Tuesday, July 28, 2020

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Camp David 20 Years Later: The Oslo Delusion
The veteran terrorist walked away from an offer that gave him more or less everything Palestinian advocates said they wanted. Two months later, convinced of Barak’s weakness and thinking bloody attacks on Israel would produce even more such suicidal concessions, he launched a terror war of attrition known as the Second Intifada. That traumatic conflict, which took the lives of more than 1,000 Israelis and many more Palestinians, blew up any remaining support for Oslo. It set in place a broad consensus among Israelis — further reinforced by the disastrous results of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which led to a Hamas-run terrorist state in the Strip, as well as the refusals of Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate in good faith — that peace is out of reach in the foreseeable future.

As Miller now concedes, the summit didn’t have any of the elements that could lead to success, such as “strong leaders,” a “workable deal,” and “effective US mediation.” Barak’s desperation and the Clinton administration’s poor planning made things worse. Miller is also correct in pointing out that Clinton’s belief that trying and failing was better than not trying at all was horribly wrong. The consequences of his hubris were paid in the blood of those slaughtered in Arafat’s intifada.

Nevertheless, Miller still holds on to the delusion that more American pressure on the Jewish state, coupled with a set of parameters for a deal that would have given the Israelis no wriggle room on Jerusalem and other intractable issues, might have made a difference. He disdains the efforts of the Trump administration to advance peace, thinking its leaders are far too close to Israel. But although Kushner seems to have tried to avoid making the same mistakes as Clinton, he too doesn’t seem to fully understand why even his more realistic “Prosperity to Peace” vision had as little chance of achieving an agreement as the 2000 summit.

In an interview with Newsweek, Kushner exhibited some magical thinking of his own. Kushner believes that the key to peace is pushing the Arab states closer to Israel. Doing so is a good thing in and of itself, but like every other formula for a settlement, it failed because the Palestinians just aren’t interested.

The lessons of the Camp David Summit rest on understanding that better diplomacy, planning, and help from outside parties is never going to be enough. Until the Palestinians give up their vision of a world without a State of Israel — one that is now sadly shared by Jews like Peter Beinart, who think the failure to make peace means that the Zionist project should be discarded in favor of a dangerous utopian vision that will lead to far more bloodshed than any intifada — no peace process, no matter how skillfully conducted, will ever succeed.

Most Israelis understand this bitter truth and have adjusted their expectations accordingly. It is to be hoped that future American governments, including a putative one led by former Vice President Joe Biden, which will likely be staffed by Clinton and Obama administration veterans, will be capable of understanding that in the absence of a sea change in Palestinian political culture, further negotiations are simply a waste of everyone’s time.
Analysis of UAWC’s Response to the Dutch Funding Freeze over Terror Links
On July 20, 2020, the Dutch government announced that it was suspending funding to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) over links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). During a parliamentary debate, Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Development Minister Sigrid Kaag acknowledged that an internal government audit concluded that Dutch funds were used to pay the salaries of two UAWC employees who were also members of the PFLP terror organization and then arrested for murder.

According to NGO Monitor research, since 2013, the Netherlands has provided UAWC with approximately €20 million in grants.

In response to the Dutch announcement, UAWC issued a statement (July 22) attempting to deflect the serious allegations and misleadingly referring to “former employees” (the two were employed by UAWC at the time of the murder and their subsequent arrests). Reflecting the core emphasis on public relations and donor retention, the statement was published in English.

NGO Monitor has prepared the following detailed analysis of UAWC’s response:
Quote: For many years, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) has been attacked by the Israeli government and right-wing organization affiliated with it. Most of our projects are in “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, where we help vulnerable communities hold on to their land. The Israeli government has built illegal settlements in this area and wants to annex it. This is the key reason why we are attacked.

Analysis: UAWC opens (and closes) with a clearly political defense meant to appeal to European officials, emphasizing “’Area C’ of the occupied West Bank, where we help vulnerable communities hold on to their land,” and asserting that the “key reason” for being “attacked” is the Israeli government’s pursuit of annexation.

In reality, NGO Monitor’s research is the result of evidence linking UAWC to the PFLP terror group (see below). Since December 2019, UAWC’s links to the PFLP have taken on heightened importance, after Israeli authorities announced the arrest of two UAWC employees for murder. On August 23, 2019, Samer Arbid, UAWC’s accountant, commanded a PFLP terror cell that carried out a bombing against Israeli civilians, murdering 17-year old Rina Shnerb, and injuring her father and brother. According to the indictment, Arbid prepared and detonated the explosive device. Abdul Razeq Farraj, another UAWC employee, was also indicted for his involvement in the PFLP and the 2019 attack.
On Hezbollah, It’s Time to Call Nasrallah’s Bluff
From a position of unprecedented weakness and distress, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is back to his old gambling habits. Similar to the summer of 2006, he is now threatening to perpetrate a terrorist attack against Israel in response to the death of one of his operatives in Syria.

Then, Nasrallah’s failed gambit triggered an all-out war, which exacted a terrible price from Lebanon and mainly from the Shiite ethnic group he purports to represent. Nasrallah himself was forced to pay a heavy price: his personal freedom. The man has been shuttered in his bunker ever since, and doesn’t see the light of day.

Nasrallah, however, is shackled to his equations — because he fears Israel will interpret a failure to act as weakness, he feels obligated to retaliate and is willing to risk a head-on clash. He hopes, of course, that he’ll be able to control the flames by keeping casualties on the Israeli side to a minimum, allowing Israel to absorb the event and temper its own counter-response, as it has done in the past.

For this reason alone, Israel should not play into Nasrallah’s hands. Rather, it should nullify the equations he is seeking to dictate and present him with a clear red line.

During the Second Lebanon War, Israel was strung along by poor leadership that failed to bring the IDF’s massive military advantage to bear. Instead of bringing Hezbollah to its knees, Israel was needlessly drawn into a 33-day war of attrition.

And yet, the results of that war sent a clear and decisive message to Hezbollah — that Israel will no longer allow the terrorist group to violate its sovereignty and continue attacking it from Lebanese soil. The quiet that prevailed along the border with Lebanon was therefore an important achievement, and it’s a fact that Hezbollah, battered and deterred, recognized that preserving this quiet was just as much in its own interest.

Will Israel Find Itself Facing Down Iran, Turkey, and the US in Libya?
Egypt is a strong military power, and it has declared Libya to be a national security priority. Should Egypt enter the war, the conflict could escalate to a direct confrontation with Turkish troops, which would be very damaging to Ankara. However, Cairo remains the ultimate prize in Erdogan’s populist rhetoric. While there is no real hope of conquering over 100 million Egyptians with the forces Erdogan now has under his control, it is entirely possibly that Egypt could be drawn into a costly extended conflagration that destabilizes everything around it. A prolonged conflict could build a stronger alliance of Islamists and their ideological backers and funders throughout North Africa. In the event that most of the region falls to Islamism, the ideological vitriol of the Muslim Brotherhood could make its way back to Egypt, where the security threat it poses has not been fully eradicated despite President Sisi’s best efforts. The Muslim Brotherhood still lingers in Egypt on the level of education, culture, and the media.

Iran, for its own part, seeks to export the Islamic Revolution, but just as importantly to create a network of Islamist militias and combatant supporters who can be called upon to launder money, engage in intelligence gathering and other active measures, subsidize Iran’s shadow economy through an assortment of globalized criminal schemes, or even attack targets anywhere in the world. For that reason, Iran has been willing to align with local separatist or terrorist movements like the Polisario Front in North Africa. The Islamic regime is subsidizing and training Nigerian militias to become yet another serious, well-armed organization following the models of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, and is even willing to engage with Sunni Islamists who share some basic ideological and revolutionary precepts and are willing to share intelligence. This explains why Iran was happy to cooperate with Muslim Brotherhood figurehead Muhammad Morsi during his brief tenure as president of Egypt.

Turkey’s ambitions, therefore, do not stand in Iran’s way. Iran cannot topple the Egyptian government on its own, but should an Islamist supporter ever regain power in the heavily Sunni country, the Islamic Republic could count on a far friendlier reception as well as intelligence and operational coordination.

This leaves Israel facing sprawling networks of enemies with global plans far beyond the borders of Libya. Both groups of enemies are dedicated to a supranational vision of empires and caliphates that eschew national borders. They are racially and ethnically supremacist and ideologically radical, fundamentalist, and revolutionary.

As of now, Israel is in a tricky situation, given that the LNA has been suffering setbacks due to Turkey’s ability to overwhelm its forces with scores of new recruits from every conceivable background. In addition, according to Seth Frantzman, the LNA troops are poorly trained and have very limited real backing from their allies. These are the two fronts where Israel can be helpful without having to get directly involved.

Jerusalem could also — and, indeed, should — prevail upon Washington to withdraw its support from terrorists and Islamists before they end up coming head to head with America’s real allies. Those allies include Israel, which will not allow its security to be jeopardized by the sprawling, sweeping bands of extremists.
State Department declares 'unwavering' commitment to seeking 'justice for the families' of US citizens killed by ISIS
The State Department said it has an "unwavering" commitment to bringing Islamic State fighters who killed U.S. citizens to justice.

The agency sent this message as the families of the dead renew calls for captors, some of whom are being held in the Middle East, to be put on trial in the United States.

“Seeking the safe return of U.S. citizens held hostage abroad and justice for the families of those murdered by their captors is a hallmark of this administration’s policy,” a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner. “The Department of State’s commitment to these goals is unwavering.”

Last week, the parents of ISIS victims Kayla Mueller, James Foley, Peter Kassig, and Steven Sotloff — all abducted and killed by members of ISIS — penned a joint op-ed in the Washington Post urging the Trump administration to take action.

“Some of the men who allegedly committed these atrocities are now in U.S. military custody in the Middle East. We implore President Trump, Attorney General William P. Barr, and the Justice Department to have the detainees brought to the United States to face trial,” the families wrote. “Like any grieving relatives, we want to know the full truth about what happened to our loved ones, and we want to see our children’s murderers held accountable. These things can happen only if the suspects are put on trial before a jury in an American court of law.”

The families said that ISIS terrorists such as Mohammed Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John," and ISIS founder Abu Bakr al Baghdadi have already been killed but that "others are being held, right now, on U.S. bases in the Middle East.” The families pointed to detainees such as El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, two British citizens known as “the Beatles” ("Jihadi George" and "Jihadi Ringo") who have been linked to the imprisonment, torture, and execution of U.S. hostages.

Elsheikh and Kotey, currently being held in Iraq by the U.S. military, were part of an ISIS terrorist cell responsible for the murders of U.S. humanitarian aid workers Mueller and Kassig, U.S. journalists Foley and Sotloff, British humanitarian aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and others.
How do Jordanians view the efforts to bring the Sbarro bomber to justice?
It doesn't matter which Arab publication carried the article below. Or the identity or credentials of the person who wrote it. Or that person's religious, ideological or political alignment.

Those are among the lesser aspects that ought to be on people's minds as they consider its contents.

We have read tens of such articles emanating mostly from Jordan but also from other parts of the Arab world since May 2020. (Some of them are here: "14-May-20: In Jordan, they stand with confessed bomber Tamimi. And they're worried...")

That's when the Arab world awoke to the reality that the US government has Jordan-centric sanctions on its mind and is serious about them. (See "05-May-20: From Congress, concern about how Jordanians deal with the fugitive terrorist in their midst")

Some years ago, we started scanning online Arabic-language news media daily with the help of online translation tools like Bing and Google Translate. In all that time, we have not uncovered even a single published article dealing with the cold-blooded 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria because of the children inside that criticizes the bomber.

Ahlam Tamimi is the central figure in that horror. A Jordanian student who was 21 when she selected the crowded fast food shop as her target for her Hamas superiors, she personally planted the bomb - a human being with an explosives-laden guitar case on his back that included a large quantity of nails for their flesh-ripping feature - at the central Jerusalem site, a pizzeria of the US-based Sbarro chain.

Today Tamimi is a fugitive from US justice. There's a $5 million State Department reward for her capture and conviction on US Federal charges. In January 2020, Fox News called her the most wanted female fugitive in the world.
Israel needs to prepare for the Biden era - opinion
In less than four months, US presidential elections will take place in which presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump, the incumbent, will face presumptive Democratic Party nominee and former Obama administration vice president John Biden. In Israel, this election is closely monitored, mainly because the results are expected to have an impact on Israeli-US relations and American foreign policy in the Middle East, especially regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump’s foreign policy concerning Israel is crystal clear, as during his tenure he and his administration proved not only in statements but mainly in acts that America strongly supports the Jewish state. Trump transferred the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in December 2017, withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, and recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel in March 2019. Moreover, Trump introduced in January 2020 his plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the most pro-Israeli plan an American president has ever put on the table, under which Israel would control the Jordan Valley and the settlement blocs.

In light of all these acts, it is no wonder that most of the Israeli public and many Jews in the world want to see Trump win the election.
While Trump has proven to be the most pro-Israeli president ever to sit in the White House, there is concern in Jerusalem that if Biden wins the election and is sworn in as president, a crisis in Israeli-US relations is inevitable.

This concern seems unfounded, in light of Biden’s statements about his persistent support for Israel. Thus, while senior Democratic Party officials such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have already stated that the US should reassess its relations with Israel, Biden continues to express his unconditional support for Israel. As an ardent supporter of Israel throughout his long political career, Biden argues that the Palestinians should recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. In addition, he indicated that the Palestinian Authority should condemn acts of terrorism, halt incitement, and stop paying salaries to terrorists and their families.

However, some disagreements between Israel and the US are expected if Biden wins the presidency. Thus, although Biden has already stated that the US Embassy will remain in Jerusalem, he has voiced opposition to unilaterally applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the settlements blocs, contending that such a unilateral act would harm the two-state solution formula. Moreover, while Biden reiterated that the $3.8 billion US aid to Israel would not be conditional on the cessation of settlement construction and progress in negotiations with the Palestinians, calling such linkage a scandalous proposal, he stated that should Iran return to its nuclear commitment, the US under his leadership would return to the nuclear agreement with Iran and work to extend its validity.
US Democratic platform nixes conditioning aid to Israel over annexation
The Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee voted down a motion Monday to include language in the 2020 document that would be more critical of Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians.

By a vote of 117-34, the panel rejected an amendment that would mention the “Israeli occupation” and call for the United States to condition aid to the country if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu follows through on his plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

The amendment — proposed by Clem Balanoff, the Illinois director of Our Revolution, a Bernie Sanders-inspired nonprofit — also would have included criticism of settlement activity, not just settlement “expansion” as it currently does.

It came after liberal Mideast advocacy groups, such as J Street, pushed for the final document to include mention of the word “occupation” while they praised the draft for opposing annexation and declaring support for Palestinian rights.

Two former Obama officials argued against the amendment during a virtual meeting of the drafting committee Tuesday.

“Our assistance to Israel is a mutually beneficial investment — one that protects Israel from very real threats and helps promote security and stability in a region where we know all too well the costs of insecurity and instability,” said Wendy Sherman, a former deputy secretary of state who was the chief negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal.
Israeli Former Ambassadors, MKs, Trying to Derail DNC Platform to Attack Jewish State
Shirit Avitan Cohen, political reporter for Makor Rishon, on Monday tweeted that a sizeable group of former MKs and former Israeli ambassadors sent a letter to members of the Democratic Party ahead of the vote on its platform, calling for changes that include opposition to the annexation (we wish sovereignty was being applied – DI) and the Trump plan; opposition to the “occupation,” and, of course, support for a Palestinian state with its capital in divided Jerusalem.

The DNC platform committee met remotely on Monday afternoon to approve a lengthy policy platform that balances the interests of the moderate and progressive factions. The draft document released last week endorses universal health care, with a promise of low- or no-cost coverage for every American. It also calls for a $15 minimum wage, mandatory paid family leave, tougher federal gun control, and significant changes to federal sentencing guidelines and drug laws.

So, to be frank, the DNC, like the rest of the country, has more important things on its agenda than the two-state solution.

Nevertheless, the letter, signed by the usual suspects, most of them leftist hacks who suckled on the country’s teat throughout their careers only to turn on their country, tries to enlist the support of the DNC—a foreign entity, mind you—in their shenanigans.

The signatories include Mossi Raz (Meretz), Michal Rozin (Meretz), Zehava Galon (Meretz) and Avrum Burg (who the heck knows where he belongs these days – IRGC?) And, naturally, former ambassadors Alon Liel, Ilan Baruch, Baruch Binah, and Elie Barnavi.
Democratic Platform Calls For Rejoining Human Rights Council
The 2020 Democratic national platform includes a call to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which has been accused of demonizing Israel and elevating leaders with questionable human rights records.

"Instead of walking away, Democrats believe the United States should lead the way and mobilize our partners to work in common cause," the DNC platform reads. "We will rejoin and reform the WHO, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the United Nations Population Fund, because in a global public health crisis and a global democratic recession, American leadership is needed more than ever."

Long criticized as a hotbed of anti-Israel policy, the UNHRC has appointed human-rights monitors with a history of support for the BDS movement. The council also produced multiple reports on Israeli operations against Hamas that accused the Israel Defense Forces of violating international law and war crimes.

The United States left the UNHRC in 2018 over what former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called "chronic bias against Israel." After America's withdrawal, known human-rights abusers China and Russia began vying for spots on the council, which will elect 15 new members this fall.

China regularly engages in human-rights abuses—imprisoning political dissidents and forcing Muslim minorities into labor camps are only a few concerns in its long track record of misconduct.
Georgia Republican senator removes ad that made Jewish opponent’s nose bigger
Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia has taken down a digital campaign ad featuring a manipulated picture of his Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, with an enlarged nose.

Before being removed, the Facebook ad showed grainy pictures of Ossoff and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who is also Jewish, above a banner reading “DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO BUY GEORGIA! HELP DAVID PERDUE FIGHT BACK.”

The news outlet the Forward first reported that the image was manipulated and made Ossoff’s nose appear larger than in the original photo.

Ossoff was shown with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, in a grainy black and white image. The original image of Ossoff was a 2017 Reuters photo, the report said, with experts telling the Forward that his enlarged nose was the primary difference between the original and the altered version used in the ad.
StandWithUs Deeply Concerned About Potential Nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Germany
The StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism (CCA) is deeply concerned about the potential nomination of U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor as the next U.S. ambassador to Germany. Colonel Macgregor has previously alleged that a group of Jews, whom he references as “neocons,” exert power within “a variety of settings in the government and in the media” in ways that “unconditional[ly] support ... whatever the Israeli government wants to do,” even if those decisions are not in the best interests of America.

"This is nothing more than a repackaging of the antisemitic conspiracy theory alleging that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to the countries of which they are citizens," said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. "As the child of Holocaust survivors I know too well how dangerous such rhetoric can be. Disagreements over policy should focus on ideas, not hateful attacks alleging disloyalty or dual loyalties."

Accusations of dual loyalty are blatantly antisemitic in nature and have a dark history. For example, Hitler and the Nazis would falsely claim that Jewish soldiers "stabbed the German army in the back" during WWI. Echoing this hate today has the very real potential to turn public sentiment against the Jewish people and foment surges of antisemitism within society.

When U.S. Representatives Omar and Tlaib made similar accusations in the past, they were overwhelmingly condemned by leaders across the political spectrum. Given the continued rise in antisemitism within both Europe and the U.S., it is imperative that our government officials are people who oppose such harmful rhetoric, rather than trafficking in it.

Barring additional information showing that Col. Macgregor has previously apologized for his comments and acknowledged why they were wrong, the CCA calls for a better nominee to be selected to represent American interests in Germany. The American people deserve an ambassador who respects the Jewish community and all other minority groups, fights against hateful rhetoric, and upholds the crucial alliance between Israel and the United States.
Guaidó’s Venezuela wants embassy in Jerusalem, ambassador says
Venezuela under Acting President Juan Guaidó’s wants to set up an embassy in Jerusalem, its ambassador to Israel Rabbi Pynchas Brener told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, as members of Guaidó’s party and others formed a pro-Israel caucus in the Venezuelan national assembly.

The Venezuelan Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus held its inaugural meeting on Monday as a part of the Israeli Allies Foundation’s faith-based diplomacy network of 43 legislative caucuses around the world. The caucus has 20 members from a range of political parties, who signed a declaration that called to reestablish ties between Venezuela and Israel and for an embassy to be opened in Jerusalem.

Venezuela also plans to launch a website next week that is meant to serve as a virtual embassy to Israel.

The move came amid the continuing political turmoil in Venezuela, with both Guaidó and Nicolas Maduro claiming the presidency since January 2019. More than 50 countries recognize Guaidó, while 20 recognize Maduro, who became president in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela broke off diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009, and Guaidó has sought to restore them. Israel recognized Guaidó as president in January 2019, and his appointee, Brener, as ambassador in August of that year; though the countries have yet to officially reestablish ties, and Brener is based in Miami.

Restored ties with Israel are important to Venezuela, said Brener, who worked as a rabbi in the South American country for 44 years.
“We realize the pandemic is issue number one all over the world and we cannot attend to other matters; however, we are trying to gain a presence in Israel and bring attention to Venezuela,” he said.

Once Guaidó’s government is able to have a physical presence in Israel, “our desire is to establish the embassy in Jerusalem, just like the US – why not? We are gunning for that,” Brener said.

In the interim, Brener will inaugurate the embassy website next week.

One of the major reasons for promoting ties is the “common danger” of Iran to both countries, the ambassador said.

“For Israel, right now, the greatest menace is Iran... they are the ones threatening to erase Israel off the map,” Brener stated. “Iran has a major presence in Venezuela, supplying us with gasoline.”

Brener explained that, like in many other countries, Venezuela has stopped all flights from abroad. However, he said, there have been 17-18 Mahan Air flights in the last six weeks.
Fully Recovered from Coronavirus, United Hatzalah’s Eli Beer Donates Plasma
President and Founder of United Hatzalah, Eli Beer, who recently made a full recovery from the coronavirus, donated plasma at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center on Sunday in order to help save the lives of patients who are listed as being in serious condition.

Beer recovered from the coronavirus back in April in Miami University Hospital, where he was sedated and put on a respirator for 30 days. After recovering enough to be able to travel, he returned to Israel where a test revealed that the level of antibodies in his system is particularly high.

“I was made aware that I could donate plasma and that this would help save the lives of others who are suffering from this terrible disease,” Beer said on Sunday. “I sincerely hope that whoever receives my plasma will have a full recovery just like I did, only easier. I wish all people suffering from this disease to have a full and speedy recovery.”

The Hadassah Medical Center has established a large operation in order to obtain plasma donations from recovered Corona patients. All of the patients need to have tested negative for having the virus and wait a number of weeks prior to their ability to donate plasma. Additionally, they must have a high antibody count according to serological testing.

In partnership with the Yad Avraham organization, volunteers were engaged to spread the word that those who have recovered from the virus have the potential to save the lives of others who are currently suffering from the virus. “Thus far the public has turned out in droves,” said Hadassah Medical Center Spokesperson Hadar Elboim.
Haaretz Marginalizes Terror Victim ‘Settler Activist’ Ari Fuld
The print edition headline also highlighted the irrelevant biographical information of the “settler activist.” Why is that information more newsworthy than, for example, the fact that he was a father of four?

The online Hebrew and online English versions of the same article notably did not marginalize Fuld as a “vocal right-wing ‘Israel advocate.'” The latter reports: “The attacker took the life of Ari Fuld, a 40-year-old American-Israeli citizen from Efrat in the West Bank . . .” The former describes him as a resident of Efrat.

In addition, in a factual error appearing only in the English print edition, the article wrongly reported that Ari Fuld’s murderer was ordered “to pay Fuld’s family 1.25 million shekels ($364.5 million) in compensation.”

In fact, Fuld’s murdered was ordered to pay $364,500, not $364.5 million. (Haaretz had the shekel amount correct, but apparently the translator, perhaps the same person who felt it necessary to cite Fuld’s “vocal right-wing” settler activism as if it was relevant, erred on the currency conversion.)

CAMERA contacted editors about the error. As of this writing, a correction has yet to appear.
‘Tel Aviv Considers All of Jerusalem Its Capital’ Arabic Media and the ‘Non-Stop City’
Media reports erroneously referring to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital have been a persistent problem for years, but Arabic-language journalists writing for Western media outlets have displayed a special penchant for the pitfall. In both quantitative and qualitative terms, Arabic-speaking journalists greatly surpass their English-language colleagues in their commission of this media malfeasance, leading to patently absurd formulations including “Tel Aviv considers all of Jerusalem its capital.”

Over the last several years, CAMERA prompted numerous corrections after various media outlets from many countries including France, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and even Israel used Tel Aviv as a metonym to the Israeli government, echoing the journalistic practice of citing a nation’s capital city as shorthand for the country’s government. Last Thursday, American Newsweek was the most recent addition to this list. Earlier this month, CAMERA Arabic compelled rarer corrections: four Arabic reports at CNN and AlHurra.

But the four corrected Arabic-language items at the two American outlets, reported here for the first time, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Arabic-language media referring to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. Thus, in the 18 months between January 2019 and July 2020, CAMERA Arabic counted no less than 400 references to the Israeli authorities, leadership or the whole country as “Tel Aviv” in nine Western media outlets with Arabic reporting (see chart at left). Fifty-four were the work of just one journalist: Amal Shehadeh, Independent Arabia’s Israel correspondent, an Israeli citizen who served on Nazareth’s municipal council on behalf of Hadash.

Arabic speaking journalists’ ubiquitous references to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital is perhaps a fitting if unwitting nod to the coastal city’s famous Hebrew nickname “’Ir Lelo Hafsaka” (“the non-stop city”).
IDF reportedly foils Hezbollah attack in northern Israel
One week after the killing of Ali Kamel Mohsen by Israeli airstrikes in Syria, a Hezbollah squad reportedly infiltrated Israel’s northern border near Shebaa Farms but were thwarted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) before they could carry out an attack.

According to the IDF, the Hezbollah cell successfully infiltrated into Israel before being targeted by Israeli soldiers.

“Preliminary specifications of the incident indicate that a terrorist cell penetrated a few meters beyond the Blue Line into the sovereign territory of the State of Israel. The observers identified the squad, and the terrorists were under observation and fire throughout the incident,” said IDF spokesman Brigadier General Hedi Zilberman.

Zilberman elaborated further saying, “IDF forces opened fire on the terrorists, including firing machine guns, tank fire, and masking the area with artillery smoke. The squad fled to Lebanese territory.”

A short time after the incident occurred, Hezbollah published a statement via its outlet Central Military Media denying its fighters were involved in a clash with the IDF.

“The Islamic Resistance affirms that there has been no clash or shooting on its part in the events of the day until now. Rather, it was only one party, which was the fearful, anxious and tense enemy,” the statement said.

Furthermore, Hezbollah explicitly warned their retaliation for the death of Mohsen was imminent.

“Our response to the martyrdom of the Mujahid brother Ali Kamel Mohsen who was martyred in the Zionist aggression on the outskirts of Damascus International Airport is definitely coming and the Zionists only have to wait for the punishment for their crimes,” the statement said.

Later that day, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gantz called a press conference to convey a message to Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

“Israel will continue to take action against Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily in our region. Nasrallah is embroiling Lebanon – because of Iran. Hezbollah and Lebanon bear full responsibility for this incident and for any attack against the State of Israel emanating from Lebanese territory. Hezbollah needs to understand that it is playing with fire. Any attack against us will be met with great force,” Netanyahu stated.
With Lebanon in virus lockdown, Hezbollah can’t afford an Israel flare-up — yet
And yet, the sense is that such logic may be misplaced and that Hezbollah cannot afford a major military entanglement with Israel — certainly not now, and not in Lebanon. That is not to rule out some kind of further Hezbollah response, but it would be one aimed at avoiding a deterioration into war. Alternatively, Hezbollah could try to target Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights, or simply wait until the festival and the lockdown are over.

It is worth pointing out that Monday’s events in the Mount Dov area underline the degree to which both sides, Israel and Hezbollah, are proving wary in practice of doing too much harm to each other.

At the declarative level, Hezbollah shows contempt and ridicule for Israel. On Tuesday morning, its Al-Ahbar outlet devoted a full page to what it called “Israel fighting the shadows of the resistance fighters” — implying that Monday’s incident occurred mainly in the Israeli imagination. For their part, Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz threaten repeatedly to target Lebanon, but in practice Israel on Monday fired warning shots at the Hezbollah fighters.

In previous incidents, when Hezbollah convoys have been targeted in Syria, Israel has, according to foreign reports, sought to warn drivers and passengers in these convoys before hitting the vehicles themselves. Hezbollah, too, fully understands the significance of hitting Israeli soldiers or Israeli civilians.

Were all that not the case, we would long since have been witnessing a major escalation in the north.
Israel sends reinforcements to north, bracing for imminent attack
The Israel Defense Forces deployed additional reinforcements to the country’s Lebanese and Syrian borders on Tuesday, indicating it was bracing for more violence along the frontiers after an alleged attempted attack by the Hezbollah terror group the day before.

Israeli officials expected an attack on Israeli troops by the Lebanese terror group within the next 48 hours, before the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha on Thursday night, according to an unattributed Channel 12 report on Tuesday.

Over the past week, Hezbollah has threatened some form of retaliation for the death of one of its fighters last week in Syria in an airstrike that it attributed to Israel, but which the Jewish state has not officially acknowledged conducting.

Though the IDF on Tuesday did not confirm that it expected an attack in the coming two days, it indicated that it was bracing for fresh violence on the border, saying it was sending additional “advanced” firepower, powerful intelligence collection equipment and special forces to the area.

The move came a day after the IDF said it thwarted an attempt by Hezbollah to send a team of fighters into the Israeli-controlled territory of Mount Dov, also known as Shebaa Farms, to carry out an attack. According to the military, the Hezbollah cell made it a few meters across the border before IDF troops opened fire at the operatives — apparently not hitting them, but driving them back into Lebanon.
Netanyahu: Hezbollah should know that IDF is prepared for all scenarios
Hezbollah should realize that Israel will do what it takes to defend itself, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on a visit to the IDF Northern Command in Safed on Tuesday.

“I don’t suggest that anyone try the IDF or Israel. We are determined to defend ourselves,” Netanyahu said following a meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Aviv Kochavi, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and others.

Netanyahu’s remarks came the day after the IDF stopped a Hezbollah attack on Israel’s northern borders. He called the clash “important,” in that it prevented a Hezbollah incursion into Israel.

“All that is happening at this moment is a result of an attempt by Iran and its outgrowths in Lebanon,” he stated.

Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah is “serving the Iranian interest at Lebanon’s expense,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister said Israel “will continue to thwart Iranian attempts to establish itself in our area.”
A most peculiar attack: Will Hezbollah deem border fracas adequate vengeance?
In the past, the very act of attempting to attack Israeli troops was sufficient to bring a round such as the current one to a close, regardless of the actual outcome. This was true both if IDF soldiers were killed — as in 2015, when Hezbollah fired an ATGM at an Israeli jeep, killing two soldiers, in response to the deaths of six Hezbollah members and an Iranian general in a strike attributed to Israel — and if the Israeli soldiers emerged unscathed — as occurred last September when three missiles were fired at an Israeli military position and an armored ambulance, all missing their target, albeit narrowly in the case of the vehicle.

Yet on Monday evening, instead of lauding the operatives’ infiltration or finding some other way to turn the alleged failed attack into a victory — as it did last September — Hezbollah officially denied that its fighters had attempted an operation of any kind and said that the retaliation for Jawad’s death was “definitely coming.”

Israel, for some reason, has not sought to disprove Hezbollah’s denial by releasing its security camera footage of the Hezbollah operatives, which would at least prove if armed men indeed infiltrated into Israeli territory from Lebanon.

So far, the IDF has succeeded in its mission of not presenting an easy target to Hezbollah on the border. Unnecessary personnel have been cleared out from the border, exposed roadways have been closed off to military vehicles, additional Iron Dome batteries have been deployed on the frontier. Maintaining that discipline is key, however, as one slip-up can present enough of an opening for an attack. This is what occurred last September when the armored ambulance traveled along a vulnerable road in violation of orders and was nearly hit by an ATGM.

Though civilian life quickly returned to normal in Israeli towns along the border following Monday’s incident, the military remained on high alert. The coming days, the IDF spokesperson said, would be “tense and complicated” — as Israel waits to see if Hezbollah’s will accept the alleged failed attack as sufficient retribution for the death of its fighter, or if another assault is in the works.
Hezbollah denies border attack, says response to fighter’s death yet to come
Hezbollah on Monday denied carrying out any attack or exchanging fire with Israeli forces along the Israel-Lebanon border, hours after the Israel Defense Forces announced it thwarted an infiltration by members of the terror group, which set off border clashes but injured no Israelis.

The Iran-backed terror organization also said it would respond at a future date to the killing of one of its fighters in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria last week.

Israeli defense officials scoffed at the terror group’s denial, saying the infiltration attempt was filmed by military security cameras and that the operatives who took part in it were armed. The Israel Defense Forces said it was considering releasing the footage from the incident.

In a statement read aloud on its al-Manar television network, Hezbollah said: “All that the enemy claims in the media about thwarting an infiltration operation from Lebanese territory into occupied Palestine, as well as talk of the fall of martyrs and wounded Hezbollah members in bombing operations that took place in the vicinity of the occupation sites in the Shebaa Farms — is absolutely false.”

It asserted that “these announcements are absolutely false attempts to generate illusory and fake victories.”

“The Islamic Resistance affirms that there has been no attack or shooting on its part. Rather, it was only one party, which was the fearful, anxious and tense enemy,” it said, adding that “the enemy is running scared both on the ground and in the media, scared of its own shadow.”

Lebanese PM Urges Caution, Israel Vows to Defend Itself, Amid Border Tension
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Tuesday Israel had violated his country’s sovereignty with a “dangerous military escalation” along the frontier on Monday and urged caution after a rise in border tensions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would do “everything necessary” to defend itself, a day after saying Israeli forces had thwarted an attempt by Hezbollah to infiltrate across the frontier. The Iran-backed Shi’ite group denied this.

A Reuters witness in Lebanon counted dozens of Israeli shells hitting the disputed Shebaa Farms area on Monday. No casualties were reported on either side of the frontier.

“I call for caution in coming days because I fear the situation will deteriorate in light of heightened tensions on our border,” Diab said on Twitter.

Israel was trying to “change the rules of engagement,” he said.

Lebanon’s government tasked the foreign minister with filing a complaint about the “Israeli assault on the south” to the UN Security Council.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Turkish Flotilla Aims To Relieve ‘Siege’ Of Arabs Under COVID Lockdown In Israel (satire)
A group of human rights activists vowed today to break through what they called Israel’s “immoral, illegal, and deadly siege” of Arab homes that the government imposed across the country in an attempt to prevent or slow the spread of a dangerous pathogen.

Humanitarian volunteers from various organizations teamed up for at least the second time in the last fifteen years to conduct a maritime mission to relieve Israeli-imposed restrictions on movement of people and materials, this time vowing not to be thwarted by such obstacles as Israeli naval commandos, the perfect legality of Israeli measures to protect its citizenry, and the fact that no one has asked them to do what they plan to do, nor do they see what constructive purpose it might serve.

Last-minute preparations got underway Tuesday morning as crew and passengers boarded the Mavi Marmara II, named after a vessel that failed to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010 – this time, with a mission to Israel proper, where the activists hope to release Arabs, mostly Muslims, now homebound or restricted to areas close to home. The pretext that Israeli authorities have invoked this time involves concerns over the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 now ravaging the world. In Israel, the disease has claimed more than 400 lives in Israel and infected tens of thousands, but the activists know the real reason for the restrictions: Israel seeks to oppress its non-Jewish citizens, going so far as to apply the restrictions to its Jewish citizens as well, and even enforcing those restrictions more assiduously in Jewish-majority areas, as if such measures can conceal the true motive.
PMW: Smuggled sperm lets terrorist prisoner father a daughter; PA TV ensures murderer sees baby
An Israeli Arab terrorist, Walid Daqqa, who is serving life in prison for participating in the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier in 1984, smuggled sperm out of prison and fathered a child, as Palestinian Media Watch exposed earlier this year.

At the time, the reporter from official PA TV who interviewed the murderer’s wife complained that the imprisoned terrorist had not been allowed a visit in prison by his newborn daughter. PA TV decided to remedy this and make sure murderer Daqqa saw his daughter Milad - at least on TV. Interviewed on PA TV, the terrorist’s wife Sana’a Daqqa, stated that by Milad’s birth her murderer husband had “freed himself from prison”:

Official PA TV host: “Let us return to Sana’a Daqqa (i.e., wife of terrorist prisoner Walid Daqqa) so we can see pretty Milad. We want [to see] Milad alone in the frame, so Walid can see her now through the program Giants of Endurance for the first time, despite the occupation and the occupation’s cruelty. We are now seeing Milad. Walid Daqqa sees you now. We send him all the love and blessings in Gilboa Prison.”

Wife of murderer Walid Daqqa, Sana’a Daqqa: “We think that Walid actually freed himself from prison with the birth of Milad... This is the greatest victory and defiance... I want to thank PA TV, and you [host] Samer, because without PA TV Walid wouldn’t have been able to follow and see the birth of Milad.”
[Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, May 22, 2020]

Terrorist Daqqa is not the only prisoner who has fathered children by smuggling sperm. To encourage other prisoners, PA TV makes sure to highlight this phenomenon, both by interviewing the mothers and filming the resulting offspring.

Recently, a host on the program The Giants also explained the “strange” and “difficult” journey the smuggled sperm travels from the prison to the medical clinic where the wife of the terrorist prisoner is inseminated:

World Bank grants Palestinians $30M in welfare aid
The World Bank on Monday approved a $30 million grant to the Palestinian Authority in an effort to help the cash-strapped government stay afloat.

The funds have been earmarked for the creation of jobs and other welfare projects seeking to help the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian economy in both territories has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kanthan Shankar, the World Bank's regional director for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said that the global pandemic poses "an unprecedented challenge with grave implications for the already struggling Palestinian economy.

"Fighting poverty and unemployment is a top priority for the World Bank," he added. "This grant seeks to mitigate the [pandemic's] impact on [Palestinian] households by creating employment alternatives."

Will IAEA stick to August 1 ultimatum with Iran? - analysis
In mid-July, International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Rafael Grossi gave an unprecedented interview to The Wall Street Journal in which he essentially gave Iran an August 1 deadline to cooperate with three unresolved nuclear program issues or face "bad" consequences.

He added, "I keep insisting on the absolute necessity for us to resolve this issue very soon," and that the issue was not just going to go away.

For the normally diplomatic and politically squeamish IAEA – whose purpose is inspections, not enforcement– these were beyond fighting words. Many observers said that Grossi was setting the stage for referring the issue to the UN Security Council for a showdown.

So will there be a showdown or will Grossi retreat from his tough stance?

If the issue went to the UNSC, on the table could be snapping back worldwide sanctions, extending the conventional arms embargo set to expire in October, or both.
Explosion in Iran's Kermanshah province, no casualties reported - Mizan
An explosion has set a fuel tank on fire in Iran's western province of Kermanshah on Tuesday, Iran's Mizan news agency reported, in the latest in a series of fires and explosions, some of which have hit sensitive sites.

"An explosion in a fuel tank occurred in Dolat Abad industrial area parking area," Mizan said, but there were no reports of casualties.

Iran's Student News Agency ISNA said six fuel tanks were exploded that caused a major fire in the area. A video of the incident published by Mizan showed plumes of dense black smoke billowing into the air.

"Some 100 firefighters are trying to contain the fire in the area. There were no casualties but some people were injured," the deputy head of
Kermanshah's fire department, Keyvan Maleki, told ISNA, adding that authorities were investigating the cause of the explosion.

There have been several explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities since late June.

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