Sunday, May 15, 2022

From Ian:

The Palestinians and a destiny of self-imposed 'Nakba'
This disaster, therefore, wasn't the work of some higher power, and the attempt to blame the Jews for fighting those who came to kill them, yet won, doesn't hold up to historical scrutiny. This disaster was the work of the local Arab population and its leaders, who refused proposals of compromise, opted for the path of violence and lost everything.

What has the lesson been for the Arabs since then? Apparently, it is to keep trying where they failed in 1948. This, instead of the obvious conclusion that violence only breeds more calamity for them, and that only acceptance and dialogue can extricate them from the endless cycle of bloodshed and defeat.

One clear expression of the Palestinian decision (and the decision of some Arabs of Israel) to cling to the past is Nakba Day "celebrations." These are not events of self-introspection and commemoration, but rather of incitement, agitation, and hatred that send just one message – certainly for the Jewish public watching them – which is: we are not willing to accept the existence of the State of Israel, and that the Jewish side should know that this conflict is absolute; a "zero-sum game" in which a Palestinian victory means the eradication of the Jewish state.

It's possible, of course, to downplay these shows of hatred and what it represents, but one should be troubled by the message hidden within. Its crux is that even if Israel is strong and powerful right now, it is still a "country on probation," which in our hearts we don't accept or concede, and that when the time comes and the conditions arise – we will raise our heads and our hands against it. This message, which often feeds periods of unrest in the Arab sector, isn't predicated on economic distress, nor even anger at what is happening on the Temple Mount, but rather on the rejection of the State of Israel, whose apparatuses are again failing to contend with the issue.

The State of Israel has lived by its sword since its inception, and in a complex region such as ours, it will have to keep fighting for the foreseeable future. The Palestinians were unable to defeat it, but by fomenting and cultivating a culture of "Nakba" they aren't just hurting Israel, but mainly themselves.

It would make sense, therefore, that after 150 years of conflict they would choose a different path instead of continuing to encourage and celebrate hatred and incitement. This, it seems, won't happen, as the Palestinians are destined to live – and essentially keep choosing the path they are on – from catastrophe to catastrophe.
On 'Nakba,' Abbas vows to continue payments to prisoners and 'martyrs'
The Palestinian Authority will continue to pay allowances to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks against Israel, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday.

Abbas’s renewed commitment to the families of the prisoners and “martyrs” was made on the 74th anniversary of Nakba Day, “Catastrophe Day,” a term Palestinians use to describe the 1948 War of Independence.

During several rallies in the West Bank on Sunday, Palestinians sounded sirens for 74 seconds, marking the number of years since the establishment of Israel.

Abbas and other Palestinians also emphasized that they would remain committed to the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel.

“The Palestinian people and their leadership will not rest until all prisoners enjoy freedom,” Abbas said, adding that he would remain committed “to the rights of the families of the martyrs and prisoners.” Israel Police arrest Arab protesters at Nakba Day rally at Tel Aviv University, May 15, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Israel Police arrest Arab protesters at Nakba Day rally at Tel Aviv University, May 15, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Abbas said he was proud of the “steadfastness of the brave prisoners held in occupation prisons.”

Abbas has staunchly refused to halt the payments to the families of the prisoners and “martyrs” – a scheme described by some as “pay for slay.”

“The great Palestinian people cannot be defeated because they have a just issue that cannot be obliterated by false narratives,” Abbas said. He called on Israel’s leaders “to get out of the cycle of denial of the other because it will not bring security and stability to anyone.”

‘Say Yes to the World’ but No to the Jews: Lufthansa’s Antisemitic Scandal
By collectively punishing all the Orthodox Jews who flew instead of identifying and taking action against the specific passengers who allegedly violated the masking policy, Lufthansa engaged in blatant antisemitic discrimination. The reasoning of the ground staff has yet to be officially explained, but it doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to conclude that in their eyes, all of these Hasidim look the same and behave the same — a prejudiced logic that, sadly, many other minorities are also familiar with.

Perhaps the worst aspect of this scandal is Lufthansa’s refusal to recognize that its staff treated Jewish passengers with contempt that was rooted in antisemitic imagery. An apology posted only once the world’s media feasted on images of anxious-looking Jews being persecuted in a German airport was directed at “all the passengers unable to travel on this flight, not only for the inconvenience, but also for the offense caused and personal impact.” But the statement did not deal with the core of the problem; the antisemitic thinking that resulted in discriminatory action against an entire group based on their ethnicity.

A large part of the shock value around this story lies in the fact that it occurred in Germany, of all places, and with Lufthansa. Founded in 1926, the airline profited handsomely from the use of slave labor during the Nazi era before it was reconstituted in 1953 under the chairmanship of Kurt Weigelt, a Nazi businessman who served a two-year prison sentence for war crimes. One would like to think that Weigelt’s spirit has been banished from Lufthansa’s boardrooms and airport hubs; the spectacle in Frankfurt would suggest otherwise.

Lufthansa can yet emerge from this appalling episode with its credibility intact. For that to happen, it needs to recognize that its ground staff implemented an antisemitic policy and apologize for that offense specifically. And it needs to publicly announce the payment of substantial compensation to all those who missed their connecting flight — not just for the inconvenience but for the trauma that accompanies a victim’s experience of discrimination.

Until that happens, no Jewish customer can regard Lufthansa as simply one of the world’s more decent airlines. Some chatter on social media has suggested that a boycott of the airline would be the correct path to take. My answer to that is that travelers should exercise their consumer choice, as Lufthansa is hardly the only airline that flies to Europe. But a formal boycott may, at this stage, be a step too far. Let us see first whether Lufthansa can grasp the enormity of its original offense; whether, indeed, the Holocaust contrition that the Germans are famous for goes more than just skin deep.

Unreported: Palestinian Mob Runs Off With Casket of Al Jazeera Reporter
Footage of alleged Israeli police misconduct during the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has gone viral. The prevailing media narrative is that police "stormed" Akleh's casket as it emerged from St. Joseph's Hospital in eastern Jerusalem.

Even before the police announced an inquiry into the incident, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Israel. Yet other videos and eyewitness accounts of Friday's events paint a different picture than the one described by many journalists.

Guardian on journalist's death Don't bother us with facts. Israel is guilty.
The press release they link to is based on a report by International Federation of Journalists that is deeply flawed, as it includes, in its tally of “journalists” killed by Israeli forces, those, like Yasser Abd al-Rahman Murtaja, who were actually Hamas operatives. Alternatively, the Committee to Protect Journalists website has a thorough list which reports that 19 journalists have killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories – a region where a disproportionate number of journalists are stationed – in a database going back to 1992, most by “crossfire”. In other words, contrary to the Guardian’s suggestion, it’s extremely rare for a journalist to be killed in the region, and those who are killed are typically victims of “crossfire” in conflict zones.

If the Guardian was truly concerned about press freedom, they would have consulted Reporters Without Borders, which lists ‘Palestine’ among the worst places for press freedom, ranking them 170th out of 180 countries/territories listed. The internationally respected human rights group Freedom House confirms that Israel is generally a hospitable place for journalists to do their work, ranking Israel’s ranking three out of a high score of four, whilst the Palestinian territories are ranked just one out of four.

It’s telling that even al-Jazeera has reported on the PA’s increasing “crackdown on journalists”, citing the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms reporting they are increasingly “facing increased harassment, arrests and violence”. In June 2021 alone, following the killing of Palestinian dissident Nizar Banat, the group recorded “69 violations against Palestinian journalists by different Palestinian parties in the West Bank and Gaza, including 17 incidents of physical assault and two arrests, 11 confiscation and destruction of journalists’ equipment”.

But, of course, the failure of Palestinian leaders to create and nurture liberal traditions, norms and laws, a culture of transparency and respect for Palestinian human rights within the territories they govern is not the story Guardian editors will tell. The media intuition’s rigid ideological orientation denying Palestinians agency demands the erasure of all evidence complicating the desired narrative, resulting in reporting based on the assumption of Palestinian innocence and Israeli guilt. If you think we’re exaggerating, let’s remember that the Guardian is an outlet which literally once argued that it would have been better for the world if Israel had never been born. The Jewish state, in their view, is a state beyond the pale, one which can’t be reformed – a people not only undeserving of statehood, but representing an “organic obstacle to peace and progress”.
BBC Radio 4 sticks to the narrative on Al Jazeera journalist’s shooting
Previously we have looked at the BBC’s initial reporting of the death of Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin on May 11th on World Service radio and the BBC News website:

The BBC’s domestic Radio 4 audience heard the first reports on that story on the May 11th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme and once again audiences heard uncritical and unqualified amplification of claims from Al Jazeera, Qatar and the Palestinian Authority which had not been independently verified by the BBC.

In the 8 a.m. news bulletin aired some three and a half hours after the incident occurred (from 2:05:33 here) listeners were told that:
Newsreader: “An Al Jazeera correspondent has been shot dead while covering an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank. The Qatar-based news channel said that the reporter was shot in the head by Israeli forces. Here’s our Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman.”

In the report from Tom Bateman listeners learned that it is apparently only Israel which is required “to provide evidence” and listeners were not informed that the claims from Al Jazeera and Qatar amplified by the BBC are no less lacking in evidence at this stage.

Bateman: “Shireen Abu Akleh was hit by gunfire as she was covering a raid by Israeli troops into Jenin camp. She was wearing a press flack jacket visibly marked. Another reporter, who was wounded, said the fire came from soldiers. During the raid armed Palestinians had fired at troops massive volleys says the Israeli army, which says she may have been hit by Palestinian gunmen but has yet to provide evidence. Ms Abu Akleh was a veteran Palestinian journalist known to millions; one of the best-known women to become a regular face on TV screens covering the conflict over the years. Responding to her death, Qatar – which owns Al Jazeera – accused Israel of state-sponsored terrorism. Israel’s government says it is investigating and is offering to do so in coordination with Palestinian officials.”
Blinken calls family of American-Palestinian reporter killed in Jenin, offers help
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the family of deceased Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh after criticizing Israel’s use of force at her funeral, an official said Sunday.

Blinken, during his flight Saturday to Berlin for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, offered “deep condolences” in a phone call with family members of Shireen Abu Akleh, a State Department official said.

The top US diplomat “noted Abu Akleh’s journalistic body of work and the importance of a free and independent press,” the official said.

Blinken offered the support of US diplomats in Jerusalem to the family of Abu Akleh, who also held US citizenship.

Abu Akleh, 51, was killed by gunfire Wednesday morning while covering clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has charged that Israel “executed” her. Israeli officials at first said it was likely Palestinian gunmen had mistakenly shot her, but later said errant Israeli sniper fire could also have caused her death.

Israel is insisting it cannot definitively determine who shot her without examining the bullet removed from her neck, Channel 12 reported Friday, adding that Israel has asked the US for assistance in persuading the Palestinian Authority to cooperate.

Jewish Families Threatened with Eviction from Hebron’s Disputed Beit Ha’Tekuma
Fifteen Jewish families who moved last week into Beit Ha’Tekuma, a new building on the outskirts of Hebron between Kiryat Arba and the Cave of the Patriarchs, called on members of the public on Sunday to join them in barricading themselves in the building.

In response, hundreds of activists and supporters arrived to join them after news was received that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz plans to evict the families from the building, located near a similarly, formerly disputed building called “Beit Ha’Shalom” — House of Peace.

“This evacuation is planned primarily due to political concerns over this narrow coalition government,” the 15 families charged in a statement released Sunday.

Warning that “elections are in the offing” the families said the government has a “need to sacrifice the settler public, a large portion of which voted for the right-wing segment in the coalition, to keep the Muslim Brotherhood in the government at any cost.”

The Haaretz news site quoted unnamed security sources in a report that claimed the new Jewish residents did not legally register the property and do not have a proper permit to inhabit the building.

Mahmoud Jabari, an Arab resident of Jerusalem, told Haaretz that he is the owner of the property and that he had filed a complaint with police over the issue.

Turkey may blackmail NATO to prevent Finland, Sweden from joining - analysis
Turkey now sees a chance to get its Syrian policy back into play. It will use Finland’s and Sweden’s desire for membership to try to wring concessions from the US, EU and NATO. Ankara may ask for a new blank check of invasion and shelling in eastern Syria. It may demand that Kurdish activists and dissidents be deported from Sweden.

Finland wants to join NATO, which means Turkey’s actions could anger the US. The West cares more about Ukraine than Turkey. Turkey may find it has angered Washington one too many times. It will reach out to pro-Israel voices in the US to try one more time to influence the US administration, but it may find that even those voices have less influence in the past and that Ankara’s lobby and the think tanks it funds in the US don’t have that much influence.

This matters because Turkey is using its membership of NATO to undermine NATO while it accuses peaceful European countries of backing “terrorists.” This is the ultimate irony since Ankara has backed extremists.

In addition, it likely foreshadows how Ankara will one day turn against Israel again. Turkey is always willing to use NATO membership to undermine regional security and threaten democracies. Israel, a democracy, could find itself in the crosshairs after Finland and Sweden.
Jordan is key to deepening Abraham Accords, calming West Bank - opinion
The changing of the guard at the White House and in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office offered an opportunity for enhanced, coordinated conduct of Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians, and the Gulf states. Israel improved its relationship with Amman, sought to ease the distrust between the two sides, and displayed an unusual willingness to cooperate. Simultaneously, for the first time since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Israel is allowing Jordan to enjoy the fruits of normalization by promoting economic projects that pay off for all parties. Thus, in November 2021, Israel, Jordan, and the UAE signed a trilateral agreement in which Israel would purchase 600 megawatts of “green” electricity from the Jordanians (produced with Emirati assistance) and in return would consider the export of 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to Jordan.

Once the hackneyed, damaging slogan “Jordan is Palestine” was no longer being heard in Jerusalem or Washington, Jordan renewed its status as an important partner of the US in the fight against radical Islam. US President Joe Biden even transferred a US military base from Qatar to Jordan. And a positive change occurred in Amman toward the Abraham Accords and the possibility of upgrading cooperation with Israel. Had Israel focused solely on promoting relations with its three new partners, it would have excluded Jordan and Egypt, advancing the accords within a vacuum, disconnected from a complex regional reality in which developments are intertwined.

Embracing the Jordanians has great significance for easing Palestinian unrest. The dire economic situation in Jordan corresponds with the deterioration of security in the Palestinian territories. The smuggling of weapons from Jordan is also related to the activities of radical Islamic organizations on both sides of the border. Israel must continue to bring Jordan closer and work with it to calm the region and improve the situation in the PA. In this context, signatories of the Abraham Accords can play an important role in driving economic processes with Israel in Jordan and the PA. Jordan is a critical connection between the regional normalization process and the Palestinian sphere. Prosperity and flourishing of Israeli-Arab relations in the Gulf and North Africa must also benefit the Palestinians.

The romance between Israel and Jordan must not be allowed to die out. Israeli politicians are enthusiastic about immediate gains deriving from the improved ties and are less aware of the Sisyphean work of diplomats and intermediaries, carried out without fanfare. Amman is also looking at the political upheaval rocking the Bennett-Lapid government and hoping the storm will not damage the delicate fabric of relations created over the past year. At the same time, the political and economic embrace of Jordan cannot lead to long-term, stable results without a change in the hostile Jordanian public attitude toward Israel. Despite the great political warming, at the level of civil society – in Jordan and the Palestinian Authority – relations with Israel remain frozen. Hostility remains intact and has perhaps even grown.

Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority must consider this. The stability and resilience of relations also depend on the ability to change the public narrative in Jordan itself. As political relations flourish while the backyard burns with rage, prospects of an internal explosion increase. The intergenerational change also makes the issue urgent. While the older generation of Palestinians and Jordanians is working to preserve the status quo, the younger generation has given up and moved into a more hostile, combative position. Only significant progress in the political field vis-à-vis the Palestinians and confidence-building measures could improve the atmosphere on both sides of the Jordan River.
US to remove Kach Movement from list of foreign terrorist organizations - report
The United States is set to remove the radical Jewish right-wing Kach Movement from its list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), the Associated Press reported on Sunday.

The now-inactive movement was banned from running for elections to the Knesset in 1988 due to inciting racism against Israeli-Arabs. It was banned outright in Israel in 1994.

It was led by former MK rabbi Meir Kahane until his assassination in 1990 and is considered by some to be linked to MK Itamar Ben Gvir's Otzma Yehudit party.

As of 2022, Kach is still designated as a terrorist group by Israel, the European Union, Canada and Japan, in addition the US.

In addition, the US will also reportedly remove the Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, an umbrella of several jihadist terrorist groups based in Gaza and across the Middle East. The council, which included the al-Qaeda Iraqi branch, was disbanded in 2006 and replaced by the Islamic State of Iraq.

The news of the removal of the inactive terrorist groups comes amid speculation that the Biden administration is mulling over the possibility of removing the Quds Force, of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), from the FTO list as part of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations.

Liberman calls for Nation-State law to be changed for Druze community
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman called on fellow lawmakers to support a change to the Nation-State Law and to establish Israel’s Declaration of Independence as a Basic Law to ensure equality for Druze and other minority groups after the name of the Druze IDF soldier who fell in a covert operation in Gaza three and a half years ago was released on Sunday.

“There is a clear contradiction between the Nation-State Law in its current version and all the words of praise for the hero of Israel, the late Lt.-Col. Mahmoud Kheir al-Din, and many other good people who fell while serving the state,” said Liberman on Sunday.

“This is an opportunity to amend the Nation-State Law and establish the Declaration of Independence as a Basic Law,” the finance minister said. “I call on both the opposition and the coalition to recalculate the path and instead of settling for words like ‘brothers in arms’ to Druze society, to do what is necessary.”

Lt.-Col. Mahmoud Kheir al-Din, from the Druze town of Hurfeish in the North, was killed by friendly fire during a firefight with Hamas gunmen while carrying out a lengthy special operation in the Gaza Strip on November 11, 2018.

"Basic Law: Israel – The nation-state of the Jewish people" was approved by the Knesset a few months earlier that July. It stipulates that “The State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, religious, and historic right to self-determination” and that “The fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
IDF reveals the identity of officer killed in 2018 raid in Khan Younis
The IDF cleared for release the identity of the elite officer who was killed in a firefight in Gaza in 2018.

The officer was identified as Lt.-Col. Mahmoud Kheir al-Din from the Druze town of Hurfeish in the North. He was married to Nahad and the father of two sons.

He enlisted into the Paratroopers Reconnaissance Battalion in 1997 and served as a soldier, officer and commander in the Military Intelligence’s Special Operations unit since 2002.

“He was a hero of Israel,” said the Commander of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva on Saturday night and said that “after the many operations that he took part in, he deserves to get the respect and honor that suits him.”

Haliva said that the military spoke with his family before revealing his identity and that there was no concern regarding the security of any operations.

“There is a whole set of considerations and sensitivity regarding the other members of the operation, but it was decided that his name and pictures could be published,” Haliva said, adding that he would not go into details regarding the operation.

Din was killed on November 11th, 2018, by friendly fire during a firefight with Hamas gunmen while carrying out a lengthy special operation in the Gaza Strip.

His team was identified by Hamas members, leading to a firefight in which Din was killed and another officer was moderately injured. Six Hamas terrorists, including the Khan Younis commander Nur Barakeh, were also killed in the firefight.

According to the investigation, the exchange of fire between Hamas and the IDF Force lasted about a minute and a half.

All bullets were fired by the IDF. Din was killed by a stray bullet fired by a team member.

"Tel-Aviv U Arab Students Arrested for Assaulting Jews at ‘Nakba’ Ceremony"
Arab students were arrested by police on Sunday after physically assaulting Jewish activists who held a counter-demonstration across from the controversial Nakba Day ceremony held at Tel-Aviv University.

Several Jewish activists who sustained head injuries were treated by paramedics. The counter-demonstration was moved to the other side of the street.

Nakba Day is observed annually by Arabs on May 15, to commemorate the “Catastrophe” of Israel’s victory in the 1948-9 War of Independence. Since the late 1990s, PA Arabs have marked Nakba Day with rallies and processions. May 15 was the end of the British Mandate, although David Ben Gurion’s declaration was made on May 14, 1948, which was a Friday, out of respect for Shabbat.

The term “Nakba” was first coined by Konstantin Zoreik, a Syrian professor of Oriental Studies at the American University in Beirut, in his 1948 book, “Maana Al-Nakba” (“The Meaning of the Catastrophe). Zoreik, who wrote his book during the War of Independence, originally referred to the military failure of Arab states, which he believed was expressed in their consent to the first ceasefire.

Zoreik lamented: “The defeat of the Arabs in the Land of Israel is not just a failure or a passing evil. This is a catastrophe in the full sense of the word, one of the most severe the Arabs have been dealt in their long history. Seven Arab countries declare war on Zionism in the Land of Israel, then stop helplessly and turn on their heels. Seven countries seek to abolish [1947 UN resolution of] dividing the land and to overthrow Zionism, but they flee from the battlefield after losing a significant portion of the land, even the portion that had been ‘given’ to the Arabs. They are forced to accept a ceasefire that has neither an advantage nor a profit for them.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself. Was he the last honest Arab?

There is a Palestinian history and it's time to learn about it

PMW: PA incited riots and terror during Ramadan, using PA libel that Al-Aqsa is being “desecrated” by Jews
The above statements and many more were all made by PA and Fatah officials and/or broadcast to the Palestinian people via official PA media during the month of Ramadan. This way the PA encouraged violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding plazas as well as elsewhere, including within Israel. These calls for violence were heeded by terrorists who attacked and murdered Israelis, rioted violently, and shot at Israeli security forces.

Two weeks into Ramadan, the PA Jerusalem District called on Palestinians “to come to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque… and to defend it against the [Jewish] extremists and their aspirations to violate its sanctity”:
“In a statement, the [PA] Jerusalem district called on our people to strengthen the internal front and realize unity as a sign of honor for the mountains of sacrifices that our people has made and is still making. It called to come to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, to carry out Ribat there (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic), and to defend it against the [Jewish] extremists and their aspirations to violate its sanctity… It also emphasized that freedom is right around the corner and that our people that is standing firm will sacrifice everything for the sake of Allah.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 16, 2022]

A week later, an imam leading an evening prayer at a mosque in Jenin echoed this, calling on Allah to “liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the defilement of the Jews”:
Prayer for Ramadan by unnamed Imam: “Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the defilement of the Jews, and grant us the prayer of the secure and the tranquil there.”

[Official PA TV, April 23, 2022]

A few days later, a Fatah official vowed that Fatah, the ruling party in the PA led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, “won’t lower the rifle, the stone, nor any [other] means of resistance to the occupation”:

Brother of Zakaria Zubeidi Who Staged Prison Escape Dies of Injuries Sustained Friday
Doud Zubeidi, 41, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp was pronounced dead Sunday from injuries he sustained last Friday during clashes between PA Arabs and IDF soldiers and police Yamam special forces, who raided the camp in search of wanted terrorists. The deceased is the brother of Zakaria Zubeidi, one of six security prisoners who staged an escape from Israel’s Gilboa security prison in September 2021. All six runaways were recaptured a few days later.

The PA medical authorities on Friday sent Zubeidi to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. He arrived in a critical condition, anesthetized and resuscitated. He was treated in intensive care, where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning.

On Saturday, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades’ Jenin branch tweeted a warning: “Any harm to the life of the wounded Dawood Al-Zubeidi will open the fires of Hell in the face of the Zionist enemy and the flocks of its criminal settlers.”

Good to know.

Zubeidi was injured during an operation of the IDF and Yamam forces in the village of Burqin in the Jenin area. The troops surrounded the home of Mahmoud Adbai, a senior Islamic Jihad operative. During their attempt to arrest him, an exchange of fire developed between them and PA Arab terrorists, which was described as the heaviest gunfire exchange since the 2003 takeover of the terrorist infrastructure in the PA. A second Arab was also fatally wounded. On the Israeli side, veteran Yamam fighter Noam Raz was killed in the exchange of fire

Seth Frantzman: Does Hezbollah have a new Iranian long range cruise missile?
The missile was unveiled in August 2020. In April 2021, when some mentions were made of the Abu Mahdi cruise missile, Iran Press News Agency reported: “The latest missile unveiled in this field is the ‘Abu Mahdi’ anti-ship cruise missile, which is named after the great martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and is an important step in Iran’s naval offensive capability. With the development and construction of this long-range anti-ship cruise missile, Iran has entered a special and strategic club in the world.”

“The important thing about this defense achievement is that to date, only three countries, the United States, Russia, and China, have anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of over 1,000 km., and Iran has become the fourth country in the world to attain such a missile,” the report said.

Details about whether Hezbollah actually has this weapon or merely showed a launch canister in the video are important. However, even if Hezbollah does not have the weapon, it shows an intention to claim it has weapons like this.

This means Hezbollah wants to claim it will take any future conflict out to sea, and it has long bragged of wanting to roll out new anti-ship missiles. Hezbollah’s anti-ship missiles have proven to be dangerous in the past. In 2006, it used a C-802 anti-ship missile to target Israel’s navy. Hezbollah has claimed new anti-ship missiles in 2017 and 2019.

Hezbollah’s rejection of US mediation about the border issue is linked to this. If it can roll out the anti-ship cruise missile, new threats at sea will emerge.
Dershowitz: ‘The Harvard Crimson’ must immediately stop using Harvard’s name
The Harvard Crimson must immediately stop using Harvard’s name, Harvard University law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told 70 alumni at the Harvard Club last Wednesday.

Dershowitz and dozens of other Harvard graduates convened an urgent Zoom meeting following the student newspaper’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and the Harvard chapter of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, a Harvard student organization that supports Hamas.

“Harvard is a microcosm of the unprecedented rise of antisemitism spreading across North American university campuses,” Dershowitz said.

Israeli Harvard alumnus Dan Diker, a Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs researcher and former World Jewish Congress secretary-general, said the Palestine Solidarity Committee and BDS were both jihadi-affiliated organizations.

He told the Zoom meeting they deceptively hide behind advertised principles of justice, equality and peace but call for the elimination of Israel through a chant at Harvard and 225 other university campuses across North America: “From the river to sea Palestine will be free.”

“Both BDS and PSC agendas drive an ideological war, seeking the annihilation of sovereign Jews in Israel in the name of human rights,” Diker said.
Taxpayers are helping CUNY Law School promote anti-Semitism
Publicly funded CUNY Law School has chosen a flagrant anti-Semite for this year’s commencement speaker.

Nerdeen Mohsen Kiswani is the founder and a leader of Within Our Lifetime, an outfit dedicated to the complete eradication of Israel. The group’s been banned from Instagram for hate speech; named Kiswani its anti-Semite of the year for 2020.

At WOL’s violent protests, the hate-monitor Canary Mission reports, “activists physically attack Jews and passersby. The group targets Jewish groups, businesses and individual philanthropists who support the state of Israel.”

Kiswani is typically front and center at WOL rallies, leading such chants as “There is only one solution, Intifada revolution.” (“Globalize the Intifada” is WOL’s latest campaign). At a protest last July, she allegedly told the crowd, “I hope that a pop-pop is the last noise that some Zionists hear in their lifetime.”

Anti-Semitic hate crimes are up 24% in New York (the highest in the nation). And CUNY Law is looking to make it worse, at taxpayer expense.

Melbourne Uni student suing student union for Israel-Palestine motion
A Melbourne University student intends to launch legal action against the student union, demanding it rescinds a controversial motion calling for the university to boycott Israel.

Postgraduate law student Justin Riazaty, 21, has engaged pro bono lawyers and has sent a letter of demand to the University of Melbourne Student Union relating to a motion that was passed on April 29. He is also gathering signatures for an open class-action lawsuit. University of Melbourne student Justin Riazaty is planning to sue his university’s student union for calling on the university to boycott and divest from Israel.

University of Melbourne student Justin Riazaty is planning to sue his university’s student union for calling on the university to boycott and divest from Israel.Credit:Chris Hopkins

The motion called for the university, one of Australia’s top-ranked tertiary institutions, to launch an academic boycott and cut ties with “Israeli institutions, researchers and academics that support the Israeli oppression of Palestinians”. It also called for divestment from corporations involved with Israel.

The “Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) movement”, has gained traction internationally. Harvard University’s student paper published an editorial in support of the movement. In January more than 30 acts withdrew from Sydney Festival because of Israeli sponsorship.

Riazaty said the union, of which he is a member, had until 4pm on May 17 to rescind their motion, to admit it went against the union’s purposes and to draft an apology to be approved by Riazaty and then published on their social media channels to avoid legal action.

Riazaty, a Liberal Party member who is not Jewish but claims to have has many friends who are, said he believed the student union acted outside of its purpose as a student union (violating the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012) and alleges it violated the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001. He said while it affected Jewish students and people who supported Israel, there was “a bigger injustice here”.

Jewish teen in Brooklyn punched for refusing to say ‘Free Palestine’
A Jewish teen walking in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Midwood in Brooklyn, N.Y., was hit in the face by an attacker because he wouldn’t say “Free Palestine.”

The victim and his friend, both 18-year-old yeshivah students, were walking down a busy street full of shops and restaurants when a group of teenagers began following them.

One of the teens approached them and demanded that they say “Free Palestine.” When the students ignored him, the assailant allegedly punched one of them, giving him a bloody eye.

The attacker and the other teens with him fled from the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital by paramedics from the volunteer group Hatzalah. No arrests have been made in the case.

New York State Sen. Simcha Felder, who represents the neighborhood, is personally offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the attacker. He made the announcement on Twitter, saying “Enough is Enough! These attacks must end!” Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories

The assault follows two others within the week, including an attack in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn in which a rabbi was beaten by a man who yelled: “The Nazis should have killed you Jews.”
Avowed antisemite, white supremacist kills 10 in Buffalo, NY, supermarket shooting
An 18-year-old white gunman, identified as Payton Gendron from Southern Tier, New York, shot 10 people to death and wounded three others at a grocery store in a Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, before surrendering to authorities, who called it a hate crime and an act of "racially motivated violent extremism."

Authorities said the suspect, who was armed with an assault-style rifle and appeared to have acted alone, drove to Buffalo from his home in a New York county "hours away" to target the store in an attack he broadcast on the internet. Eleven of the 13 people struck by gunfire were Black, officials said.

The suspect, who was not immediately named by police, was heavily armed and dressed in tactical gear, including body armor, police said.

When confronted by officers in a vestibule of the store, the suspect held a gun to his own neck but they talked him into dropping the weapon and surrendering, Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told a news briefing.

Gramaglia said the gunman shot and killed three people in the parking lot of the Tops Friendly Market before exchanging fire with a former police officer working as a security guard for the store, but the suspect was protected by his body armor.

UN Watch: UN Watch Mourns the Loss of Board Member Nessim Gaon
UN Watch mourns the loss of Nessim David Gaon, a great friend and supporter of our organization, and the grandfather of our former employee Arielle Herzog-Hadida. We extend our condolences to the entire family.

Mr. Gaon, who passed away this week at the age of 100, became a legend in his journey from Sudan to the shores of Lake Geneva where he made his home, and was renowned as an international businessman, philanthropist and Jewish leader.

A devoted Zionist, he played a key role in rebuilding Israel’s impoverished neighborhoods and development towns, supporting thousands of the country’s underprivileged students, and helping Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin achieve peace with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, whose brother Joel Herzog is married to Mr. Gaon’s daughter Marguerite, wrote: “Nessim was always proud of the Mizrahi Jewish heritage, and he supported Israel throughout his whole life. He made a significant contribution to Israeli society.”

After a childhood spent in Sudan and Egypt and after studying in London, Mr. Gaon volunteered for the British army during World War II. Commissioned as an officer, he served in battles in Italy, Iraq and Iran. After the war, discharged with the rank of captain, he used his connections to help bring Jewish survivors to Israel.

Mr. Gaon moved to Geneva in 1957, where he built up an import-export business that grew into a real-estate and commodity empire.

As president of the World Sephardi Federation, which he revived in 1971, Mr. Gaon visited Jewish communities in numerous countries, improving Sephardi education in the Diaspora, and promoting the renewal of pride in Sephardic culture.

Distressed about the situation of Israel’s disadvantaged Jews emanating from the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Gaon became a driving force behind Project Renewal, launched in the 1970s to rehabilitate slum neighborhoods and improve education and social services.
After 3 Year Hiatus Israel Day Parade Returns to Big Apple
The traditional Israel Day Parade returns to the streets of New York City after a three-year hiatus, according to parade organizers, the New York Jewish Community Council (JCRC-NY).

The parade will take place on Sunday, May 22, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, with the slogan “Together Again,” a response to the rise of antisemitism in New York and the terrorist attacks on Jews in Israel.

Tens of thousands of Israel lovers are expected to participate in the parade that will also host a long list of Israeli dignitaries, including Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue & White), Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai (Labor), Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope), Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, MK Ofir Akunis (Likud), Gilad Kariv (Labor), Israel’s UN Envoy Gilad Erdan (Likud) and the Consul General of Israel, Asaf Zamir (Blue & White).

American dignitaries at the parade will include New York Governor Kathy Hochul, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, Rep. Gerald Nadler (D-NY), and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), as well as rabbis and celebrities, including singer-songwriter Eliad Nachum, and rappers Kosha Dillz, and Nissim Black.

The Celebrate Israel Parade (originally Youth Salute to Israel Parade, and later Salute to Israel Parade) is an annual parade in support of Israel that’s been taking place on Fifth Avenue in New York since 1964. The parade marches north on Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street. According to organizers, it is the largest global gathering in support of Israel.

In 2020 and 2021, because of the Corona pandemic, the parade was run on a virtual platform. Now it’s back, and roaring.
Nazi weapons site to be filled with sounds of Jewish-composed music
He and his family escaped the Nazis. His music will now be played where Hitler's regime tested its weapons.

The New York Philharmonic – in an event a decade in the making – will hold three performances next week at the Usedom Music Festival, which presents concerts in the turbine hall of the Peenemünde Power Station in Germany. Peenemünde was built by the Nazis as a V1 and V2 rocket test and nuclear development site. Some of those rockets rained down on Western Europe in the closing stages of World War II.

A performance scheduled for May 21 is also set to feature famed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. She will perform Violin Concerto, Anne-Sophie, written and named for her as a love letter of sorts from future husband André Previn, the renowned Berlin-born Jewish composer and pianist whose family fled Germany in 1939. Mutter married Previn in 2002. They later divorced but continued to collaborate musically and maintained their friendship. Known in part for her strapless ball gowns, Mutter used to wear John Galliano of Dior though severed ties after an antisemitic outburst by him.

"For us, it's a wonderful visit because we actually join up again with two of our former artists-in-residence from the New York Philharmonic: Anne-Sophie Mutter, one of the greatest living violinists, and Thomas Hampson," the American baritone, Deborah Borda, president and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, told Jewish News Syndicate. "Mutter, by the way, has been incredibly active in terms of fundraising for the Ukraine victims and the refugees. She'll play a fascinating work that's dedicated to her, and, so it's a piece that has a very special place in her heart. André sadly passed away a few years ago, but we all knew him well, and he was not only a great musician but a great fellow."

Previn had been enrolled at the Berlin Conservatory since the age of six, later receiving a full scholarship in recognition of his abilities. But in 1938, Previn's father was told that his son was no longer welcome there on the grounds that he was Jewish.

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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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