Tuesday, January 18, 2022

01/18 Links Pt1: Watchdog Sues Biden Admin Over Funding for Palestinian Government; Deborah Lipstadt: Being Jewish Today Means Training for Active Shooters

From Ian:

Watchdog Sues Biden Admin Over Funding for Palestinian Government
A watchdog group is suing the Biden administration for refusing to turn over internal documents that could show it violated a bipartisan law banning the federal government from sending money to the Palestinian government until it stops using these funds to pay terrorists.

Protect the Public's Trust (PPT), a watchdog group comprised of former government officials, is accusing the State Department of stonewalling its Freedom of Information Act request for all internal documents and communications related to the administration's decision last year to unfreeze U.S. aid to the Palestinian government. Taxpayer funds for the Palestinian Authority were stopped under former president Donald Trump due to that government's ongoing support for terrorism.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, says the State Department sat on PPT's FOIA request for more than 240 days, well past the statutory period in which federal agencies like the State Department must provide the requested information. The State Department says it will not be able to turn over the relevant information until at least Dec. 16.

The information in question could show the Biden administration resumed Palestinian aid in violation of a law known as the Taylor Force Act, a 2018 bipartisan piece of legislation that bars the federal government from providing taxpayer aid to the Palestinian government as long as it continues a policy known as "pay to slay," in which aid dollars are used to pay terrorists and their families. The Palestinian Authority continues to make these payments, generating concerns from lawmakers and watchdog groups like PPT that the Biden administration violated the law.

"The American public deserves transparency around this decision, which may not only be in violation of the law but could potentially result in increased danger for U.S. citizens and their allies," Michael Chamberlain, PPT's director, told the Free Beacon. "But the State Department has yet to even give an estimate for when we will receive records, much less provide any."

Texas Synagogue Hostage Crisis: A Case Study in Downplaying Antisemitism
So, you can’t really blame some Jews for being perturbed at the FBI, recently charged with keeping an eye on “domestic terrorists” who challenge school-board members, for initially contending that the Texas synagogue attack was “not specifically related to the Jewish community.” Or, our suddenly judicious president, who only last week was smearing anyone who refused to support his power grab as a white supremacist, for now saying, “I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue or why he insisted on the release of someone who’s been in prison for over 10 years, why he was engaged — why he was using antisemitic and anti-Israeli comments. I — we just don’t have enough facts.”

Being vigilant is fine. In fact, it would serve the nation better if law enforcement, media, and politicians always took their time assessing these events before placing blame. This cautious approach, however, seems reserved for certain politically inconvenient crimes. Everyone knows well what will happen the next time a white male commits anything resembling a politically motivated act. The media still seem to think every conservative is somehow culpable for January 6, while liberals will never be asked to answer for the terrorist who attempted to massacre the entire Republican leadership on June 14, 2017, or for the widespread rioting of 2020.

As Batya Ungar-Sargon pointed out today on HillTV, there is no need to get hysterical about every anti-Jewish incident, as Jews in the United States are still the luckiest Jews in history — safer, freer, and better off, than at any time. That, however, goes for everyone who lives here. As Ungar-Sargon also notes, it is unreasonable to diminish the presence of anti-Jewish behavior to protect “marginalized” groups. Antisemitism is quite popular in the Islamic world. Forget the Middle East, where Pew found near unanimity among national populations on the Jewish question; look at allegedly liberal Europe. As one recent EU study found, among the most serious incidents of antisemitism in the European Union, 31 percent include someone the victim did not know, but 30 percent were perpetrated by someone with extremist Muslim views; 21 percent with someone who held left-wing political views; 16 percent by a colleague from work or school; 15 percent by an acquaintance or friend; and 13 percent by someone with known right-wing views.

And, in the historic harmony of American life, there are more anti-Jewish crimes perpetrated than all the other religiously motivated crimes combined — often at the hands of other minority groups. The habit of downplaying this kind of antisemitism, or appropriating it for partisanship, is a dangerous game.
Deborah Lipstadt: Being Jewish Today Means Training for Active Shooters
We are shaken. We are not OK. But we will bounce back. We are resilient because we cannot afford not to be. That resiliency is part of the Jewish DNA. Without it, we would have disappeared centuries ago. We refuse to go away. But we are exhausted.

Rabbi Cytron-Walker credited his survival to the active-shooter training and security courses that he and his congregants took in order to prepare for just such a moment. He knew to stay calm and knew the right moment to fling a chair at his captor and dash for the exit with the other captives. The Jewish community offers such training on a regular basis to an array of Jewish institutions, especially to our synagogues and our schools.

It is not radical to say that going to services, whether to converse with God or with the neighbors you see only once a week, should not be an act of courage. And yet this weekend we were once again reminded that it can be precisely that.

Among those morning blessings that are part of Blessings of the Dawn is one that thanks God for opening up the eyes of the blind. Jewish eyes did not need to be opened. But this week we wonder if the eyes of our non-Jewish friends and neighbors, particularly the ones who didn’t call to see if we were OK, have been opened just a bit.

There is an additional blessing during these early prayers that thanks God for allowing us to stand tall and straight. We are standing tall and we are standing straight.

But we are checking for the exits.

Jonathan Tobin: Don't let devotion to dialogue get in the way
That's why those who take CAIR's protestations about opposition to antisemitism or their horror at attacks on synagogues at face value are making a serious mistake. The same is true for their attempt to separate their claims that Siddiqui is an innocent who was framed by the government in the course of an Islamophobic war on terrorism from what happened at the synagogue.

To state, this is not to condone any rhetoric that seeks to blame Muslims in general for the act of an individual. Whatever drove Akram to seek his own death and that of others in order to free a Jew-hating terrorist, it is not inappropriate to note that the rising tide of antisemitism around the globe is largely fueled by those, like CAIR, who seek to demonize Israel and Jews.

When that leads to violence – whether in the Middle East, Europe, on the streets of American cities or at a synagogue where people are gathered for Sabbath worship – it is far from out of bounds to call out those who have rationalized or promoted ideological attacks on Jews. That includes conspiracy theories like the ones that are at the heart of the movement to transform a Jew-hating would-be killer like Siddiqui into an innocent victim of the Zionists and their American allies.

Instead of focusing on that, all too many are attempting to claim, including even the FBI in its initial statement after the conclusion of the incident, that what happened has nothing to do with the Jews and, by implication, antisemitism.

We are grateful that as traumatic as it must have been for the hostages and the local community, the outcome in Colleyville was not the tragedy that the attacks in Pittsburgh and Poway turned out to be. But neither the survival of the intended victims nor the wish to avoid conflict with those who claim to represent Muslims should cause us to avert our eyes from the truth about groups that seek to mainstream antisemitism even while pretending to oppose it.
In the aftermath of Colleyville attack, Imam Abdullah Antepli has a message for fellow Muslims
Following the hostage crisis in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday, Imam Abdullah Antepli issued a blunt wake-up call to his own community. In a tweet thread on Sunday afternoon, Antepli, an associate professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, urged the North American Muslim community to “have the morally required tough conversations about those ‘…polite Zionists are our enemies…’” rhetoric espoused by some Muslim thought leaders in recent months.

On Monday, Antepli joined Jewish Insider’s “Limited Liability Podcast” to elaborate on his comments and to send a message of solidarity to the Jewish community. “Well, first of all, my deepest condolences and love and sympathy and prayers of strength and resilience to Jewish communities, not only in the Dallas area, but globally,” Antepli remarked. “I can only imagine the shock waves of fear and terror and anxiety [that] has enveloped hearts and minds of many of my Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Explaining his Twitter post, Antepli noted, “I love my community” before adding, “But this community is increasingly becoming vulnerable towards various forms of subtle and unsubtle antisemitism in the name of pro-Palestinian activism.” Antepli said that he himself identifies as pro-Palestinian — it’s “one of the very few labels I feel comfortable putting on myself.” Antepli faulted what he described as “many bad faith actors” who “are taking and desecrating Palestinian suffering, solidarity with the Palestinians, and in the name of their suffering, are promoting irresponsibly, antisemitism, anti-Jewish hatred, and they are trafficking in the good old antisemitism that the Jewish community and others have suffered for the last two millennia.”

In his tweets on Sunday, Antepli referenced recent comments by Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) San Francisco chapter in which she called “Zionist synagogues,” Hillels and the Anti-Defamation League “enemies.” Shortly after her comments became public, Billoo announced she was going on sabbatical.

“If this is not antisemitic and if this is not flaming the fans of antisemitism, what is? And here, a few weeks later, we are having these kinds of incidents.” Antepli told podcast hosts Jarrod Bernstein and Rich Goldberg. “It is a moral call. The Muslim community has all they need to activate the Golden Rule and empathy, because we are facing a similar kind of hatred. We shouldn’t do unto others, what others are doing unto us. I cannot express my frustration and anger enough, how sad I am that a vulnerable, marginalized community like mine, we are doing exactly [the same thing] to the Jewish community.”
What CAIR Shares in Common With Synagogue Hostage Taker
Siddiqui “embodies a political prisoner,” antisemitic activist Linda Sarsour said during a November webinar sponsored by CAIR-Texas. “And I see her in the same realm that I see Imam Jamil and Leonard Peltier, and many other former Black Panther party leaders and others who have been subjected to torture and subjected to solitary confinement and subjected to things that no human being should be subjected to in our incarceration system.”

Sarsour continued: “I believe like you said, you know, no one was killed. To have an 86-year sentence when no one’s life was taken is absolutely outrageous.”

CAIR was quick to condemn the Texas hostage incident and claim that it stands with the Jewish community. But that solidarity is opportunistic.

CAIR lauds Siddiqui, but overlooks her antisemitic statements, including demanding that no Jews be allowed to serve on her jury.

As HonestReporting noted, “CAIR has paid special attention to Siddiqui’s case, which the group’s Dallas-Fort Worth chapter even described as ‘one of the greatest examples of injustice in US history.’”

“A search of CAIR’s website for Siddiqui’s name brings up multiple results, such as a press release titled, ‘DC: Coalition to Hold News Conference to Call for the Release of Pakistani National Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from Texas Prison.’ It proceeds to claim that Siddiqui was wrongly convicted, while labeling her a ‘victim of the war on terror.’”

CAIR also double downed in defending its San Francisco chapter leader, Zahra Billoo, after she gave a speech in November urging an audience to “pay attention” to all facets of the American Jewish community. The “polite Zionists” are still the enemies, she said:

“They are not your friends. They will not be there for you when you need them. They will take your friendship and throw your Palestinian brothers and sisters under the bus.”
From Colleyville to Fort Hood
Biden also thanked state, local and “federal law enforcement,” for rescuing the hostages but showed no curiosity about the FBI’s failure to prevent Malik Faisal Akram from taking the hostages. After Fort Hood, the FBI failed to prevent Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino (2015, 14 dead) and Omar Mateen’s terrorist attack in Orlando (2016, 49 dead). It remains unclear whether anyone in the FBI was disciplined, demoted or dismissed over these failures, but a ballpark figure would be zero.

As Spencer explains, the composite character president quickly “scrubbed all counterterror training materials that made any mention of Islamic texts and teachings,” and cut ties with all independent contractors “who were teaching agents about the beliefs and goals of jihad terrorists.” So FBI special agent Matt DeSarno “is operating out of the willful ignorance the FBI chose as policy years ago.”

According to his brother Gulbar, British national Malik Faisal Akram has a criminal record, yet he obtained a visa, flew to New York before January 1, and was admitted to the United States. It also remains unclear how he obtained the gun he used to take the hostages. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) have yet to clarify those issues.

According to an FBI statement obtained by Fox News on Sunday, “This is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.” Note the passive-voice construction of the “matter” which is only “terrorism-related.” Note also that Malik Faisal Akram, who targeted the Jewish community, is not mentioned.

Recall that the Joint Terrorism Task Force failed to stop the terrorist before he took the hostages, just as the FBI failed to stop Nidal Hasan before he murdered 13 Americans in 2009. In 2020, have no doubt that the lessons of Fort Hood have not been learned.
Forgetting Jihad
Judging by my admittedly small sample, there are a lot of big holes in our collective memory about the destructive acts of Islamic ideologues. The holes are the result of deliberate misinformation and widespread suppression of critically important news.

What accounts for the epidemic of amnesia over Islamic terror? We all have reasons for forgetting past events. New events push them out of our minds. We have work to do, bills to pay, children to raise. We can’t be expected to remember every news item of the last decade.

Yet some events stick in our memory, and some don’t. Why do the names of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman stick in our minds, and the name Ahmad Al-Issa (the Boulder killer) does not?

George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. And the court ruled it was self-defense. Ahmad Al-Issa killed 10 people in a premeditated act of murder on March 22, 2021. Yet, after ten years, the names of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman still ring a bell, and after 10 months, the name Ahmad Al-Issa does not. The death of Trayvon Martin is important to the media, and they want you to remember it. But apparently the death of ten people at the hands of a man who often complained of Islamophobia, doesn’t matter nearly as much to them. It doesn’t fit their narrative and so they turn their attention elsewhere.

As a result, the public turns its attention elsewhere. The name of Al-Issa is forgotten and so are the names of his victims. And so is the question of his motive (which at this time is still officially unknown.)

According to the old adage, “what you don’t know, won’t hurt you,” but sometimes, what you don’t know can suddenly hit you with devastating effect.
Texas synagogue gunman was probed by UK’s MI5 in 2020 as possible terror threat
The man who attacked a synagogue in Texas at the weekend had been investigated by British security services in 2020 as a potential Islamist terrorist threat, but the probe was closed, according to media reports Tuesday.

US authorities have identified the captor as British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, 44. Akram was shot dead at the end of a 10-hour siege in the small town of Colleyville on Saturday, after the four hostages he took were freed or escaped.

On Tuesday British media outlets including The Guardian, The Times and the BBC reported that Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence agency in 2020 received information about Akram, who lived in Blackburn in northwest England. There were no details on what the information included.

The reports, citing unnamed government sources, said this prompted an investigation, but the probe was shut down again after a little over a month due to lack of evidence that he was a threat. The agency is now expected to review the investigation.

MI5 keeps tabs on around 3,000 jihadist suspects at any one time, and has investigated up to 40,000 individuals in total.
Countdown to synagogue siege: British terrorist Faisal Akram, 44, flew to New York on Jan 2 before making his way to Texas, staying in Christian homeless shelter and buying 'guns on street'
The Blackburn terrorist shot dead having laid siege to a Texas synagogue had spent the week before the attack in a Christian homeless shelter and bought his gun 'off the street' nearby, it was revealed today.

Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Lancashire, staged a ten-hour attack near Dallas and held the rabbi and three others hostage while demanding the release of a convicted terrorist known as Lady Al Qaeda so they could die together.

Akram is understood to have landed in New York on January 2, most likely on a flight from Manchester, and was granted legal entry to the US, despite having a criminal record.

The address he gave on his arrival papers appears to be the same as the Queens Hotel in New York City, which offers basic accommodation for $80-a-night.

Although Akram said in the entry documents he would be staying there it is unclear if he actually did, with a receptionist at the hotel unable to say whether this was the case, the NY Times reported. The receptionist said FBI agents had reviewed its CCTV but found nothing useful.

The British Muslim crossed the country, likely by internal flight, next appearing at a Texan Christian charity asking for a bed for the night.

He stayed at the Union Gospel Mission in Dallas in the week before the terror attack, and was able to buy a handgun 'off the street', according to US President Joe Biden.

The shelter's CEO Bruce Butler told CNN that staff saw him 'come and go' from January 6 - but he never mentioned religion or his plans to attack the synagogue.

‘We Can Never Let Guard Down,’ Says Jewish Security Official, Urging Congregant Training Drills
The Jewish community “must be ready” and stay “vigilant and strong” to respond to any antisemitic incidents, emphasized Michael Masters, CEO and national director of the Secure Community Network, the security arm of the organized Jewish community.

“We are just 2 percent of the US population, but 58 percent of religiously motivated hate crimes are against Jews,” he said. “Antisemitism is real, and we are determined to fight it. We must commit to action.”

That action includes preparing and training members of the Jewish community — not just synagogue officials and leadership, but rank-and-file members on how to protect their building, where panic buttons are and how to contact police in an emergency.

“We can never let our guard down,” he stated.

Masters made his remarks during a press briefing on Sunday afternoon, a day after the attack on Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. According to authorities, Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British man, took four people hostage on Saturday morning during synagogue services. The first few hours of the standoff were livestreamed as the services were being broadcast to synagogue members at the time.

One hostage was released by the gunman in the afternoon. However, as the hours dragged on, the gunman became more agitated.

As the synagogue’s rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker recounted on “CBS Mornings” on Monday: “It didn’t look good; it didn’t sound good. We were terrified, and when I saw an opportunity where he wasn’t in a good position, I made sure that the two gentlemen still with me that they were ready to go. The exit wasn’t too far away. I told them to go, I threw a chair at the gunman, and I headed for the door, and all three of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired.”

Stephen Pollard: The BBC has a serious issue with Jews
I don’t think I have ever seen a more grotesquely skewed report of a major terrorist incident than last night’s BBC report, which could only have happened if all involved went through a series of intellectual contortions to avoid mentioning antisemitism.

The report would be bad enough on its own. But in the context of the ongoing row over the BBC’s reporting of the Chanukah assault on a group of Jewish children in Oxford Street, it is difficult not to sense a pattern.

At every stage of this fiasco, the BBC has behaved as if it regarded those who were angry with its reporting of the attack – such as the Board of Deputies - with pure contempt. Indeed, when the boys’ lawyer wrote to the BBC, it demanded the lawyer hand over their names as a condition of engaging with the complaint – an astonishing, outrageous attempt to remove the anonymity of the victims of an assault.

This follows on from the flawed original report, of course – which by accusing one of the boys of making an “anti-Muslim slur”, made it seem as if the Jewish boys were themselves somehow to blame.

The BBC has consciously and deliberately spurned every opportunity to apologise for its flawed reporting of this incident and it has refused even to try to conciliate the Jewish community, which through the Board of Deputies has gone out of its way to offer the chance for the BBC to say sorry. It is genuinely difficult to avoid the conclusion that the BBC actually wants to have a fight.

On and on it goes. The BBC may not be institutionally antisemitic. But the evidence is now all too clear that it has a serious issue with Jews.
Guardian airbrushes CAIR's extremism and support for 'Lady al-Qaeda'
The Guardian published a report yesterday about the gunman who took several Jews hostage in a Texas synagogue on Shabbat while demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui. Siddiqui is a Pakistani woman and suspected al-Qaeda operative – dubbed ‘Lady al-Qaeda’ by the NYC media – who was convicted of trying to kill US military officers in Afghanistan.

The British gunman, who reportedly engaged in antisemitic rhetoric during the standoff, was later named as Malik Faisal Akram, a 44 year old man from Blackburn in Lancashire. He was killed during a raid by FBI agents, and all the hostages were unharmed.

The piece (“Texas synagogue siege: hostage-taker shot dead by FBI believed to be British”, Jan. 16) included the following:
In the livestream the hostage-taker was heard demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al-Qaida, who was convicted of trying to kill US military officers while in custody in Afghanistan, one of the law enforcement officials said. Siddiqui is in federal prison in Texas.

In fact, when she was captured by US authorities, Siddiqui was reportedly carrying notes detailing a “mass casualty attack” on New York City sites, including the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Siddiqui also has a well-documented history of antisemitism.

Settlements were never an obstacle to peace - opinion
The consensus settlement blocs are the large settlements that are nearly certain to become part of Israel after the final borders are determined. The settlement blocs that make up the consensus settlements include Ma’aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Betar Illit, Givat Ze’ev, Modi’in Illit, and Ariel, all of which, with the exception of the latter, are within a short distance of the Green Line.

The consensus settlements and other settlements close to the Green Line could easily be incorporated into Israel, which would allow for the maximum number of settlers to remain while incorporating the least possible amount of territory beyond the Green Line.

Furthermore, Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip illustrates that settlements were never an obstacle to peace. In August 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip, which involved forcibly removing the 8,500 Israelis from the 21 settlements located in that territory.

Although it was believed that removing the settlements there would help in advancing peace, the exact opposite happened. In 2007, Hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction, took control of the Gaza Strip. Since then, tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel with the intent of harming Israel’s citizens.

It is for these reasons that Israeli settlements have never been an obstacle to peace.
PragerU: Does Israel Occupy the West Bank?
How many times have you heard that Israel "occupies" the West Bank?

Probably more times than you can count.

But have you ever asked yourself whether it's true? Or even what it means?

Let's do so now in the most objective way possible; that is, in the way that all territorial questions everywhere else in the world are resolved.

To do this, we must look at the law.

But first, we need a little history.

Up until 100 years ago, the areas now called Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and all the countries around them—were part of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over a vast area and many peoples. Neither the Jews nor those Arabs we now call Palestinians had a state, though the Jews had a nationalist movement calling for one.

Everything changed after World War I. The Ottomans fought on the losing side with Germany. By end of the war in 1918, their empire had disintegrated, leaving the British and French in control of much of its territory.

US informs Israel it no longer supports EastMed pipeline to Europe
The Biden administration informed Israel, Greece and Cyprus in recent weeks that the US no longer supports the proposed EastMed natural gas pipeline from Israel to Europe.

State Department officials conveyed the new position to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, a diplomatic source in Jerusalem confirmed on Tuesday. The reversal of position from that of the Trump administration was first reported in Greece earlier this month. Washington informed Athens of its concerns about the project in a “non-paper,” a diplomatic term for an unofficial or off-the-record communication.

“The American side expressed to the Greek side reservations as to the rationale of the EastMed pipeline, [and] raised issues of its economic viability and environmental [issues],” Greek government sources told Reuters.

“The Greek side highlighted that this project has been declared a ‘special project’ by the European Union and any decision on its viability will logically have an economic impact,” the official said.

The EastMed Pipeline, meant to transfer natural gas from Israeli waters to Europe via Greece and Cyprus, was announced in 2016, and several agreements have been signed between the three countries on the subject. The three states aimed to complete the €6 billion project by 2025, but no financing has been secured for it.
Israel's Arrow system successfully intercepts target simulating Iranian missile
Amid ongoing tensions with Iran, Israel’s Defense Ministry, the IDF and the US Missile Defense Agency successfully conducted a planned interception test of the Arrow-3 missile-defense system on Tuesday morning.

The test, led by Israel Aerospace Industries in collaboration with the Israel Air Force, took place in central Israel.

During the test, the Arrow system’s radar detected the target and transferred the data to battle management controL, which analyzed the data, established a defense plan and launched two Arrow 3 interceptors toward the exo-atmospheric target, successfully destroying it.

“The success of this test is an important milestone for Israel’s operational capability to defend itself against existing and evolving threats in the region,” the Defense Ministry said, adding that it was part of the IDF’s multi-year development program.

IAI President and CEO Boaz Levy said the system was tested in a “challenging scenario” against “future threats” and that throughout the test, it gathered “essential information that will be used by the defense establishment and the company’s engineers for the development of future technology.”

He said the two interceptors had “two different missions” with different flight paths to shoot down the same target.

The Arrow system, he added, “proved once again that Israel holds one of the world’s most advanced defense systems against ballistic missiles.”
Germans Blindside the IDF, Doubling Cost of 3 Submarines
German submarine manufacturer ThyssenKrupp recently raised the price of three new submarines ordered by Israel’s defense ministry by a whopping €1.2 billion ($1.37 billion). The increase was brought up for discussion by a ministerial committee on Sunday and was reportedly approved. This is the first time the Israeli public is being informed of this alarming price hike.

On Sunday, the Bennett government ordered the establishment of a state commission of inquiry to investigate Case 3000, which involved the dispute between the security apparatus and former-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the purchase of a ThyssenKrupp and Netanyahu’s consenting to ThyssenKrupp’s selling advanced submarines to Egypt (Bennett Cabinet to Approve Inquiry into Submarines Affair that May Impact Netanyahu). Now it appears that the relationship between the IDF and ThyssenKrupp just continues to spread joy everywhere.

The three submarines whose price has been doubled will join three submarines ThyssenKrupp has already sold to the IDF and which are at the center of Case 3000. ThyssenKrupp was clearly taking advantage of the fact that the IDF Navy’s underwater future was tied to the German vessels, and so, a few months ago, as negotiations with ThyssenKrupp were progressing toward signing a detailed MOU, the defense ministry announced behind closed doors that the Germans had jumped their financial demand to €3 billion ($3.42 billion). Presumably, the cost of turning to a different manufacturer at this stage of the game would be considerable, and delivery dates would be pushed off from around 2030 to who knows when.

But wait, there’s more. The German government originally sweetened the deal for Israel by agreeing to pay a third of the cost, €600 million ($684 million). That hasn’t changed: the Germans will subsidize the sale by €600 million – but with the price now at €3 billion, Israel’s share will rise from €1.2 billion to €2.4 billion ($2.74 billion).
Israel Offers UAE Security, Intelligence Support After Deadly Houthi Attack
Israel has offered security and intelligence support to the United Arab Emirates against further drone attacks after a deadly strike by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, according to a letter released on Tuesday by Israel’s leader.

Three people were killed and six wounded on Monday when three tanker trucks exploded in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital. A Houthi military spokesman said the group fired “a large number” of drones and five ballistic missiles in the attack.

On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett condemned what he described as a “terrorist drone attack.”

His spokesman attached a copy of a condolence letter he sent on Monday to the UAE’s de facto leader, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

“We stand ready to offer you security and intelligence support in order to help you protect your citizens from similar attacks,” Bennett wrote. “I have ordered the Israeli security establishment to provide their counterparts in the UAE with any assistance, should you be interested.”

The UAE, along with Bahrain, signed U.S.-brokered normalization agreements with Israel at the White House in 2020. The two Gulf nations and Israel share common concerns about Iran and its allied forces in the region.

Contrived Sheikh Jarrah Brouhaha: Media, Diplomats Slam Israel for Implementing Court Ruling in Order to Build Special Needs School
Some eight months after the US-designated Hamas terror group used a legal battle over possible evictions in eastern Jerusalem as a pretext to start an 11-day conflict with the Jewish state, Israeli police on Monday demolished several illegal Palestinian structures in the Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood. Israeli courts had previously ruled that the Salihiya family built its plant business, as well as two storage units, on publicly owned land that Jerusalem has zoned for a special needs school to serve the Arab community.

Several attempts over the years to reach a peaceful resolution proved unsuccessful, prompting local authorities this week to move forward with the court-sanctioned evacuation of the property. However, as personnel prepared to carry out its lawful order, Mohammed Salhiya fortified himself atop the roof of his adjacent home along with his children, a gas cylinder and a canister of gasoline and threatened to torch the area.

The situation ended following the intervention of police negotiators, and after it became clear that the intent was to demolish the plant shop and not Salhiya’s house, which was also built without a construction permit. Meanwhile, European diplomats and major news organizations added fuel to the fire by flat out echoing the narrative that presents Israel’s efforts to uphold law and order and, in this case, serve the Arab community as running counter to “international law.”

According to the Jerusalem municipality, which has provided public services to residents in the eastern part of Israel’s capital since the reunification of the holy city in 1967, the local government has long wanted to build an educational complex on the above-mentioned land in Sheikh Jarrah, which is officially designated a “statutory area for public needs.”

In other words, Monday’s events are not connected to the ongoing attempt by Jewish Israelis to reclaim ownership of properties that were confiscated from them or their families between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan occupied the West Bank, including eastern Jerusalem.

Related Reading: Stricken From Media Record: Palestinian Authority, Hamas Pressured Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik Residents to Reject Israeli Supreme Court Compromise

In a press release, the Jerusalem municipality made clear that the plan to build the special needs school was approved and budgeted “years ago.” As part of the project, 18 classrooms will be built in addition to six kindergartens, sports fields and other facilities. The school would serve hundreds of Arab children with special needs from all over the city, with Sheikh Jarrah having been chosen due to its central location.
Im Tirtzu: This Is How Palestinians Illegally Enter Israeli Territory Watch as Im Tirtzu's Field Director Yehuda Sharabany documents and explains how Palestinians illegally enter Israeli territory.

MEMRI: Palestinian Former Minister: The West Bank Is In Complete Chaos; Palestinian Authority Has Failed To Build Properly-Governed Lawful State
In an article in the daily Al-Ayyam, Ashraf Al-'Ajrami, a former minister of prisoners affairs in the Palestinian Authority (PA), warned that the West Bank is in complete chaos, manifested in violent clan and tribal conflicts that are threatening public security. This situation, he said, results from the failure of all the Palestinian institutions – the education system, the executive and judicial bodies, the political parties and even civil society organizations – which have not managed to build a national civil infrastructure divorced from clan and tribal loyalties.

Al-'Ajrami added that the public confidence in the PA institutions is eroding, and that the PA is losing its ability to govern, because the public relies more and more on local and tribal frameworks to protect it and handle its affairs. He stated that the discourse of resistance, which glorifies weapons, only intensifies the phenomenon of citizens taking the law into their own hands and using their weapons to settle personal and local scores. If Palestinian society slides into complete anarchy, he warned, international elements will stop supporting the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, out of fear that it will turn into a failed and corrupt country. He urged the Palestinians to embrace values of proper government and the rule of law and thus restore their image as "a civilized and educated nation that can play an active role in the culture of the world."

It should be noted that the weakness of the rule of law in the PA is an issue often discussed in the Palestinian media, with many writers claiming that it is a symptom of deeper problems in Palestinian society that can threaten the future of the Palestinian national cause. [1]

The following are translated excerpts from Al-'Ajrami's article:[2]
"The occupied West Bank witnesses many quarrels and conflicts among clans and tribes, in which citizens are sometimes killed or injured, property is damaged, public and social safety is severely jeopardized and chaos reigns, including chaos caused by weapons outside the control [of the authorities]. Sadly, these quarrels are no longer confined to [the streets] of the various villages and cities, but have reached respectable education facilities such as Al-Quds and Bir Zeit universities and the Arab American [University in Jenin], one of whose students was murdered recently [on December 4, 2021] right across from [the campus]. This destructive deterioration is very grave, for in the past the universities and education facilities led society towards [greater] awareness, culture and enlightenment, while also spearheading the national struggle. Today they have somehow become hotspots of stupid and meaningless quarrels that reflect nothing but ignorance, backwardness and the loss of their national and cultural role.
UN Palestinian refugee agency seeks $1.6 billion
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, announced a $1.6 billion funding appeal Tuesday to help counter "chronic" budget shortfalls.

It is the latest in a series of warnings from UNRWA on possible deep cuts if the international community fails to provide more support.

"Chronic agency budget shortfalls threaten the livelihoods and well-being of the Palestine refugees that UNRWA serves and pose a serious threat to the agency's ability to maintain services," agency head Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement.

UNRWA's funding suffered a blow in 2018 when former US president Donald Trump cut support to the agency.

His administration branded UNRWA as "irredeemably flawed," siding with Israeli criticisms of the agency founded in 1949, a year after Israel's creation.

President Joe Biden's administration has restored some support, but UNRWA has said it is still struggling.

In November, it warned it was facing an "existential threat" over budget gaps.
Graft from Cancer Treatment Center: The Latest Corruption Case to Rock the PA
The street in the Palestinian Authority is again in turmoil following the revelation of another corruption case, one of many cases, involving senior PA officials.

In 2018, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed a presidential order to establish a hospital for cancer patients and bone marrow transplants, named after Khaled al-Hassan, the founder of Fatah who died of cancer.

The presidential order details seven goals, responsibilities, and roles of the center for cancer treatment and also opened up the possibility of raising donations for the medical entity, which is registered as a non-profit institution.

Wealthy individuals have donated a plot of land worth tens of millions of dollars and the total donations raised for the project are estimated at $12-15 million, but it now turns out that senior PA officials were appointed to the board of directors of the cancer center.

Senior executives include Intisar Abu Amara, head of Abbas’ bureau, senior Fatah and PLO officials and former PA officials, including Tayeb ‘Abd al-Rahim, who was the head of the presidency, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem, and Ahmad Atzaaf, the head of the radio and television authority.

However, despite the many investments, the project failed to launch, even though a cornerstone was laid and a festive ceremony was held to unveil the project.
PMW: Sperm in a bag of potato chips – that’s how imprisoned Palestinian terrorists father children outside of prison
Sperm in bags of potato ships – that is the way Palestinian terrorists smuggle sperm out of prison, a released terrorist prisoner told PA TV. Rafat Al-Qarawi, who himself claims to have fathered four children this way, explained that the terrorists smuggle out sperm in bags of potato chips that they reseal, mark with their name, and wrap in a certain way so that the family knows which bag contains the sperm:
Released prisoner Rafat Al-Qarawi: “At first, we smuggled out [sperm] through the canteen. The Palestinian prisoner gives his family five items in a bag… It’s like going to a supermarket and you want to give your family something, a gift, candies, cookies, juice, honey, whatever you want… We would emit the [sperm] sample from our bodies seconds before they would call our names… We would emit the [sperm] sample from our bodies and put it in bags. We would wrap them in a certain way and mark them-”

Official PA TV host: “You stress the word “mark” 100 times.”

Al-Qarawi: “100 percent.”… We would mark the [bag] with the sperm inside it, mark it, and wrap it with strings and tie it the way we had told the family during the previous visit… We put the sample inside [a bag of] potato chips or cookies and resealed it professionally so that the prison guard or Israeli police officer would not be able to discern whether or not the bag had been opened. When you go out to the visit the bag is with you. No one touches it other than the prisoner. The one who comes to receive the sample is your mother or your wife… Of course everyone had their name written on their bag… The family goes out from the prison with the bag and goes to the Razan [Medical] Center [for insemination].”

[Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, Dec. 16, 2021]

Government Report Exposes: EU Invested $500 Million in Illegal PA Takeover of Area C
The European Union (EU) has invested half a billion dollars in support of the Palestinian Authority’s illegal takeover of Area C in Judea and Samaria, a comprehensive report by the Ministry of Intelligence on the PA’s plan to take over Area C shows.

The report was exposed Tuesday ahead of a special discussion at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the initiative of the Land of Israel Lobby, which members are warning that “the battle for Judea and Samaria has reached a critical stage.”

According to the report, the PA employs about 600 workers in some 100 registration branches who are engaged in a huge project to map properties, including in Area C, which is under full Israeli control as per the Oslo Accords. The stated goal of the project is gaining and claiming ownership of the land.

The mapping project, which gained momentum in 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, is sometimes carried out with threats to landowners, and includes IDF camps and training zones, and Israeli communities.

According to the Israeli report, “in the absence of an alternative (Israeli) registration arrangement, there is a good chance that at one point or another, the courts in Israel or around the world will adopt the Palestinian registration.”

The report further revealed that the PA planning project is being carried out with the funding of foreign bodies, and PA officials attend all meetings and ensure plans are in line with the PA’s “national interests.”