Europe's romance with the Palestinian terror network
Seventeen years ago, in 2004, a European Parliament visiting delegation to Israel asked me to brief them on EU funding for Palestinian and Israeli political NGOs under the banners of human rights, peace and other worthy causes. Although the budgets were small then ("only" a few million Euros), they were significant and did major damage. But before I could speak, an EU official tried to prevent my presentation, declaring that I was about to reveal state secrets. His face turned redder when I pulled out the numerous brochures from the NGO grantees with the EU logo.Israel’s Critics Are Right: ‘Sheikh Jarrah’ Exemplifies the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and Arab Jew-Hatred
But beyond the logos, the details of the deep and often personal European relationships with the leaders of influential Palestinian and Israeli NGOs were and remain closely guarded state secrets, on the level of nuclear weapons. This strange and fundamental departure from the transparency that is central to democratic norms explains why year after year, the members of an NGO network linked to a terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), are among the main recipients of European funding. Since 2011, the European governments have provided at least 200 million euros to these organizations, including 40 million from the European Union, and probably more from subcontracting that is not reported and from grants that remain hidden.
The arrest and indictment of a number of four individuals with high-level positions in the benignly named Health Workers Committee, who are charged with diverting NGO funds directly to terror groups, shines a bright spotlight on this core dimension of the NGO industry. After many years of hiding the details and denying the extensive evidence of links published in NGO Monitor research reports, it will now be harder for the European officials in charge of the funding to continue to claim "we did not know", "the evidence you provide is not absolute proof…", or "we do not need to examine the recipients because other countries and the UN are funding the same groups."
In official correspondence and awkward meetings with European ambassadors and other officials, they offered rehearsed justifications for funding for Palestinian and Israel NGOs leading anti-Israel "apartheid" demonization. Often reading uncomfortably from pre-cooked slogans, they have claimed (without credibility) that their governments only support projects and not organizations, that the NGO links to the PFLP are outdated and invalid, and even that the PFLP is a legitimate political organization. The long-standing relationships between PFLP officials and their European sponsors, including leaders of powerful church groups such as Pax Christi, are never acknowledged.
Recently, however, recognition of the damage done and the need for independent oversight regarding these NGO relationships has gradually increased. One year ago, Olivér Várhelyi, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement (which has jurisdiction over some of the seven distinct EU funding mechanisms) ordered a comprehensive investigation of terror ties involving NGO grantees, and declared that such funding "will not be tolerated." That report is expected very soon.
This is how the current controversy and conflict surrounding the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood is emblematic of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.
Shimon HaTzadik is an area that holds deep historical and religious significance to the Jewish people. It is a place where the Jewish people developed — as Ben-Gurion said in Israel’s Declaration of Independence — their “spiritual, religious, and political identity.” It is a place where the Jewish people “first achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance.” It is land that was part of the only independent state that has ever existed west of the Jordan River over the last 2,000 years (that wasn’t part of some foreign colonizing empire). All of this, of course, also applies to every inch of the land of Israel.
Shimon HaTzadik is also where Jewish organizations purchased land and built homes during the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire’s control of the region. The Yemenite Jews who moved to the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood in the 1880s came with the dream of living in Zion and re-establishing the Jewish homeland. This applies to every Jewish community established in the land of Israel between 1870 and 1947.
Shimon HaTzadik is a neighborhood where Jews and Arab could have lived side by side peacefully had Arabs — incited with antisemitic fervor by Nazi ally and collaborator Haj Amin al-Husseini and then by five of the most powerful armies of the entire Arab League — not tried to ethnically cleanse all of the Jews living there. This also applies to every Jewish community established in the land of Israel before 1947.
In Shimon HaTzadik, Jews are trying to move back into homes which were purchased peacefully and legally by their ancestors on land that is part of the Jewish people’s indigenous, historical, and religious homeland. They are trying to move back into homes on land that was conquered by a foreign Arab army and renamed to erase the historic Jewish connection and character of the area. This also applies to every inch of the land of Israel before 1948.
Shimon HaTzadik and Sheikh Jarrah: the Arab-Israeli conflict in a nutshell.
Supreme Court delays session on Sheikh Jarrah evictions amid Jerusalem violence
The Supreme Court, amid daily violent clashes in East Jerusalem, has canceled a hearing scheduled for Monday that could have determined whether four Palestinian families in the city’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood will be evicted.
After the families asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to become a party to the case, Mandelblit’s office asked the Supreme Court for two weeks to consider the matter.
The court gave Mandelblit until June 8 to consider whether he will become a party to the case. The planned evictions — already approved by lower courts — will not go forward in the interim.
“A new date will be determined within the next 30 days. In the meantime, until further notice, I order a freeze on the decision by the appellate court, which does not imply any position regarding [that lower court’s decision],” Justice Yitzhak Amit wrote in the ruling.
In all, over 70 Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah are set to be evicted in the coming weeks, to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis. The Palestinians live in houses built on land that courts have ruled were owned by Jewish religious associations before the establishment of Israel 1948.
The anticipated decision to evict the families came as Jerusalem lives through tense, violent days. The city has been on edge in recent weeks as Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police, with both sides blaming the other for igniting the confrontations.
What’s *really* happening at #SheikhJarrah?— Emily Schrader - אמילי שריידר (@emilykschrader) May 8, 2021
The members of US Congress condemning #Israel over this are acting irresponsibly. As an American Israeli I’m asking them to STOP fanning the flames of antisemitism and incitement to violence. pic.twitter.com/AxtkaTICrJ
Police mull limiting or canceling Jerusalem Day events amid violence, tensions
Security officials are reportedly considering placing limits on Jerusalem Day events or canceling them entirely, as tensions remained high in the capital with further violence at the conclusion of Sunday morning prayers.PMW: Abbas wants more blood
According to Hebrew media reports, the fast-moving situation meant that police were holding assessments every few hours to leave all options on the table for as long as possible ahead of the commemorations set to begin on Sunday evening.
Additionally, the Haaretz daily reported that security officials warned the cabinet that the contentious Flag March set to be held on Monday could lead to an escalation in violence.
Amos Gilad, a former head of Military Intelligence and former top Defense Ministry official, told Army Radio that the march should be scrapped this year.
“I would eliminate anything that creates friction. Jerusalem is currently a powder keg that could explode,” Gilad said.
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai held a security assessment on Saturday on the recent tensions in Jerusalem and ordered commanders, in particular in the Jerusalem area, to “significantly” boost their forces ahead of “another series of expected events over the coming days.”
Following days of intense Palestinian rioting in Jerusalem and a night in which 205 Palestinians and 17 Israeli police officers were injured, instead of calling for calm, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party yesterday publicized a call for increased rioting and violence.Abbas voices full support for Palestinians rioting in Jerusalem
“The Fatah Movement with all its elements and leadership calls to continue this uprising… [Israeli policy] will lead to a comprehensive confrontation in all the Palestinian lands, including a reexamination of the rules of engagement… Fatah calls on everyone to raise the level of confrontation in the coming days and hours in the Palestinian lands, the points of friction, and the settlers’ roads.”
To be sure Fatah’s call to violence received maximum exposure, it was publicized on numerous Facebook pages including the official Facebook pages of Fatah, the PA Presidential Guard, Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul, and Fatah Central Committee member Rawhi Fattouh. In addition to Facebook, the announcement was publicized by WAFA, the official PA news agency, and in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, as well as in private news agencies.
Moreover, to turn its attack on Israeli jurisdiction and rule of law in Jerusalem into an Islamic religious war, Fatah opened its statement with a quote from the Quran, and then commented that “Allah’s words are true.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday said in a televised statement that he holds the Israel government "responsible" for the unrest in East Jerusalem and voiced "full support for our heroes in Aqsa." Video poster
Israeli riot police clashed with Palestinian worshippers at Jerusalem's flashpoint Temple Mount compound Friday, capping a week of violence in the Holy City and the West Bank.
Palestinians hurled stones, bottles and fireworks at police who fired rubber bullets and stun grenades in the disturbances.
"Dozens" of Palestinians and at least six Israeli police officers were hurt in the latest flare-up as tensions have soared in recent days in East Jerusalem over a land dispute in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
The United States called for "de-escalation" and said the pending evictions of four Sheikh Jarrah families could worsen the situation in east Jerusalem.
Palestinians chant “bomb bomb Tel Aviv” from Judaism’s holiest site and the site of Al Aqsa mosque.— Emily Schrader - אמילי שריידר (@emilykschrader) May 8, 2021
This isn’t about #SheikhJarrah it’s about refusal to accept the state of Israel existing. pic.twitter.com/gVT04S37cK
How low can IfNotNow go?— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) May 9, 2021
Miserably low to side with Hamas supporters singing “bomb bomb Tel Aviv”
What an embarrassment to American Jews. pic.twitter.com/p94FIMcKai
MEMRI: International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Funded By Qatar And Turkey, Urges Muslims To Wage Jihad, Sacrifice Their Souls For Al-Aqsa
Amid the tension in Jerusalem, which has been escalating for several weeks and throughout the month of Ramadan, and ahead of Israel's Jerusalem Day on May 10, 2021, the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), supported by Qatar and Turkey, posted on its website a proposed Friday sermon on the topic of Jerusalem. The sermon includes incitement to violence, jihad and self-sacrifice, as well as antisemitic motifs. Praising the "heroic jihad operations" of the "jihad fighters in Palestine," as well as the young Palestinians who are "deployed on the battlefront" in Jerusalem, the sermon states that "the Muslims' foremost duty is to wage jihad by sacrificing their souls" for Al-Aqsa. It adds that whoever is unable to come to the battlefront himself must help the jihad fighters with money, and thus "illuminate Al-Aqsa," just as the Palestinians who are deployed on the front illuminate it with their blood and their souls.
The sermon also states that the Prophet Muhammad spoke about "the battle to liberate Al-Aqsa from the Jews," and quotes the antisemitic hadith stating that, on Judgement Day, the Muslims will fight the Jews and even the stones and the trees will betray the Jews hiding behind them.
Calls to come to Jerusalem and defend it have also been heard recently from Palestinian elements, such as the Fatah movement and from Al-Aqsa preacher Sheikh Ikrama Sabri, who is a member of the IUMS board of trustees. Figures from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have called for martyrdom and terror operations.
It should be noted that, in addition to being associated with piety and fasting, Ramadan in Muslim tradition is also seen as the month of jihad and martyrdom, in which the Muslims scored outstanding victories throughout their history. Muslim extremists therefore intensify their violent action and their calls for terrorism during this month.
Post on Twitter: "This night is not devoted only to i'tikaf [constant worship at the mosque, especially during the last 10 days of Ramadan], it must also be devoted to deployment on the front, to jihad and to the defense of Al-Aqsa (Source: Twitter.com/KhaledSafi, May 8, 2021)
It’s time to stop this unhealthy obsession with Israel & look at the truth. Are these protestors calling for freedom to worship? No! Are they calling to halt evictions? No! They are using their holy site to lob firebombs & chant to destroy Tel Aviv. 6/6 https://t.co/7z84vEVPcQ— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) May 8, 2021
It explicitly calls for violence. Unless you think 'jihad' is a call for yoga?— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) May 8, 2021
Any mention about Palestinian rioters, violence and rockets? No, didn’t think so from J-Street, the pro-Palestinian lobby! https://t.co/Ni3nU9SCoH— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) May 9, 2021
A picture worth 1000 words: Palestinian kisses a picture of late IRGC commander Soleimani.— Emily Schrader - אמילי שריידר (@emilykschrader) May 8, 2021
Palestinians aren’t allied with the Arab world theyre allied with the enemies of the Arab world and the worlds biggest sponsors of terror: #Iran.#SheikhJarrah #SaveSheikhJarrah #AlAqsa pic.twitter.com/HD0jR8Ceoy
I can't recall seeing this many Hamas flags on the grounds of al-Aqsa. pic.twitter.com/aFi4nyRLal— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) May 9, 2021
Canada, Quartet slam Jerusalem violence, int'l pressure grows on Israel
Canada and the Middle East Quartet (the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia) condemned on Sunday the violence that took place on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and called on Israel to halt eviction plans for Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as violence rises in the country's capital.Seth Frantzman: Turkey calls Israel 'terrorist' state, seeks to 'save Jerusalem' - analysis
The EU and the US also issued a statement against the violence and the pending Sheikh Jarrah evictions, as did Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Individual European countries, as well as South African, have spoken out as well.
Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said: “We call for immediate de-escalation of tensions and for all sides to avoid any unilateral actions.
“Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel," Garneau said in statement issued Saturday.
“As a close friend and ally of Israel, Canada is deeply concerned that recent decisions on settlements, and demolitions and evictions, including in Sheikh Jarrah, would negatively impact livelihoods and undermine the prospects for a two-state solution based on mutual respect for human rights and international law by all parties," he stated.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called Israel a cruel “terrorist” state, as Turkish media called to “free al-Aqsa” in Jerusalem, just like he reconsecrated the historic Church of Hagia Sophia as a mosque last year.Iranian man ironically catches fire while burning an Israeli flag - Watch
Writing in Turkish, Erdogan said he “invite[s] the whole world, especially the Islamic countries, to take effective action against Israel’s attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem and Palestinian homes.”
Writing in Hebrew, Erdogan said he strongly condemned the “heinous attacks” in Jerusalem and that he would stand with his “Palestinian brothers.”
Erdogan also tweeted in Arabic and linked the Israeli “attacks” to Ramadan, suggesting that Israel does this every year.
Accusing Israel of being a “cruel” and “terrorist” state is part of Ankara’s desire to use the tensions in Jerusalem to boost Turkey’s image. Ankara has long sought to play a greater role in Palestinian affairs, going back more than a decade to before the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2009. Turkey mobilized extremists from the group IHH to board the Mavi Marmara in 2010, for instance, to “break” the blockade of Gaza, an incident that led to a downward spiral in Turkish-Israeli relations.
A video of a man in Iran ironically catching fire after attempting to burn an Israeli flag circulated on Arab social media on Sunday.
The video shows the man lifting a burning Israeli flag and attempting to wave it, before a sudden burst of wind causes the fire to quickly spread down the pole and to his clothes. The man responds by dropping the flag and running frantically - hopefully to a nearby pool.
According to Arab media that shared the video, the incident took place during a Quds Day protest held in Iran. Other people on the scene can be seen holding Palestinian flags.
Last year, Germany outlawed the burning of all foreign flags within its borders, following the burning of an Israeli flag during an antisemitic rally in Berlin. In Iran, however, burning Israeli flags is somewhat of a traditional activity and is often done during national celebrations or during mass protests relating to Israeli or US policies.
Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, known for her anti-regime rhetoric, also shared the video on Twitter, noting that the phenomenon is not as popular as one would guess by watching these kinds of videos.
Media Abet Palestinian Squatters in Transforming Real Estate Dispute into International Incident
An Israeli appeals court recently upheld a decision by a lower court to evict Palestinian squatters living rent-free on Jewish-owned land in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik. Although the debate surrounding the property dates back many years, the issue this week exploded into the limelight as Palestinians for several nights on end clashed with Israeli police and Jewish residents of the area.NPR Falsifies Israeli Police Fire Stun Grenades on Muslims Breaking Ramadan Fast
Most major media outlets were quick to adopt the Palestinian narrative that the real estate dispute between private parties was somehow linked to alleged attempts by Israel to “Judaize” Jerusalem and simultaneous riots by tens of thousands of Arabs on Temple Mount and near the Old City’s Damascus Gate. In reality, though, the situation in Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik is unrelated and highly complex, as demonstrated by the fact that the case has been working its way through the courts for decades. In fact, several Palestinian tenants of a few buildings in question acknowledged under oath as far back as the 1980s that the property was indeed owned by Jews.
Not surprisingly, many outlets have distorted the basic facts of the story, preferring instead to jump on the anti-Israel bandwagon.
Consider this paragraph from a report published by The Washington Post:
In recent days, protests have grown over Israel’s threatened eviction in Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik of dozens of Palestinians embroiled in a long legal battle with Israeli settlers trying to acquire property in the neighborhood.”
This assertion is simply false. Israelis are not trying to acquire property in Sheikh Jarrah, but want to regain control over what they believe legally belongs to them. In 1875, Rabbi Avraham Ashkenazi and Rabbi Meir Auerbach acquired the land in question from Arab sellers. Shortly before Israel’s War of Independence, in 1946, two Jewish non-governmental organizations moved to register the deed with authorities in what was then British Mandatory Palestine.
Few media mentioned that Sheikh Jarrah is also known as Shimon HaTzadik, named after the Jewish High Priest during the Second Temple period, whose tomb is located in the neighborhood. After the war in 1948, Shimon HaTzadik came under the control of Jordan, which expelled the local Jewish population and gave the resulting vacant houses to Jordanian citizens, who paid rent to the Jordanian Custodian.
If one were to believe National Public Radio, Israeli police attacked peaceful Muslims enjoying festive holiday meals during the holy month of Ramadan.
“Jerusalem has not been this tense in years. All throughout the month of Ramadan, there’s been street violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Police have thrown stun grenades at Palestinian crowds as they were breaking their Ramadan fast,” NPR’s Scott Simon introduced yesterday’s segment on heightened violence in Jerusalem (“Conflict Between Israelis and Palestinians Continue in Jerusalem“). (Emphasis added.)
Simon’s blatantly false introduction was a fitting entrée to Daniel Estrin’s highly skewed broadcast.
In fact, during the month of Ramadan, Israeli police did not throw “stun grenades at Palestinians crowds as they were breaking their Ramadan fast.” Rather, Israeli police used stun grenades as Palestinian crowds violently clashed with them.
Woeful reporting from @Guardian's @olireports.— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 9, 2021
1. The fact that officers fired *stun* grenades is initially not made clear.
2. This appeal for calm is included. But readers aren't told that thousands were chanting, “With our souls, with our blood, we will redeem you al Aqsa.” pic.twitter.com/aGXUZf8V9o
US Supreme Court to Decide Where Jerusalem Is (satire)
Officials in Jerusalem say the city is in the midst of an existential crisis. Not because of former US President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy, or the recent violent clashes in the Old City over the weekend, or the crazy foreigners who dress like Jesus and roam the streets. Rather, they found out that it will take a decision of the US Supreme Court to decide where in the world the city is positioned.The UN Commission on the Status of Women Lost All Credibility
“We were happy just ticking along and getting things done until we found out that there was a case going before the US Supreme Court to decide whether this kid could have ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ on his passport,” one official told The Mideast Beast.
“To be honest, up until then we hadn’t ever thought about it. After all, international mail has always arrived and tourists seem to know how to get here – so we didn’t see it as a problem,” he continued.
“But this has blown our minds Apparently the US State Department doesn’t know if we’re in Israel or Palestine or Outer Fucking Mongolia. That’s pretty serious,” the official added.
Officials in the city are concerned that they will now have to wait on a decision from the top US judges to decide where they are. “It’s pretty important to us,” another official said. “We’ve had to set aside a budget in case we need to change all the local government stationery and get the phones redirected.”
The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the “global champion for gender equality,” abandoned billions of women and girls, and lost all credibility, when it recently elected Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Tunisia to four-year terms on the council.In swipe at Biden, Netanyahu pledges to ‘build in Jerusalem’ despite ‘pressure’
Pakistan, the worst of these six offenders, is the ninth-worst out of 167 countries on Georgetown University’s Women, Peace and Security Index. Pakistani activists estimate that 1,000 honor killings still occur annually while 21% of girls are forced into marriage before their 18th birthday.
Egypt and Mauritania tied at 151, Lebanon ranked 147th, and Tunisia and Iran could set an example for their CSW colleagues with still abysmal rankings at 121 and 118, respectively.
In other words, there are only a handful of countries in the world where the status of women is worse than in some of those recently elected to the CSW.
This isn’t the first time that egregious abusers of women’s rights have been elected to positions on councils specifically geared to end such abuse. Saudi Arabia was elected to the CSW in 2017 and the Executive Board of UN Women, also known as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in 2018. Iraq and Algeria have also served on the CSW.
By allowing countries with these records on women’s rights to serve on bodies charged with promoting the advancement of women, the United Nations has demonstrated that it does not take violence against women seriously. It has given six new members of CSW a free pass to continue forced marriages, honor killings, rape, and more by creating a facade of at least working to improve the welfare of their women.
Prime Minister Netanyahu weighed in on the recent tensions in Jerusalem at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, emphasizing that Israel retains the right to “build in Jerusalem,” after the Biden administration criticized the impeding evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and Israeli construction in the West bank.IDF Attacks Hamas Military Post in Retaliation for Rocket, Gazan Incendiary Balloons Start 10 Fires
“We emphatically reject the pressures not to build in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, these pressures have been increasing of late. I say even to our best friends: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Just as every people builds its capital and in its capital, so too do we reserve the right to build Jerusalem and in Jerusalem. This is what we have done and what we will continue to do,” he said, according to a statement from his office.
The cabinet meeting was held in Jerusalem’s City hall in honor of Jerusalem Day on Monday.
Three times since the beginning of April, US officials reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office to express their opposition to Israeli steps to build beyond the Green Line, Channel 12 reported Thursday.
Netanyahu has repeatedly dismissed these objections.
The IDF attacked a Hamas military position in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday morning in retaliation for a rocket that had been launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel and landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council (Gazans Hurl Explosives, Light Tires Along Israel’s Southern Border).Think tank maps out Hezbollah's missile arsenal, exposes new military sites
The Jerusalem-based Arab newspaper Al-Quds reported on Friday that the terrorist factions in Gaza had decided to reactivate the “nightly harassment” units and launch the explosive-carrying and incendiary balloons. As a result, the Israeli settlements on the Gaza border saw 10 fires break out from incendiary balloons on Saturday, one of which damaged a wheat field in the Eshkol Regional Council area. Full control of the fire was eventually achieved and most of the other fires were small and not dangerous.
Saturday was the third day in a row of incendiary terror from Gaza, the locals’ response to the tensions in Judea and Samaria, and the riots in eastern Jerusalem.
Egyptian officials held talks with Hamas in recent days to prevent the situation from deteriorating into a full-blown military confrontation. On Thursday, despite the security tension, $10 million from Qatar entered the Gaza Strip to be distributed to 10,000 needy families. There was a dilemma in Israel’s security apparatus as to whether to delay the money, but it was finally decided not to condition it on the Gaza folks stopping to burn down Jewish fields, nor the return of the bodies of two IDF soldiers or the two living Israeli citizens held in captivity in Gaza. Because if the money is not distributed things would really go bad.
And so on Thursday, as the $10 million were let in, seven fires from incendiary balloons broke out in the Eshkol Regional Council area. All the fires broke out in open areas and posed no risk to council settlements. Still, a fire and rescue investigator for the Southern District determined that they were caused by incendiary balloons. Because records of these things must be kept.
Reported Israeli strikes once again lit up Syria's night sky early on Wednesday, with Israeli missiles slamming into multiple targets in northwest Syria's Latakia region, according to Syrian state media. The reports are the latest reminder of an ongoing shadow war raging between Israel and the Iranian-Shi'ite axis, in which the Iranians and Hezbollah attempt to smuggle and deploy advanced weapons to threaten Israel with and Israel set out to disrupt this activity.PMW: Fatah: “Make sure your bullets hit the target” – song posted just hours after lethal shooting attack
An Israeli organization closely monitoring this struggle is the Alma Education and Research Center, which monitors Israel's northern borders and publishes in-depth studies on the activities of the radical Iranian axis in Lebanon and Syria.
"The reported airstrike in northwest Syria, in our estimation, targeted the precision missile project and related weapons to Hezbollah," Alma tweeted on Wednesday, in reference to the latest airstrikes.
The precision missile project is the joint Iranian-Hezbollah initiative to upgrade Hezbollah's projectiles and convert them into precision-guided missiles (PGMs). Unlike unguided rockets, precise missiles with guidance systems can strike targets within an accuracy of a 5-meter diameter.
The Alma Center has recently put together a detailed map of Hezbollah's deployment of its arsenal while also exposing six new military sites used by Hezbollah in south Lebanon, which provides a glimpse into the scope of the terror army's firepower, estimated to be larger in scope than that of most NATO armies.
Much of the Israeli and international media have singled out Hamas as the villain inciting Palestinians to violence in Jerusalem. However, as Palestinian Media Watch has exposed, Abbas himself, his Palestinian Authority, and his Fatah Movement – which is part of the PLO - were the ones who initiated the incitement to violence and terror, and only afterward Hamas joined.
For example, on the same day three Israeli teen students were shot - one of whom later died of his wounds - Fatah posted an old song inciting to terror with the words “O self-sacrificing fighter, make sure your bullets hit the target.” This is both a message of approval of the deadly attack and a call for more terror:
Singer: “O self-sacrificing fighter – make sure your bullets hit the target”
Choir: “Hit it, hit it …”
Singer: “Your blood is Arab”
Singer: “O self-sacrificing fighter – cause the outbreak [of the revolution] like a volcano
O self-sacrificing fighter, ignite it, ignite it everywhere
Make sure the cannon is a fire burning by night
Make sure [the Israelis’] day does not emerge”
Choir: O self-sacrificing fighter, O self-sacrificing fighter, O self-sacrificing fighter.”
Posted text on Fatah Facebook page: “O self-sacrificing fighter, aim your bullets – from the old Palestinian revolutionary songs”
[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Nablus Branch, May 3, 2021]
PMW has documented that also official PA TV has recently broadcast this song along with many others that encourage and praise the use of violence against Israel.
French-Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi: The Muslims Brotherhood Should Be Called the Devil’s Brotherhood, Hassan Al-Bana Is a Monster; Political Islam Promotes a Vision of Hatred, Barbarism, Savagery @Imam1chalghoumi #Muslim_Brotherhood #France pic.twitter.com/CMQ9xsrz9g— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 9, 2021
Seth Frantzman: US confiscates massive arms shipment off coast of Oman, Yemen - analysis
An SH-60 Seahawk helicopter flying from the USS Monterey helped prevent a massive shipment of illicit weapons that were being transited through international waters in the North Arabian Sea.
The raid on a suspicious dhow sailboat by the US Fifth Fleet took place between May 6 and 7. It was made public by the US Navy through photos. It comes amid tensions in Yemen and Iran’s attempt to support Houthi rebels there. However, it may be linked to other militant groups in Yemen or even the Horn of Africa or elsewhere.
The US said it conducts maritime security operations that entail routine patrols. The US posted photos on May 8 showing “thousands of illicit weapons interdicted by guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey... from a stateless dhow in international waters of the North Arabian Sea on May 6-7. Maritime security operations, as conducted by the US Fifth Fleet, entail routine patrols to determine the pattern of life in the maritime as well as to enhance mariner-to-mariner relations. These operations reassure allies and partners and preserve freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce.”
The US Fifth Fleet tweeted that the cache of weapons “included advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles & Chinese Type 56 assault rifles.”
Video of the weapons https://t.co/yKVB583lmh— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) May 8, 2021
Israeli Nuclear Facility Destroyed by a Missile Attack in an Iranian Animated Video Posted on an IRGC Telegram Account on the Occasion of “Jerusalem Day” #Iran #JCPOA #QudsDay #dimona pic.twitter.com/vqeUMDAiNW— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 9, 2021
Mysterious explosion on oil tanker off coast of Syria - report
An explosion rocked an oil tanker off the coast of Syria on Sunday, causing a small fire in one of its engines, state media said. The fire on the ship - off the coast of Syria's Mediterranean port of Banias - was extinguished by the crew quickly with no casualties, it said.
"The technical fault took place in one of the engines of the oil tanker near the coast... it caused a small fire and a plume of smoke," state media said.
Local radio station FM Sham said earlier that an explosion had hit a tanker during maintenance work after it had caught fire a few days earlier while offloading its oil cargo.
Banias houses a refinery which, along with another in Homs, covers a significant part of the country's demand for diesel, heating fuel, gasoline and other petroleum products, according to industry experts.
Syria has grown more dependent on Iranian oil shipments in recent years, but tightening Western sanctions on Iran, Syria and their allies, as well as a foreign currency crunch, have made it more difficult to get enough supply.
The tankers off Syria keep suffering accidents...the April 24 “drone attack” that may have been “welding” and then on May 3 more tankers arriving... and then another explosion that some say was “maintenance” on May 9 pic.twitter.com/YDnItNpf6J— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) May 9, 2021
The Biden administration is rushing to send 100s of billions of dollars to this guy and the regime he sits atop. https://t.co/4AB5JOp7Te— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) May 8, 2021
This empty crayon box boycotted an event honoring Yitzhak Rabin--the man who died for peace--because he served in authority in the Israeli army. Never forget that brainlessness is no obstacle to thriving in the United States Congress pic.twitter.com/Bmph3Z3g6e— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) May 9, 2021
StandWithUs Warns CNN About Use of Antisemitic Deadly Exchange Campaign in Programming
Re: Antisemitic “Deadly Exchange” Campaign Promoted on United Shades of AmericaThe Guardian to Israel We wish you were never born.
To Whom It May Concern:
I write on behalf of StandWithUs, a non-profit education organization supporting Israel and combating antisemitism. The educators at our organization are deeply concerned that the antisemitic “Deadly Exchange” conspiracy theory was featured during CNN’s United Shades of America “Policing the Police” episode on Sunday, May 2, 2021. The “Deadly Exchange” campaign falsely blames Israel and American Jewish organizations for racism and police brutality in the United States, distracting from the primary causes of these injustices, inflaming prejudice against Jews and Israel, and dividing communities that otherwise agree on these important matters. We note that in the span of a 30 second interview clip, the woman discussing “Deadly Exchange” also accuses Israel of other politically charged and controversial issues. However, given the dangers involved in promoting “Deadly Exchange” through your programming, this letter focuses solely on this matter.
“Deadly Exchange” is part of the larger antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks not to change Israeli policies, but to isolate and pressure Israel until it collapses as a Jewish and democratic state. As such, this campaign fuels injustice and conflict based on lies rather than helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a just and lasting peace.
This campaign targets law enforcement exchange programs between the United States and Israel with false accusations. This does nothing to end injustices; rather it promotes ignorance, hatred, and division. Law enforcement officials who go to Israel do so to learn about stopping terrorist attacks and saving lives. Considering that Israel is constantly under the threat of terrorist attacks, their expertise on matters like mass shootings and other extremist attacks facing the United States is invaluable. In fact, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns have expressed support for these exchanges with Israel, rejecting the flagrantly false claims within the “Deadly Exchange” campaign.
As part of the Guardian’s celebration of their 200th anniversary, they published an article titled “What we got wrong: the Guardian’s worst errors of judgment over 200 years“, May 7, by Randeep Ramesh, their chief leader writer.Actor Lakeith Stanfield apologizes for moderating antisemitic Clubhouse chat
The piece included, as examples of bad editorial judgment since the first edition of the publication, initially called the Manchester Guardian, May 5th 1821, a 1927 article that promoted the virtues of asbestos, an 1857 editorial praising English colonial rule over India, and the paper’s support, during that time, for the US Confederacy.
Here’s another one of their worst errors of judgement over the last 200 years:
When Arthur Balfour, then Britain’s foreign secretary, promised 104 years ago to help establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, his words changed the world. The Guardian of 1917 supported, celebrated and could even be said to have helped facilitate the Balfour declaration. Scott was a supporter of Zionism and this blinded him to Palestinian rights. In 1917 he wrote a leader on the day the Balfour declaration was announced, in which he dismissed any other claim to the Holy Land, saying: “The existing Arab population of Palestine is small and at a low stage of civilisation.”
Whatever else can be said, Israel today is not the country the Guardian foresaw or would have wanted.
First, don’t not get bogged down – as some have – in the Guardian’s exaggeration of the role of the Balfour Declaration, and Britain more broadly, in the Israel’s establishment. That’s a valid point, but a relatively trivial matter in the context the fact that they’re literally apologising for their role in the creation of the Jewish state. Like colonialism and slavery, Zionism, in their eyes, should be seen as a symbol of what all right-thinking people should oppose – and should have opposed in the first half of the 20th century, when the word referred to an aspiration, and not yet an actually existing state.
Put another way: If they knew then what they know today – including, one wonders, how many countless Jewish lives would have been saved from the extermination camps of Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek and Auschwitz if the state had come into being a decade earlier – they would never have expressed support for or “wanted” the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland.
Oscar-nominated actor Lakeith Stanfield apologized in an Instagram post after The Daily Beast reported on Friday that he co-moderated a room on the audio app Clubhouse in which antisemitic remarks were made, Page Six reported on Saturday afternoon.Antisemitism task force recovers stolen Chabad items
“I condemn hate speech and discriminatory views of every kind. I unconditionally apologize for what went on in that chat room, and for allowing my presence there to give a platform to hate speech,” Stanfield wrote on his Instagram account on Saturday morning. “I am not an antisemite nor do I condone any of the beliefs discussed in that chat room,” he added.
“At some point during the dialogue the discussion took a very negative turn when several users made abhorrent antisemitic statements and at that point, I should have either shut down the discussion or removed myself from it entirely,” the actor wrote, claiming that he was made a moderator of the chat after the hosts noticed he was in the room listening.
Stanfield's apology came after he was featured as a moderator in a Clubhouse room focusing on the teachings of controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, when the conversation turned antisemitic.
After sentimental valuables were stolen from a Chabad House in the San Diego State University last week. a SDSU task force successfully returned the items to their owner.
"Those items were not necessarily valuable but hold great sentimental and religious value to us and the students at Chabad house," wrote Rabbi Chalom Boudjnah, head of SDSU's Chabad House in a Facebook post.
In April, SDSU assembled an Antisemitism Task Force. The group will take charge of making sure the investigation proceeds properly, NBC San Diego reported on Saturday.
Boudjnah added that video footage helped them identify the perpetrators within a few hours of the incident, adding that "One of them actually posted pictures of themselves bragging about stealing!"
The group returned the stolen photos on Thursday, but left Boudjnah with the question of how to proceed next.
He wrote that he met with the perpetrators, and insisted that instead of getting expelled, they write a letter of apology and commit to 10 hours of community service.
Jewish actor Josh Peck posted a picture of himself with his young son wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) May 9, 2021
This is how THOUSANDS of people responded. pic.twitter.com/A2YivK3Lp6
Israel and South Korea to Sign Free Trade Pact
Israel will sign a free trade agreement with South Korea this week, marking the first such arrangement with an Asian market, Israel’s Ministry of Economy said on Sunday.
The deal is meant to bolster bilateral trade by cutting out customs duties and offering safety nets on investments. Bilateral trade reached about $2.4 billion in 2020, about two thirds of it being goods and services imported into Israel, the ministry said.
The deal will be signed this week in Seoul during a visit by Israel’s foreign affairs and economy ministers.
More than 95% of Israeli exports to South Korea will be customs-free, the ministry said. Israel is working on similar deals with China, Vietnam, and India, it added.