Wednesday, June 09, 2021

From Ian:

Why Cutting off Aid to Hamas Is Insufficient
Hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid is pouring in from around the world to rebuild Gaza after the recent war between Israel and over a dozen Palestinian terrorist groups. But rebuilding a territory that is controlled by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, is complicated. American laws place conditions on the flow of funds. But it’s not that simple. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN agency tasked with aid distribution to the Palestinians, doesn’t consider Gaza’s violent extremist groups to be terrorist organizations. Not even Hamas.

Despite this, donor countries promise to prevent the aid from going to terrorists. It’s noteworthy that many of these donor countries—including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have also designated Hamas entities under their terrorism laws. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States would “work with partners to ensure that Hamas does not benefit from these reconstruction efforts.” UNRWA is one of those partners. It is currently slated to receive $150 million of U.S. taxpayer funds this year. Unless the State Department makes funding to UNRWA contingent on the agency’s compliance with U.S. terrorist designations, U.S. taxpayer funds could flow to any one of the fifteen Palestinian terror groups that launched rockets indiscriminately into Israel during the course of the recent war.

Indeed, Hamas is not the only concern. At least three groups that the United States formally regards as terrorist entities participated in the Hamas-led campaign against Israel: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to Joe Truzman of FDD’s Long War Journal.

UNRWA’s procurement contracts suggest that funds are already flowing to PFLP affiliates. As recently as March, UNRWA was funding the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), a Gaza-based entity with extensive links to the PFLP. Earlier this month, Israel charged several staff members from UHWC’s partner organization with funneling funds to the PFLP. Like Hamas, the PFLP receives financial backing from Iran. The PFLP’s “political and military wings” have been receiving financial and logistical support from Iran since at least 2013, according to a Gaza-based Palestinian journalist. Iran’s financial support for both Hamas and PFLP is well-documented in official Iranian government media.

EU study finds incitement in Palestinian textbooks, kept from public
Palestinian Authority textbooks encourage violence against Israelis and include antisemitic messages, according to an unpublished report commissioned by the European Union in 2019 and obtained by The Jerusalem Post.

The European Commission kept the report under wraps after receiving it from the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research earlier this year. Brussels directly funds the salaries of teachers and the publication of textbooks, which, the report indicates, encourage and glorify violence against Israelis and Jews.

The report, which is almost 200 pages long, examines 156 textbooks and 16 teachers’ guides. The texts are mostly from 2017-2019 but 18 are from 2020. Excerpts from the report were published in German newspaper Bild earlier this week.

The report’s executive summary glosses over the many examples of antisemitism and incitement in the textbooks, claiming that they “adhere to UNESCO standards” though they “express a narrative of resistance within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and they display an antagonism towards Israel.”

However, the report includes dozens of examples of encouragement of violence and demonization of Israel and of Jews.

The report says the textbooks present “ambivalent – sometimes hostile – attitudes towards Jews and the characteristics they attribute to the Jewish people.... Frequent use of negative attributions in relation to the Jewish people... suggest a conscious perpetuation of anti-Jewish prejudice, especially when embedded in the current political context.”
PMW: Jerusalem Arab activist’s role model is terrorist murderer of 37
Abbas’ Fatah party promotes a terrorist who led the murder of 37, 12 of them children, as a “role model” for young adults.

Fatah highlighted a picture of “rebel Muna Al-Kurd” holding her cell phone adorned with an image of Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist murderer who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978. She and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway and murdered 37 of the civilian passengers, 12 of them children, while wounding over 70.

Fatah wished Al-Kurd a life in “defense” of Jerusalem “like your role model Dalal Mughrabi”:
Posted text: “The occupation forces arrested rebel Muna Al-Kurd at her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood [of Jerusalem].
May you live as a rebel defending our Jerusalem, like your role model Dalal Mughrabi.”

[Official Fatah Facebook page, June 6, 2021]

Al-Kurd is an Arab activist and resident of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which since mid-April has been the center of Arab protests against the eviction of Palestinian families living illegally in properties owned by Jews (see further details below).

For decades, the PA and Fatah have promoted murderer Mughrabi as a role model especially to youth, as exposed by Palestinian Media Watch. Be it by naming schools, streets, sports tournaments, and summer camps after her, celebrating her birthday, or glorifying her in school books, the PA has brainwashed Palestinians to see this terrorist murderer as the epitome of Palestinian pride and achievement.

As the cover adorning Al-Kurd’s cell phone clearly shows, the PA’s brainwashing has succeeded in turning a child murderer into a Palestinian role model.

Break Hamas’ “Gaza-Jerusalem” Equation
It appears that Israel’s military strikes on Hamas during the Guardians of the Walls operation were not a strong enough deterrence because Hamas is again threatening and trying to impose the “Gaza-Jerusalem” formula on Israel. Hamas took advantage of the sensitive political situation in Israel and the expected change of political power to establish its new equation as a fait accompli.

It is, therefore, of great importance that the new government reasserts its full Israeli sovereignty with no surrender over east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

Israel has enough leverage over the Hamas leadership to tear apart the new equation that they are trying to impose. Hamas is weaker than it was before the Guardians of the Walls operation. Actions Israel could take include:
1. Do not open the border crossings or increase the size of the fishing zone.
2. Reduce or stop the supply of electricity from Israel to the Gaza Strip.
3. End the delivery of Qatar’s monthly monetary grant, especially in light of the remarks by the outgoing head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen. In a June 7, 2021, lecture to the Friends of Bar Ilan University, Cohen admitted that relying on Qatar to calm the region was a mistake. Security officials say that most of the Qatari money authorized by Israel for the Gaza Strip was ultimately used for Hamas’ military buildup.
4. Slow the indirect negotiations of a prisoner exchange deal. Hamas sees great significance in showing the Palestinian street that it has real achievements from the last war, and securing the release of hundreds of terrorists in a prisoner exchange is no less important than the Gilad Shalit deal (when 1,027 were released) in 2011. If such a deal is implemented now, it will further strengthen Hamas’ stature on the Palestinian street and weaken the PA. Israel is in no rush just because Hamas wants to implement the deal on its terms for political gain.

Israel should let Hamas stew in its own juice. Israel is much stronger militarily, and it must not allow Hamas to dictate new rules of the game even at the cost of another round of fighting in the Gaza Strip. Only an aggressive policy will restore deterrence.

Hamas is trying to drag Israel into a war of attrition of short rounds of fighting to establish the “Gaza-Jerusalem” equation. The next round of fighting may have to include the ground entry of IDF forces into the Gaza Strip to damage the terrorist infrastructure. The IDF has sufficient operational plans to damage the terrorist infrastructure in a ground operation without occupying the entire Gaza Strip. It is time to change the situation of incessant rounds of fighting in the Gaza Strip and move on to a more creative and effective strategy.
COGAT thwarts over 1,000 attempts to smuggle dual-use weapons into Gaza
The Communications Headquarters Unit in the Civil Administration has thwarted over one thousand attempts in the past few months to smuggle mail packages into the Gaza Strip containing dual-use products terrorist organizations intended to use against Israel, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported.

The items identified by staff of the postal inspection facility at the Beitunia Crossing in the West Bank included drones, radio devices, frequency jammers and listening equipment. The facility serves as a checkpoint for deliveries sent to Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and destinations abroad.

While the deliveries were not weapons, they were considered dual-use items that could be utilized for terror purposes.

"We take very seriously any attempt to take advantage of the civilian medium of mail deliveries to deliver dual-use items that could harm the security of the State of Israel and its citizens," the head of the Civil Administration, Brig.-Gen. Fares Atila, said.

The smuggling of dual-use products into the Gaza Strip is a danger that Defense Minister Benny Gantz discussed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of Operation Guardian of the Walls, with the allowance of humanitarian aid shipments bringing items that could have both civilian and military functions.
How Hamas Took UNRWA Hostage
Back in 2010, during a speech to an Arab American group, Andrew Whitley, the outgoing head of UNRWA’s New York office, stated the obvious: “We recognize, as I think most do, although it’s not a position that we publicly articulate, that the right of return is unlikely to be exercised to the territory of Israel to any significant or meaningful extent. … It’s not a politically palatable issue, it’s not one that UNRWA publicly advocates, but nevertheless it’s a known contour to the issue.”

UNRWA’s reaction was swift, saying, “UNRWA unequivocally distances itself from the statements made by the director of its office in New York, Andrew Whitley, at the National Council on US-Arab Relations in Washington on October 22, 2010. These statements in no way reflect the policies or positions of the agency and are the personal views of Mr. Whitley.”

UNRWA’s code of silence can be explained in several ways. For one thing, too much money and too many careers are at stake — $806 million in 2020 and some 30,000 employees. Its leaders, therefore, cannot in any way jeopardize the narrative of UNRWA’s indispensability to perpetual Palestinian “refugees” who are allegedly faced with unrelenting Israeli violence.

UNRWA’s role in promulgating the destructive myth of the “right of return” is a way to perpetuate Palestinian grievance — and thus, its own existence.

But at another level, UNRWA, including both its international and Palestinian employees, are simply hostages, partly of their own making.

Like other totalitarian governments, the atmosphere of harassment and intimidation created by Hamas is real and palpable. Having seen Hamas throw its political opponents off of buildings and drag their bodies through the streets is influential. The Western media had little to say when observing Hamas operatives digging up water pipes for conversion into missiles, or constructing miles of tunnels under Gaza. Nor did the Associated Press need to be reminded to ignore Hamas facilities in their shared building. Antagonizing the hosts with the truth can be self-destructive.

When access is everything, Westerners willingly make themselves hostages. And when the truth slips out, access is lost and apologies flow. Matthias Schmale’s accidental candor cost him a job, but fortunately not his life. With $150 million of renewed US funding and yet another “emergency appeal” from UNRWA, the stakes are high — but the truth seems unlikely to reappear soon.
Secretary Blinken calls out UNRWA antisemitism in US Congress
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the Biden administration’s renewal of funding for UNRWA is conditional on anti-Israel and anti-Jewish education reform on Tuesday, referencing educational materials that erase Israel from maps and praise terrorism and martyrdom.

“We’re also determined that UNRWA pursue very necessary reforms in terms of some of the abuses of the system that have taken place in the past, particularly the challenge that we've seen in disseminating in its educational products antisemitic or anti-Israel information, so we're very focused on that,” Blinken said before the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate regarding the State Department's budget requests for the 2022 fiscal year.

He continued, adding that the State Department would be “looking very, very carefully” at the mechanisms that the refugee organization for Palestinians says it has in place in order to address problematic educational materials, which were discovered by a January 2021 review by Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), a non-profit that monitors the content of school textbooks.

IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff called on the US State Department to make the subject a priority.

“UNRWA had been telling donor countries for years that it combats incitement in the Palestinian textbooks. In fact, we found that, in places, UNRWA’s own content is even worse than that of the Palestinian Authority. It is right and proper that the US State Department is now going to focus on eradicating hate education in UNRWA schools. The era of UNRWA trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes while teaching hate every day needs to be well and truly over," he said.

Victor Rosenthal: Doing the Math about Gazan casualties
How many Gazans were killed or maimed by those 680 rockets that fell short?

Even if we ignore the better protection enjoyed by Israelis, proportionately we should expect about 52 deaths in Gaza from their own rockets. I’m going to reduce that number to 30, because, despite what anti-Israel people like to say, Gaza is not “the most densely populated place on earth,” and there are empty places for rockets to land.

According to Hamas, there were a total of 256 Gazans killed. The IDF estimates that it killed 225 fighters. Let’s give Hamas the benefit of the doubt and accept its number. And just to be even more generous, let’s say the IDF exaggerated a bit and only 200 of the dead were Hamas fighters.

That leaves 56 civilian casualties. At the very least 30 of them were killed by the “friendly” fire of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, leaving 26 that can be attributed to the IDF’s bombing of military targets.

So here is a 10-day air campaign in a dense urban environment – which I remind you was undertaken in self-defense, after Israel was attacked, in which there were only 26 civilian casualties as a result.

This is a record that no other military force in history, even the most advanced Western armies, can match.

“Indiscriminate and disproportionate?” I think not.
Major Jewish leaders join new initiative that focuses blame for the deaths of children in Gaza on Hamas
Major Jewish leaders around the world are supporting an initiative to place the blame for the deaths of dozens of children, killed in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, on the Gaza-based terrorist organization.

An image was created mocking the recent New York Times front cover which featured a collage of 67 Gazans under the age of 18 titled “They Were Just Children” using information and statistics gathered from Hamas-run institutions in Gaza, and insinuating that Israel was at fault for their deaths.

The image being shared online, seen over a million times, changes the name of the publication to “The New Woke Times” and the same collage of children is led with the title “Hamas Wanted for the Murder of 67 Children” and features pictures of Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinwar. The concept if to place the blame on the real culprits for the tragedy.

“The publication by the New York Times of the photograph of the children is a libelous distortion and misrepresentation of the facts of the recent conflict,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “It was Hamas that initiated the conflict and placed its rockets among civilian populations and proceeded to launch more than 4000 rockets at Israel, even though around 700 of them landed within their own territory and may have been physically responsible for many of the deaths. The world should join in condemning them and seeking their arrest for those war crimes.”
Republican lawmakers urge Biden to stop reopening of PLO Washington office
A group of 16 Senate Republicans led by Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to US President Joe Biden, urging him not to reopen the PLO office in Washington, and the US Consulate-General in Jerusalem.

They said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s announcement about the move to reopen the two offices “is deeply concerning.

“It is particularly misguided at a time when the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas along with the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hamas, incited and supported recent violent riots, rock throwing, and other terror attacks in Jerusalem.

“This was escalated by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing more than 4,000 rockets that rained down terror on Israeli civilians,” they added. “We urge you to adhere to US law and ensure both of these diplomatic missions remain closed.”

They argued that reopening the diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Israel’s capital “would wrongly indicate that the US supports dividing the capital city of our close ally and would only reward the Palestinian leadership’s continued hostility toward Israel.
Nasser and the Palestinians

By the time of his death on September 28, 1970, Nasser's Palestine policy seemed to have come full circle: from apathy and indifference, to full embrace and support, to disengagement and reversion to an "Egypt first" policy. As late as July 1970, he agreed to entertain a new peace plan espoused by U.S. secretary of state William Rogers, telling a senior PLO official, "I am going to accept it. You are free to reject it—that is your right. But whatever you decide, do not criticize me."[48] He was similarly dismissive of his Arab peers' fiery Palestine rhetoric. "You issue statements, but we have to fight," he told an all-Arab summit in Cairo a few days before his death. "If you want to liberate, then get in line in front of us ... but we have learnt caution after 1967, and after the Yemenis dragged us into their affairs in 1962, and the Syrians into war in 1967."[49]

Had Nasser been truly committed to the Palestinian cause—and for that matter to the pan-Arab ideal—he would not have entertained dropping this cause for the sake of a separate Egyptian-Israeli deal. Instead, just as he had been associated with the Young Egypt Party and the Muslim Brotherhood in pursuit of his grandiose ambitions, Nasser championed the Palestinian cause so long as this helped catapult him to pan-Arab leadership and maintain this role. The Palestinians, like the Brotherhood, were expendable pawns that could be disregarded or discarded once their usefulness to Nasser's—and by extension Egypt's—goals had been exhausted.

As more primary sources on Egyptian history and foreign policy become available, it is possible that Nasser's image and legacy will undergo further change. And yet, it is also entirely possible that these revelations will not make much of an impact as many Egyptians, Palestinians, and other Arabs continue to view Nasser as an incorruptible, towering symbol in the tenuous era of decolonization. As one Egyptian academic put it, "At the end of the day, Nasser was the leader that the vast majority of people truly related to; he was the strong leader that people looked up to."[50]
Israeli officials snubbed EU peace envoy during recent visit — report
Israeli officials snubbed the European Union’s Middle East peace envoy during his recent visit to the region, turning down all of his requests to meet with them, the Walla news site reported Wednesday.

Quoting unnamed senior Israeli officials, the report said the decision to blackball Sven Koopmans was taken over what Israel saw as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s lack of support during the recent fighting against Gaza terror groups.

Koopmans, a Dutch politician and diplomat, was appointed the EU’s Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process on May 1.

Two weeks ago, Koopmans told Israel’s ambassador to the EU, Ronnie Lashno-Yaar, that he wanted to visit Israel and meet with Israeli officials, according to the news site. While Lashno-Yaar backed the idea, officials at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem had reservations about the timing and told Koopmans to plan his trip for a later date.

Koopmans, however, decided to go ahead with the visit in any case. In response, the Foreign Ministry decided that no Israeli diplomatic or defense officials would meet with him and all his requests for meetings were rejected, the report said.

Instead, Koopmans traveled to Ramallah where he met with Palestinian Authority figures and also visited the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and met with people whose homes were damaged by rockets fired by terror groups in Gaza.
Starmer urges PM to press for ‘meaningful’ Israel-Palestine peace talks at G7
Sir Keir Starmer has called for the Prime Minister to press for a “meaningful Middle East peace process” at this weekend’s G7 summit.

During Prime Minister’s Question Time, the Labour leader said bilateral talks with the American President Joe Biden and the “possibility of a new government in Israel” provided a “real chance” to restart talks.

Starmer told the House of Commons: “The appalling violence recently which killed 63 children in Gaza and two children in Israel shows just how urgent this is.

“For too many people in Palestine the promise of an end to the occupation and the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state feels more distant than ever.

“So will the Prime Minister take the opportunity this weekend to press for renewed agreement to finally recognise a state of Palestine and to stop expansion of illegal settlements and to get a meaningful peace process back and running.”

Responding Boris Johnson said: “It has been a long-standing objective of this government – and I think it is common ground across this House that the solution for the Middle East peace process is a two-state solution.

“And we continue to press for that. I have made that position plain, both in conversations with the Palestinian Authority, and of course, with Israel.”
2 former Israeli ambassadors to South Africa level accusations of 'apartheid' at Israel
Two former Israeli ambassadors to South Africa on Tuesday accused Israel of practicing "apartheid" against the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria.

In an opinion piece published in the South African news agency GroundUp, former ambassadors Ilan Baruch and Alon Liel compared a map of the Palestinian territories to the "bantustans of South Africa under the apartheid regime."

The piece does not mention the Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian Authority that gave Palestinians a level of self-governance in Judea and Samaria. The authors also did not mention other Israeli peace offers rejected by Palestinian leadership or the security concerns Israel faces by continuous attacks emanating from Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria, including the Second Intifada that killed over 1,000 Israelis.

"For over half a century, Israel has ruled over the occupied Palestinian territories with a two-tiered legal system, in which, within the same tract of land in the West Bank, Israeli settlers live under Israeli civil law while Palestinians live under military law," Liel and Baruch wrote.

The authors conclude by calling on the world to take "decisive diplomatic action" similar to the movement to end apartheid in South Africa.

Baruch served as Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and Liel, in addition to serving as ambassador to South Africa, also was the director general of the Foreign Ministry.

France to Open Parliamentary Inquiry Into Murder of Sarah Halimi
France’s Union of Democrats and Independents political party announced on Wednesday that a parliamentary commission of inquiry would be established to investigate the murder of French Jewish citizen Sarah Halimi.

Halimi, a 65-year-old former kindergarten director, was beaten in her Paris flat before being thrown out the window to her death by her Muslim neighbor in April 2017.

In April 2021, a French court ruled that the neighbor, Kobili Traoré, would not have to stand trial because he had been high on drugs during the murder. The ruling led to an outcry in France and around the world.

In France, all political parties are allowed, once per year, to initiate a parliamentary commission of inquiry. French-Israeli parliamentarian Meyer Habib initiated his party’s request to form the commission into the Halimi murder and was appointed to spearhead it.

“I’m thrilled to announce that in a few weeks, a parliamentary commission of inquiry will be formed to look into the deficiencies surrounding the case of Sarah Halimi,” said Habib.

“I will do… everything in my power to expose the truth,” he added.
'Calling for Israel's disappearance is an act of terrorism'
Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), is issuing an executive order to create the position of OAS Commissioner for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism, Almagro told the American Jewish Committee (AJC) 2021 Virtual Global forum on Tuesday.

"The Commissioner's main responsibilities will be to promote adoption and implementation by all countries in the region of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, and to vigorously engage states and civil society organizations to raise awareness of the need to remain alert to all forms of antisemitism," said Almagro.

The groundbreaking announcement came during Almagro's remarks about OAS efforts to combat terrorism and antisemitism, and to show support for Israel.

Two years ago, at the AJC Global Forum, Almagro received AJC's Champion of Democracy Award. At the time, he announced that the OAS was adopting the IHRA working definition and would urge its 35 member states to do the same. Today, Almagro said the OAS has applied for IHRA membership as an institutional partner. In addition, the OAS and AJC are working on the publication of a Latin American version of the Handbook for the Practical Use of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism published by the European Commission in January.

Almagro's decision to create the antisemitism commissioner position follows on the establishment in recent years of similar posts in Europe, Canada, and the United States. "We are confident that our hemisphere needs to be adequately prepared to face the growing threats of antisemitism in the same way that many other nations and democratic international bodies have done so," said Almagro.

"Antisemitism has had traumatic and violent dimensions in our region," said Almagro, citing the 1994 terrorist bombing of AMIA in Buenos Aires, the 1992 terrorist attack against the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, violent attacks against the Chilean Jewish community, and the use of antisemitism as an ideological political tool. "All are clear examples of threats not just against Jewish communities, but against the society to which they belong," he emphasized.

Erdan blasts Omar for comparing Israel to Taliban
Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Gilad Erdan, on Tuesday blasted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) after she compared Israel to Afghanistan and the Taliban.

Omar had shared a video to Twitter of a conversation she had with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which she asked Blinken what mechanisms are in place in the US for victims of alleged crimes against humanity in Israel, “Palestine”, and Afghanistan to seek justice.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” wrote Omar.

“I asked Secretary Blinken where people are supposed to go for justice,” she added.

Erdan later retweeted Omar’s video and wrote, “How can a member of Congress compare Israel and the US - two vibrant democracies with robust legal systems and militaries that strive to avoid civilian casualties - with jihadi terrorists who purposely murder civilians? The difference should be clear to everyone.”

Last month, Omar called Israel's retaliations for Gazan rocket fire on civilians an "act of terrorism," but failed to condemn the rockets themselves, or Hamas' use of Gazan civilians as human shields.

The Caroline Glick Show: Episode 9 - The truth about Israel’s “Unity Government”
In Episode 9 of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline and co-host Gadi Taub go into the nuts and bolts of the new Israeli government that is set to be sworn in next Sunday, June 14. They explain why it is post-modern, post-Zionist, post-democratic and post-Jewish and what this means for Israel’s national security, national identity and national sanity.

With their happy warrior attitude, Caroline and Gadi guide the audience through the ins and outs of Israeli coalition politics, Naftali Bennett’s double dealings and the dangerous deal he has made with the Islamic Ra’am party. Join them for the latest hour-long shower of facts and reality. It’s a welcome respite from the normal lies that dominate the discourse on all things Israel-related.

Jerusalem Flag March to Take Place June 15 After Netanyahu, Gantz Meeting
The March of the Flags will take place next week in Jerusalem according to an itinerary that will be fixed in coordination between police and organizers of the parade.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement Tuesday night in discussion with Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz on the sidelines of a security cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu and Gantz submitted their decision for cabinet approval, with ministers signing off on the date of Tuesday, June 15 for the controversial event.

The march scheduled for Thursday had been canceled after its route through the Old City’s Damascus Gate was not authorized by police, who cited security concerns.

The march was seen as possibly setting off violence just before a new government was set to be sworn in.

The annual Flag March to commemorate Jerusalem Day — when Israel’s capital was finally reunited after 19 years of Jordanian rule following the city’s fall in the War of Independence in 1948 — is always a controversial event; partly because its route takes it through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.

The original march was planned for May 10 but had to be canceled when the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip launched a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem, as well as Israel’s densely populated center.
Fires rage near Jerusalem-area towns, prompting evacuations; arson feared
A major fire broke out in forested areas west of Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon, prompting the Israel Fire and Rescue Services to evacuate dozens of residents in the area.

Later in the afternoon, several more fires broke out in the northern West Bank, including large blazes near the settlements of Ariel and Shavei Shomron.

Fire and Rescue Commissioner Dedi Simchi said the fires in both areas were apparently man-made and probably acts of arson. “We did not see any lightning in the skies over the country today, and we will clarify if this was arson or not later,” he told Channel 13.

According to the fire services, the Jerusalem-area fire broke out on Mount Haruah in the Jerusalem hills, near the Neve Ilan moshav.

“The fire is closing in on homes in Abu Ghosh and Yad Hashmona,” the fire authority said. “Many firefighting forces are working alongside four firefighting planes in order to prevent the fire from spreading to those homes.”

Later in the afternoon, 29 teams of firefighters and 10 planes joined the effort to extinguish the massive blaze. Firefighting forces from other areas of Israel were also called in to assist in tackling the flames.
Israeli President to Prince Charles: Let Critically Ill Child Come to Israel for Treatment
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin appealed to England’s Prince Charles on Tuesday to allow a critically ill child to be brought to Israel for medical treatment. In May, a British court ruled that Alta Fixler, age 2, should be taken off life support.

“I am writing to you today on a matter of grave and urgent humanitarian importance,” wrote Rivlin in a letter to the prince.

The court’s decision, he continued, contradicted the beliefs of Alta’s Orthodox Jewish parents, who are also Israeli citizens, and it would be a “tragedy” if their wishes could not be respected.

“Their religious beliefs directly oppose ceasing medical treatment that could extend her life, and [they] have made arrangements for her safe transfer and continued treatment in Israel,” he wrote.

Rivlin’s appeal joins that of Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, who reached out to his UK counterpart Matt Hancock on June 7.

The UK Board of Deputies of British Jews said in support of Edelstein’s appeal on Tuesday, “We welcome Israel’s offer to transfer Alta Fixler for treatment, in accordance with her parents’ wishes. We have written to the Department of Health and Social Care to ask that this be seriously considered.”
Outgoing Head of Mossad: Qatari Aid to Gaza ‘Got a Little Out of Control’
Yossi Cohen, the outgoing head of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency the Mossad, said Monday that the use of Qatari money to prop up the Gaza Strip “got a little out of control.”

Israeli news site Walla reported that during a speech at Bar-Ilan University, Cohen spoke about Israel’s 11-day military conflict with the Strip’s ruling terror group Hamas last month, saying, “Until Operation Guardian of the Walls, we hoped that the Qatari involvement and Qatari money would bring us to an arrangement with Hamas, but it got a little out of control.”

He had previously been one of the strongest advocates of allowing Qatari aid into Gaza, and even advocated for expanding the relationship with Qatar.

Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani pledged after the conflict that the Gulf state would provide $500 million to help rebuild the Strip.

Cohen also addressed the Iran issue on Monday, saying that if the US leaves Iraq, Iran will swiftly take over the country almost completely as part of its regional “vision.”

Israel, he said, has made this assessment clear to both the Trump administration and the current Biden administration.

Cohen recommended the US and its allies take a tougher line in negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue.

11 fighters said killed in alleged Israeli strikes in Syria
At least 11 people were reportedly killed overnight Wednesday in Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights — a pro-Syrian opposition organization of uncertain funding based in the UK — the government troops and militiamen were killed in Homs Province in central Syria.

The monitor’s director, Rami Abdul Rahman, told AFP that “at least seven army soldiers and four National Defence Forces militiamen were killed” in the strikes shortly before midnight, adding that all of the dead were Syrian.

The Observatory has regularly been accused by Syrian war analysts of inflating casualty numbers, as well as inventing them wholesale.

The purported Israeli Air Force strike is the first attack in Syria attributed to Israel in more than a month.

According to a military source cited by the Syrian state news agency Sana, air defense systems managed to shoot down some Israeli missiles that were fired from the direction of Lebanon after 11:30 p.m., while others caused damage.
Israel Reported to Strike Several Sites in Syria

MEMRI: Palestinian Authority Mufti Of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein In Event Honoring The 'Martyrs' Of Gaza And Jerusalem: Martyrdom Is A Badge Of Honor That Allah Bestows Upon Those He Chooses
Palestinian Authority Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein said that martyrdom is a badge of honor that Allah bestows upon those whom He has chosen. Sheikh Hussein made these remarks in a speech he delivered in a Ramallah event in honor of the "martyrs" of Gaza and Jerusalem, which aired on Palestine TV on May 25, 2021. Mufti Hussein quoted verses from the Quran extolling martyrdom and said that martyrs receive a life of honor in the Hereafter and an enormous legacy in this world. On May 21, Mufti Hussein's Friday sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque was interrupted by angry worshippers, who chanted: "The dogs of the PA get out!" and accused him of being a spy (see MEMRI TV clip no 8864).

Martyrdom Is "A Badge Of Honor [That] Is Praised And Respected In This World, And Those Upon Whom It Is Bestowed Are Honored In The Hereafter As Well"

Muhammad Hussein: "A man is proud of a badge of honor bestowed upon him by a head of state or the head of an organization. He is proud and he says: 'a badge of honor was bestowed upon me by this or that leader, or by this or that commander or by this or that organization.'

"This man, who was honored by people – regardless of how high the status or rank of those people – does not know that there is One who bestows an exceptional badge of honor, a special badge of honor – a badge of honor from the Lord of humanity in its entirety. This badge of honor is praised and respected in this world, and those upon whom it was bestowed are honored in the Hereafter as well. I am talking about the badge of honor of martyrdom, martyrdom for the sake of Truth, for the sake of Allah, for the sake of rights, and for the sake of defending the homeland and honor from the attacks of attackers and the oppression of oppressors.

"Martyrs Are Chosen By The Lord, And They Merit This Divine Badge Of Honor"

"It is the badge of honor of martyrdom that Allah bestows upon those whom He chose from among his righteous creatures. Martyrs are chosen by the Lord, and they merit this divine badge of honor.
PMW: Songs are a means of “incitement and mobilization,” says Palestinian composer
Songs are a means of “incitement and mobilization,” need to “increase incitement” to young generation, says Palestinian composer

Palestinian composer and singer Walid Abd Al-Salam: “[National] songs are always one of the ways of struggle, a means of instilling awareness, incitement, and mobilizing… I’m sad about the generation that didn’t experience the intifada. There is a generation that was born after the 1990s. They didn’t experience the first Intifada, and perhaps not the second [Intifada] either. Therefore, [what happened] in 1967 and in 1948 is ancient history… This generation… for which goal will it run? Of course, the goal is known, but currently how will it struggle, and where, and what is the national incubator that can cultivate it? … You need to again increase the level of interest, awareness, and incitement.”

Khaled Abu Toameh: The Poisonous Fruit of Appeasing Iran's Mullahs
The Arabs clearly see what the Biden administration, Britain, Germany and France are refusing to see -- that Iran has ambitions not only to acquire a nuclear bomb, but also aggressively to export its "Islamic revolution" and terrorism on a global scale.

It is also important to note that one of the missions of Quds Force is to "liberate Jerusalem and Palestine," a euphemism for the elimination of Israel.

"The Quds Force is in Yemen to launch attacks on Mecca and Medina and their surroundings [in Saudi Arabia]. The goal of the mullahs in Tehran is to attack Muslims and inflict the greatest possible harm on them." — Walid Al-Ghamidi, Saudi writer, YouTube, June 5, 2021.

"The Houthi's missiles and drones nearly hit the holy sites in Mecca and Medina. How can Iran invest in the bombing of Saudi Arabia while claiming... that it seeks to liberate Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque? Iran's claim to support Islamic holy sites is not related to any religious beliefs. It is related to regional ambitions, expansionist dreams, and striving to export the Iranian revolution to various countries in the region." — Mohammed Hassan Mufti, Saudi author, Okaz, June 3, 2021.

"There is no dispute among experts and political analysts that Iran is a direct cause of the complete destruction of at least four Arab countries": Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. — Mohammed Hassan Mufti, Okaz, June 3, 2021.

"America's entry into the Iranian nuclear agreement will.... enable the mullahs to obtain nuclear weapons and more than a billion dollars. Some of the money will go to Iran's agents in the region." — Bader bin Saud, Saudi columnist, Okaz, May 24, 2021.

"Does Iran want to liberate Jerusalem and give it to the Palestinians, or does it want to add it to the group of Arab capitals it occupies, such as Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and Sana'a?" — Faisal Al-Qassem, prominent Syrian writer and journalist, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, May 14, 2021.
Satellite images show activity at Iran site exposed in Mossad-seized nuke files
Satellite images taken last year appear to show concealment activity at an Iranian facility previously identified as a site where Tehran was accused of manufacturing a key component for its nuclear program.

The images, taken by Maxar Technologies, and analyzed by private Israeli intelligence outfit The Intel Lab and the Washington DC-based Institute for Science and International Security, show trucks and earthworks taking place at Sanjarian, a small town outside of Tehran.

The images, first reported by Fox News, show 18 vehicles at the site on October 15, 2020, as well as excavations and more vehicles in January.

The site was covered up in March, and all that is currently visible are trenches and excavation swirls. Vehicles and excavations seen at a site in Sanjarian, near Tehran, previously identified as an Iranian nuclear research site, in a satellite image from January 18, 2021. (The Intel Lab/Maxar)

According to the institute, also known as ISIS, the nuclear archive smuggled out of Iran by Israel’s Mossad spy agency in 2018 contained information about Sanjarian’s role in plans to produce shockwave generators, which are key components in the miniaturization of nuclear weapons.

It said the site was used as part of the Amad Plan — Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which Iran claims was halted in 2003 but which Israel says continued in secret — to conduct a high number of experiments with shockwave generators and exploding bridgewires, which are a component in the generators.
In far-seeing move, AJC reaches out to Iranians worldwide – in Farsi
To expand American Jewish Committee's (AJC's) reach to audiences in the Middle East, the global advocacy organization has launched AJC Farsi, with Persian-language social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

"The intersection of my Iranian, American, and Jewish identities makes me particularly proud to make this exciting announcement," Saba Soomekh, Associate Director of AJC Los Angeles, told the 2021 Virtual AJC Global Forum's worldwide audience. "AJC Farsi will bolster our efforts to reach Iranians in Iran and diaspora communities in the United States and around the world."

AJC Farsi builds on the enormous success of AJC Arabic's social media accounts and the An Al Yahud (About the Jews) video series, which are aimed at increasing understanding of the Jewish people in the Arab world.

Now AJC is turning to online Persian communities. "The Iranian Jewish community is the oldest in the Diaspora, going back 2700 years," said Soomekh.

Born in Tehran, her family fled Iran and came to the United States in 1978. "My family realized our modern and secular country was regressing back to persecuting religious minorities under what would become the Islamic revolution. We knew we had to leave Iran to live a life free of antisemitism."
Seth Frantzman: Is Iran Suffering From 'Simple Sabotage?'
This OSS manual provides an insight into what may be happening in Iran. The sabotage manual notes that "warehouses, barracks, offices, hotels and factory buildings are outstanding targets for simple sabotage." They are susceptible to damage: For instance, "fires can be started wherever there is an accumulation of inflammable material." Warehouses too make for "promising targets."

The manual suggests that janitors might purposely accumulate greasy waste and hope it ignites with the flick of a cigarette. "If you are a janitor on night duty, you can be the first to report the fire, but don't report it too soon." The manual suggests sabotaging fuel tanks by putting in sawdust, impurities or even sugar. "Fuel lines to gasoline and oil engines frequently pass over the exhaust pipe. When the machine is at rest, you can stab a small hole in the fuel line...fuel will drip onto the exhaust and start a blaze." The average person can also easily destroy boilers by putting too much water in them, as well as harming turbines by creating leaks.

In other parts of the country, train operators can make things inconvenient by simply making "mistakes in the issuing of train tickets." Low-level bureaucrats can also harm the Iranian regime based on suggestions in the manual. "Make 'speeches,'" the manual suggests. "Talk as frequently as possible and at great length to illustrate your 'points' by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate 'patriotic' comments." It also says that would-be saboteurs can haggle over precise wording and insist on performing tasks through complex, rather than direct, "channels."

Most important: Order high-quality materials that are hard to get, give important jobs to inefficient workers and "insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products." Give incomplete instructions, hold "conferences when there is more critical work to be done" and create numerous cumbersome committees that are as large as possible.

Iran may be suffering a spate of simple sabotage. This may not be due to complex Israeli-sponsored attacks on Iran's infrastructure, but rather the tendency of average Iranians, fed up with their fanatical regime, to permit key facilities to fall apart and naval vessels to catch fire.
Exiled Iranian judoka finally faces Israeli competitor, and wins
Iranian dissident judoka Saeid Mollaei, who left the Islamic Republic after revealing he was ordered to lose matches and withdraw from competitions to avoid facing Israelis, has finally achieved his dream, competing Wednesday against an Israeli — and winning.

Mollaei, who now competes for Mongolia, faced Israeli challenger Din Yaacov Gemer in an under 81-kilogram contest as part of the World Judo Championships currently being held in Hungary.

The bout ended with a decisive ippon for Mollaei who succeeded in throwing Gemer to the floor.

Though Mollaei went up against an Israeli, it was not against his chief rival — and now friend — Israeli judoka Sagi Muki. Muki was not participating in the competition which opened a space for Gemer to enter instead.

Mollaei’s journey from Iran began when he was ordered by Iranian authorities to drop out of a 2019 match against Israel’s Muki because the athlete was representing the Jewish state.

The International Olympic Committee last year approved Mollaei’s switch to compete for Mongolia. The IOC said the change did not need permission from Iranian Olympic officials because the judoka was technically a refugee.

Earlier this year, Mollaei traveled to Israel to compete in a Judo Grand Slam competition held in Tel Aviv.

While in the Jewish state, he told Israel’s Kan TV: “I’m competing only for Mongolia. I no longer compete for Iran. That part is over for me… I’ve always been a sportsman. I’ve never engaged in politics.”


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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