Tuesday, June 01, 2021

From Ian:

Biden Administration Rewards Terrorists: Abbas and Hamas
Ironically, the same Abbas who told Blinken that he (Abbas) is committed to a peace process with Israel is the same Abbas who also wants to see his Israeli "peace partners" put on trial at the ICC.

Now comes Blinken and announces that the reopening of the consulate in the city. Here is how the Palestinians understand his gestures: If you fire 4,000 rockets and missiles at Israel, you get a US embassy in Jerusalem and millions of dollars of US taxpayer money. It works! The solution, then, is to keep on doing it!

By reopening the consulate, Blinken is telling both Hamas and Abbas that the US does not recognize Jerusalem as the united and undivided capital of Israel.

Blinken has also sent a message to Abbas and Hamas that former US President Donald Trump's formula of "peace for peace" in the Middle East is off the table; they no longer need to worry.

Abbas and Hamas are rubbing their hands because, the way they see it, the Biden administration has just achieved their goal of scrapping Trump's peace plan, "Peace to Prosperity: A vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People."

By rewarding Abbas, Hamas and the anti-normalization camp in the Arab world, the Biden administration has bludgeoned its declared objective of reviving a peace process in the Middle East. It has demonstrated decisively that corruption and dictatorship pay. It has shown that terrorism pays – to the tune of millions of dollars. Palestinian incitement and violence against Israel are unlikely to recede in the context of such an encouraging outcome.
How Hamas and the PA started the 'TikTok intifada'
It’s far easier to portray Israel as a criminal land thief than it is to acknowledge that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex and rife with disinformation, with one side preaching peaceful coexistence and another wanting the land of Israel to be Judenrein.

This ceasefire is not a peace agreement, nor is it an acknowledgement of error by Hamas. In fact, quite the opposite. Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas leader, crowed that the violence achieved one key goal: preventing peace with the Jewish state. “We have destroyed the project of coexistence with Israel, of normalization with Israel,” Haniyeh said after the ceasefire took effect.

Haniyeh makes no secret of regularly reiterating Hamas’ ultimate goal, the destruction of Israel, and in the interim, the continued refusal to accept the Jewish state’s right to exist. Sending rockets at Israel and killing civilians in their homes was just a short-term means to that end.

The longer-term goal is to create a moral equivalence between Israel and the Islamist terrorist groups who seek its destruction, ensuring that Israel’s hands are tied in any future conflict, thus preventing it from meaningfully degrading Hamas’ ability to murder Israeli civilians.

This most recent bout of violence, and all the violence preceding it, is driven exclusively by the refusal of Hamas and the PA to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Yet it does not have to be this way.

Israel has, time and time again, made painful concessions for peace and offered generous peace proposals to the Palestinians, who only reciprocated with rejectionism and terrorism. Israel has always extended its hand for peace with the Arab world, which is exemplified by the recently forged peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

The only thing accomplished by acting as if there’s a moral equivalence between Israel and those who seek to destroy it, is to create a feel-good performative exercise that only perpetuates the violent stalemate between Israel and Hamas. This benefits nobody, least of all the Palestinians, whose bloodthirsty and intransigent leadership remains the biggest obstacle to peace.
HonestReporting: Israel Under Attack From Hamas and Media: HonestReporting CEO Interviewed by CUFI
CUFI's Kasim Hafeez and Corina Cater have a heartfelt conversation with HonestReporting CEO Daniel Pomerantz about life in Israel during the recent Gaza conflict with Hamas. Hear directly from Jerusalem about how difficult life under fire was, especially in light of biased and false media coverage.


Shmuley Boteach: Are US Jewish groups ashamed to support Israel? - opinion
WHAT DOES it say about the American Jewish community that we have not yet organized a single rally in DC, where the most important political decisions about Israel are being taken?

My close friend Ron Dermer, the most successful ambassador to the US in the Jewish state’s history, was recently criticized by some for saying in an interview that Christian Evangelicals are more reliable supporters of Israel than American Jews. Some went so far as to even call him a post-Zionist, a particularly disgusting criticism of the man who helped facilitate the moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the funding of Iron Dome, the withdrawal of the United States from the abominable Iran deal, the Obama administration’s increase of foreign aid to Israel, and the plethora of COVID vaccines to Israel.

But to all of Ron’s Jewish critics I would say: If you think he’s misguided, then prove him wrong.

Let’s finally organize a Jewish march on DC for Israel. Let’s do it, God willing, in the next two weeks. Let’s stop with the excuses that we didn’t rally for Israel because we quietly sent rabbis to Israel or had an online rally.

What Israel needs right now is public, loud, and unconditional support from American Jewry. And we need it in the streets!

There’s an unspoken agreement between American Jews and Israeli Jews wherein the latter are prepared to send their sons and daughters to the IDF (our family has proudly had two children serve, with one on the way, God willing), endure terrorist rockets on their cities, and rebuild the Jewish homeland after 2,000 years of exile.

All they ask of us in return is to stand with them when genocidal terrorists try to annihilate them.

Do we pay a price?

Sure we do. Jews are now being beaten in Times Square and American streets in displays of antisemitism that have no precedent in this country. And we’ll also be excoriated on social media for doing so.

But we must, while combating domestic antisemitism, fulfill our side of the bargain, standing up for the safety of Israel’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian citizens and freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

No more excuses. Let’s organize a Washington rally now.


Israel vs anti-Israel advocacy journalism - opinion
PERHAPS IT is time for Israel to realize that the world and a growing part of the Democratic Party will never see Israel as anything but an occupier. Maybe the unrelenting double standard against Israel should be seen as an opportunity for Israel to choose its security borders and not wait for the Palestinians. Heck, nobody thought the Abraham Accords would ever happen. This certainly would upset many people. But considering decades of Palestinian rejection of their own state because they would have to sign an end-of-conflict resolution, accept a demilitarized Palestinian state and end the demand for a right of return, maybe the time has come for Israel to set a new path.

Advocacy journalism can inspire Israel to take the initiative and control its own destiny, as it lives in a woke world where its right to exist is fair game, and violence against Jews is excused as a natural reaction to occupation.

So here are some proposals to get people’s blood pressure to boil.

1. Israel unilaterally defines its borders based on security considerations
2. No further Jewish building in the areas designated for a future Palestinian-controlled territory.
3. Jewish growth is confined to the settlement blocs or settlements essential for security considerations.
4. Continued Israeli security control of the designated future Palestinian territory until the Palestinians can unreservedly sign an end-of-conflict agreement and recognize a Jewish state next to an Arab one. That could take generations, if not longer.
5. Consider drawing the lines of a future Palestinian state that would incorporate areas within pre-1967 Israel with an Arab population. If Arab citizens of Israel want to keep their Israeli citizenship, they may need to move to Israel or remain Israeli citizens living under the Palestinian Authority.
6. Redefining Jerusalem’s artificially created borders to designate overwhelmingly Arab Muslim areas of Jerusalem for a future Palestinian entity, thereby demographically moving hundreds of thousands of Arabs from the census of Israel, if and when Palestinians decide to live in peace with a Jewish state. All Jewish holy sites and neighborhoods remain under Israeli control.
7. Tangible consequences when Hamas sends rockets into Israeli civilian areas.

Mind you, this is all to stimulate debate. None of this would satisfy the international community, the Times, the Biden administration, or for that matter many Israelis, like my fellow columnist Caroline Glick. But it is food for thought.

The Times writers believe Israel is an apartheid state and want Israel to become a binational state – in other words, the demographic destruction of a postcolonial aberration of Jewish racism.
Another Long, Hot Summer of Antisemitic Violence Begins in LA
After last summer’s violence, the Jewish community in Los Angeles has been gearing up for an escalation for months. Leibel Mangel, director of Magen Am’s veterans program, served in the IDF from 2013 to 2015. He recalls the summer of 2020 as particularly dangerous and fears new waves of attacks.

“Last year, the starting point was the neighborhood of La Brea, but many other neighborhoods are rather unsafe nowadays, such as Hancock Park,” he explained. (Some 20% of Hancock Park’s population are Orthodox Jews, including a large and visible population of Hasidic residents.) Last summer, Magen Am started training American Jewish veterans to join the Jewish community’s security training program, in order to hire more security staff for synagogues, schools, community centers, and kosher restaurants.

“We added another step to that this year: We now have a full-time security armed patrol in the Jewish community and vehicles driving around with IDF veterans,” Mangel explained. A dispatch online that is now available to report suspicious activity receives on average a dozen calls per week. “Since last week, we have been getting up to seven calls a day,” he said.

Last week, Magen Am helped police identify and arrest two youngsters who were driving around the neighborhood and harassing the local Jewish community. Yossi C., who was attacked last Shabbat, had been walking back to his house. “Two driving teenagers started screaming ‘Fuck you Jews’ and as I was trying to get their license plate and make them repeat what they said, they screamed ‘Heil Hitler, free Palestine.’”

Yossi, who declined to reveal his last name for reasons of personal safety, described the young driver who “got one step outside of the car and said, ‘I’m not going to do this in front of your wife and your child, but otherwise I would beat your ass.’”

I always thought the United States was a few steps ahead of England and Europe, so it is disappointing to see that this country is going in the other direction.

A Manchester native, Yossi moved to the United States five years ago, thinking “it was better. I always thought the United States was a few steps ahead of England and Europe, so it is disappointing to see that this country is going in the other direction.”

Like numerous Jews in the neighborhood, Yossi believes that social media is used as “an evil force” to encourage, incite, organize, and normalize attacks.

According to Francky Perez, a representative of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, “It is ironic that Israel was praised last month for its excellent coronavirus management and is now being shamed for its policy with Gaza.” According to Perez, his own bureau’s statistics show that antisemitic crimes increased by 40% in Los Angeles in the month of May.

A Paris transplant who has been living in the United States for more than 20 years, Mr. Perez said that although antisemitism has always existed in the United States, 2021 has taken a new turn. “The wind is changing,” he said. He seemed especially worried for the new generation, which receives its news from social media accounts that often combine inflammatory hot-button content with social shaming, heated invective, and a reckless disregard for the truth. Since the beginning of the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, nearly 200 antisemitic incidents have been reported across the United States.
The Pathetic Response to the Scourge of Antisemitism
There must be zero tolerance for antisemitism, just like there is none for racism against Black or Hispanic Americans or discrimination against women. Jews should be able to go anywhere in America, feeling completely safe and wearing their kipot with pride.

My parents were rescued by righteous gentiles in Poland. The couple who saved them were officially recognized as Righteous of the Nations by Yad Vashem. But as righteous as they genuinely were, even they spoke positively about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s efforts to cleanse Poland of Jews. The Holocaust was the weakest point for the Jewish people in our history.

Now we are at our strongest point, with the most sophisticated Jewish community since Sinai. We have a thriving Jewish state with one of the world’s most powerful armies, and unfortunately, also one of the most battle-tested.

The Jewish community in America is also strong, with more than 20 Jews serving in top posts in the Biden administration. The majority leader of the Senate, Charles Schumer, is a Jew who built himself up from a humble background. He is now the most powerful Jewish elected official in America. Perhaps he should have used that power to speak out more forcefully and to take action against extremist statements made against Israel by members of Congress.

There is so much to recognize about the accomplishments of countless Jewish Americans. But to truly celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month next year, much must be done on a local, federal, and national level to stop the scourge of antisemitism.
Non-Jewish man wearing kippah in solidarity with Jews is assaulted in Sweden
A non-Jewish man who wore a kippah in the city of Gothenburg in Sweden has been assaulted on the street by several men and was called “Jewish bastard” by at least one of them, according to a witness.

The incident last Wednesday “happened very quickly,” the witness told the Dagen Nyheter daily, who wrote about it Thursday. “He didn’t have a chance to defend himself,” said the witness, who is related to the unnamed alleged victim. Police are looking into the incident, which happened during the afternoon in central Gothenburg, a port city of over 500,000.

In 2015, a Swedish reporter who isn’t Jewish was assaulted in Malmo, another port city situated about 150 miles south of Gothenburg, while wearing a kippah on the street to test attitudes toward Jews.

Watchdog groups and Jewish community officials are reporting an increase in antisemitic incidents across Europe since the start of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas earlier this month. A ceasefire on May 21 ended 11 days of fighting, but antisemitic incidents still appear to be occurring at an elevated rate.
Let us now praise Bill Maher
Maher reaches the young, the uninformed, and the misinformed, and his message infiltrates even mindless Liberals.
He is a Liberal himself, but not that kind; the kind stuck in the mud of political correctness.
Maher can swing either way, as he has done since 2003, weekly, on HBO. His zingers can be confounding, as when he said the 9/11 hijackers were not cowards.

At the same time, he can be highly critical of Islam… to the amazement and chagrin of his Liberal guests and audience.
Maher is one of those rare Liberals – maddeningly but refreshingly unpredictable.
Those are his people. Liberals. So he speaks their language. They understand him, and they believe him, and they trust him.
So when he takes a position at odds with their orthodoxies, attention must be paid. How many viewers see Israel in a different light after watching his show last week?

How many no longer trust the media, nor believe Palestinian Arab propaganda after he scorched them both with biting wit?
How many with their minds shut had their eyes opened?
I’d say plenty, and I have never been a fan.
Over the years, some of us on the Conservative side tuned him out. Perhaps too fast? The liberties he took at our expense was just too much.
I’m still no fan, but got to say, all is forgiven, after coming through like this…in this climate…when all around us is anti-Semitism. We have a saying, “In a place where there are no men, be a man.”

Along came Bill Maher.
The Antisemitic Incitement of Max Blumenthal
Since quitting Labour before he was pushed, former Labour MP Chris Williamson has been trying to build a far Left extra-Parliamentary movement. It is no exaggeration to say that antisemitism is a keystone of this movement. It comes in the form of our old friend, IDS (Israel Derangement Syndrome): “Jews Are OK, It’s Zionists Who Are Evil”. Williamson and his Cronies are free to play this game with impunity because although the Equality Act recognises that a ‘belief’ can be a ‘protected characteristic’, there has not yet been case law that confirms Zionism to be a ‘belief’(I am not aware of a case which decided that it is not a ‘belief’ either – there simply hasn’t been a case). I’ve submitted to the Law Commission Consultation on Hate Crime.

The problem with “Jews are OK … ” is that it’s nonsense. Jews and Zionists are two sides of the same coin. Antisemites make no distinction. Williamson knows this of course…..

The most recent manifestation of IDS was an online meeting last Wednesday (26 May 2021). (Kerry-Anne Mendoza was sick and didn’t participate). Speakers included Richard Boyd Barrett, the 54 year old member of the Irish Parliament who has told the Israel Ambassador that he should be expelled. But the reason why I am blogging the meeting is the contribution of Max Blumenthal which was pure Nazi – not for the first time from Blumenthal, here he is in 2017.

Here’s what Blumenthal says, with time-stamps and my comments:
39:49: “AIPAC controls every elite institution and leaves the public in the margins”

The trope of Jewish Power. Profoundly antisemitic. IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.‘
41:18 “BDS is an expression of how undemocratic our foreign policy is”

Ditto
41:37 Williamson: “The Far Right and the Zionist movement in the UK are very close”
Muslim Extremists Stage Nazi-Style Rally Attacking Israel in Center of Hamburg, Germany, Despite Ceasefire in Middle East
Antisemitic demonstrations targeting Israel have continued to be staged by Islamist groups in Germany, despite the May 21 ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.

In a sinister display last Friday that brought to mind demonstrations by neo-Nazi groups, hundreds of Islamist protestors lined the Steindamm in the St. Georg district of the port city of Hamburg.

Video of the rally showed more than 200 men clad in black clothing and lined up in military fashion. Several carried coffins bearing Arabic inscriptions as they angrily chanted slogans accusing Israel of being a “child murderer.”

According to Philipp Stricharz, the head of the Jewish community in Hamburg, Friday’s demonstration was organized by a splinter group within the city’s Muslim community of 90,000.

Stricharz told local media outlets that the rally had violated German laws against public displays of antisemitism, and that he would be consulting with the police and municipal authorities in the coming days.

“We consider the demonstration on Friday to be an attempt by a fringe group to drive a wedge into Hamburg society,” Stricharz declared. “We will not allow that, and we are certain that the overwhelming majority of Hamburg’s Muslims will see it the same way.”


Multiplatform promotion of partial Sheikh Jarrah narrative from BBC’s Paul Adams
Despite the existence of BBC editorial guidelines stating that the “particular viewpoint” of contributors should be made clear to audiences, Adams makes no effort in either the written or audio versions to clarify Seidemann’s political agenda and links to campaigning NGOs before audiences go on to read or hear that contributor’s hyperbolic statements.

“There is a concerted effort to displace the Palestinians who live there, and to replace them with biblically motivated settlers. That’s what’s happening.”

Jews and Arabs were both displaced in 1948, he says, but there the similarity ends.

“You have one city, one war, two peoples, both losing property.”

“One can recover the property; the other cannot. That is the original sin of Sheikh Jarrah.”

Mr Seidemann says the targeting of four Arab areas – two in Sheikh Jarrah and two in Silwan, to the south – represent Israel’s first effort at large-scale displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem since the immediate aftermath of the 1967 war.

And he says the process is incendiary.

“We’re taking the radioactive issue of Jerusalem and the radioactive issue of displacement and we’re uniting them,” he says.”


In neither of his reports does Adams make any attempt to properly explain why a private property dispute that has been going on for decades should only now “trigger” violence from Hamas. Neither does he bother to clarify to BBC audiences that a claim promoted in both reports concerning the Israeli government is simply untrue and that this is – and remains – a property dispute between owners and tenants.

“Adel says it’s not a fair fight.

“It’s become very clear that we are not battling with settlers. We are battling with the government,” he says.

“We don’t have the strength to battle with the Israeli government.””


Notably, Adams made no effort to ask his interviewees from Sheikh Jarrah why they compromised their court-endorsed status as protected tenants by failing to pay rent. In fact the only mention of the highly relevant topic of rent in both reports comes from interviewee Fleur Hassan Nahoum and in the written report Adams signposts that as “controversial”.


Israel should salvage a lost opportunity to disarm Hamas - opinion
Israel has had a knife placed at its throat for years, much like the knife placed on the United States 60 years ago when Soviet nuclear missiles were deployed in Cuba. Then, as now, the missiles must be removed. Not contained, removed. No country in the world would accept 4,000 missiles being lobbed at its civilians. Just imagine what would be left of Tijuana if 4,000 missiles were fired at San-Diego.

If the international community is committed to a real ceasefire, it might not be too late to set new rules of engagement whereby Hamas is disarmed and a sustainable truce is achieved. If this mainstay of Islamist terrorism remains capable of attacking Israel, renewed attacks by Hamas are a foregone conclusion. Alongside the unconditional return of captive Israelis and the bodies of its soldiers held in Gaza, the immediate objective of Israel and the international community must be a permanent disarmament of Hamas and groups of its ilk.

Many pundits claim that Hamas cannot be dismantled. But contrary to this conventional wisdom, terrorism can be defeated. Many and much more sophisticated organizations than Hamas have been eradicated: Peru’s Shining Path, Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers (who specialized in suicide bombings well before Hamas did, Japan’s Aum Shinrinkyo (which used chemical agents in a Tokyo subway), and of course the IRA, to name a few.

These groups were once thought by many to be invincible, yet today are history. Hamas and the smaller Palestinian Islamic Jihad are no different, other than the fact that they are backed by Iran. If instructed to do so, the IDF is fully capable of eradicating or at least dismantling these organizations. That is the duty of any responsible government that sees the security and safety of its people as its highest priority.

It was convenient but wrong to define the IDF’s mission as “Remove Hamas’s will to attack Israel.” That is unquantifiable and insufficient. Hamas’s capability needs dismantlement so that a new and long-lasting equation of deterrence will come about.

Many speculate about what would follow Hamas in Gaza. Would they be as bad or perhaps even worse? Would the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, ISIS or organizations of its ilk, viewed by some to be more radical than Hamas, take over? Would it be a cunning, mild-mannered figure like Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas? Perhaps it could be an international force?

One thing, though, is certain: The entity that ultimately succeeds Hamas will know that the last organization that terrorized Israel was defeated and dismantled. That should deter them from acting in a similar fashion.
Ted Cruz shares video of Ashkelon house destroyed by Hamas rockets
US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) visited Israel and witnessed the destruction Gazan rockets caused to homes in southern Israel during the latest round of conflict with Hamas.

In a video shared over social media, Cruz visited a home in Ashkelon that was destroyed by a rocket. This home was the site of one of Israel's first casualties during the conflict: Soumya Santosh, a caretaker originally from Kerala's Idukki district in India.

In a video, Cruz walked through the room and showed the damage the rocket caused, with the wall being completely destroyed and the interior an inhospitable mess of debris.

"All of this came from one Hamas rocket, one terrorist, who murdered a woman in Ashkelon," Cruz said in the video.

Earlier Monday, Cruz accused US President Joe Biden of showing "weakness" to Israel's enemies. Speaking to the Associated Press, Cruz said that this perceived show of weakness is going to spark further escalations in terrorist attacks.

“The longer Joe Biden shows weakness to Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran, the more you’re going to see terrorist attacks escalating,” Cruz told AP after touring Israel's Iron Dome defense system.

The Texas Republican arrived in Israel Sunday alongside fellow GOP senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Bill Hagerty (Tennessee) in order to see the damage that was caused by the fighting during the 11-day conflict, AP reported.
'Eyes And Ears Of America Is Israel' — Lindsey Graham Meets With Benjamin Netanyahu In Jerusalem On Memorial Day
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Memorial Day amid the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group controlling Gaza.

Graham posted photos after his Monday talks with Netanyahu, saying on Twitter he had a “great meeting,”

“‘More for Israel’ to help protect and defend from Hamas rocket attacks,” he added.

The Twitter account for the Prime Minister of Israel then tweeted out a video of Graham and Netanyahu.

Netanyahu praised Graham in the video, The Hill reported, saying, “No one has done more for Israel than you, Senator Lindsey Graham, stalwart champion of our alliance and we have no better friend.”

“You’ve been a tremendous friend and a tremendous ally,” he added.

Graham was holding a sign that reads: “More For Israel”.
How Israel Implements The Law Of Armed Conflict To Defend Against Terrorists Hiding Among Civilians
On June 9, 2021, at NOON Eastern, Legal Insurrection Foundation will host an online event to educate on the law of warfare and Israel’s targeting protocols, How Israel Implements The Law Of Armed Conflict To Defend Against Terrorists Hiding Among Civilians.

The event was organized after the flood of misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies charging Israel with “war crimes” for its attempts to stop Hamas rockets being fired from Gaza. Here is the event description:
Israel faces terrorist enemies who use schools, hospitals, homes, and residential buildings for military purposes, including the firing of rockets, digging of tunnels and bunkers, and command centers. Recently Hamas fired over 4000 rockets from Gaza towards Israeli cities, knowing that Israel’s attempt to stop the rocket fire would end up harming Gaza civilians. It’s a cynical ploy, whereby terrorists use civilian shields to attack civilians, knowing that the biased media and U.N. will blame Israel. In this webinar, international law expert Prof. Eugene Kontorovich will explain what international law actually means with concepts such as “disproportionality,” and how much of what is claimed about the law of warfare is inaccurate. Colonel Eli Bar-On (Ret.), who served as the Deputy Military Advocate General of the IDF (2012 to 2015) and is an Expert at The MirYam Institute, will walk us through IDF targeting protocols designed to comply with international law, demonstrating the enormous lengths Israel goes to avoid civilian casualties. From this webinar you will emerge better equipped to counter the smear campaign being waged against Israel.


Israel Summons Mexican, Philippine Ambassadors Over Votes Supporting UNHRC Probe Into Gaza War
Israel has summoned the ambassadors of Mexico and the Philippines after they both voted in favor of a resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to open an investigation into alleged human rights abuses and crimes committed by the Jewish state during the 11-day clashes with the Hamas terrorist organization.

Ambassador of Mexico Pablo Macedo on Monday met with Israel Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director General for Latin America, Modi Ephraim, who said that the country expects of allies such as Mexico that the “good bilateral relations” between the two countries should also be reflected in the international arena.

Mexico and the Philippines were among 24 out of 47 UNHRC member states who on Thursday voted in favor of the resolution which calls for the establishment of an investigative committee against Israel. Israel outrightly rejected the resolution, calling the council a biased and anti-Israel institution and announced that it will not cooperate with the investigation.

The decision on establishing a commission of inquiry comes after Israel and Hamas agreed to a bilateral and unconditional ceasefire on May 21 ending 11 days of fighting. The inquiry will begin a probe into incidents that occurred both before and after April 13, 2021 and include the recent clashes with the Hamas militant group.

“Israel further expects that Mexico stand with us during this difficult time in the same way that Israel has done for it, show understanding for the security challenges that Israel is facing, and recognize Israel’s right and duty to defend its citizens, at whom Hamas fired 4,300 rockets,” Ephraim said.

The Israeli diplomat added that it is “inconceivable that Mexico would side with countries hostile to Israel in a decision that does not contribute to peace and which rewards terrorism.”

Gilad Cohen, Deputy Director General for the Asia-Pacific at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, conveyed to the Ambassador of the Philippines, Macairog S. Alberto on Sunday that his country’s vote is “unacceptable” to the Jewish nation.


Israel Announces Lifting of Nearly All Pandemic Restrictions
Israel’s government announced on Tuesday that it was lifting most public restrictions connected to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This decision was made against the background of the low morbidity data and the continuing downward trend in all indices that has continued over the past few weeks,” said Israel’s Health Ministry.

Israel is a world leader in terms of the percentage of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (56.7 percent). As of Monday, the number of new confirmed patients stood at just 15.

Israel is specifically cancelling restrictions related to its “Green Pass” and “Purple Badge” programs. The first applied to individuals and the second to businesses.

As of Tuesday, individuals will no longer have to show a Green Pass when entering public spaces. The pass provided proof they had either been vaccinated or had recovered from the coronavirus.

Likewise, businesses will no longer have to meet the “Purple Badge” requirements, which involve a host of restrictions, from practicing strict hygiene to maintaining distance between workers to measuring the body temperature of employees at workplace entrances.

“All venues can operate as a matter of routine, without limiting the size of crowds, serving food and other special conditions set for the venue to operate,” said the Health Ministry.
Ra’am chief meets Shaked, reportedly demands deputy interior minister role
Yamina No. 2 Ayelet Shaked on Monday met with Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas, whose Islamist party will likely have to throw its support behind the political factions opposed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, if the country is to swear in a new government.

There was no statement from either side on what Shaked and Abbas discussed.

Abbas has not yet committed to backing the government Yamina chief Naftali Bennett announced Sunday that he is seeking to form with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and the “change bloc” of anti-Netanyahu parties. Lacking a majority in the 120 seat Knesset between them, the factions will need Ra’am and/or part of the Joint List alliance of three predominantly Arab parties to win a vote of confidence in the would-be government.

During his meeting with Shaked, the Ra’am chief demanded that one of his party’s lawmakers be appointed deputy interior minister, according to the Haaretz daily. Shaked, who reports have indicated will be interior minister if the government if formed, was said to express fierce opposition to the demand.

As he left the meeting, Abbas was confronted by the father of Cadet Shir Hajaj, one of four soldiers killed in a 2017 ramming attack in Jerusalem. The father, Herzl Hajaj, accused Abbas of denouncing terrorism in Hebrew but expressing support for terrorists in Arabic. Abbas denied doing so.
20 years on, Dolphinarium bombing victims still struggle
The survivors of the 2001 suicide bombing at Tel Aviv’s Dolphinarium discotheque are still living with the horror, which has only intensified over the past two decades due to the state’s lack of recognition and refusal to provide appropriate compensation.

On June 1, 2001, a Hamas-affiliated terrorist blew himself up at the entrance to the seaside club, killing 21 young Israelis and wounding dozens more.

Many of the victims were immigrants from the former Soviet Union who were planning to attend a party at the club.

One survivor of the infamous attack is Irina Lipkin, now aged 38, who sustained numerous injuries.

"The terrorist blew himself up two meters away from me as I stood in line to get into the club,” Irina says.

“At Ichilov hospital [in Tel Aviv] I was asked what clothes my two best friends who were with me had been wearing. It was only later that I learned that one of them had been killed.”

Lipkin remembers the attack in vivid detail.

"There was a large crowd at the entrance. And in a split second I was inside the explosion. I saw everything in slow motion, the wave of burning heat enveloping me. The friends who were standing next to me were thrown in all directions.”


Security officer tells of life-or-death struggle with knife-wielding Gazan
A security officer who prevented a terror attack from the Gaza Strip by taking on a knife-wielding terrorist described Monday how he fought hand to hand with the intruder even though he himself was not carrying a weapon.

Andrei Dustov was lightly injured in his hand during the incident late Sunday night. The Palestinian man was later shot and injured.

“It was a miracle that the terrorist didn’t get into the community and start to stab residents,” Dustov told Channel 12 news, with his hand heavily bandaged from a gash he sustained during the fight.

Many Israeli communities in areas with security concerns maintain a team of armed guards known as community security officers.

Dustov, a community security officer working in the border area, said that a message had gone out to local officers that there was a suspicious man wandering along the main road of Hevel Shalom, an Israeli region opposite the southern Gaza Strip.

“I was the closest to him so I went out in that direction,” he said. Dustov was not armed as his gun was taken from him last year following a complaint lodged against him with the Police Internal Investigations Department when he was serving as a volunteer policeman, which he has done for the past 11 years.
Suspected Gaza arson balloon sparks fire in south in apparent violation of truce
A fire in southern Israel was apparently started on Monday by a balloon-borne incendiary device launched from the Gaza Strip, firefighters said, in what seemed to be the first violation of a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terror group, following an 11-day conflict earlier this month.

The incident came as the Egyptian military met with top Israeli and Hamas officials in Jerusalem and Gaza, respectively, in a bid to negotiate a long-term truce between the two sides.

According to Fire and Rescue Services, the fire broke out in an agricultural field in the Sha’ar Hanegev region of southern Israel.

“A fire investigator from the Ashkelon station of the Fire and Rescue Services investigated the event and determined that based on the evidence it appears as though the fire was caused by an incendiary balloon,” the department said.

The blaze was quickly brought under control, the service added.

The Israel Defense Forces has threatened major retaliation to any violations of the truce.


Amid shaky Gaza ceasefire, Hamas calls for West Bank ‘Day of Rage’ on Friday
The Hamas terror group urged Palestinians to hold a “Day of Rage” on Friday in order to confront what it called “settlers’ aggression” and the “storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.

“This aggression will be met by our people with further resistance and confrontation,” the terror group said in a statement.

Despite the ceasefire mostly holding between Israel and the terror group in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas leadership was apparently still pushing for further unrest in the region.

Hamas called upon Palestinians to block Israeli bypass roads in the West Bank and to confront “settlers who are working to impose a fait accompli under the auspices of the occupation government.”

The group also called on Palestinians to march toward the so-called points of friction in the West Bank — checkpoints that see violent clashes with Israel Defense Forces soldiers on a weekly basis.

The protests were planned for the day before Naksa Day, which commemorates the Arab loss in the 1967 Six Day War and is generally marked on June 5.

“We affirm that the masses of our people are ready to engage in the project of national liberation and to defend the land and the holy sites,” the terror group said in a statement on Tuesday.
MEMRI: Former Qatari Health Minister In Ode To The Gazan Terrorists: 'Gaza Leads The Way In Jihad And In Courage'; Its Rockets Were Like 'Suns' That Terrified The Israelis And Brought Joy And Pride To The Arabs
On May 27, 2021, the Qatari daily Al-Sharq published a poem by Qatar's former health minister, cardiologist Dr. Hajar Ahmad Al-Bin'ali, glorifying the Gazan organizations for their recent round of fighting with Israel. The poem, titled "The Intifada of Laylat Al-Qader," is written in the form of a traditional qasidah (ode). It lavishes praise on the Gazans who "led the way in jihad and in courage" and whose rockets "illuminated the earth," terrifying the Israelis and bringing pride and joy to the Arabs. Extolling the Gazans for heeding the call of Jerusalem, and calling to "expel the filthy Zionists from Al-Aqsa," the poem also curses the Arabs and Muslims for not coming to the Gazans' aid.

The qasida in the Qatari daily Al-Sharq

The following is a translation of the poem.[1]

"Your rockets became suns in the evening
They were fear for them and joy for us

"Awesome, they move proudly through space
Bringing calamity upon them in Tel Aviv

"You shot up meteors that sailed through their skies
Frightening both devils and humans as they flew

"From up high they illuminated the earth
And you [Israelis] remained humiliated underground, as prisoners

"We heard the call of Jerusalem: Arise, let us help Jerusalem
And let us expel the filthy Zionists from Al-Aqsa


World Bank says Lebanon’s financial crisis among world’s worst since 1850s
Lebanon’s economic collapse is likely to rank among the world’s worst financial crises since the mid-19th century, the World Bank said in a damning report released Tuesday.

The report predicts that Lebanon’s economy will shrink by close to 10 percent in 2021 and stresses there is “no clear turning point on the horizon.”

Lebanon defaulted on its debt last year, the currency lost around 85% of its value, and poverty is devastating a country once seen as a beacon of prosperity in the region.

“The economic and financial crisis is likely to rank in the top 10, possibly top 3, most severe crisis episodes globally since the mid-nineteenth century,” the report said.

The latest World Bank Lebanon Economic Monitor report, entitled “Lebanon Sinking: To the Top 3,” said such brutal economic collapses are usually the result of war.

The complete meltdown of Lebanon’s economy during the past 18 months is widely blamed on corruption and mismanagement by the country’s hereditary political elite.

“Policy responses by Lebanon’s leadership to these challenges have been highly inadequate,” the report said.
Nasrallah is recovering from pneumonia, not coronavirus - report
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is recovering from pneumonia and seasonal allergies, Lebanese newspaper Al Joumhouria reported. Last week, Nasrallah attempted to broadcast threatening messages to Israel while hacking and coughing throughout his speech. The Hezbollah leader delivered the speech in a quiet, raspy voice and appeared to have difficulty keeping his head up.

His speech caused rumors that the Hezbollah leader was in poor health, and at the time his son Javad Nasrallah denied his father's condition was worsening and "just a cold, stay calm."

Following the speech, the IDF even chimed in to say that the Hezbollah leader looked weak and sick, believing that the speech was a mistake by the terrorist organization.

During the recent IDF operation in Gaza, Nasrallah did not make any statements, and Hezbollah officials remained relatively quiet, with only one or two statements made besides for an official statement issued by the terrorist movement after the ceasefire.

Nasrallah stated last week that he had not made any statements in recent weeks because he had been sick.

Many speculated that he could have contracted a coronavirus infection, which bears some of the same symptoms he looked to have been experiencing while making his speech.

According to Walla! News, a medical expert estimated that Nasrallah could be suffering from coronary heart disease or an infection within his airways. The medical expert also said that Nasrallah hiding out in a bunker since 2006 would also be a factor affecting his health.
PM vows to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions even at cost of 'friction with US'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday that he would not shy away from a clash with the US as part of his efforts to counter Iran's nuclear program to ensure Israel's survival.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony for newly appointed Mossad chief David Barnea, Netanyahu vowed that "Israel will deny Iran nuclear weapons" even if that complicates its relations with "our greatest friend: the United States."

According to Netanyahu, Israel might have to ultimately choose between "friction with the US and removing an existential threat" and it will choose the latter, which he said was constantly growing, but he added that he hoped Israel would not have to make that choice.

Netanyahu added: "The greatest threat we face is the existential threat created by Iran's attempts to get nuclear weapons. This could be in the form of threatening us – a small and clustered country – with annihilation, or with tens of thousands of missiles that would get a nuclear umbrella. This could pose a threat to the Zionist enterprise and we must counter this without stopping."

Netanyahu said that in his recent conversation with US President Joe Biden – whom he called "my friend for the last 40 years" – he said that Israel will continue with its efforts to counter the Islamic republic "with or without a nuclear deal."
Iran Says Nuclear Talks Not at Impasse, but Difficult ‘Issues’ Remain
Iran believes that barriers to the revival of its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers are complicated but not insurmountable, a spokesman said on Tuesday, denying that negotiations had stalled.

Iran and six powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for Tehran and Washington to take on, respectively, nuclear activities and sanctions, for the pact to resume.

On Monday, a report from the UN nuclear watchdog showed that Iran had failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites, possibly setting up a fresh diplomatic clash with the potential to derail the talks.

“There is no impasse in the Vienna talks,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference streamed live by a state-run website.

“Negotiations have reached a stage where a few key issues need to be decided, and these issues require the proper attention, perfectionism and time.”
Iran's enriched uranium stockpiles 16 times higher than limit set by nuclear deal
Iran holds a quantity of low enriched uranium nearly 16 times higher than the limit authorized in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to a report Monday by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

After Washington pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018 under former US President Donald Trump and re-imposed crippling economic sanctions against Tehran, Iran began breaching the deal's restrictions on its nuclear activities as of 2019.

One of its more recent breaches, enriching uranium to 60%, a big step towards weapons-grade from the 20% it had previously reached and the deal's 3.67% limit, continued. The IAEA estimated that Iran had produced 2.4 kg of uranium enriched to that level and 62.8 kg of uranium enriched to up to 20%.

Iran's production of experimental quantities of uranium metal, which is prohibited under the deal and has prompted protests by Western powers because of its potential use in the core of nuclear weapons, also continued. Iran produced 2.42 kg, the IAEA reported, up from 3.6 grams three months ago.

Iran has also failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites, the report by the UN nuclear watchdog showed, possibly setting up a fresh diplomatic clash between Tehran and the West that could derail wider nuclear talks that are currently underway in Vienna.

Three months ago Britain, France and Germany scrapped a US-backed plan for the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors to criticize Iran for failing to fully explain the origin of the particles; the three backed off as IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced fresh talks with Iran.

"After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of the three locations where the Agency has conducted complementary accesses [inspections]," a report by Grossi to member states seen by Reuters said.











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