Monday, July 19, 2021

From Ian:

Ha'aretz: What on Earth Is the Problem with a Jewish Majority in Israel?
Why should the Jewish state not do what it can legally do to maintain a Jewish majority? Why do so many of its champions find it difficult to affirm what is so clearly sensible and right? Students of Israel and Zionism know that demography is destiny.

Zionism has always been about creating a democratic state with a Jewish majority. The State of Israel can, and must, take appropriate steps to assure that a stable Jewish majority is maintained. Taking such steps, and being honest about your intentions, need not be inconsistent with democratic principles or with the ideals of Israel's Declaration of Independence. The loss of a Jewish majority means the end of Zionism and the disappearance of the State of Israel.

The premise of Zionism is that there are many Jews who desperately want to live in a majority-Jewish state. Their eagerness is understandable, and they make no apologies for this fact. They are grateful that the State of Israel, after millennia of Jewish exile, finally enables them to do so. Israel, they remind us, was created to promote the religion, civilization and culture of the Jewish people and its dominant Jewish majority.

To forcibly transfer Arab citizens out of the country would be a violation of democratic norms and international law, not to mention Jewish values and tradition. But assuring a Jewish majority by adopting laws and policies that are consistent with democratic governance is an altogether different matter. It is both acceptable and desirable.

Absent a Jewish majority, would Israel continue to provide no-questions-asked refuge to Jews facing danger and distress in countries around the globe? Almost certainly not.

We Jews want a state of our own, where the Jews, a secure and confident majority, will call the shots, govern democratically, and live in peace with our neighbors. That is what Zionism is.
Can anyone explain the US State Department "illegality statement?"
Israel’s former Justice Minister was “mystified” when a State Department spokesperson recently said Judea-Samaria "settlements" were “illegal even under Israeli law.” In fact, such building and developing in the region that flourished as an integral part of the Jewish monarchy in biblical times, are “of course” fully legal under Israeli law, former Israeli Justice minister Zachi Hanegbi wrote last Monday.

His letter was published in the Israeli English language daily, The Jerusalem Post, which had covered what the State Department spokesperson said last week.

In a 30 June Department briefing, an American reporter and two Arab reporters cooperated to elicit statements from a State Department spokesperson, Jalina Porter, about Judea-Samaria "settlements," a loaded word for Jewish communities in the area that was originally meant to be part of Israel, overrun by Jordan in the 1948 War of Independence, and regained by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Due to Palestinian Arab counter-claims, the area can be called "disputed" territory, but is certainly not "occupied," despite the common use of the term.

Said Arikat, Washington bureau chief at Al Quds Daily Newspaper, said to be the most widely read Palestinian Arab daily, joined forces with Hiba Nasr (Correspondent at Asharq News, a Saudi media group) and Abigail Williams (State Department reporter for NBC News). Porter, a former political advisor for Democratic elected officials, took all the trio’s questions.

Former Justice Minister Hanegbi complimented Porter, saying she was an “experienced communications professional”. Yet, Hanegbi said, Porter may “have been led astray by a recent illegality allegation about Evyatar by a (non-attorney) Meretz minister.” Meretz is a radical left wing party and member of Israel's new government.

Hanegbi (Likud), an attorney by training, explained that Jewish residence in Israel’s Judea-Samaria region is “fully legal” and not only under Israeli law. Prof. Eugene Rostow, dean of the USA’s leading law school, “affirmed this decades ago, adding that it is impossible to contend that Israeli settlements are illegal”, the former Justice Minister said.
Israeli ministers vote down West Bank annexation bill
The government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett rejected a West Bank annexation bill of Likud MK Miki Zohar in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Monday morning.

Zohar had dared Yamina and New Hope ministers to support the legislation, even though the coalition has been voting against every opposition-sponsored bill.

He said he will still bring the bill to a vote next week in the Knesset plenum, where Bennett himself will have to vote against it. Zohar released a statement bashing Bennett, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar and Construction Minister Ze'ev Elkin.

"You promised again and again that you will take action to bring about sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and you once again broke your word," Zohar said. "You once again proved that you have no ideology and that no values are holy for you except for keeping your cabinet seats.
Letter of Complaint to Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner General
In the past four years, journalists, diplomats and elected officials of UNRWA donor nations have asked Lazzarini why UNRWA will not remove this book – yet the UNRWA chief refuses to do so.

Lazzarini mentions that UNRWA students are taught about human rights.

The Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research received and reviewed the 11 human rights schoolbooks provided to UNRWA students. It found that UNRWA schoolbooks about human rights are devoid of any mention of human rights for anyone who is not a Palestinian Muslim.

Jews, Christians and Israelis do not exist in the prism of human rights taught to UNRWA school children.

In terms of Hamas, UNRWA denies that their employees are members of Hamas. So how does UNRWA allow elections to take place for the UNRWA Teachers Association and the UNRWA Workers Union, which permit a list of candidates who openly identify with Hamas to run in these elections?

Why does UNRWA allow Hamas to register UNRWA children for weapons training camps?

What has UNRWA done to conduct inspections of UNRWA facilities to ensure that UNRWA schools and the basements of UNRWA schools are free of weapons?

While Lazzarini offers assurances that cement will only go for UNRWA projects, how explain that cement that was imported by UNRWA was used for weapons tunnels in UNRWA schools? That rockets were found in a school?

Since Lazzarini targets the Trump administration for its cutbacks of UNRWA, the question remains: Since the Biden administration has declared that funds will only be provided to UNRWA if it implements strong reforms, will Lazzarini denounce the new Biden UNRWA policies which demand UNRWA reform as a condition for renewal of the US funding of UNRWA?

Or will the US under Biden simply ignore its own conditions, accept empty promises and cough up the money?
Biden Admin Goes After Israel Over a Jihadi Polygamist’s Terror Mansion
But Israeli reactions to terrorist attacks are always provocative while terrorist attacks never are.

Rep. Gregory Meeks, the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a longtime Castro shill, joined the pressure campaign reportedly putting in an angry phone call of his own. Despite efforts by Democrats to describe Meeks as pro-Israel, he had tried to halt arms sales to Israel during the recent conflict with Hamas and repeatedly criticised the Jewish State.

While the media kept portraying Shalabi as a “lone-wolf terrorist”, a Hamas group showed up to pay a solidarity visit to the demolished terror mansion. Photos of the event show a Hamas flag flying from the rubble of the home and a banner of Shalabi next to Hamas regalia.

Unfortunately for them, they announced the visit ahead of time on social media, posting, “The Hamas student faction at Birzeit University invites you to attend a visit to the family of the heroic prisoner Montasir Shalabi.” The Israelis were waiting and took the lot in for questioning.

The Shalabi terror mansion may be dust and rubble, but the Biden administration will not forget the martyred mansion and intends to fight on so that no more terror mansions are blown up.

Hady Amr, a Biden bundler and anti-Israel activist, who serves as the Democrat "point man" on the terrorist conflict against Israel, will take on the issue on his next visit. Amr, who had accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and responded to the death of a Hamas leader by threatening that "there will be thousands who will seek to avenge these brutal murders" is on the case.

During his visit, Amr will pressure Israel over terror home demolitions.

While inflation rises and crime skyrockets, freedom fighters protest in Cuba and China escalates its crackdown, the Biden administration will go on fighting for a polygamist’s terror mansion.
Abdullah seeks to revive two-state solution, bury 'Jordan is Palestine'
Hardly a week passes without the Jordanian government issuing a statement condemning Israel for allowing “settlers” to “storm” the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, reference to routine visits by Jews to the Temple Mount.

The recurring condemnations are designed to present Jordan as the main “defender” of the holy shrines in Jerusalem, including the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site in Islam. This is a message that Abdullah wishes to direct not only to Arabs and Muslims, but to the rest of the international community, specifically the Biden administration.

Jordanian sources said that Abdullah is expected to raise during his meeting with Biden the issue of Israeli “violations” at the Temple Mount in particular and Jerusalem in general. He is expected to warn that Israel’s actions could ignite a religious war and threaten security and stability in the Middle East, the sources added.

Abdullah’s stance is fully supported by the Palestinian Authority and other Arabs and Muslims. In 2013, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Abdullah signed an agreement recognizing the Hashemite Custodianship of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Before heading to the US, Abdullah met in Amman with Abbas and the two reaffirmed the accord. During the meeting, Abdullah stressed Jordan’s continuing role in protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites. Abbas, for his part, reiterated the importance of Jordan’s continuing guardianship over the sites.

Abdullah is also scheduled to urge the Biden administration to make an effort to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process on the basis of the two-state solution with the hope that this would drive the final nail in the coffin of the Trump peace plan and bury the “Jordan is Palestine” option.

The rapprochement between Jordan and the US will also serve to bolster Abdullah’s stance at home, especially in the aftermath of the alleged coup attempt by his half-brother, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein.

The rapprochement sends a message to the king’s critics at home that he continues to enjoy the full support of the US. This is a message that is also directed toward the new government in Israel, namely that it needs to improve its relations with Jordan. This improvement means, among other things, refraining from altering the status quo at the Temple Mount.
King Abdullah’s Upcoming Visit to Washington: Implications for Jerusalem
Saudi Arabia has not officially declared its desire to wrest control of the Temple Mount from Jordan, but Saudi interest is evident in various moves by the country in recent years.

Flexing the kingdom’s financial muscle, Saudi King Salman told an Arab summit in Dhahran in April 2018 that he was donating $150 million to support Islam’s holy places in Jerusalem. The donation was in part designed to counter bequests by Turkey, a rival contender for Muslim religious soft power, to Islamic organizations in Jerusalem, as well as Turkish efforts to acquire real estate in the city.

Saudi Arabia has since clashed with Jordan in Arab fora over Jordan’s exclusive control of the administration of the Jerusalem sites and is believed to have been wooing Palestinian religious dignitaries.

The risk for Saudi Arabia is that broadening the administration of the Jerusalem sites could invigorate latent suggestions that the custodianship of Mecca and Medina should also be internationalized. This proposition, often put forward by Iran, sends chills down Saudi spines.

Writing in Haaretz in 2019, Malik Dahlan, a Saudi-born international lawyer who is believed to be close to Prince Hamza, suggested that the Trump plan for Israel and the Palestinians could work if in the first phase “an agreement on the governance of Jerusalem” was achieved. “This Jerusalem-first approach would involve the idea of ‘integrative internationalization,’ which, incidentally, I also prescribe for Mecca and Medina,” wrote Malik. There was no suggestion that Prince Hamza shared Malik’s views on the Saudi holy sites.

What legacy is Germany's Merkel leaving behind?
One notable critic of Merkel is German-Israeli writer Chaim Noll. Noll was born in 1954 in East Germany. His family supported Communism, whereas Noll refused to serve in the German army, for which he was even imprisoned. He and his wife had no choice but to flee to West Germany. Having grown up with very little knowledge of Judaism, he became more interested in learning about his religion. He became observant, changed the name his parents gave him (Hans) to Chaim and moved to Israel in 1995 with his family. They settled in the Negev, where Noll continued to write and began lecturing at Ben-Gurion University.

Last week Noll gave a lecture on the alarming rise of antisemitism in Germany at an event organized by Alternative for Germany. We met for an interview in the small town of Bamberg in northern Bavaria. Several days earlier, just a few kilometers away from there, in Würzburg, a Muslim immigrant stabbed three women to death, and wounded seven others.

German media portrayed the incident as unrelated to Muslim extremism, as it often does these days. Merkel did not comment on the attack.

Q: Yes, but she also said that the existence of Israel is a prime national interest for Germany.
"I do not understand the meaning of such a statement. Merkel is a smart and opportunistic woman, who understood what Israel could offer Germany. She realized that many young Israelis did not find their niche in Israel, and because of the demographic growth, many also couldn't find a job. The government then allowed young Israelis to easily obtain working visas in Germany, causing thousands of young Israelis to move there.

"She also made it easier for descendants of German Jews to receive citizenship. They can study in Germany for free. What a clever move.

Nevertheless, "slowly slowly, she started to adopt pro-Palestinian views. The word "betray" might not be the right one to describe what Merkel did, but she definitely became less concerned with Israel."

Q: Why?
"Merkel kept quiet during the anti-Israel protests that took place in Germany during the latest Israel-Hamas conflict. She should have spoken up, for those people marched by synagogues and screamed racial slurs.

"None of them were ever arrested. Law enforcement claimed it could not find those responsible, even though there are cameras everywhere. If Merkel had said, 'I want the German legal system to bring to justice the people who called for the murder of Jews,' it would have happened. But she kept quiet. That was a true betrayal.
Chile: Antisemitism and the Peril of Daniel Jadue
The anti-Zionist activist Roger Waters, who also doubles up as the former bassist of veteran rockers Pink Floyd, gave a ringing endorsement last week to one of the candidates in the Chilean presidential election, which takes place later this year on Nov. 21.

Waters’ preferred candidate, Daniel Jadue, is both a Communist Party representative and a member of the 300,000-strong Palestinian community in Chile, the largest Palestinian Arab diaspora outside of the Middle East. With those credentials, it’s no wonder that Waters — a fanatical advocate of the movement to boycott the Jewish state — praised Jadue as the counterweight to “the Pinochet factions that remain in Chile, in that great and beautiful country. … I have no doubt that he is a real good man and we need him.”

It is true that the former dictator General Augusto Pinochet, who died in 2006, still has his supporters in Chile. Pinochet achieved notoriety in September 1973, when he led a right-wing coup against the government of President Salvador Allende — a left-wing coalition led by an avowed Marxist, but one that was democratically elected all the same. For this reason, the intimate association between communism and brutal authoritarianism that remains painfully clear today in China, Cuba, and Venezuela is less obvious in the Chilean context.

As he rides a populist wave that has propelled him to the position of leading candidate in the opinion polls, the 54-year-old Jadue is comfortably placed to tout his democratic credentials, despite his Communist Party sympathies. All this is terrible news for Jewish citizens of Chile — and there are only 20,000 of them — who look at Jadue’s long record of antisemitic and anti-Zionist statements and wonder what the immediate future has in store.
Morocco-Israel ties get boost as Lapid announces major visit
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday he will travel to Morocco at the end of July, the first official visit by Israel's top diplomat to the Arab state since ties were upgraded last year.

"This is a historic occasion," Lapid said in televised remarks. He said his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita would repay the visit by coming to Israel to inaugurate a diplomatic mission.

The two countries agreed in December 2020 to resume diplomatic ties and relaunch direct flights – part of a deal brokered by the administration of former US President Donald Trump that also included Washington's recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Lapid's said that his trip would usher in numerous economic, trade, and tourism agreements and added that he hoped his visit would be followed by a meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Morocco's King Mohammed VI.

Iraqi man in pro-Israel video beaten up and hospitalised
It was one of the most eye-popping videos to surface from the Arab world: an Iraqi man calling for Benjamin Netanyahu to save him and bring him to Israel.

The video, which seemed to attract the approval of bystanders, was hailed by Israeli talk show host Avi Abelow as running contrary to the predominant narrative: that Arabs are instinctively hostile to Israel.

But delight amongst Jewish viewers turned to horror as these pictures began to emerge. They show that that the man was badly beaten and is now being treated in hospital.

According to Israeli Arabic-media monitor Linda Menuhin, the man made his outburst following the fire that killed 92 in a hospital in Nasiriya. Iranian-supported militias were responsible for almost beating him to death, she claims.

Simply to fly the Israeli flag earns an Iraqi three years in prison. Which goes to show how brave – or desperate – this man was, to speak out in favour of Israel.

Israeli Firm’s Spyware Used to Target Journalists’ Cell Phones: Reports
An Israeli company’s spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world, according to an investigation by 17 media organizations published on Sunday.

One of the organizations, The Washington Post, said the Pegasus spyware licensed by Israel-based NSO Group also was used to target phones belonging to two women close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist murdered at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018, before and after his death.

The Guardian, another of the media outlets, said the investigation suggested “widespread and continuing abuse” of NSO’s hacking software, described as malware that infects smartphones to enable the extraction of messages, photos and emails; record calls; and secretly activate microphones.

The investigation, which Reuters did not independently confirm, did not reveal who attempted the hacks or why.

NSO said its product is intended only for use by government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime.

The company issued a statement on its website denying the reporting by the 17 media partners led by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories.
India Today: Israeli Cyber Firm Denies Link to Hacking Phones of Journalists
Israeli cyber arms firm NSO, which developed the spyware Pegasus, has rubbished media reports which alleged that phones of journalists from across the world were hacked into and called the allegations “outrageous and far from reality”.

A conglomerate of news organisations across the world has published reports claiming that the Israeli spyware, Pegasus, was used by several governments across the world to spy on their journalists, politicians and other prominent citizens. Reports have also claimed that Pegasus was used to hack the phones of 300 Indians.

Here is the full statement by NSO Group
The report by Forbidden Stories is full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources. It seems like the “unidentified sources” have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality.

After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report. Their sources have supplied them with information which has no factual basis, as evident by the lack of supporting documentation for many of their claims.

In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit.

NSO Group has a good reason to believe the claims that are made by the unnamed sources to Forbidden Stories, are based on misleading interpretation of data from accessible and overt basic information, such as HLR Lookup services, which have no bearing on the list of the customers targets of Pegasus or any other NSO products. Such services are openly available to anyone, anywhere, and anytime, and are commonly used by governmental agencies for numerous purposes, as well as by private companies worldwide.

Bennett’s office backpedals after he seems to say Jews can pray on Temple Mount
Unnamed officials in the office of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday walked back comments that appeared to mark a stark shift from Israel’s policy of maintaining the status quo at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Temple Mount, now asserting that the premier had meant both Jews and Muslims have “freedom of visitation rights” at the holy site.

Despite Bennett’s phrasing, the status quo holds, according to an official in the prime minister’s office who was not authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office also told Army Radio that Bennett had misspoken on Sunday when he said both Jews and Muslims have “freedom of worship” on the Temple Mount, which would be a potentially explosive change after decades of Jews being permitted only to visit, but not pray, there. Despite the sources’ comments, Bennett’s remarks remained unchanged on his English and Hebrew social media feeds as of Monday afternoon.

The Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism, as the site of the two ancient Jewish Temples. It is also the site of the third-holiest shrine in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and has long been a flashpoint between Israelis and Palestinians.

While Jews can visit the site in Jerusalem’s Old City, the long-maintained status quo there has been that any non-Muslims are forbidden from praying there. Hints or rumors of changes to that status have been stridently opposed by the Muslim world, and have sparked deadly protests and angry denunciations from Arab governments.

But during Tisha B’Av on Sunday, a day that marks the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples that once stood on the Mount, and amid clashes at the site, Bennett issued a statement that appeared to be at odds with that policy.
Discreet Jewish prayer continues on Temple Mount
Discreet Jewish prayer continued on the Temple Mount Monday morning, following a day of mutual recriminations over the holy site on Sunday.

Several dozen Jewish visitors ascended to the Temple Mount in the morning hours for non-Muslims, including two bride-grooms who are set to get married later in the day, as well as a three-year old with his family ahead of his ritual first haircut, according to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of Temple Mount activist groups.

Rabbi Eliyahu Weber who heads what is called the Temple Mount yeshiva and who visits the site and holds prayer services there every day said that his group of visitors prayed the morning prayer service as usual.

The rabbi said that the prayer service was conducted discreetly, at a low volume and without any ritual swaying or prostration which is not tolerated by the police, as has been the practice of his group for some time.

“Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is so important it cannot even be put into words,” said Weber.

“The authentic place for Jewish prayer is the Temple Mount. Our forefathers prayer there, King Soloman talks about it, and King Yehoshafat talks about it, the Talmud talks about it, and Maimonides says that primary aspect of prayer is to pray before him in his Temple, that is, the Temple Mount.”
Jews Visiting the Temple Mount Is Not an Assault on the Al-Aqsa Mosque
The record needs to be set straight: A few hundred Jews ascending the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av, the day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples that stood on that mount, does not constitute "settlers storming al-Aqsa." It constitutes Jews wanting to visit their holiest site on the fast day dedicated to remembering the Temples that once stood there, and their destruction.

Had Jews been prevented from commemorating Tisha B'Av, there would be no end to it. Israel cannot allow the threat of violence to determine its policies. Israel also has the right to expect that 1,700 Jews going to the Temple Mount not be falsely framed as an assault on al-Aqsa. Those who frame it in this manner want to ignite passions and invite violence.

To say that any Jew going up to the site on Tisha B'Av is somehow a provocation or a desecration - as claimed by Hamas, Iran, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkish President Erdogan - is not something that Israel should have to accept. The Jordanians sent an "official letter of protest," calling on Israel to respect "the freedom of worshipers." The call for freedom of worship at the site is particularly ironic since Jews are strictly forbidden to pray there.
Rashida Tlaib’s Tisha B’Av Edition of Lying & Spreading Hate on Twitter
How many falsehoods can you detect in this one tweet? Let’s see:
- Eid Al Adha is not the holiest day for Muslims, it’s the fourth, following the Month of Ramadan, Qadr Night, Eid al-Fitr, and then Eid Al Adha.
- Eid Al Adha was not celebrated on Sunday, when the clashes took place, but will be celebrated this Tuesday
- The Muslim youths were not there to pray.
- The terrorist group PFLP called on them the day before to riot on the Temple Mount.
- Ari Ingel tweeted a link to the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds article: Popular Front calls for a rally for Jerusalem on Sunday.”
- The story Al-Quds went:
- “The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Saturday called on the masses of the West Bank and the interior to go towards the city of Jerusalem and gather there, especially in its old city and the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, to confront the settlers’ incursions scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday.”
- So they piled up stones inside their mosque and threw them at the cops who arrived ahead of the Jewish visitors to make sure the day didn’t develop into a pogrom.
- The reason Jews were planning to ascend to our holiest site on God’s green Earth was that it was the day of Tisha B’Av which marks the loss of the two temples we built there in 960 BCE, and then in 516 BCE – more than a millennium before Rashida Tlaib’s pagan ancestors ever made it out of the Arab peninsula.
- We could go on with even more lies she said against Israel defending itself from terrorists.

Here are some Jews who stormed the Temple Mount to pray as they are harassed by Muslims. Does she condemn the behavior of her coreligionists?

Israeli police managed to keep the violent Islamic rioters under control, as they attempted to attack Jews and create provocations as they had planned. And to a much better extent than in the past, the police even managed to reduce, though not end, the amount of Islamist harassment of the Jewish worshippers as the Jews prayed.

Finally, Arsen Ostrovsky spoke for all of us in his tweet to the despicable congresswoman from Michigan: “Your lying, incitement and racial hatred against Jews is just relentless! For the record, today is also Tisha B’Av, the saddest and one of most important days of the Jewish calendar, that marks the destruction of our Temple. You really have no shame, do you?

PreOccupiedTerritory: Islamic Leaders Worried They May Have Missed A Jewish Shrine To Appropriate (satire)
Muslim community officials expressed anxiety today that some Jewish holy sites might have escaped the fate that befell almost all other places of Jewish significance, namely their transformation into Islamic sites to demonstrate the supersession of the latter over the former.

Waqf and religious officials in the Palestinian Territories and the wider Islamic world confessed their misgivings this week in separate conversations, concerning the troublesome possibility that at least one Jewish shrine remains unappropriated by Muslim conquerors, a development that threatens the absolute nature of Islam’s inevitable dominance in Islamist theology and political ideology.

“It’s hard to shake the nagging sense we haven’t completed the job,” admitted Euqdat Alnaqs of the Al Quds (Jerusalem) Waqf that administers the Temple Mount, which Muslims insist on calling the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary. “It’s crucial for our uncompromising worldview to exert utter superiority to other forms of belief, in particular the ones that Islam claims to replace as the sole revealed word of God. If we’ve left out any sites to appropriate, we run the risk of the dominance falling short of total completion, which leaves room for possible doubt. That’s not acceptable, and we must remedy any such oversight as soon as possible.”

cave-of-the-patriarchsAlnaqs voiced his review of the major Jewish holy sites that Islam took over and still aims to exclude Jews from visiting or using for worship. “Al Aqsa is obviously in our hands,” he acknowledged, noting that even Israeli authorities defer to Waqf sensibilities regarding the presence and behavior of Jews at the site, at the southern end of the Jerusalem plateau where both ancient Jewish temples stood. “The Dome of the Rock, in the same compound, is the same, even though the Jews claim that’s exactly where the supposed temples were.”
The Final Countdown to Abbas’ Rule Is Gaining Pace
Banat’s death opened a Pandora’s box within the PA. Accusations have been flying between senior officials over who was responsible. Various security forces are trying to evade direct responsibility for the incident. Abbas is trying to contain the public anger, reinstate calm and stability, and thereby lengthen his political life, in the wake of the demonstrations against him.

He has sought to do this through the official announcement, publicized by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, of an investigation into the death, and through his intention to replace key position holders in the security establishment. In this context, it now seems unlikely that Abbas’ initial intention to replace Shtayyeh will go ahead.

At the same time, former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s intention to return to public life, through the setting up of a new “compromise government,” has been blocked. Hussein El Sheikh, PA Minister for Civilian Affairs, and Majed Faraj, head of the General Intelligence Service, both of whom are in Abbas’ inner circle and wield major power in the PA, have also been involved in the political mix in the aftermath of the Banat affair. They have pushed aside potential rivals and worked to consolidate their position in the Palestinian leadership. This has occurred as other senior Palestinian figures opposed to Abbas’ rule have been active to promote their agendas too, including Muhammad Dahlan, Marwan Barghouti, and Nasser Al-Qidwa. In this context, Azmi Bishara, a former Israel Knesset Member from the Balad party, has pulled strings from afar amid his Qatari exile.

The PA has in recent weeks taken steps to stabilize the situation, and has been able to significantly reduce public rage over the incident. To further calm the situation, PA security forces have avoided direct clashes with protesters and have been deployed only at the entrances to cities. But despite the decrease in protests, the PA’s investigation into the affair is unlikely to truly calm the thousands of people who took part in demonstrations across major West Bank cities.

The PA is keenly aware of the potential for far-reaching consequences that could develop from this affair, and fears for its legitimacy and ability to function. Ultimately, Abbas has been able to contain the crisis so far, while maintaining a “business as usual” approach by visiting Jordan’s King Abdullah, and President Erdogan in Turkey. But a scenario of renewed rallies and calls for Abbas’ departure could certainly return. Should that occur, the pressure, together with Abbas’ advanced age, poor health, and many would-be successors, could spell the end of his rule.
PMW: PA inaugurates new method to pay cash rewards to terrorists - because it’s “their right”
Since the commercial banks that operate in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority closed 35,000 bank accounts of terrorists and their families, the PA has been desperately looking for a new mechanism to continue its “Pay-for-Slay” payments. Inaugurating the new system, which uses specifically designated ATM cards and machines, the Director of the PA-funded PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr, explained why the PA will never stop paying the terror rewards to prisoners and their families: Because it’s “their right.”

At a press conference launching the new system, the Director of the PA-funded PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr explained:
“Our position regarding the payment of the salaries and allowances of the prisoners and their families is firm. This is their right, and it is anchored in all the international conventions and treaties, because our prisoners are prisoners of a liberation movement and freedom fighters. Therefore, the international agreements and treaties apply to them, and specifically the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions.”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, July 6, 2021]

Abu Bakr added:
“Since [the start of] the Israeli threats and pressures on the banks that are active in Palestine, the position has been clear: We must continue to pay and to ensure the allowances of the prisoners and their family members.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 7, 2021]
“Victorious is the hand that blows up a tank”– PA TV adds Fatah terror song to pro-PA rally in Jenin

“O Fatah man with the Kalashnikov” –PA TV adds Fatah terror song to pro-PA rally in Ramallah

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian Authority Arrests Singer for Performing for Palestinian Workers at Israeli Industrial Park in West Bank
A Palestinian singer has been arrested by the Palestinian Authority security forces for allegedly promoting normalization with Israel, after he performed at a party organized by the owners of an Israeli factory for their Palestinian workers at the Ariel Industrial Park, Palestinian sources said.

Abdullah Kmeil, the PA governor of the Salfit district, accused the singer of performing in front of "settlers," though the sources said "settlers did not attend the party."

The governor said he was "shocked" when some Palestinians appealed to the PA security forces to release the singer. "We will not have mercy on anyone who deals in any way that implies normalization," Kmeil warned.

MEMRI: Saudi Journalist: Why Does The World Keep Silent Over Hizbullah's Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering Activities?
Intro In a June 13, 2021 article, Fahim Al-Hamed, deputy editor of the Saudi state daily 'Okaz, described the steps taken by Hizbullah to make up for the current decline in its funding. This decline stems from the financial collapse of Iran – the chief source of funding for this organization and other terrorist groups – due to the strict sanctions imposed on this country. According to Al-Hamed, Hizbullah has responded to the crisis by turning to its network of drug dealers, businessmen and bankers, who, deceiving the global oversight systems, transfer drug money from South America through Europe to Lebanon and Syria; moreover, the organization also manufactures and sells drugs in Lebanon and Syria themselves.

Stating that the entire world is knows exactly what Hizbullah is – a murderous terrorist organization which also engages in drug trafficking and money laundering, and which holds Lebanon hostage – Al-Hamed asks why the superpowers remain silent over the crimes of this organization.

It should be noted that, in April 2021, Saudi customs authorities at the port of Jeddah announced that they had intercepted a large shipment of drugs hidden inside pomegranates arriving from Lebanon. Many political elements in Lebanon, and in the Lebanese and Saudi press, held Hizbullah responsible for the smuggling attempt.[1] Since then the Saudi authorities have intercepted many other drug shipments, hidden inside oranges, medical equipment, and more.[2]

The following are excerpts from Al-Hamed's article.[3]
"After its funding sources dried up, and the economy of Iran – the chief financier of the militias and agents of terror in the region – collapsed, Hizbullah started looking for other, unusual sources of funding to deal with the extreme financial crisis it was suffering, and therefore turned to [its activities of] drug trafficking, money laundering and the amassing of explosives in South America and Africa. But the question that arises in the face of this farce and this terrorist militia is the following. If everyone knows that [Hizbullah] is an organization that relies on violence, killing, bloodshed and terror, and if the entire world is convinced that it controls Lebanon, which has become a hostage of the organization's mini-state – why do the powers remain so silent in the face of its terrorist crimes? And why the eager attempts to pamper the Ayatollah regime [in Iran] and remove the sanctions from it, given that it is the chief source of funding for Hizbullah?
With Rising Influence, Hezbollah Stands Ready to Exploit Chaos in Lebanon
Lebanon is going through one of the gravest economic depressions in modern history. More than half of the country’s population now lives in poverty, and the country’s currency has plummeted by 90%. Fuel shortages have led to fights at gas stations and the shutdown of critical power stations.

The Middle Eastern state is now on the brink of a “social explosion.” This dire warning from caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab was issued on July 6 as he desperately called for international help to save “the Lebanese from death” and “prevent the demise” of his country.

Instead of taking some responsibility for Lebanon’s economic crisis, Hezbollah — the country’s most dominant political force — is looking to exploit the crisis and further expand its influence.

Israel has answered Diab’s call for help and formally offered humanitarian assistance to Lebanon through the United Nation’s peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL). But Hezbollah is expected to block any form of Israeli assistance to Lebanon, further illustrating the terrorist organization’s obedience to Iran’s extremist Shia ideology, to the detriment of the Lebanese population.

“As an Israeli, as a Jew, and as a human being, my heart aches seeing the images of people going hungry on the streets of Lebanon,” Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said earlier this month, adding that Israel is “ready to act and to encourage other countries to extend a helping hand to Lebanon so that it will once again flourish and emerge from its state of crisis.”


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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