Sunday, January 24, 2021

From Ian:

What apartheid?
Last week, I woke up one morning in my Nazareth home and was astonished to discover I was living under a racist, apartheid regime whose only purpose is “the promotion and perpetuation of the superiority of one group of people—the Jews.” I rubbed my eyes, read the story in greater depth, and calmed down as soon as I realized the reports were based on yet another report by the left-wing NGO B’Tselem.

The problem is that this report has spread like wildfire around the world, and the propaganda is working.

B’Tselem, which presents itself as a human-rights organization, is in fact known for its clear political stance that is in contrast to Israel’s position. As it turns out, people have no boundaries. How dare they claim that I, an Arab-Israeli who served along with Jewish soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces and managed hundreds of Jewish employees, live under an apartheid regime?

How can anyone say our society is living under an apartheid regime when among us you will find doctors, judges and even lawmakers? How can you say Samer Haj-Yehia lives in an apartheid regime when he is the head of the biggest bank in Israel? B’Tselem has already broken the record for hypocrisy, but to compare Israel to an apartheid regime is not only a distorted lie but an insult to all those South Africans who actually lived through apartheid. It is contempt for and cynical exploitation of the concept.

I am not here to claim that everything in Israel is perfect. Some things need to be fixed—and how. But show me a country where everything is perfect. I look around at our neighbors in the region and thank God I was born in the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. True, the Arab minority in Israel faces challenges, just as other national minorities do in other countries. Yet while minorities of all kinds across the Middle East—Shi’ite Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yazidi, Kurds, and, of course, the Christians—are persecuted, Israel is the only country that grants minorities equal rights and the ability to influence their future.
Martin Luther King and the Jews
With deference, Prof. Bontemps relayed many instances of Dr. King acknowledging the organized and individual contributions of Jews, as well as bravery demonstrated while helping people of color during especially difficult and dangerous times. These included demonstrations where dogs, police batons, fire hoses and projectiles were employed.

There was no differentiation in treatment shown white Jews and blacks detained or arrested. Jews were often targeted upon release by waiting white mobs. In fact, during the 1950s and ‘60s, whites who aided in the cause of black civil rights and voter registration generally received harsher treatment as the price for what was construed, race betrayal.

That was then and this is now. While African-Americans are finding a modicum of better acceptance, the message of the Holocaust seems to have vanished. Antisemitism once again afflicts our nation, as well as much of the world, and is escalating. Shame upon those who choose silence or purposeful ignorance: black, white and brown; Jew, gentile, Muslim and others.

People, who know better and should be speaking up all too frequently seek cover within the silent majority. This includes people of color who have forgotten their history as they close their eyes, cover their ears and shut their minds to the painful malice afflicting Jews, and their tiny promised refuge in the Middle East, Israel.

I cannot imagine Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. approving of the way Jews are being treated in today’s America. I strongly suspect, at the very least, he would not stand idly by, in the face of torment endured by Jewish brothers and sisters – no matter if the ranks of the perpetrators included fellow reverends spewing antisemitic rhetoric, or a US president whose memory feeds unjustified hostility toward Israel – each would be held to account. Gut-wrenching falsehoods permeating today’s society, including the labeling of the Holocaust nonexistent or greatly exaggerated, would not be summarily dismissed.

Dr. King, a Zionist in his own right, would not have chosen silence as that would have violated his belief of an injustice done to one is an injustice done to all, and must not be excused by any.

A toast to Mike Pompeo
Pompeo separated himself from the current chaos and discord and summarized the legacy he was leaving behind in a logical, methodical, and clear manner. He placed the world's largest superpower on the side of good, fighting against the bad guys. That may sound simplistic, but it is a reflection of the simple line that refuses to be politically correct and refuses to play that all-too-familiar game of polite smiles, meaningless Nobel Peace Prizes, and a submission to the bullies around the world the likes of which the world witnessed with the late British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's talk of "peace in our time" at a time when everyone knows war is knocking at the door. Or as Pompeo succinctly put it, "Wishful thinking won't restrain authoritarians in Caracas, or in Beijing, or in Tehran."

And so, beyond our little slice of heaven, the US has been revealed in all its glory as a supporter of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and a nation that stands up to the Chinese communist party and with the Uighurs, adopts a maximist policy of pressure on Iran, fights Al Qaeda, stands with the Iranian people and breaks through fossilized conceptual norms on the Middle East that saw the world hang its hopes for peace on the capricious tendencies of the Palestinians.

Nor did Pompeo hesitate to speak matter-of-factly about international bodies. "The U.S. is stronger when we acknowledge the failings of international institutions like @UN and try to fix them," he tweeted, noting the US had not wasted taxpayer money on failed and corrupt institutions like the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health Organization, and others.

He was one of the most important figures in the administration and left behind an impressive legacy. He also declared that "America has no greater friend than Israel and the people of Israel."

In an honest and genuine world, he would have received the Nobel Peace Prize. Pompeo, however, isn't waiting for recognition. He was excited about the Golan Heights and about Judea and Samaria. On the occasion of the end of his tenure, we should raise a glass of fine Pompeo from the Binyamin vineyards in his honor.

What will Israeli and US leaders do when the Palestinian issue returns?
That the Palestinians still talk of ultimate victory, the end of Israel and a constant denial of Jewish rights and history demonstrates that they still maintain hope of persevering.

This hope must be dashed.

Thankfully, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi appears to understand this and the victory paradigm has become very much embedded in new IDF thinking and strategies.

In the political sphere, this understanding is also growing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challengers like Gideon Sa’ar, Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Liberman and Benny Gantz have all talked of victory over the Palestinians in recent years.

“My vision [of Israel victory]: no concessions... Everything I do, I do from a position of strength. Great strength and power,” Netanyahu said during a radio interview in 2019.

“An agreement may be possible in the future, but only after Israel’s victory is clear and absolute,” Sa’ar wrote in an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post a few months ago.

These are all important statements that should now become concerted action.

An Israel victory is not just important to ensure Israel’s long-term stability, it is also good for Palestinians. When freed of their leaders violent rejectionism, the Palestinian economy would have millions freed up from payments to terrorists and their families, regular incitement in the media and religious and education system. Instead of focusing energies and resources on battling Israel in the military, diplomatic and economic sphere, the Palestinians could refocus on building up their institutions and polity.

It is a win-win situation for all.
HonestReporting CEO on ILTV: Middle East Developments as President Biden Takes Office
HonestReporting CEO Daniel Pomerantz talks on ILTV about the new US administration, including the direction it may take on various policy issues, an apparent misunderstanding involving the US ambassador to Israel's Twitter account, and the ramifications of the prospective sale of F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates.

How Israel can navigate uncharted waters
While retaining the status quo with Europe, Israel can seek new paths that could increase its resilience to the relentless pressure it is subjected to. Like Bleichroeder, Israel can excel and empower itself economically. Unlike Bleichroeder, it does not have to resort to useless and ineffectual approval seeking which it can never achieve.

A possible way for Israel to increase its resilience is to form an additional bloc. Such a bloc could consist of Australia, India, Israel and Singapore with distinct advantages:

1-All these countries currently have a strong interest in expanding their knowledge based economies.
2-These countries all enjoy sophisticated research and development facilities, excellent universities and enormous human and financial resources with a combined population of well over a billion.
3-These countries utilize western type legal systems essential for controlling IP, innovation and technology.
4-None of these countries have a history of “Jewish baggage.”

While these countries are already involved in various joint research projects with Israel, a new and larger formal bloc based conceptually and operationally on the Horizon 2020 could be formed. This bloc would be an improvement on the Horizon 2020 especially with regard to the banning of some Israeli scientists depending on where they live. Already, as a result of the Abraham Accords, Israeli products from Judea/Samaria flow freely into the Gulf States. Moreover, the opening of these markets increases Israel’s economic muscle and would provide a tailwind to this proposed bloc. Recently Israel sent 400 business leaders to the Dubai GITEX trade fair which is a showcase for hi- tech innovation.
Jonathan Tobin: What Would Hiring Robert Malley Say About Biden’s Plans on Iran?
Malley is, therefore, Iran’s ideal candidate for the position of American envoy.

Rather than answer the trenchant criticisms of Malley’s awful record, his friends — in particular, the other Jews who were, along with him, part of a cohort of State Department peace processors determined to unfairly pressure Israel and to appease the Palestinians — claimed both in 2008 and now that his reputation is being smeared by his critics. They’re right that he shouldn’t be held accountable for the fact that his father was a well-known Communist sympathizer and that he doesn’t directly advocate Israel’s destruction or for allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Still, Malley is, nevertheless, a perfect example of establishment thinking that is not merely wrongheaded, but has led to disastrous decisions that both made the world less safe and made peace in the Middle East less likely. The contrast between the policies he advocates and those implemented by the amateurs that ran foreign policy under former President Donald Trump that both weakened Iran and led to normalization agreements between Israel and Arab and Muslim states is instructive.

Without knowing what’s going on inside the heads of Biden, Blinken, and Sullivan, it’s hard to say which side came out ahead in the recent exchange about Malley. But Malley’s opponents have, if nothing else, made it clear to the White House that appointing him will generate controversy and a fight that could be both time-consuming and a distraction at a time when they already have more than enough on their plates.

The reason why these kinds of political games are played has less to do with personal ambitions than it does with the consequences of such appointments. The question of which individuals are put in such crucial positions matters. It is for that reason that those who are concerned about whether Biden will vigorously defend American interests have voiced concerns about the appointment of Wendy Sherman as the No. 2 person in the State Department after her past disastrous negotiations with North Korea and Iran.

It is policy that is at stake in the battle over personnel. If Blinken means what he says and Biden is determined to be tough on Iran, then that is more important than whether or not Malley is given a job in his administration. But if toughness is wanted, then why hire someone who has staked their career on justifying appeasement of terrorists like Arafat and Islamist tyrants like the Iranians? That’s why the question of whether Malley is brought into the administration not only matters, but will also speak volumes about what’s in store for America and its allies in the next four years.
Biden Appoints Former Palestinian UNRWA Official as Director of NSC Intelligence
Maher al-Bitar has served as Foreign Affairs Officer in the Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, and holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law, and is a member of the Maryland Bar. He was Rep. Adam Schiff’s top legal adviser and played a key role in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump, alongside Dan Goldman who worked as the impeachment manager’s top lawyer. Goldman called al-Bitar “a brilliant lawyer.”

Schiff told Politico al-Bitar was a “superb choice” for the NSC job, with an “extraordinary” breadth of talent and expertise when it comes to the intelligence community and the challenges it faces after being “battered” by Trump for four years. “I can’t think of anyone more suited to the role than Maher,” Schiff said.

Robert Malley, who is expected to be appointed President Biden’s special envoy to Iran, tweeted: “Can’t think of a better choice than Maher. The most professional, principled, dedicated public servant I’ve had the honor to work with, a wonderful colleague, and a dear friend.”

Ziad Asali, the founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, tweeted: “Agree. Maher Bitar is a dedicated public servant who had the talent and the skills to rise up the ranks both at NSC and Congress. His career provides a roadmap to success for motivated young people to follow. An eternal learner and #hardest worker who plays fair.”
Gerald Steinberg: Israel isn't alone in the fight against the ICC
The International Criminal Court at The Hague, similar to other international initiatives, is exploited cynically despite its good intentions. The ICC is a political body operating behind a legal exterior.

It was established after diplomatic talks that culminated in the Rome Statute in 1998, and even then it was clear that Israel would become the main target of Arab states and anti-Israel groups claiming to champion international humanitarian law.

Over the past two decades, having invested tens of millions of dollars, euros and pounds, these political players have spearheaded an ongoing campaign to drag Israel through the ICC's doors. One of the organizations leading the anti-Israel industry, Human Rights Watch, is managed by Ken Roth, an obsessively anti-Israel activist who has surrounded himself with other extremists.

Amnesty International also operated over this period, albeit less effectively. And alongside the familiar Israeli non-governmental organizations, numerous Palestinian NGOs with ties to the PLO and PFLP terrorist groups also joined this campaign over the past decade.

These groups rely on funding from European governments. Four Palestinian organizations − Al-Haq, Al-Dameer, PCHR and Al-Mezan − have received direct funding from Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, and Demark to document "war crimes" and petition the ICC. Other groups involved in similar activities are funded by Great Britain, the European Union, Belgium, Germany and others.
Israel to ask White House to protect it from ICC war crimes investigation
Israel will ask US President Joe Biden's administration for the White House's continued cooperation on efforts to thwart anti-Israel moves by the International Criminal Court.

Israel Hayom has learned that Israel's first request on that front will be to coordinate the selection of the ICC's next chief prosecutor in the coming weeks.

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who has served in that role for the last nine years, is set to step down in the coming weeks. In recent years, she and the ICC have been the target of US sanctions under former US President Donald Trump, following her decision to investigate whether the US and Israel committed war crimes in the war in Afghanistan and 2014's Operation Protective Edge, respectively.

At the time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, head of The Hague court's Jurisdiction, Complementarity, and Cooperation Division, were sanctioned over the court's "illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction."

In his executive order, Trump made clear the move was also aimed at protecting Israel.

Biden and his administration have yet to publicly state their position on the ICC. Under former US President Barack Obama's term, during which Biden served as vice president, the US refrained from joining the court due to the perceived threat it posed to American security forces.
UAE Cabinet Approves Establishment of Embassy in Tel Aviv
The United Arab Emirates on Sunday approved establishing an embassy in the city of Tel Aviv in Israel, the UAE government said on its Twitter account, citing a cabinet decision.

The UAE and Israel agreed to normalize relations in August.
Cabinet to okay Morocco normalization, debate travel ban to curb virus variants
The cabinet was set to convene on Sunday, with ministers slated to approve the establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and Morocco and debate a proposal to suspend all passenger flights to and from Israel for two weeks due to growing fears over more-infectious coronavirus variants.

Also on the agenda for Sunday’s cabinet meeting was the approval of Katy Perry as the permanent Israel Prisons Service commissioner.

Morocco was the third Arab state last year to normalize ties with Israel under US-brokered deals, joining the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Sudan has also announced plans to normalize ties with Israel. In return for the agreement, the US president fulfilled a decades-old goal of Morocco by backing its contested sovereignty in Western Sahara.

Once the cabinet signs off on the normalization agreement with Morocco, the Knesset will vote on the treaty. The previous normalization deals were unanimously approved by the cabinet, while in parliament, all but the Arab lawmakers backed the pacts.

Sunday’s cabinet meeting will also focus on a proposal to halt flights to and from Israel, with health officials sounding the alarm on the coronavirus variants that have emerged in Britain, South Africa and Brazil and are rapidly spreading worldwide.

Israel sees 60% drop in hospitalizations for age 60-plus 3 weeks after 1st shot
Vaccines are quickly averting serious cases of COVID-19 among the most vulnerable members of society, an Israeli healthcare provider has indicated.

The full effects of Pfizer’s vaccine are only slated to kick in around a month after the first shot, but data from Israel, home to the world’s fastest vaccination drive, has already shown that there is a stark drop in infections even before this point.

Attracting widespread international interest by sharing early data, Maccabi Healthcare Services reported earlier this month that it has seen a 60 percent reduction in coronavirus infections three weeks after the first shot is administered.

But it wasn’t clear if the benefits were being felt equally by those who have a propensity to mild infection and those who would be likely to take COVID-19 badly.

Now, Maccabi is starting to answer the question that hospitals and health ministers around the world are anxiously asking, amid fears of health service meltdowns: How quickly will COVID-19 wards start to see the benefits of vaccination?
Coronavirus: Gov’t shuts airport until end of month, aliyah to stop
Ben-Gurion Airport will completely close until the end of the month starting Monday at midnight. The cabinet approved the decision in a meeting on Sunday.

Travelers will be prevented from entering or leaving the country except in cases approved by a special committee. The ban on entering Israel includes new immigrants making aliyah, marking the first time that immigration under the Law of Return has been halted in the history of the country. Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata opposed the move during the cabinet meeting.

“We are sealing our skies, except for limited exceptions, in order to prevent the entry of the virus mutations, and also to ensure that we progress quickly with our vaccination that more Israelis are vaccinated soon,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the meeting.

According to the outline approved by the government, no foreign plane will be allowed into the country except for cargo planes, firefighting planes and flights devoted to medical evacuation. Moreover, the license of Israeli airlines has been temporary suspended. No one will be allowed to leave the country except for medical treatment, participating in legal proceedings or attending the funeral of a relative. Other requests for humanitarian reason will be examined and approved on an ad-hoc basis by the directors general of the Health and Transportation ministries.
Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry Predicts Uptick in Antisemitism in 2021 Due to Coronavirus
Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry released a stark warning Sunday that Jews around the world will likely face a pronounced spike in antisemitic incidents in 2021 due to the spreading of conspiracy theories concerning the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry’s annual report that state actors, including Iran among others, spread rumors and blood libels that Jews caused the virus’ outbreak to financially profit from the chaos caused, according to the Times of Israel.

The report noted that while the worldwide lockdowns led to a sharp decline in antisemitic attacks in 2020 and to zero deaths in such incidents for the first time in years, they also laid the groundwork for a predicted rise in prejudice against Jews after the pandemic is over, particularly with people spending inordinately longer online.

It added that online antisemitism rose significantly, particularly by using the #COVID48 hashtag which compares Israel to the virus — with a nod to the year of the country’s Declaration of Independence — echoing past depictions of Jews, some dating back centuries, as viruses seeking to take over the world. It says that the hashtag, used approximately a quarter of a million times, appears to be an Iranian campaign.
Israel Bars Anti-Zionist Groups From Lecturing in Schools Amid B’Tselem Claims of ‘Apartheid’
Earlier this month, Israel’s education minister moved to ban B’Tselem from lecturing in Israeli schools after the self-described human rights group accused the government of being an “apartheid regime.”

“The Ministry of Education under my leadership engraved on its banner the promotion of Zionist, Jewish and democratic values, and it acts accordingly,” said Education Minister Yoav Galant. “We will not allow organizations that call the State of Israel an ‘apartheid state’ to lecture to students about to be drafted into the Israel Defense Forces.”

The unprecedented move by Galant to bar B’Tselem has prompted further calls for an expansion of a law not to permit anti-Israel organizations from entering schools.

The move by Galant came after a new report from B’Tselem accused the Israeli government of being an “apartheid regime.” This is the first time that the left-wing organization, which supports the BDS movement against Israel, has used the heavily loaded term.

“It is one regime between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and we must look at the full picture and see it for what it is: apartheid,” the group’s executive director, Hagai El-Ad, said in a statement.

The B’Tselem report also went further in its accusations against the Israeli government, saying that Israeli Arabs “do not enjoy the same rights as Jewish citizens by either law or practice.”
Security forces arrest Palestinian planning terror attack
Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian resident of Kabatiya early Sunday, who was likely planning a terror attack. He was apprehended with two explosive devices, two M-16 rifles, loaded magazines, hand grenades and a combat vest and helmet. The arrest was carried out in cooperation between Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operatives and Border Police anti-terror officers. The forces apprehended a vehicle, where the suspect was sitting with two others, and arrested him. A police sapper detonated the explosive devices in a controlled manner and the suspect was transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning.
Islamic Movement leader shot dead in Jaffa, 2nd man moderately wounded
A senior official in the Islamic Movement was shot dead and a second man moderately injured on Sunday when a gunman opened fire in the central city of Jaffa.

Mohammad Abu Nijm, a well-known activist in the political movement, was critically injured in the shooting. He and the second man were taken to Wolfson Hospital in Holon for treatment, where Abu Nijm later succumbed to his injuries.

There were no details given on the identity of the second man.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, 12 Arabs have been killed since the beginning of 2021 inside Israel. Seven were Arab Israeli citizens, while another five were East Jerusalem Palestinians or Palestinians working inside Israel.

Channel 12 news reported that the shooting on HaSaba Mishpola Street in the coastal city was being investigated by police as an assassination attempt and that a manhunt was underway.

Founded in the 1970s, the Islamic Movement is a political organization, religious outreach group and social service provider. The movement split two decades ago — the more moderate southern branch is now part of the predominantly Arab Joint List, while the more hardline northern branch has been outlawed in Israel.

In 2020, 96 Arab Israelis were killed, by far the highest annual toll in recent memory. Many Arab Israelis blame the crisis on police inaction, saying that police do not enforce the law in their cities and towns.

The absence of the rule of law, Arab lawmakers allege, has enabled illegal weaponry, protection rackets and organized crime organizations to spread freely in Arab communities.
Senior PA health official: We’re hesitant about using Russian vaccine
A senior Palestinian Authority Health Ministry official has expressed concern about the Russian Sputnik vaccine, an essential pillar in Ramallah’s coronavirus immunization plan, and indicated that many doses of coronavirus vaccine might still be months away from reaching the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority has announced deals with four companies to provide doses for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza: AstraZeneca, Moderna, the Chinese government-backed Sinopharm, and the Russian-backed Sputnik V.

Sputnik V and Sinopharm have both been controversial due to the lack of transparency in their testing processes, with some health experts initially expressing skepticism about their safety and effectiveness. Both vaccines have been approved independently by several other countries for emergency use.

While expressing confidence in the Chinese vaccine, senior PA health official Osama al-Najjar said that he had some reservations about the Russian Sputnik vaccine.

“We’re hesitant about using these vaccines, and there will be special procedures taken. We’re considering starting them on a small group under close observation before widespread use, as they haven’t gotten emergency authorization from the World Health Organization. There’s still cause for apprehension about them,” said al-Najjar, who serves as director-general for supportive medical services in the ministry, as well as leading the national union of Palestinian doctors.

An initial shipment of the Sputnik vaccine — enough to vaccinate 50,000 Palestinians — is scheduled to arrive in February, according to statements by Palestinian and Russian officials.

Al-Najjar estimated that the AstraZeneca vaccine would not arrive in Ramallah until mid-March, adding that Ramallah had already paid half of the doses’ cost upfront to the British pharmaceutical company. The rest of the vaccines, he said, might not arrive until the end of 2021.
PMW: Which songs define Palestinian “cultural and… national identity”?
The PA’s “cultural and… national identity” are songs about rifles, violence, ‎murderers, and martyrdom:
“I'm coming with my rifle… I’m coming towards you, my enemy”
“Take my blood… The Martyrs’ blood illuminates our path”
Murderers of Jews in 1929 are “noble heroes”
PA misrepresents photo of three Syrian independence leaders hung by ‎Turkish Ottoman forces in 1916 as Arab murderers hung by the British in 1930. Those three had “committed particularly brutal murders [of Jews] at Safed ‎and Hebron” [British Government report]. The PA defines their brutal ‎murders as "the most wondrous things in the pages of the [history of ‎the] struggle against the invading occupiers. They are the noble heroes ‎of Palestine.”‎

The Palestinian Authority currently broadcasts a TV quiz with songs that the PA ‎views as an integral part of Palestinian culture and which “still fascinate us with ‎values and meanings,” as the narrator of the quiz explains. Palestinian Media ‎Watch has exposed that the content of these revered songs and accompanying ‎visuals praise violence and terror against Israel. ‎

One song is apparently so valuable to the PA that it decided to feature it twice in the ‎quiz. The lyrics address the “enemy” – Israel – and state that “I'm coming with my ‎rifle… I'm coming towards you, my enemy… with cleavers and knives.” The second ‎time the PA broadcast this song in the quiz, it was added to another song by the ‎same writer. While the songs play, images and footage of Palestinians carrying and ‎firing weapons and buildings exploding are shown:
Official PA TV narrator: “Because songs are a basic part of our culture ‎and they express our national identity… and because these songs are ‎present in our consciousness and still fascinate us with values and ‎meanings… It’s here: ‘The Tune of the Homeland.’”‎
Lyrics: “We pledge to Allah - we won’t leave! ...‎
We pledge to the revolution, the revolutionaries, and the public – we ‎won’t leave! ...”‎
Narrator: “Who wrote the song ‘We pledge to Allah - we won’t leave!’‎‏?‏‎”‎
Lyrics: “I'm coming towards you, my enemy, from every house, ‎neighborhood, and street
I'm coming with my rifle and my faith, I'm coming towards you, my ‎enemy
Our war is a war of the streets
I'm coming towards you, my enemy”‎
[Official PA TV, The Tune of the Homeland, Jan. 1 (twice), 2, 4 (twice), 5, 6 (twice), 2021]‎

Additional lyrics of the last song, which were not included in the sound bite at the ‎end of the quiz, explicitly mentions the weapons to be used against “the enemy”: ‎
“I'm coming towards you, my enemy, from every house, neighborhood ‎and street
We're going down from every house with cleavers and knives”
Fatah TV host presents murderers as the essence of Fatah

Imprisoned terrorist murderers are “proud lions… the best of humanity”

Saudi Arabia says it intercepted ‘hostile target’ over capital
Saudi Arabia intercepted a “hostile target” over Riyadh on Saturday, said state media in the kingdom which has come under repeated attack from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2015.

An explosion was heard in the Saudi capital at around 11:00 a.m. local time, AFP correspondents reported.

“I heard a loud sound and thought that something had fallen from the sky,” said one resident, who lives in the Al-Sulaimaniyah district of Riyadh. “The whole house was shaking.”

The Saudi-led coalition, which backs Yemen’s internationally recognized government against the Houthis, said it had “intercepted and destroyed a hostile air target going towards Riyadh,” without elaborating, according to state-run Al Ekhbariya television station.

Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport said there were a number of flight delays, but it was not immediately clear if they were linked to Saturday’s incident.

Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly targeted by the Houthis since its intervention in the Yemen war in 2015.

It is rare, however, for drones and missiles launched by the Houthis to reach the kingdom’s capital — about 700 kilometers (435 miles) from the Yemeni border.

The Shiite rebels have yet to comment on the incident, which comes only days after Joe Biden was sworn-in as US president, replacing Donald Trump.

BBC Jerusalem correspondent’s amplification of political campaign persists
However after only just over a minute of reporting on Israel’s agreement with Pfizer whereby the company will receive epidemiological data in order “to determine whether herd immunity is achieved after reaching a certain percentage of vaccine coverage in Israel”, Bateman nevertheless squeezed his political agenda into the story.

Bateman: “But at the same time, as many things are, it is contested here because Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza – 5 million of them – haven’t yet received any vaccines and human rights groups have called on Israel to make those available. Israel says it’s the Palestinians’ responsibility under the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority…ah…is due to be…ah…bringing in – in the next few months, it thinks – either the Russian vaccine or the Oxford AstaZenica vaccine.”

As in his previous reporting on the topic, Bateman afforded the ‘human rights’ halo to a campaign initiated by group of political NGOs without any disclosure of their agendas or the fact that some of them have engaged in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns. Also in common with his earlier reporting is his contortion of the terms of a 25 year-old agreement witnessed by international parties into something which ‘Israel says’.

Bateman’s self-conscription to that political campaign clearly renders him incapable of providing accurate and impartial reporting to BBC audiences on this topic, even when specifically asked to avoid “political implications”.
La Presse’s Isabelle Hachey Spreads Falsehood that Israel Denied Palestinians the COVID Vaccine
There’s no foundation to Isabelle Hachey’s adopting the canard on January 14 in La Presse that Israel has denied Palestinians the COVID-19 vaccine.

What Ms. Hachey failed to acknowledge and to disclose to La Presse readers is that:
1. Israel isn’t required to provide vaccines to Palestinians who, according to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority provides healthcare to its own citizens.
2. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has refused to coordinate purchasing and distribution of the vaccine with Israel, saying that “We have our own government and Ministry of Health, and they are making huge efforts to get the vaccine.” The PA instead is procuring 4 million doses of the vaccine from Russia.
3. Israel has distributed, per the PA’s request, dozens of vaccine doses to the PA for “humanitarian cases”.
4. Despite being at an official state of war with the Hamas terror group, Israel regularly facilitates access for tens of thousands of Palestinian Gazans to be treated in Israeli hospitals. Last year in fact, Israeli doctors held a COVID-19 training course for 20 medical workers from the Gaza Strip. Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, praised these coordination efforts as “excellent.”
5. Israel is vaccinating all of its citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, without discrimination. This includes so-called Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem. As well, Israeli citizens who reside in Judea and Samaria are being vaccinated by Israel.
6. The Palestinian Authority should stop paying millions of dollars of terrorist salaries through the “pay for slay” program, along with clamping down on rampant corruption which enriches Palestinian leaders and work to supply vaccines faster to its people.
Finally, Ms. Hachey also conveniently overlooked that in addition to recently approving 800 housing units in Judea and Samaria, Israel also Ok’d hundreds of Palestinian structures in Area C of the west bank. Details matter!
Israeli ‘Folding Vehicle’ Company Aims for Tel Aviv Stock Exchange IPO
Israel-based “folding car” company City Transformer announced on Sunday that it will be carrying out an initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a valuation of NIS 450 million ($137.5 million) to NIS 600 million ($183.4 million).

The company that was founded in 2014 develops an ultra-light electrical vehicle capable of folding its chassis at a push of a button, making it easier to park.

According to the company’s announcement, a total of NIS 35 million ($10 million) has been invested in it so far from private investors and grants from the Israel Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Energy. The IPO is set to take place in the second quarter of 2021, in parallel to the rollout of the company’s first batch of CT-1 vehicles that aim to receive EU approval for its classification as a quadricycle.

Getting EU approval would mean that the vehicles can be marketed in Europe and as a result in Israel too, since it follows the EU standard. Neither electric nor fuel-powered quadricycles have gained much success in Israel so far, with sales declining from several hundred to only a handful of units in the past few years.
European Jewish Association to mark Int'l Holocaust Memorial Day online
The European Jewish Association, a Brussels-based Jewish advocacy NGO, will be holding a large online gathering to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday, January 27.

The online event, which is open to the public, will be streamed live by The Jerusalem Post and on the EJA’s Facebook page. The commemoration will begin at 2 p.m. CET (Central European Time), 3 p.m. Israel time.

A number of dignitaries, including EU commissioners, ministers, senators and parliamentarians, including of the European Parliament, as well as Jewish leaders from across Europe, will participate in the event, which will honor the memory of those that perished during one of the darkest periods of European history. Israel’s government will also be represented at a ministerial level.

As part of the Zoom commemoration, senior political and diplomatic figures will share their ideas and engage in dialogue with Jewish leaders from across the continent on the best ways of eradicating the scourge of antisemitism, as well as the increasing challenges posed by laws that impact Jewish life and practice such as kosher slaughter and circumcision.

EJA chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the organizer of the online gathering, said “There are some days that transcend political or health crises, whose lesson from the past is too important to be passed by or ignored, no matter what the circumstances. International Holocaust Memorial Day is such a day.

“Jewish life in Europe is currently assailed by a twin threat: COVID-19-inspired antisemitism that has seen a resurgence of some of the worst libels and tropes, and repeated attacks on Jewish life through laws that seek to target our practices,” he said. “The echoes of the past cannot be ignored.”
She helped Jews during Holocaust, now Jews help her during COVID
The Adamczyk family was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations for saving the lives of Jewish brothers Chaim and Moshe Frimel. Today, the Jewish organization From the Depths provides food packages to the daughter of the family and other righteous gentiles in Poland who are unable or struggle to leave their homes due to the COVID pandemic.

Jadwiga Szczeszak-Adamczyk and her family were awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations when she and her family saved Jewish brothers Chaim and Moshe Frimel in the Polish town of Denkow.

In 1939, one-sixth of the village of some 400 residents was Jewish. When the Nazis arrived in 1942, they established a ghetto. Jews were either forced into labor gangs or were sent to the Treblinka death camp.

When the local ghetto was emptied, the Frimel brothers were deported to a labor camp in nearby Bodzechow. When the camp was closed, the brothers escaped and returned to Denkow, where they appealed to the Adamczyk family, whom they kept in touch with while in the camp, for help.

The entire Adamczyk family – parents, three daughters, and one son – smuggled food to the brothers, putting their own lives in jeopardy, as the Nazi regime in Poland made it a capital offense to help Jews.

The brothers hid in a bunker that they dug underneath one of the rooms in the family's home until they were liberated by the Red Army in January 1945. Among the Adamczyks' neighbors were German officers, and to make sure that the brothers were not discovered, the family stopped inviting friends to their house and curtailed their social activities. The Adamczyk family did not ask anything in return for saving the brothers.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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