Trump letter authorized Israeli sovereignty in West Bank - exclusive
Former U.S. president Donald Trump authorized then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex parts of the West Bank, in a letter obtained by the Jerusalem Post on Sunday. In a three-page letter dated January 26, 2020, two days before Trump presented his Vision for Peace at the White House, the president said that Israel would be able to extend sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, as delineated in the map included in the plan, if Netanyahu agreed to a Palestinian state in the remaining territory on that map.Palestinian Authority condemns Trump’s ‘annexation’ letter to Netanyahu
Trump asked Netanyahu to adopt "the policies outlined in...the Vision regarding those territories of the West Bank identified as becoming part of a future Palestinian state. In exchange for Israel implementing these policies and formally adopting detailed territorial plans not inconsistent with the Conceptual Map attached to my Vision - the United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty in those areas of the West Bank that my vision contemplates as being part of Israel."
A Trump administration source closely involved with the president's letter said that "it was a key part of Israel's acceptance of the Vision for Peace as the framework for negotiations for America to accept sovereignty up front, as per the mapping process and the plan, and for all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley to be included." At the White House on January 28, 2020, Trump said: "The United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory that my vision provides to be part of the State of Israel. Very important."
A statement issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned what was revealed in the letter, saying it was “official piracy and extension of the ominous Deal of the Century,” a reference to Trump’s Vision for Peace for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.David Singer: Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine: Vote winner for Lapid, Gantz, or Bibi
The letter is “an integral part of the previous US administration’s endorsement of, and absolute support for, the occupation and its racist expansionist colonial projects,” the statement said.
The letter and Trump’s “anti-peace plan have no legal validity, will not give any legitimacy to the massive annexation of the occupied West Bank, and is considered a blatant aggression against international law, international legitimacy resolutions and signed agreements,” it said.
“The content of this colonial letter collapsed with the downfall of the Deal of the Century, which was thwarted by the steadfastness of our people and our leadership,” the PA said.
With Israeli elections due in October – the major players vying to become Israel’s next Prime Minister – current caretaker PM -Yair Lapid, current Minister of Defence - Benny Gantz and current Opposition Leader - Bibi Netanyahu have yet to issue any statement on the Saudi plan released on 8 June to merge Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' into a single territorial entity to be called 'The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine'.
The Plan’s author - Ali Shihabi – is a confidant of Saudi Arabia’s next King – Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and a member of the Advisory Council appointed by Bin Salman advising him on his personally-driven initiative - a $500 billion development called NEOM - a megacity of the future like none other on this planet – to be built in Northern Saudi Arabia on an expanse of land equal to the size of Israel.
The Saudi Solution offers a lot to excite Lapid, Gantz, Netanyahu and their respective political parties with these game-changing features:
The plan reverses two previous Saudi peace proposals in 1981 and 2002 calling for Israel to withdraw completely from the 'West Bank'.
The two-state solution –the creation of a separate Palestinian Arab State between Jordan and Israel – pushed unsuccessfully by the United Nations for the last 29 years and by the European Union since 1980 - is consigned to the diplomatic graveyard
Jerusalem will not be claimed as the capital of 'The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine' – whose capital would be Amman.
The right of return to Israel is abandoned
Citizenship would be offered in the 'Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine' to Palestinian Arab refugees living outside the boundaries of the new entity.
Promising voters to negotiate with Jordan on implementing this Saudi Plan is an assured vote winner.
The most contentious issues in such Israel-Jordan negotiations would be:
Israel’s security concerns in relation to the territory of the new entity West of the Jordan River - where demilitarization and responsibility for maintaining security control would be issues on the negotiating table
The carve up of the 'West Bank' and Gaza - where Israel and Jordan would have a good map to focus on for starters – President Trump’s 2020 Conceptual Maps “Vision for Peace”
Stephen Daisley: The West cannot do business with Iran
Salman Rushdie's would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie ‘and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death’. Khomeini urged 'brave Muslims to quickly kill them wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims', adding: ‘Anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.’Jonathan Tobin: Why is Biden seeking to pay for more Iranian terrorism?
Western proponents of engagement with the Iranian regime like to quote the 1998 remarks of Kamal Kharrazi, the foreign minister of reformist president Mohammad Khatami. Kharrazi said then that the Khatami government would not 'take any action whatsoever to threaten the life of the author of The Satanic Verses or anybody associated with his work, nor will it encourage or assist anybody to do so'. The Iran scholar Elton L. Daniel notes that Kharrazi’s statement was ‘accepted as sufficient for the United Kingdom to justify upgrading its relations with Iran’, but prominent religious and political office-holders continued to uphold the fatwa, including Tehran’s ambassador to London. Khatami’s reformism, modest though it was, has since been so thoroughly repudiated that it is forbidden for Iranian newspapers to publish his name or photograph.
Khomeini’s successor, Ali Khamenei, Iran's current Supreme Leader, said at the time: 'An arrow has been shot toward its target and it is now traveling towards its aim.’ In 2017, Khamenei confirmed the fatwa, saying, 'The decree is as Imam Khomeini issued’, then two years later tweeted:
“Imam Khomeini’s verdict regarding Salman Rushdie is based on divine verses and just like divine verses, it is solid and irrevocable.
While hardline Iranian newspapers have praised the attack on the 75-year-old novelist, the Iranian government has so far been silent. Why might that be? Might it be because Tehran is agonisingly close to reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Barack Obama but cancelled by Donald Trump. That agreement nominally stopped Tehran’s progress towards a nuclear bomb but really just slowed the process temporarily. Following further concessions proposed earlier this week by the EU (of course) that would lighten sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), it looked like Iran could secure similarly favourable terms in the second incarnation of the JCPOA. The Biden administration is as ideologically committed to Iran Deal II as the Obama White House was to the original and Iran’s arrow finally reaching its target is unlikely to dissuade them.
It ought to. An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian Supreme Leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.
Even if we were to leave aside the existential nuclear threat implicit in such a decision, Biden’s offer to lift all sanctions on Iran is to effectively promise to help pay for even more terrorism. Even The New York Times was reporting in 2019 that Trump’s sanctions were causing Iran to cut back on its terror budget.Ruthie Blum: The satanic stabbing of Salman Rushdie and the dangerous Iran deal
More thoughts and prayers for Rushdie—or those Israelis and others who are faced with the prospect of not only living under the threat of an Iranian nuke but also with its terrorist auxiliaries who will be flush with funds should Biden lift the sanctions—isn’t the answer.
Instead, this would be a moment when, as was the case in 2015 when Obama’s deal was under consideration, those in Congress who claim they care about the Iranian threat, as well as Israel, will have a chance to prove it.
What happened in 2015 was that Senate Republicans, who controlled Congress at the time, allowed themselves to be rolled by Obama and Kerry. They presented the JCPOA as merely an agreement rather than as a treaty that would have required a two-thirds Senate majority to be ratified. Given that the majority of Americans and members of Congress said they opposed the pact, Obama knew it couldn’t pass as a treaty. So instead, he got the GOP majority to agree to a bill that would have given them the right to vote on it but would have required a veto-proof two-thirds majority plus one in order to stop it—the opposite of what the Constitution intended for such a process.
Until at least next January, Biden has the advantage of a razor-thin Democratic Senate majority. Even if they lose that in November, they can still get their deal if Congress plays by the 2015 rules since Biden will never admit that he’s sneaking a dangerous treaty in by the back door as Obama did. Yet if the GOP were to stop playing by those rules and simply say, as even a Senate minority could, that it would not allow any funding for the U.S. State Department or confirm a single diplomatic appointment until it was presented as a treaty, there would be no JCPOA II.
Unfortunately, the GOP Senate caucus is still led by Minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, who passed on confronting Obama on Iran. And Democrats are just as prepared to fall in line behind whatever the White House wants as they were in 2015. They are either buying Biden’s false talking points or distracted by the war in Ukraine and other issues. If Biden gets a new deal, Senators on both sides of the aisle may well again decide that the stakes aren’t sufficiently high to justify the political risks involved in going all out to stop it.
This, as well as Biden’s utter cluelessness about the dangers of his policy, will be a tragic mistake that should be remembered in the future when Iran continues its crime spree with more Western cash in its pockets.
When asked by an AFP reporter on Thursday about the E.U. draft; what effect, if any, the “plot unveiled” against Bolton and Pompeo will have on it; and how soon Washington will make a decision, the State Department principal deputy spokesperson replied: “We and the Europeans have made quite clear that we are prepared to immediately conclude and implement the deal we negotiated in Vienna for a mutual return to the full implementation of the JCPOA. But for that to happen, Iran needs to decide to drop their additional demands that go beyond the JCPOA. Ultimately, the choice is theirs. This administration, along with our allies and partners, are preparing equally for scenarios with and without a mutual return to the full implementation of the JCPOA. The president, [Joe Biden], and Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken will only conclude a deal that we determine is in the national security interest of the United States.”‘Rushdie insulted Islam’: Justifying attack, Iran faults writer for his own stabbing
He continued by reiterating comments by Blinken.
“Our message to Iran is very clear,” he said. “We will not tolerate threats of violence against Americans, and that certainly includes former government officials. This administration has been clear that it will ensure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon, and we believe the best path to achieving that goal is through diplomacy. And as long as we believe pursuing a JCPOA is in the U.S. national security interest, we’re going to continue to do so.”
Less than 24 hours later, Rushdie suffered serious wounds at the hands of a single terrorist with little else at his disposal than a knife, love for the IRGC and a fatwa to honor. If the man who has come to epitomize the battle for freedom of speech manages to pull through the horrific ordeal, he will be deeply scarred, literally and figuratively, for life.
Biden should consider this a metaphor for the dangers inherent in the West’s falling prey to the deadly machine that emboldened Matar. But he didn’t even dare to mention the Islamic decree—or terrorism—in his public statement.
“Jill and I were shocked and saddened to learn of the vicious attack on Salman Rushdie yesterday in New York,” he said. “We, together with all Americans and people around the world, are praying for his health and recovery. I am grateful to the first responders and the brave individuals who jumped into action to render aid to Rushdie and subdue the attacker.”
The mullahs thanking Matar and Allah for Rushdie’s plight are enjoying the show.
An Iranian government official denied on Monday that Tehran was involved in the assault on author Salman Rushdie, while also blaming him for his own assault, in the country’s first public comments on the attack.
Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, made the remarks in a briefing to journalists.
“We categorically deny” any link with the attack, Kanaani said. “No one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Speaking at his weekly press conference in Tehran, he added: “In this attack, we do not consider anyone other than Salman Rushdie and his supporters worthy of blame and even condemnation.
“By insulting the sacred matters of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than one and a half billion Muslims and all followers of the divine religions, Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to the anger and rage of the people.”
The award-winning author has faced death threats for more than 30 years for “The Satanic Verses.” Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, demanding his death. An Iranian foundation had put up a bounty of over $3 million for the author.
Nasser Kanaani, spokesperson of Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Salman Rushdie exposed himself to popular outrage by insulting Islamic sanctities and crossing the red lines of 1.5 billion Muslims. He exposed himself to the public anger of not only Muslims but all religions.”— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) August 15, 2022
*Must Watch*— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) August 14, 2022
When John Moore, 85, saw someone attacking Salman Rushdie, he didn't hesitate - he jumped on the stage to help save Rushdie's life.
Give Mr. Moore every award and medal for bravery. pic.twitter.com/NlWCobfHnX
Rushdie's stabber compares his crime to massacring Jews https://t.co/yCqJ0Yhy0u— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) August 15, 2022
Iran’s IRGC had contact with man charged with stabbing Rushdie - report
The suspect arrested for stabbing prominent author Salman Rushdie, Hadi Matar, had been in contact with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a US-designated terrorist organization, prior to the nearly lethal assault on the writer, news organization VICE reported on Sunday.
VICE wrote that a Middle Eastern intelligence official said it was “clear” prior to the stabbing that Matar had been in contact with “people either directly involved with or adjacent to the Quds Force,” the IRGC’s external militia. The US has also classified the Quds Force as a foreign terrorist entity.
“It’s unclear the extent of the involvement – if this was a directly supported assassination attempt or if it was a series of suggestions and directions in picking a target,” the official added.
The official would not speak on the record for diplomatic reasons, the news organization said. VICE attributed its sourcing to European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials who said the 24-year-old Matar had been in direct contact with members of the IRGC on social media.
According to VICE, security officials declined to elaborate on the nature of communication between Matar and the IRGC on social media.
A NATO counter-terrorism official from a European country told VICE that the stabbing showed indications of a “guided” attack, in which an intelligence service motivates a terrorist to attack without providing direct material aid.
It seems like there's at least ONE piece of evidence...? pic.twitter.com/ZXBokFbSoV— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) August 14, 2022
Hizbu ut-Tahrir Britain Official Mazhar Khan Response to Stabbing of Salman Rushdie: The Muslims Will Always Defend the Honor of the Prophet; In the West It Is Forbidden to Call Homosexuality a Sin, Doubt the Holocaust #Rushdie #rushdieattack @MazharHT pic.twitter.com/WbDxdboy8P— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 15, 2022
How Biden can ensure the Abraham Accords' continued success
On Sept. 15, the two-year anniversary of the White House signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords, Biden should host the leaders of the participant nations (even virtually, if in person is not possible) to thank them publicly for the courageous steps they took to better their nations, the Middle East, and America. This should be possible because the date coincides with the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly, when most, if not all, the leaders will be in the U.S.2,300 Jordanians Are Working in Eilat
At the session, the White House should commit to the five actions. First, reopen the Abraham Fund to invest in (not donate to) platforms that stimulate economic growth between the Accord nations. Second, have the fund work with the administration to develop tax-free zones to encourage competitive reshoring of critical manufacturing away from China.
Third, have the fund invest in the south of Morocco to develop the nation’s natural resources as an economic driver for the entire region. Fourth, have the fund work with all the Accord nations on a 25-year food security initiative, turning Sudan, Morocco, and Egypt into the breadbasket of the region. Fifth, extend an invitation to the ambassadors of the Accords nations to the next State of the Union, where Biden will ask Members of Congress to rise and honor those nations that stand with Israel and for peace.
As for Israel, the turmoil of electoral turnover the past several years has produced even more bureaucratic red tape and overlapping communication than usual. This has been a source of frustration for those seeking to invest in and enhance the Abraham Accords. Every prospective prime minister should articulate plans for a ministry specifically dedicated to bolstering the Abraham Accords. The ministry should be well-funded and staffed to create a single point of contact for the Accord nations and allies around the world who wish to see this tremendous opportunity furthered.
Across the board, there is no better way to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords than being bold and committing now to substantive action.
Beginning August 1, 2022, up to 2,000 Jordanian hotel workers and up to 300 Jordanian workers in construction, industry and general sectors, will once again be allowed to enter the Eilat region of Israel for work on a daily basis, as was the case before the corona pandemic.
Oded Joseph, Deputy Director General for the Middle East at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the move "symbolizes warmer relations with our neighbors on the other side of the border. We are happy for this cooperation and hope to expand it in the future."
@rich_goldberg & @jarrodbernstein's interview of Walter Mead was eye opening for me. Mead presents many new ideas about the US-Israel relationship.— Uri Pilichowski (@RationalSettler) August 15, 2022
If you're interested in the U.S.-Israel relationship, I highly recommend listening to this interview. https://t.co/VDRSV85lnt
Amb. Baker: The UN "Commission of Inquiry" into the Israel-Gaza Conflict Abuses the UN Charter
Such a questionable practice is irreconcilable with, and even ultra vires, one of the fundamental purposes of the UN itself, as set out in the opening article of its Charter, of harmonizing the actions of nations, as well as the principle of sovereign equality, so essential to the functioning of the organization.2The new face of Israel’s public relations
In addition to this violation of the UN’s founding principles, the appointment and functioning of the three members of the Inquiry Commission – former UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay as chair, and human rights “experts” Miloon Kothari (India) and Chris Sidoti (Australia) – reek of bias, lack of objectivity, and acute partiality, in stark violation of the UN Charter and Staff Rules and Regulations.
These commission members have never concealed their negative predilections toward Israel. On the contrary, they are openly on record promoting harsh and defamatory accusations against Israel and even anti-Semitic slurs and tropes.
What the UN Charter Says
Appointing these people to a UN Inquiry Commission contravenes provisions of the UN Charter requiring the appointment of officials exercising “highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity” and requiring such officials to refrain from “actions that might reflect on their position as international officials” (UN Charter, Articles 100 and 101).
The official UN Staff Rules and Regulations that implement the Charter provisions regarding the administration and performance of UN staff members and officials specifically require that political and religious views and convictions of UN officials and staff do not adversely affect their official duties or the interests of the United Nations.
These rules prohibit engaging in an activity incompatible with the proper discharge of their duties, including avoiding actions and public pronouncements that may adversely reflect on their status or the integrity, independence, and impartiality required by that status (Article I, regulations 1.1 and 1.2).
As observed by Prof. Anne Bayefsky in her articles referenced below on the Inquiry Commission, the appointment and activity of these commission members also contravene accepted codes of conduct and standards of ethical behavior and professional conduct applicable to the Human Rights Council. These all require that UN officials conduct themselves with the highest standards of objectivity, fairness, impartiality, transparency, moral authority, integrity, honesty, good faith, and credibility while also avoiding double standards and politicization.6
When reports surfaced that four children had been killed during the recent round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, Lior Haiat, the newly appointed head of Israel’s Public Diplomacy Directorate, immediately understood that such an event could not only draw sharp international criticism of Israel, it could also change the outcome of the sensitive military operation taking place.Israel Protests ‘Blatant Double Standards’ Over Firing of UN Official Who Condemned Palestinian Rocket Attacks
Effectively the country’s top public relations strategist, Haiat recalled to Jewish Insider how Prime Minister Yair Lapid called in a select group of top current and former spokespeople late that Saturday night, Aug. 6 – the second day of Israel’s three-day offensive against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) – and told them to “deal with it right now.”
“We all understood it had the potential of being a public affairs disaster,” Haiat, 48, told JI in a recent interview. He described how his team of specialists quickly reached two key conclusions: one, that Israeli fire hadn’t killed the children, and two, the army had what it said was clear evidence showing that the tragic deaths were, in fact, caused by a misfired PIJ rocket.
Within an hour, Haiat had mobilized the country’s various spokespeople and centralized the government’s and the military’s messaging. From the Prime Minister’s Office to the Israel Defense Forces to Israel’s diplomats worldwide, all received instructions to release visuals and a statement expressing sympathy for the deaths, but at the same time, sharpening Israel’s position that the country was fighting an unforgiving, murderous enemy that kills its own people.
“The images and reports of the death of children and other uninvolved Gazans in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip are tragic and saddening,” read the release sent out shortly after the rocket strike. “After checking the circumstances of the event, the damage to the area and the civilian casualties were found to be the result of a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.”
The statement continued: “In the past two days, the Islamic Jihad fired over 400 rockets indiscriminately toward Israel. This tragic event is an outcome of the strategy and actions of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, which is using densely populated civilian areas for terrorist activity, endangering the lives of the people of Gaza.”
Whether Israel’s narrative was fully absorbed by media and leaders around the world is hard to ascertain, but one thing is certain – Haiat, a seasoned Israeli government spokesperson, succeeded in avoiding a public relations disaster similar to previous rounds of fighting in Gaza, the most recent of which took place in May 2021.
Israel’s envoy to the United Nations has accused the international body of employing “blatant double standards,” after a high-ranking aid official was fired for condemning Palestinian rocket attacks against Israeli targets while other UN personnel have evaded the same fate for harsh criticism of Israel.
Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan sent a sharply worded letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres protesting the firing of Sarah Muscroft — the head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA) — after she tweeted, “Relieved to see a ceasefire agreed ending hostilities impacting both Palestinians and Israeli civilians. Such indiscriminate rocket fire of Islamic Jihad provoking Israeli retaliation is condemned.”
Muscroft posted the tweet at the end of the three-day conflict earlier this month between Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
“Somehow, it is always open season to criticize Israel, with no repercussions; but if a UN staffer dares to speak against Palestinian terrorism, there is immediate backlash in fear of reprisal,” Erdan told Guterres in the letter delivered on Sunday evening.
Erdan pointed specifically to the recent controversy around Miloon Kothari, a member of the UN’s International Commission of Inquiry into the Occupied Palestinian Territory (COI), who was widely panned for antisemitism after he claimed that social media platforms are under the thumb of the “Jewish lobby.”
“[W]e recently witnessed a clear case in which a UN official who clearly breached the principles of impartiality and neutrality required from a member of an HRC Commission of Inquiry used clear antisemitic vicious parlance, and yet still maintains his position. HRC Commissioner Miloon Kothari’s interview, where he clearly stated that the Jewish lobby controls the social media, should have been met with a firm response that would have led to his resignation. Outrageous is diplomatic understatement. We expect the UN to act accordingly,” Erdan wrote.
Amb. @giladerdan1 writes to @antonioguterres, calling to overturn firing of @UN official who called out Islamic Jihad, saying it “represents a clear surrender of the UN to threats and intimidation.” pic.twitter.com/IUAyOZNekx— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) August 14, 2022
UN official Sarah Muscroft lost her job for tweeting she condemned attacks on civilians and hoped the ceasefire would hold. Another official, Matthias Schmale, was demoted for saying Israeli airstrikes are precise. Kinda tells you all you need to know about the UN, doesn't it?— Uri Kurlianchik (@VerminusM) August 14, 2022
When Threatened or Attacked, Israel's Disparate Parts Always Come Together
Last week, Israelis coped with three days of fighting in Gaza that left millions knowing that their cities may be targeted by indiscriminate missile fire by Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Life went on, and the country rallied around the military, as well as those living closest to Gaza who were under the immediate threat of a rocket crashing into their children's bedrooms.New details emerge in Jerusalem shooting that wounded eight
One might think that rocket fire on population centers would stir panic. But it didn't, because we've been here so many times before, because we know what to expect, and because we generally have a pretty good idea about how it will all turn out in the end.
Israel has launched five major campaigns in Gaza since it withdrew in 2005. There have also been about 10 other "minor" campaigns to retaliate against rocket fire or to strike at terrorist leaders. Israelis know that every few months or years, there is going to be some kind of fight with Gaza that will lead to days of anxiety, and then relief when it finally ends. The sheer volume of Gaza campaigns over the last 17 years has made them routine. The upside is that they become easier on a national level to cope with. The downside is that there is something deeply troubling about hundreds of rockets shot toward Israel's population centers becoming routine.
Something else has become routine as well: Israeli solidarity in the wake of these campaigns. When Israel comes under attack or feels threatened, it comes together as one to deal with those threats. This has been demonstrated time and time again going back to 1948, when the country displays amazing solidarity when under fire.
While Israelis are not unified in thought or opinion even in times of war, the solidarity they demonstrate can be defined as a deep empathy one for another, mutual responsibility, a willingness of the individual to mobilize and even put himself at risk for the common good, and a belief in the rightness of the cause for which the country is fighting.
The terrorist who wounded eight people near Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning was a convicted criminal who had been released five years into an eight-year sentence due to good behavior, according to Israeli media reports.Brooklyn man says Israel is 'safest place in the world' after being SHOT along with four other Americans by Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem: NYC dad fights for his life after shielding his family as a mom, 35, has emergency C-section
Amir Sidawi chose the bus station on Ma’ale HaShalom to commit the attack because no security cameras were installed there, Channel 12 reported. After opening fire at a bus and passersby there, he fled to a cemetery in nearby Silwan, where he left his cellphone. He requested help from a family in the neighborhood but was refused, according to the report. He then hid in a crate aboard a truck on its way to Bayit VeGan, a neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem, where he turned himself in, according to Channel 12.
According to Ynet, he then took a taxi to a nearby police station. He left the weapon used in the attack on the floor of the taxi, according to the report.
He told police his motivation for the attack was “despair of life.”
During his interrogation it emerged that Sidawi had been sentenced to eight years in jail for various violent offenses, including killing a man in an inter-clan conflict.
A 22-year-old Brooklyn man on a birthright trip to Israel said that he would not be cutting his trip to the Holy Land short after being wounded in a terrorist attack
Menachem Palace told an Israeli TV station that he felt the nation was the 'safest place in the world'
In total five Americans were among the eight people wounded in an attack that occurred in Jerusalem on Saturday night
Another of the victims, named as Williamsburg resident and cancer survivor Shia Hersch Glick was shot in the neck as he 'pounced on his family' to protect them
Glick is expected to survive, his wife, son and daughter were also hurt in the shooting
The family was in Israel for Glick's son's wedding
A pregnant American woman who was wounded was forced into giving birth via C-section due to her wounds
Both she and her child are in stable condition in a Jerusalem hospital
@PatrickKingsley:— Yisrael Medad (@ymedad) August 15, 2022
"the nearby Temple Mount houses the third-holiest mosque in Islam and was the location in antiquity of two ancient Jewish temples that remain important to Jewish identity"
Indeed, it is the Temple Mount that >>>https://t.co/NGotytdDLf
The Palestinian terrorist who shot a bus of worshippers in Jerusalem wasn’t reacting to Israel, he was motivated by a culture which rejects the Jewish right to self determination and glorifies violence.— Emily Schrader - ????? ?????? (@emilykschrader) August 15, 2022
Watch as I break down the core of the problem on @TheGlobe_SABC: pic.twitter.com/GKkbOgTQ89
Saturday night, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on people in #Jerusalem. Ten were injured. Many seriously (incl. a pregnant woman). At least 5 were AMERICAN ???? CITIZENS. You know who hasn’t said a word to condemn this ??????? Might it be because the victims were Jews ??? pic.twitter.com/2g4osvGu0U— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) August 15, 2022
One of many on the left hand side pic.twitter.com/ANZTJkBUUR— Nunya Business (@NunyaBu52597942) August 14, 2022
Terrorist killed after stabbing attempt against undercover officers
Undercover police killed a Palestinian man early Monday morning in east Jerusalem after he attempted to stab them, according to the police.PreOccupiedTerritory: Group Thinks Nation That Survived Genocides With Epic Sense Of Mission, History, Deterred By Stabbings, Rockets (satire)
The troops were conducting a search for illegal weapons in Muhammad Shaham's home.
As we were closing in on the target, Shaham's family members came out and started confronting the troops when suddenly, he came out holding a knife and tried to stab the officers who responded by shooting a police spokesman said.
Shaham was treated at the scene and was taken for further treatment but later died.
The IDF conducted several raids across Judea and Samaria overnight and arrested several wanted Palestinians suspected of terror activity and seized make-shift weapons.
Members of militant movements dedicated to destroying reasserted Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland believe they stand on the cusp of victory, observers noted today, despite mounting evidence that each attack they perpetrate has no observable effect on that sovereignty, and that in fact over time those attacks have only served to solidify Jewish determination to sustain and strengthen it, while opponents of Zionism have suffered setback after setback since 1917.IDF neutralizes Hamas attack tunnel from Gaza to Israel, renders inoperable
Supporters and participants in anti-Israel violence once again voiced their conviction that just a few more attacks on Jews will cause the entire edifice of Zionism to collapse, and that imminent victory awaits those who resist the establishment, maintenance, protection, and advancement of the Jewish State. That conviction both underlies much of the anti-Israel movement’s behavior and has shown consistent opposite results from that which the behavior aims to generate. Whereas the supporters and perpetrators of attacks on Israelis appear to think that those attacks will weaken the resolve of Israelis to build their lives in the Jewish State, in fact it emphasizes to Israelis that only with such a state can they lead their lives in relative safety, since such attacks occurred in the absence of that state for thousands of years, and only the state and its security institutions have mitigated that danger.
“The militants appear incapable of appreciating the actual Israeli mentality,” noted one scholar. “Their straw man of Jewish assumptions and motives, derived from centuries of antisemitic indoctrination and their own fantasies of power, leads them to think Jews will cower and flee when violence confronts them. Each of the thousands of times that straw man has proved false over the last century, few have questioned the assumptions behind it, and the terrorist groups still operate in anticipation of each action damaging Jewish morale, despite repeated demonstrations that no such effect results.”
The IDF has uncovered and irreparably damaged a tunnel that Hamas dug across the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the military revealed on Monday.
The tunnel had been under development for “a long time” and that work on it was ongoing in recent days, outgoing commander of the Gaza Division Brig.-Gen. Nimrod Aloni told reporters.
The main part of the tunnel, Aloni said, had two branches from it that crossed the international border but did not cross the IDF border barrier. The military launched an operation over the weekend, damaging the tunnel by inserting material into it that made it unusable.
The tunnel had a depth of dozens of meters and started in Gaza City, reaching the border nort far from Kibbutz Alumim on the Israeli side.
“It is no longer a threat to Israel,” Aloni said.
Part of the tunnel was attacked during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021 and new parts of the tunnel – including renovations to the parts that were damaged – could not have been attacked kinetically, so the IDF decided to pour material into the tunnel that would make it unusable in the future.
EXPOSED: This terrorist tunnel was dug by Hamas from inside Gaza City toward Israel.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 15, 2022
To infiltrate into Israeli communities and attack innocent civilians.
We identified the tunnel, neutralized it and protected Israelis from this threat. pic.twitter.com/iBpEtNObGt
Israeli military exposes and neutralizes Hamas terror tunnel
IDF exposes a Hamas tunnel that the terror group had been working on rebuilding, which crossed into Israeli territory but did not breach the underground security barrier
Our defense correspondent Jonathan Regev reports more details about the tunnel, which has been neutralized
Syrian media reports three soldiers killed, three wounded in Israeli strikes
Three Syrian soldiers were killed and three others wounded by Israeli airstrikes in the Tartus and Damascus areas on Sunday, Syrian state media reported.
The attacks, which also resulted in material damage, occurred just before 9 p.m., and were launched from over southeastern Beirut and the Mediterranean, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.
The report cited a Syrian military source as saying that the attacks had triggered Syrian air defenses, which had downed “some of” the Israeli missiles.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a U.K.-based information office that documents human rights abuses in Syria, the Israeli strike targeted an air-defense base and radar in Abo Asfa, five kilometers south of Tartus on the Syrian coast, as well as Syrian military sites in the area that house Iranian militias.
The strikes reported in Rif Dimashq Governorate were in fact regime anti-aircraft missiles, according to SOHR.
Islamic Jihad Rocket Killed Hamas Policeman and His Three Children
During the latest flare-up between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel, it was PIJ's errant rocket launches, which killed over a dozen Palestinians, that led Hamas to pressure it to agree to a ceasefire.Islamic Jihad accidentally killed a Hamas terrorist with a misfired rocket
In the first such incident on Saturday night, an Islamic Jihad rocket hit a group of civilians in the Jabalia refugee camp, killing six, including four children.
On Sunday, in the same area, another misfired rocket killed five children and teenagers.
In the third incident, a rocket hit a Hamas policeman and his three children, killing them in the area of the Bureij refugee camp.
From that moment, Hamas' leadership, including those residing abroad, made it clear to PIJ that it must agree to a truce.
A Hamas terrorist was accidentally killed by a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket during Operation Breaking Dawn, according to information released by Hamas and Palestinian media during the conflict, together with corroborating statements made on Sunday by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
On August 7, the last day of the three-day battle, Palestinian and Israeli media reported that an explosive had struck a house in the central Gaza town of Bureij. Three boys, 13-year-old twins and a 9-year-old, were killed in the explosion, and their father was injured, Shehab News initially reported that evening.
While Israeli media only reported three deaths as a result of the incident in Bureij, Shehab News reported just over an hour later that the father, Yasser Nimr Al-Nabahin, had died of his injuries.
Hamas's military wing, The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, immediately published a notice of his death. Nabahin was described by the terrorist group as an “al-Qassam mujahid” (holy warrior) and one of the military wing’s “loyal knights.”
From the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian Islamic Scholar Issam Amira Calls on Muslim Youth Abroad to Establish a Caliphate, Come to Liberate Palestine and Al-Aqsa: You Will Avenge Every Act of Aggression against Us#Palestinians #Alaqsa #Britain pic.twitter.com/2blCmBvD4F— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 15, 2022
Egyptian Political Science Professor Moataz Bellah Abdel-Fattah: Iran Is Irrational, Our Greatest Enemy; In Contrast, Israel Is a Rational Enemy, With Whom We Can Reach Understandings #Egypt #Iran pic.twitter.com/mhPGDfizi2— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 15, 2022
Hizbullah Official Hussein Rahhal: By Giving Anti-Tank Missiles to Ukraine, America Is Trying to Replicate Tactics Used Successfully by Hizbullah against Israeli Forces #Lebanon #Hizbullah #UkraineRussiaWar pic.twitter.com/F41r7nfc1N— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 15, 2022
Iran's Proxy War Against Israel Caused by Biden's Weakness
"The US has started packing its bags to leave the Middle East. It is no longer able to impose maximum pressure on us." — Major General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, August 4, 2022.What the U.S. Gets Wrong about Iran
Like their patrons in Tehran, these proxies are all staunchly committed to the destruction of Israel and the killing of as many Jews as possible. PIJ continues to threaten and attack Israel, while Hezbollah and the Houthis are doing their utmost to destabilize security and stability in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia.
In a clear warning to the Biden administration, the Arabs are stressing that the Americans are mistaken to think that Iran will change its dangerous policies and actions once it reaches a new nuclear deal with the US and the other world powers, including the European Union.
"Today, Lebanon is not suffering from war as much as it is suffering from Iranian occupation through Hezbollah, which threatens the collapse of the country as a whole. We are facing an Iranian political fantasy from which the region has gained nothing but devastation and destruction, whether in Gaza, Lebanon, or Syria, as well as Yemen and Iraq." — Tareq al-Hamid, former editor-in-chief of the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat; aawast.com, August 7, 2022.
"Western countries continue to bet on Iran's so-called moderation and demand that it change its behavior, reduce its regional influence, and abandon its ballistic missile program. This is an impossible task, regardless of any deal presented to Tehran. Hostility to America is one of the foundations of the Islamic Revolution. Spreading the Islamic Revolution in the region is the task of the Islamic Republic. Iran's strength is not only with weapons, the Revolutionary Guards, and the army, but also with influence in the region. Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region is the highest priority in Iranian policy-making." — Rafik Khoury, veteran Lebanese journalist, independentarabia.com, July 27, 2022.
"These armed groups are working in Iran's interests. In return, they are rewarded [with weapons and money] for serving Iranian interests." — Dr. Jassim Khalfan, Emirati political analyst, posts.com, August 7, 2022.
"The [Palestinian] groups just provide services to those who pay them. Wars by proxy and working for external agendas have destroyed the Arab world and many countries...." — Dr. Talal Al-Sharif, former member of Jordan's Parliament, amad.ps, August 8, 2022.
At this point, one has to ask if the Biden administration is negotiating with Iran and offering it billions of dollars simply not to attack Israel until President Joe Biden's term is over in another two-to-six years.
Once again, the Biden administration's irresolution has only served to embolden the terrorists and their masters in Tehran, as well as the Russians and the Chinese Communist Party.
In the 1979 Iranian revolution, religious fundamentalists with fire in their bellies transformed the country into an anti-American Islamist theocracy. Under the leadership of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 83, who has ruled since 1989, anti-Americanism has become central to Iran's revolutionary identity. Indeed, few nations have spent a greater percentage of their political and financial capital to try and topple the U.S.-led world order than Iran. On virtually every contemporary American national security concern, Tehran defines its own interests in opposition to the U.S.I Heard Ayatollah Khameini Sentence World Jewry to Death
Iran's successful entrenchment of powerful proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, coupled with America's humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, have further convinced Iran of its own success as well as America's inevitable decline. The more committed the U.S. has been to diplomacy, the lesser Iran's sense of urgency to compromise. Even if the nuclear deal is revived, Tehran's worldview will endure.
Multiple U.S. attempts to coerce or persuade Iran to reconsider its revolutionary ethos have failed. The reason is simple: U.S.-Iran normalization could prove deeply destabilizing to a theocratic government whose organizing principle has been fighting American imperialism. The U.S. has sought to engage a regime that clearly doesn't want to be engaged, and isolate a regime that thrives in isolation. Khamenei understands that the greater danger to his theocracy is not global isolation but global integration.
The Iranian slogan "Death to Israel, Death to America," is not a figure of speech. It is an expression of a very clear project. We are the infidels to whom their clerics urge followers to lay waste.
I sat in Tehran's great conference hall in 2017 as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, amid a storm of adulation, sentenced World Jewry to death, proclaiming that the cancer that is Israel and its people: the Jews, would be excised to the point of extinction. His words left nothing to the imagination.
Iranian Islamic Scholar Sayyed Issa Tabtebaei on Hizbullah TV: During the 1982 Lebanon War, Khomeini Allowed Suicide Operations against Israel; The Jews Want to Destroy Islam #Iran #Lebanon #Hizbullah #terrorism #Khomeini pic.twitter.com/9FJqrf1o47— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 15, 2022
Iranian judoka flees to Germany following threats
We speak to Alireza Bahranifard, an Iranian judoka who fled to Germany after facing threats from his management for his friendly interaction with the Israeli judoka Sagi Muki
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