Thursday, May 27, 2021

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: UNRWA's director spoke truth that Israeli strikes were precise- editorial
When Matthias Schmale, director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, told Channel 12 on Sunday that Israeli airstrikes during the recent conflagration were “precise” and “sophisticated,” he was simply stating the truth as he saw it.

In the interview with journalist Arad Nir, Schmale was asked about the IDF’s assertion that its military strikes against terrorist targets had been very precise. He responded, “I’m not a military expert, but I would not dispute that. I also have the impression that there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck over the last 11 days, so that’s not my issue. I’ve had many colleagues describe to me that they feel that, in comparison with the 2014 war, this time the strikes felt much more vicious in terms of their impact. So yes, they didn’t hit – with some exceptions – civilian targets, but the viciousness, ferocity of the strikes was heavily felt.”

He noted that more than 60 children were killed in Gaza, including 19 who attended an UNRWA school.

“I think the precision was there, but there was unacceptable and unbearable loss of life on the civilian side,” Schmale stated.

It did not take long for Gazans to voice outrage over Schmale’s remarks, accusing him of exonerating Israel and calling for his reprimand and dismissal. In a joint statement, several Palestinian rights groups accused Schmale of “indirectly praising the precision and sophistication of the Israeli Army, when Israel is in fact constantly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people.”

Hamas tweeted that it was shocked by the statements, accusing the UNRWA official of pretending to be a “military analyst for the occupation army.”
Hamas chief Haniyeh's niece treated for cancer in Israeli hospital
A relative of Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh is currently being treated at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, part of the Sourasky Medical Center, for over a month, N12 reported.

According to reports, the hospitalized family member is his seventeen-year-old niece, who has received a bone marrow transplant.

The report noted that she was hospitalized during Operation Guardian of the Walls.

According to Maariv, the hospital's spokesperson said that "during the war she was treated with dedication."

"Israel only knows how to give one type of humanitarian aid ,and it comes at the cost of [Israeli] civilians' lives," commented Yamina MK Idit Sliman.

Sliman decried the government's failure to return Israeli prisoners who are stuck in Gaza, adding that she will "contact Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] today to find out why humanitarian action during the Operation [Guardian of the Walls] was one sided."

The bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were who abducted by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip in 2014, have not been returned as part of the ceasefire agreement.
UNHRC approves permanent probe into Israeli human rights abuses
The United Nations Human Rights Council has approved on Thursday a resolution to investigate Israel and Hamas for war crimes.

The resolution also called for an arms embargo against Israel.

If approved at Thursday "special session" the 47-member UNHRC the "commission of inquiry' would begin looking at incidents that occurred both before and after April 13, 2021. The decision to call for such a probe was sparked by the 11-day IDF-Hamas war and was submitted by the Palestinian Authority and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

It would mark the first time that the UNHRC created a permanent fact-finding mission with respect to any UN member state.

The UNHRC already calls annually for an arms embargo against Israel. Its insertion is in addition to that annual text.

This new text "urges all States to refrain from transferring arms when they assess, in accordance with applicable national procedures and international obligations and standards, that there is a clear risk that such arms might be used in the commission or facilitation of serious violations or abuses of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law."

The UNHRC's special session on Israel, is the 30th it has held since its inception in 2006. This is the ninth such session it has held on Israel.

Richard Epstein: Calling Out Aggression In The Mideast
So much of the battle between Israeli and Palestinian interests depends on who can take the high ground in the moral debate. On the merits, this case should be easy. In this instance, there was no provocation for the Hamas attacks. And it is furthermore mistaken to criticize the Israeli response as being a form of “racist nationalism,” as did Senator Bernie Sanders. Such mischaracterizations only work to strengthen the misguided arguments of moral equivalence between indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations and targeted efforts of self-defense. The Israelis are trying to cope with an adversary in Hamas that is willing to use its own people as human shields to protect missile installations from counterattack, installations that are often located in hospitals and schools.

These tactics are difficult to overcome. The law of self-defense countenances the use of all feasible measures to avoid collateral damage on civilians. But by the same token, the cautionary warning against civilian casualties cannot be read so broadly as to allow Hamas to fire on Israel so long as it is willing to dragoon its own citizens into a position of peril. In dealing with these situations, it is unwise and mistaken to criticize Israeli tactical mistakes—of which there will be some—while overlooking the inexcusable use of indiscriminate and deadly force that provoked Israel’s use of force.

It is also important not to fall into the trap of thinking that the wrongs of Hamas and the Palestinians today are excused in light of past Jewish misdeeds. Peter Beinart, writing in the New York Times, advises that “Jews should understand” that crimes of the past do not remain in the past, and argues that past wrongdoing supports a Palestinian right to return to Israel. Yet this line of thinking is hopelessly one-sided, as it does not address the long history of Arab criminal aggression that started even before the Arab invasion of the new state of Israel in 1948, violence that has continued ever since. Hundreds of thousands of Jews have been forced out of their homelands in other Middle Eastern countries and are now in Israel, making a return for them neither possible nor desirable.

Beinart insists that if Jews can build houses for Russian immigrants, they can do the same for Palestinians, ignoring what sworn enemies of Israel will do once admitted to Israel in large numbers. His “modest” proposal could end the Jewish state as we know it, given the massive shifts that it would augur in political and military power.

Letting claims of past injustices fuel current acts of violence will only expand the list of unsettled grievances, producing never-ending rounds of violence. There is a better way. It depends on starting to build trust between Arabs and Israelis through low-level business and social interactions. Such ground-level social cohesion is the only hope of ending the senseless cycle of Middle East violence. Sadly, by continuing to advance the false narrative of moral equivalence, the Biden administration’s position serves only to perpetuate the chronic violence in the Middle East.
The Libertarian PodCast: Conflict in the Middle East
Richard Epstein analyzes the recent outbreak of violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the future of American foreign policy in the Middle East, and the viability of Palestinian claims based on the “right of return.”

The Caroline Glick Show: Ep7 : Lessons learned from the latest Hamas war against Israel
In episode 7 of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline and co-host Gadi Taub analyzed the latest round of war between Hamas and Israel from four perspectives. First, they discussed what the war taught us about Hamas’s priorities and how “humanitarian aid” to Gaza is used. Second they discussed the war in the context of Iran and its relations with Hamas on the one hand and the U.S. on the other. They then spoke at length about what we discovered over the course of the past week and a half about the sinister nature of the Biden administration’s policies towards Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Finally, they discussed what we discovered about the where the left in the U.S. and the Democrat Party now stands on Israel and the implication of the Corbynization (or rather Obamafication) of the party for the future of Jewish life in the U.S.

Caroline Glick: Hady Amr's Middle East
In 2018, Amr was the lead author of a Brookings Institution paper on U.S. policy toward Hamas. Titled, "Ending Gaza's Perpetual Crisis—A New U.S. Approach," the report proposed a new U.S. policy toward Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Amr called for the U.S. to use the next round of war between Hamas and Israel to launch a new policy toward the terror group and the Jewish state.

Amr's plan had three components. First, it effectively accepted Hamas as a legitimate actor despite the fact that it is a terrorist organization controlled by Iran. Second, it called for the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) to unite with Hamas and gave the PA a free pass for funding and supporting terrorism against Israel and rejecting Israel's right to exist. Finally, in regards to Israel, Amr's report called for the U.S. to use direct and indirect means to coerce Israel into making unreciprocated concessions to both Hamas and the PA, even while admitting such concessions would endanger Israel.

U.S. law bars the government and private citizens from providing material aid to terrorist organizations. So since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, the U.S has avoided any direct support for the terror-controlled enclave. Instead, the U.S. sought to empower the PA and bring prosperity to the Palestinians governed by the PA in Judea and Samaria while pursuing peace between the PA and Israel. The idea was that the Palestinians would abandon support for Hamas when they saw the disparity between impoverished Hamas-controlled Gaza and the wealthy PLO-controlled PA in Judea and Samaria.

This policy did not pan out. It didn't work, on the one hand, because corrupt PA officials systematically looted international aid primarily to pay salaries for terrorists, but also to feather their own nests. The PA's corruption and support for terrorism blocked economic development in its governed areas.

On the other hand, the U.S. permitted Hamas to draw funds from other international financial backers—especially Qatar and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN agency devoted to Palestinian "refugees." This aid has enabled Gaza to stay afloat financially while permitting Hamas to build its military machine.
Biden’s plan for a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians blatantly violates US law
As presidential candidate, Joe Biden was asked if he would reverse President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Biden promised, “I wouldn’t reverse it.”

But candidate Biden also proposed re-opening the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, which had merged with the Jerusalem embassy in 2019.

Now Team Biden is moving forward with the latter initiative. On May 25, Secretary of State Antony Blinken formally told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Washington would seek to reopen this diplomatic mission. The move contradicts Biden’s campaign promise not to renege on the recognition of Jerusalem, since a pair of missions in the same city undercuts Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital. It also breaks the Jerusalem Embassy Act that sought to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem no later than 1999 — a law Biden voted for along with 92 other senators.

The 1995 law states that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city, in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected. … Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.” In 2017, on the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification in the Six Day War, the Senate unanimously voted to reaffirm the act and called upon the US to “abide by its provisions.”

Former President Donald Trump fulfilled the will of the American people, as expressed by Congress, by relocating the embassy in 2018. In February 2021, the Senate also adopted an amendment by a 97-3 vote to “make the US Embassy in Jerusalem permanent, effectively preventing it from being downgraded or moved out of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.”

The Biden administration’s intent to reopen a separate diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and the location of the US Embassy, would be a violation of US law, wrongly signaling that Washington supports dividing Jerusalem.

Tell Rep. Sherrill: Your vote against Israel was WRONG!

Elliott Abrams: Can Palestinian Politics Replace Violence and Terror?
Mahmoud Abbas' claim to be the real leader of the Palestinian people has never been weaker. Otherwise, he would not have vetoed the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 22. Mahmoud Abbas cannot lead Palestinians anywhere and cannot defeat Hamas.

Israel and Americans who search for peace and stability face the problem of a profound breakdown of Palestinian politics. No peace negotiations can possibly succeed until Israel has a partner who can sign a peace agreement and enforce it.

There can be no "peace negotiations" with Hamas, which is dedicated to eliminating the State of Israel through violence. But the alternative to Hamas is the discredited and increasingly unpopular Fatah.

The coming outpouring of funds to rebuild damaged sites in Gaza presents an important opportunity. Donors should support projects that directly help the populace, without the political elites in the West Bank or Gaza skimming the cream or Hamas diverting supplies.

Donors must use their funds to support people and NGOs that show some independence from Hamas. Otherwise, they will be helping rebuild Hamas rather than Gaza. It should be clear that empowering political elites who damaged the chances for peace has not worked and will not work.

The two-state solution is further away than ever today. The recent days of war make the idea of removing the IDF from the West Bank look like madness to most Israelis. If Israel leaves, who exactly will prevent Hamas from taking over, seizing control of the West Bank as it did in Gaza in 2006, and as Hizbullah did in south Lebanon? Until that question can be answered, the two-state solution is a slogan rather than a serious destination.
The Joshua and Caleb Network: Exposing a Fake Palestinian Riot (SHOCKING FOOTAGE)
While Gaza was shooting rockets at Israel, we experienced a Palestinian riot up close in Samaria. When taking a closer look however, we discovered something that just wasn’t right. You’ll be shocked at the first-hand footage that we were able to capture.

We also have a new video of the forest that was set on fire and burned during the Gaza War. To help us replant the trees that were lost, sponsor a tree today at

Also on today’s show, we talk about the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza and give our analysis on the war.

Israel vs. Hamas: A "Just War" Analysis
Pro-Palestinian protesters and mobs unleashed a wave of anti-Semitic violence against American Jews in recent days, apparently under the theory that American Jews are responsible for Israel's actions and violent reprisal is justified. That amounts to a strange understanding of "just war" theory.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that deliberately murders civilians and says it wants to destroy Israel. On the other side, Israel has a right to defend itself, full stop. Israel was fighting to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks on civilian populations.

As a scholar who recently wrote a book on just war theory, I have carefully weighed the evidence and believe Hamas to be unjust, appallingly wrong, and morally abhorrent. Hamas' American apologists are making excuses for terrorism.

Hamas is in the wrong no matter what you think of the Palestinians' cause. If you sympathize with the Palestinians, you should hate Hamas. Hamas is the greatest enemy of the Palestinians.

In 2021, Israel does not occupy the West Bank or Gaza, having withdrawn from those territories in 1995 and 2005, respectively. It recognized the Palestinian Authority as the governing authority of Palestinian territories and engaged in repeated negotiations to end the Israel-Palestine dispute. Israel did not initiate the recent round of violence. Under these conditions, the Palestinians are not fighting for self-defense, and political violence is not remotely a last resort for their cause.
JCPA: Iran: “The Prophecies of Khomeini and Khamenei on the Elimination of Israel Are Coming True”
It is likely that Iran and Hizbullah will draw a number of lessons from the 2021 Gaza War as they look toward the next confrontation with Israel:
1. In their view, rocket weaponry is a "tiebreaker," targeting Israel's home front as a major weak point. Thus, they will seek to strengthen the rocket forces and accelerate the deployment of precision missiles.
2. Explore ways to disrupt Israel's missile defense systems.
3. Prepare for the occupation of Israeli territory in the Galilee, including the use of offensive invasion tunnels. In this context, it was recently reported that Hizbullah had established a network of hundreds of kilometers of tunnels, including command and control complexes, from Beirut to southern Lebanon, aimed at attacking IDF forces in the event of an IDF ground maneuver on Lebanese territory.
4. Damage strategic Israeli facilities and military infrastructure.
JCPA: Gaza as a Military Testing Ground for Iran
However, these statements are rooted in the Palestinian perception inherent to Israel’s weakness: a reluctance to introduce its forces into Gaza for fear of casualties and refusal to control another two million Palestinians. These conclusions are chronicled in Tehran and Hizbullah because the parallel to the situation in Lebanon is self-evident!

It does not bode well for Israel that its weaknesses were apparent not only to the Palestinian public but especially to Hizbullah and Iran, who studied Israel’s behavior during the 11 days of fighting.

The war in Gaza must serve as a very loud wake-up call and cause Israel to rethink its policy toward its enemies in the Arab world. The rising situation requires a drastic change in Israel’s reactions: no more restraint, which is the source of all evil.

Continuing the same policy of restraint and the hesitation to use force may encourage Iran and Hizbullah to continue their plans to surprise Israel on other fronts. This is possible should they conclude that Israel will strive to avoid any frontal confrontation with Hizbullah and a ground incursion that could result in significant casualties by exposing Israel’s homefront to significant attacks.
From air defense to 'occupation': The plan for endless war in Gaza
In the wake of the recent Gaza war, several narratives have emerged that are preparing the ground for the next war and guarantee to give Hamas more legitimacy, even as it fires thousands of rockets at Israel’s cities.

The narratives include arguments that Israel’s Iron Dome somehow is perpetuating the conflict and that Israel continues to “occupy” Gaza, despite it being controlled by the Hamas terrorist group.

The twin theories present a recipe for endless war. On the one hand, there is a theory that Israel’s success in defending its civilians against rockets somehow reduces the threat the Jewish state feels from Hamas rockets. On the other hand, regardless of Israel’s actions, it is argued that it will always be “occupying” Gaza.

The occupation narrative is designed to press Israel into taking full responsibility for Gaza. Some commentators don’t even mention Hamas’s control of Gaza as a factor in the conflict.

When the Turkish army was expelled from Palestine in 1918, it was not still defined as occupied by Turkey. When the British Mandate ended in 1948, it was not still “occupied” by the UK. When Egypt was pushed out of Gaza in 1967, it was not still occupied by Egypt.

Only Israel, upon leaving Gaza, is said to still be “occupying” it. This is not just because of Israel’s naval blockade off the coast. You can blockade something or interdict weapons flow and not be “occupying” it. Even though dozens of countries recognize “Palestine” as a country, Gaza is still “occupied.”
Irish Parliament Rejects Bid to Expel Israeli Ambassador, Impose Sanctions on Jewish State, but Condemns ‘De Facto Annexation’
The Irish parliament on Wednesday night voted down an amendment calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the imposition of sanctions on the Jewish state.

However, Ireland became the first European Union state to condemn Israel’s “de facto annexation” of the West Bank as the government backed a motion from the nationalist Sinn Fein Party, whose foreign affairs spokesperson earlier declared, “we are baldly stating that Israel is acting illegally under international law.”

The Irish government had supported the Sinn Fein proposal in a debate on Tuesday night. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said during the debate on the issue that “we need to be honest with what is happening on the ground and call it out” as “de facto annexation.” He added that the Republic was the first EU country to state this as fact, saying it could be a “message to the global community.”

Coveney said as well that he found it “deeply troubling” that Sinn Fein could not bring itself to also condemn the actions of Hamas for killing “children and innocent civilians” in Israel.

However, the parliament rejected an amendment tabled by the far left People Before Profit Party to expel the Israeli ambassador to Dublin and impose comprehensive sanctions against Israel, with 86 votes against and 46 in favor.

The rejected amendment stated that “the Israeli apartheid system through its ongoing ethnic cleansing, brutal state repression and murderous military violence, including four savage military assaults on Gaza in recent years, has no place among the international community of nations.”
Toronto Star Oped By Michael Lynk Perpetuates Falsehood That Israel “Occupies” Gaza
In his recent oped in the Toronto Star on May 25 entitled “Canada’s languishing position on Israel needs to catch up with the world,” Michael Lynk (pictured right) creates a narrative of Israel as a pariah state, constantly breaking international law, and in need of immediate opprobrium.

The Star describes Lynk as “the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory that has been occupied since 1967,” except of course, Gaza isn’t occupied by Israel.

The only problem with Lynk’s narrative is that it relies almost entirely on factual errors and extremely misleading statements.

Lynk, who’s well known for his anti-Israel animus as documented by UN Watch, bizarrely attributes the recent armed hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the Gaza-based Islamist terrorist group, not to Hamas’ steadfast refusal to accept Israel’s very existence, but rather to Israel’s “harsh 54 year old occupation, the longest in the modern world.” As Lynk surely knows, Israel in no way, shape or form occupies the Gaza Strip, having unilaterally evacuated the area in 2005, in an extremely difficult episode where 21 settlements were destroyed and 8,500 Jews were ripped from their homes by Israel, many of whom had lived there for generations, in an attempt to demonstrate Israel’s painful concessions for peace.

As such, to claim that Israel’s non-existent “occupation” of the Gaza Strip is somehow responsible for Hamas’ decision to fire 4,000+ rockets into Israeli schools, hospitals and even a power station supplying electricity to Gaza, is simply ludicrous.
Gerald Steinberg: Who Is Watching the Human Rights Watchers?
While human rights organizations raise several billions of dollars annually, their agendas are increasingly being questioned.

Instead of focusing on horrific violations by dictatorships and terrorist regimes, these groups tend to devote major resources to investigating Western democracies.

Accusations of "war crimes" by the U.S., UK, Australia, and Israel, based on reports of accidental civilian deaths from strikes aimed at top terrorists hiding in densely populated areas, are standard fare.

The NGO employees who write these reports have no military experience and most often rely on "eyewitness testimonies" that cannot be verified.

Moreover, lawyers and judges who do not share the ideological views of these groups reach very different conclusions.
The Human Rights of Israeli Civilians Are Beyond the Scope of the UN Human Rights Council
On Thursday in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will hold a Special Session to pass another anti-Israel decision. It will be the 9th such session devoted to Israel, out of a total of 30 special sessions held since 2006. Given the abhorrent situations and insurmountable challenges faced by so many around the world, is it even remotely rational to devote 30% of special sessions to Israel?

Moreover, the UNHRC will either ignore or obscure the more than 4,000 violations of international humanitarian law committed by Hamas since 10 May. That is the number of indiscriminate rockets which terrorist organizations in Gaza launched at civilians living in Israeli towns and cities. Apparently, the human rights of Israeli civilians are beyond the scope of the UNHRC.

Hamas has brought nothing but sorrow and suffering to the Palestinians living under its rule. This was demonstrated during the recent conflict when Israel twice facilitated the passage to Gaza of convoys of trucks loaded with fuel and humanitarian aid. Both times, the convoys were targeted by mortars fired from Gaza. Strengthening a dangerous terrorist organization and its extremist followers throughout the Middle East will deal another blow to those seeking peace and stability.
Is the U.S. Caving on Iran Sanctions?
With the expiration dates of the JCPOA already taking effect and accelerating after 2023, the Biden administration’s policy of rejoining the 2015 nuclear pact already made little sense. After all, Iran concealed undeclared nuclear activities throughout the agreement and in violation of its obligations. But Malley’s statement that terrorism, missile, or human right sanctions can be inconsistent with the JCPOA turns a foolish policy into a dangerous one.

According to Malley’s interpretation of the JCPOA, the entities provided sanctions relief under the 2015 deal did not just receive “nuclear sanctions” relief. They were given blanket immunity to finance terrorism, proliferation, and human rights abuses in perpetuity. Any attempt to impose terrorism sanctions on an Iranian bank that is actively financing terrorism, for example, would be a violation of the JCPOA, according to Malley, if that terror bank was initially granted nuclear sanctions relief in 2015.

That is most certainly a shift in U.S. policy—toward Tehran. It contradicts statements and commitments made by Malley’s boss, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January that terrorism sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and the National Iranian Oil Company were not inconsistent with the JCPOA. Blinken had also vowed that even if Biden suspended nuclear-related sanctions, it would “continue non-nuclear sanctions as a strong hedge against Iranian misbehavior in other areas.”

The danger of a policy that grants Tehran’s largest banks and companies full immunity from terrorism and missile sanctions is on full display today in Israel. Giving a green light to terror and missile finance will vastly expand the terror budget for terrorist groups in Gaza and Lebanon—putting Israel in even greater danger.

If the president was unaware of what his envoy was giving away, now is an opportune moment to instruct Malley to reverse course. If Biden doesn’t, he will own the consequences.

Report: Israel to condition rebuilding of Gaza on progress in prisoner issue
Israel has conditioned the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip on promoting the issue of bringing back its citizens held by the Hamas terrorist group, Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Thursday morning.

The parties are expected to meet for indirect talks in the Egyptian capital of Cairo in an attempt to reach an outline for a long-term ceasefire, the rehabilitation of the Palestinian enclave following the recent spate of cross-border violence and an agreement on the issue of prisoners and missing persons.

The Gaza terrorist outfit holds the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in action, and civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham a-Sayed.

According to the report, Israel will also demand to hold talks through two separate mediation channels.

Egypt is expecting to play a key role in the rebuilding of Gaza, an issue that was taken up by Qatar following previous rounds of fighting between the Jewish state and Palestinian terrorist factions.

The Egyptians are reportedly seeking to establish a designated directorate that would supervise a future settlement between the parties and make sure that aid money doesn't fall in the hands of Hamas.
Qatar Offers Hamas-Ruled Gaza $500 Million to Rebuild
Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, announced on Wednesday that the Gulf state would give $500 million to help rebuild the Gaza Strip after an 11-day conflict with Israel.

The hostilities began on May 10, when Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Strip launched rockets towards the Jewish state that numbered more than 4,000 by the time a truce was declared on May 21.

Islamist-supporting Qatar has long supplied Hamas with money and certain goods, and Israel has acquiesced to help maintain a level of stability for the 2 million residents of the coastal enclave.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been in the region on behalf of the Biden administration for the past two days seeking to “rally international support” for Gaza, the AP reported Wednesday.

Blinken said he was seeking to rebuild Gaza without letting the aid reach Hamas or its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Israel resumed the supply of goods to Gaza and opened up fishing there earlier this week.

British public strongly backs Israel’s right to defend itself
The British public strongly backs Israel’s right to defend itself and feels deep sympathy for UK Jews in the wake of a recent wave of antisemitism, a new poll has revealed.

Just 10 per cent of Britons believe Israel does not have the right to defensive action while 55 per cent believe it does, according to a survey of 2,097 people carried out by Deltapoll over the past week.

The study, commissioned by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), also showed strong public concern for British Jews over a spate of antisemitic attacks triggered by the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Fifty-two per cent agreed that incidents such as the shouting of racist slogans from cars in Jewish areas made them “worry that future atrocities against Jewish people are still possible”.

It comes as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited Israel this week to express Britain’s support for the ceasefire, while Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the JC that he supported Zionism — and called on social media companies to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Almost half of those surveyed by Deltapoll, 44 per cent, said the antisemitic incidents of recent weeks made them concerned for the safety of British Jews, while 46 per cent said it reminded them of historical atrocities against Jews.

Armin Laschet, Candidate to Lead Germany as Chancellor, Affirms Support for Israel’s Security and the Protection of Jewish Life
Armin Laschet, the conservative frontrunner to succeed Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel this year, has made it a priority to make clear the country’s support for its Jewish population and the State of Israel — even more so following the recent Gaza conflict and the outburst of antisemitic attacks that followed.

Laschet has repeatedly reaffirmed in recent weeks that the security of Israel and the protection of Jewish life remain German priorities. Laschet — who is currently the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous federal state in the German Republic — has frequently expressed his affinity for Israel and has a long tradition of fighting antisemitism.

The chancellor candidate, a Roman Catholic from the western German city of Aachen, last week called for the banning of the Hamas flag on Germany’s streets following a series of anti-Israel demonstrations and antisemitic acts in several cities, including in North-Rhine Westphalia, which saw the throwing of stones and the burning of Israeli flags outside synagogues. The rising anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment seen around the world has been triggered by the recent round of fighting in the Gaza Strip between the Jewish state and the Hamas terrorist organization.

“We have banned the flag of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Germany because it is a terrorist organization. Therefore, the Hamas flag which stands for terrorism needs to be banned as well and should not be allowed to be shown on German streets,” said Laschet, addressing the state parliament in a debate on antisemitism on May 20. “Hamas is turning Gaza citizens into hostages for their terrorist activities and is weakening the Palestinian Authority.”
Israel’s Reprimands French Envoy After FM’s ‘Apartheid’ Comments
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned France’s Ambassador to Israel Eric Danon to address comments made by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian regarding the risk of “long-lasting apartheid” in the Jewish state.

“Israel is a democratic, law-abiding country, and I strongly protest any attempt to challenge this fact and the foundations of the State of Israel,” Foreign Minister Ashkenazi said, addressing Le Drian’s allegation that, unless a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is achieved soon, the Jewish state was on a slippery slope towards “apartheid.”

Israel strongly rejected recent reports by the Israeli B’Tselem rights group, as well as by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization, both of which accused Israel of subjecting Palestinians to a multi-tiered regime of separation and discrimination, not unlike the racist system of governance that held sway in South Africa between 1948 and 1991.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a strongly worded rebuke to Le Drian.

“The minister said that Israel was liable to become an apartheid state — a brazen, false claim that is without any foundation,” Netanyahu said in a video recording.

“We will not accept any hypocritical and libelous moralizing on this issue,” he said.
Top South African Leader Claims Israel Wants to Conquer African Continent in Conspiracy-Laden Antisemitic Rant
A senior leader of South Africa’s ruling party unleashed a disturbing antisemitic rant on Tuesday at a protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, in which she variously accused Israel of planning the conquest of Africa, threatened South African Jews whose children serve in the IDF, and called for a boycott of Jacobs Coffee, a popular brand in the country that originates with a non-Jewish German mercantile family of the same name.

Jessie Duarte — the deputy secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) — made the comments during an inflammatory speech demanding the immediate expulsion of the Israeli Embassy, in the wake of the recent renewed fighting between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.

“Go home, go and talk about what you are doing wrong,” Duarte told embassy staff through a megaphone. “We will come and talk to you and help you to bring about peace, but please go home.”

Duarte — who was centrally involved in a 2017 ANC campaign to break diplomatic ties with Israel — denounced Israel as a “military junta, not a democratic society,” and leveled unsubstantiated accusations of “genocide” against the Jewish state. She claimed that opposition from the “World Trade Organization” had prevented the international community from labeling the conflict with the Palestinians as a genocide.

Duarte also signaled that South Africa’s powerful pro-Palestinian lobby would be willing to use force to close down the Israeli Embassy.

“We are going in there one of these days. We can jump fences,” Duarte said.

Duarte then took popular anti-Zionist conspiracy theories about Israel’s territorial expansion to a new heights in her speech

Haaretz publisher apologizes for paper’s removal of Israelis from story on kids killed in Gaza fighting
The publisher of the Haaretz daily apologizes after the paper ran a New York Times article about Palestinian and Israeli children killed during the recent fighting in Gaza, but removed the Israeli children from the story that appeared on its front page this morning.

In a tweet, Amos Schocken attributed the “serious mistake” to an unspecified editor “who explained that we had already reported on their cases extensively and in real time.”

Schocken says the version of the story that Haaretz published “harmed the manner in which the New York Times portrayed what happened in the war to children from both sides.”

He apologizes to the left-leaning newspaper’s readers and says the online story version of the story will be corrected.

Mansour Abbas: Arab Protests Were Legitimate Due to Jerusalem ‘Provocations’
The chairman of Israel’s United Arab List Party (Ra’am) on Thursday defended the right of Arab Israelis to protest against the state’s “provocations” on the Temple Mount and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

“In light of the events of the past month, many thousands of Arabs protested, which is a legitimate form of dissent that seeks to express solidarity and objection to the provocational use of force inside the Al-Aqsa mosque and against the family evictions in Sheikh Jarrah,” said Mansour Abbas.

The Ra’am party leader was chairing a Special Knesset Committee on Arab Society Affairs meeting about the wave of arrests following the recent riots in mixed cities.

“For two weeks, hundreds of thousands of citizens went out to protest and marched in every Arab town, even in areas [where] we weren’t used to seeing demonstrations. One of the consequences is that there were events that deviated from the norm and the law,” said Abbas.

“There’s no question that we all agree that protest is legitimate in a democracy and it’s the right of the citizens to express political positions,” he continued. “On the other hand, we all called for the preservation of law and order and to demonstrate in a legal manner.”

“I personally acted on this front,” Abbas stressed. “The position is clear—we are for legitimate protest and reject any act that damages private property,” he added.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Anti-Jewish Riots Over, Umm-El-Fahm Arabs Return To Killing One Another (satire)
Thugs unable to take their aggression out on Jews in Israel following belated police suppression of pogroms in Lod, Ramle, Haifa, Acco, the Negev, and elsewhere over the last several weeks have resumed their customary violence against fellow Arabs, with customary impunity, resulting in at least three murders in this northern Israeli town in as many days.

Following massive police intervention to separate Jewish and Arab residents several mixed towns and cities in Israel, and to prevent further lynches, beatings, synagogue burnings, looting, and other crimes perpetrated under the ‘Al Aqsa is in danger’ pretext, the dregs of Israeli-Arab society returned to their peacetime routine of killing other Israeli Arabs, with a spree in Umm El-Fahm that included the burning of a police station, streetfights, and at least three murders since Sunday.

Observers remarked on the speed with which the thugs made the pivot to, and then away from, targeting Jews en masse. “The move from subjecting other Arabs in Umm El-Fahm to intimidation and violence happened quickly, but in part we can attribute that to official Palestinian propaganda about Al Aqsa, and further incitement by local preachers,” explained Softbi Ghotry, a sociologist who specializes in Arab citizens of Israel. “The impressive part isn’t the violence against Jews, which happens often enough when Jews dare to enter majority-Arab towns. It’s the amazing quickness with which they just went so seamlessly back to killing one another, and whoever else happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like they’d practiced it or something.”

PMW: PA misrepresents terrorist stabber as innocent school boy attacked by Israelis This week, a 17-year-old Arab teenager stabbed and wounded two Israelis. The terrorist was shot and killed by an Israeli border patrol officer at the scene.
This week, a 17-year-old Arab teenager stabbed and wounded two Israelis. After the attack, one of the victims still had the knife sticking out of his back. The terrorist was shot and killed by an Israeli border patrol officer at the scene.

However, the PA and Fatah portray terrorist stabber Zuhdi Al-Tawil differently. According to their false narrative, the stabber was an innocent school boy, murdered in cold blood by Israel.

The PA completely inverted the events, declaring that terrorist Zuhdi Al-Tawil was the victim of an Israeli attack:
“Zuhdi Al-Tawil, a 17-year-old youth… was shot by the occupation forces and died as a Martyr yesterday [May 24, 2021,] in the French Hill area of occupied Jerusalem, after a stabbing operation by extremist Israelis.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 25, 2021]

Referring to the image below, the official PA daily continued its portrayal of the terrorist as if he was an innocent young man, emphasizing that he was a young student who was unrightfully killed – “with his schoolbag next to him”:
[Website of Al-Jazeera Mubasher, May 24, 2021]

“Local sources said that the Martyr is an outstanding high school student in the sciences track… An image was published on social media of the Martyr on the ground handcuffed with his schoolbag next to him.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 25, 2021]

House Republicans Probe Biden Admin for Ignoring Syria Sanctions To Appease Iran
House Republicans are probing the Biden administration for its failure to enforce sanctions on Syria as part of a bid to appease Iran, embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s biggest backer.

Iran has repeatedly violated congressionally approved U.S. sanctions on Syria by sending shiploads of crude oil to Assad. This also violates sanctions on Iran aimed at stymieing its oil trade and cutting off a source of revenue for the hardline regime. The Biden administration has declined to enforce sanctions and, six months into the administration, has not issued a single penalty on Syria under the bipartisan Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which authorized the executive branch to target Assad.

Republican foreign policy leaders are investigating the matter, according to a copy of their demands sent Tuesday to the White House and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Reps. Bryan Steil (R., Wis.), Jim Banks (R., Ind.), and Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) maintain the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce sanctions is the result of its ongoing diplomacy with Iran that is aimed at cementing a revamped nuclear deal. The investigation is one of several active probes being led by the Republican Study Committee, the House’s largest conservative caucus, which opposes the Biden administration’s efforts to provide Iran with massive sanctions relief.

"We are concerned that your administration is failing to enforce U.S. sanctions law on one of the worst human rights violators in the world, which has killed half a million people, as a concession to Iran to re-enter the failed Iran nuclear deal," the lawmakers write. "We are deeply concerned that after over 100 days of being in office, the administration has refused to impose any sanctions."

The congressmen say they are "committed to investigating and uncovering any sanctions relief provided to Iran and its allies as part of your efforts to re-enter the [Iran nuclear deal]."

Ex-US intel chief to ‘Post’: Biden is surrendering to Iran - opinion
President Joe Biden’s national security team appears to be insistent upon reversing policies just because they were attached to the Trump administration, regardless of the disastrous consequences. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East, where we have traded four years of peace through strength for four months of violence through weakness.

The Middle East is like an ancient puzzle of interconnected interests, histories, alliances and suspicions. For decades, we tried to jam ill-fitting pieces together, or at times tried to blow up the puzzle and start from scratch.

The Trump administration took a totally different approach that started with viewing each piece of the Middle East puzzle - allies and adversaries alike - as it was, with clear eyes. This clarity empowered policy makers to take bold steps to support our friends and to deter our enemies.

Alarmists, including current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, warned that delivering on a decades-old promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem would set fire to a regional tinderbox. Many of the same detractors said taking Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani off the battlefield would spark a war.

In both cases, the opposite happened. Our potential partners, Arabs and Jews alike, saw that it was possible to break out of antiquated molds and approach old problems with new ideas - and would-be troublemakers realized there were real consequences to malign actions.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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