissed Israel’s operation to uncover and destroy cross-border attack tunnels as indicative of an intelligence failure, and said the group’s plans for an invasion of the Galilee remained intact.

Breaking months of silence, and speaking for the first time since Israel launched Operation Northern Shield in early December to uncover and destroy the tunnels dug under its border, Nasrallah claimed during an interview with the pro-Hezbollah al-Mayadeen TV that “some of the tunnels are from before Resolution 1701 and the Second Lebanon War.”

UN Resolution 1701 ended the 2006 conflict and called for all armed groups in Lebanon besides the country’s military to remain north of the Litani River. Israel has for years claimed that Hezbollah has been violating the resolution by conducting military activities along the border.

“The Israelis discovered a number of tunnels after many years, and it’s not a surprise. The surprise is that these tunnels, they took some time to find,” Nasrallah said on the al-Mayadeen channel.

“One of the tunnels discovered in recent weeks is 13 or 14 years old,” said a smiling Nasrallah. The Israeli operation brought to light the “failure” of the country’s intelligence services, he added.
Call of jihadGoogle app store found hosting Hezbollah shoot-’em-up game
A first-person shooter game developed by Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah was available on the Google Play store up until last week, according to a report in Forbes magazine.

The Android game set against the backdrop of the Syrian civil war was downloaded more than 10,000 times from the app store, and earned a four-star rating by users, the report said.

The game, called “Sacred Defense – Protecting the Homeland And Holy Sites,” allowed characters to throw bombs at Israeli soldiers, and engage in battles against the Islamic State jihadist group in various locations in Syria.

Forbes said the game aimed to “disseminate Hezbollah propaganda” and was the first known app developed by a terrorist group to be hosted by the Google platform. The app was no longer available on the Google platform on Sunday.

The report published Thursday said the Google Play store was hosting another Hezbollah app, but did not disclose its title.

The Shiite paramilitary group released the low-cost spinoff of bestselling video game “Call of Duty” to glorify the group’s battles in the Syrian conflict.
Iran publicly hangs man on homosexuality charges
The Islamic Republic of Iran publicly hanged a 31-year-old Iranian man after he was found guilty of charges related to violations of Iran’s anti-gay laws, according to the state-controlled Iranian Students’ News Agency.

The unidentified man was hanged on January 10 in the southwestern city of Kazeroon based on criminal violations of “lavat-e be onf” – sexual intercourse between two men, as well as kidnapping charges, according to ISNA. Iran’s radical sharia law system proscribes the death penalty for gay sex.

The ISNA reported that the 31-year-old kidnapped two 15-year-olds. The opaque inner workings of Iran’s judicial system create enormous difficulties for journalists and human rights advocates to examine judicial cases.

“The LGBT community in Iran has lived in terror for the last 40 years,” said Alireza Nader, CEO of Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization New Iran. “Next time Foreign Minister Zarif speaks in Washington, the host and audience should ask him why his regime is one of the top executioner of gays in the world.”

According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch, Iran’s mullah regime executed “between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians” since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Miami police sergeant fired for desecrating Jewish Bible
Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina told the newspaper that he was concerned about the officer’s character and credibility coming into question if he has to testify in court over an arrest. “It isn’t just what he said, but what are the consequences of that. Do we lose the public’s trust?” Colina said.

Destephan has 15 days to appeal his firing.
Thai pop idol tearfully apologizes for Nazi swastika T-shirt
A member of Thailand’s most popular all-girl band donned a shirt portraying Nazi Germany’s state flag with a swastika emblazoned across it during a televised rehearsal on Saturday, drawing “shock and dismay” from the Israeli embassy.

Images of Hitler, swastikas and other Nazi regalia are fairly commonplace on T-shirts and memorabilia in Thailand, a phenomenon blamed on a lack of historical understanding rather than political leanings.

The latest faux pas was committed by Pichayapa “Namsai” Natha, one of the singers of BNK48, when she wore the red-and-black top complete with swastika during the group’s rehearsal on Friday.

The deputy chief of mission of the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok took to Twitter to express “shock and dismay” at the outfit, especially given that Sunday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
IDF Aid Mission to Brazil
On Saturday, January 26th, 2019, the Brumadinho dam burst, vast areas were covered in mud and became submerged in water. According to Brazilian authorities, at least 34 people have died and hundreds are still missing. The IDF, in accordance with Israeli Government directives and in close coordination with the Brazilian Government, sent a search and rescue delegation with special teams to assist in the rescue effort.

The IDF aid mission has been dispatched to help save lives. Search and rescue teams will undertake extensive efforts to assist in using equipment, including advanced cellular location, naval sonar, and drones.

In preparation for the mission, the members of the delegation were given the necessary supplies, including vaccines and medical equipment.

Our Specialists Can Handle Difficult Conditions

The 130-soldier delegation consists of engineering experts, doctors, search and rescue teams, firefighters from the Israel Fire and Rescue Services, soldiers from the Israeli Navy's underwater missions unit (YATAM 707), the Oketz K9 unit, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and the Israeli ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency, Mr. Yossi Sheli.

“70 are reserve personnel,” said Head of the IDF International Media Branch, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. “Most of these people are men and women with families, who leave their private and professional lives behind once they were called for this mission.”
Roseanne Barr takes on Jerusalem Kotel and shuk
American actress Roseanne Barr visited Jerusalem's Western Wall and the central Mahane Yehuda market on Sunday, as part of her trip to Israel organized by Jerusalem Post columnist Shmuely Boteach.

Culture Minister Miri Regev accompanied Barr on her visit to the Western Wall.

Actress Roseanne Barr and Rabbi Shmuely Boteach in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda marketActress Roseanne Barr and Rabbi Shmuely Boteach in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda market

Barr will offer a presentation Sunday in Jerusalem and then offer a talk through Tel Aviv International Salon for Young Professionals on Monday evening.

Two days later, on January 30, Barr is scheduled to address the Knesset, but it’s unlikely there will be more than a handful of people in the plenum as MKs who are running for reelection are scrambling on the hustings.

Barr was recently fired by ABC for making what the network and others regarded as a racist slur. But Barr claims that she was misunderstood. She attributes the reason for her dismissal to the fact that she is Jewish and a supporter of Israel.

"I feel that what happened to me, a large part of it is antisemitism," the Jewish actress told the Post in a phone interview in early January from her home in Hawaii. "I think it played a part - the fact that I was never allowed to explain what I meant - and what I meant was a commentary on Iran - so they purposely mischaracterized what I said and wouldn't let me explain."
Roseanne Barr: Residents of Judea and Samaria are 'pioneers'
American actress and comedienne Roseanne Barr toured Samaria on Friday as part of an international campaign against the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement she is leading along with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Boteach and Barr met with head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan, who took them to a scenic viewpoint at Paduel, where they could look out over the coastal plain.

"It makes us very happy to meet someone like you, who fights for the truth, despite the price you pay for that courage.

"Samaria is the heart of the Jewish people's historic homeland, and the most ridiculous thing in the international diplomatic campaign is to say that the Jews are 'occupying' Judea and Samaria," Dagan told Barr.

Barr planted a tree and called the residents of Judea and Samaria "pioneers," saying they were at the forefront of the State of Israel.

According to Barr, the BDS movement opposes coexistence and would prefer a "state of war."
Kid on school trip unearths Second Temple-era coin in West Bank stream
A boy found a 2,000-year-old coin from the Second Temple-era rule of Herod Agrippa, the last king of Judea, during a hike last week in the northern West Bank.

The rare piece was uncovered in the Shilo stream during a school trip, according to a Sunday statement from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), an Israeli body that administers civilian matters in the West Bank under the Defense Ministry.

The coin features three stalks of grain on one side, and a royal canopy surrounded by an engraving reading “King Agrippa” on the other side.

The student found the coin on the eastern side of the stream — one of the main tributaries of Tel Aviv’s Yarkon River which flows to the Mediterranean Sea — and informed the group’s tour guide, the statement said.

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