Sunday, October 23, 2022

From Ian:

The gaping holes in the UN Commission of Inquiry report
What is missing from this report as context for this difficult environment is startling. Not a word about Palestinian rejectionism for decades. Not a word on Israeli steps that completely contradict the narrative that Israel is all about permanent occupation and annexation.

Not a word about Israeli efforts to make Palestinian life better, despite Palestinian rejection and terrorism in the form of thousands of Palestinian workers making a decent living working in Israel every day. Not a word about the anti-democratic forces and corruption at work in Hamas or the Palestinian Authority, which have greatly contributed to the ills of the Palestinian people. Not a word about an educational system in the Palestinian community, which preaches and teaches hatred of Israel and Jews and the virtues of violence against the Jewish state.

Most significantly, related to the two major themes of the report — that Israel is engaged in moving toward permanent control of the West Bank and its Palestinian population and toward de facto annexation — is the complete failure to mention numerous Israeli peace offers that would have transformed Palestinians lives, including through the creation of a Palestinian state. Israel’s offer at Camp David, then later at Taba, in 2000, would have meant the withdrawal of Israeli from most of the territory and the removal of most settlements. The Palestinians said no and turned to violence and suicide bombs.

Then came Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, including from all settlements, only to have Israel met with a Hamas takeover, and years of attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians. And then at Annapolis in 2008, Israel offered the Palestinians one more opportunity to end the conflict and move toward a state as Israel withdraws, only to be met again with no response.

In sum, there are real issues to discuss. But it’s impossible to do that in a serious and responsible way when the approach is the kind of biased one that the COI report represents. The consequence of such one-sidedness is to make the Palestinians think once again that history is on their side in their decades-old rejection of Israel’s legitimacy. This delusion has been harmful to Palestinians and is repeated here once again.

At the same time, a report like this plays into the hands of those Israelis who see the world as against them and prefer the status quo rather than creative solutions and initiatives.

The bottom line: Israel will surely reject this report for what it is: a continuing of counterproductive, anti-Israel propaganda by an arm of the UN that has a long history of bias against the Jewish state.

At the same time, the reality of the situation in the territories, even though it does not reflect either Israeli permanence or annexation, demands Israeli initiatives on the ground to improve living conditions for the Palestinians and to open up new possibilities for negotiations and solutions – even if the Palestinians have not shown they are ready for either.

American Jews must give up the illusion that they have ‘no enemies’ to the left or the right
The final straw came in 2000, when Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader held a massive campaign rally in Boston. From the stage, I was told, his running mate, Winona LaDuke, shrieked, “We’re going to stop the slaughter in Palestine!” This would have been bad enough, given that it erased Israel’s name from the map and, with it, the numerous Jews then being murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the name of “Palestine.”

But what made my blood run cold was the description of what followed: The crowd howled its approval and rose to its feet in a standing ovation. At that moment, what I saw in my mind’s eye was Hitler and the great crowd rising as one to hail him. These people, I suddenly realized, wanted to kill me.

What followed was not merely anger, but a horrific sense of betrayal. I believed in the catechisms of the left. I felt that I was one of them. But now, I suddenly realized, they did not think I was one of them. And this was because, despite everything, I did believe that the Jews have a right, at the very least, to defend themselves. I now knew that my former comrades did not believe in that right. But I did, and I would fight for it.

I will not go into the long journey that followed, which led me to Zionism, aliyah and everything that came after. Suffice it to say, I rejected the left in its entirety, and became very right-wing for a very long time.

I can no longer count myself an ideological right-winger. I believe I have learned a great deal from both the left and the right, from the likes of Orwell and Camus along with Burke and C.S. Lewis. These days, I prefer to keep my own counsel. But that sense of betrayal has never left me, and I am still angry about it.

That many Jews on the right now feel the same way is painful but also, I regret to say, not particularly surprising. All non-Jewish movements contain people who believe very ugly things about the Jews. The left has Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the right has its “alt” contingent and now Kanye West.

But I must say, and perhaps this will comfort him, that I do not agree with Haworth’s despairing conclusion that “no one cares about us.” In fact, there are non-Jews on both the right and the left who care very deeply about the Jews, whether they be Ritchie Torres on the left or Meghan McCain on the right. Sometimes they are forced to fight a rearguard action against the haters, but they are there, they are not to be underestimated and we must work to embrace them all.

Indeed, for Jews to believe that we have “no enemies to the left” is as absurd as believing we have “no enemies to the right.” There is no single political movement—except Zionism—that is monolithically philo-Semitic. Jews, in the end, have no right or left. We have only ourselves and our friends or enemies, wherever they may be on the political spectrum. To wholly commit ourselves to one side or the other only sets us up for a rude awakening followed by a terrible disillusionment.
"Documentary Series Exposes 3,000 Hours of Vile Leftist Antisemitism Recorded by Swedish Spy"
Zvi Yehezkeli, an Israeli television journalist and documentarian who heads the Arab desk at News 13, on Sunday night is launching “Sh’tula” (implant), a five-episode espionage docu-series on Channel 13, which reveals for the first time authentic documentation of what goes on behind the scenes of human rights organizations operating in Judea and Samaria.

The series was three years in the making. “There are 3,000 hours of footage, all of which required legal backing, and the content features many characters,” Yehezkeli told Ma’ariv. “In general, this thing is explosive, with the possibility of international lawsuits, so this process has been crazy. And it’s also the longest series I’ve ever done.”

The series “Sh’tula” follows a pro-Palestinian young Swedish woman who came to Israel as a tourist to study architecture. She met someone from the Eli settlement who explained that there’s another side to the Israeli-Arab story.

“Slowly, she is gaining ground within the human rights organizations that operate in Judea and Samaria and is actually becoming an intelligence agent,” Yehezkeli relates. “After a year, she reaches the real leadership, the Hamas people, who reveal to her the mechanism of raising money for the organizations, and the connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas headquarters in Europe and human rights organizations. This means that human rights organizations like BDS are operated by Hamas members.”

“It became a treasure trove of intelligence, including secrets that Hamas members told her and are documented on paper,” he continues. “So, we started building a series out of it. It’s very complicated because there’s a lot of use of hidden cameras, and we also have to protect her life.”

At some point, Yehez told Army Radio on Sunday, his spy recorded a European activist who confessed on tape that she wanted to see all the Jews dead, on both sides of the “green line,” arguing that their very existence was rooted in sin. Should be fun to watch, especially if at some point you thought European activists were fair and even-handed and wanted only to help poor suffering Arabs.

From Oslo to Abraham
REVIEW: 'In the Path of Abraham: How Donald Trump Made Peace in the Middle East—and How to Stop Joe Biden from Unmaking It'

Greenblatt didn't care much for the priests of Oslo. The 1993 accords created "an industry that no longer had as its goal the solution to a problem, but an altogether separate allegiance to the ‘peace process' itself," he writes. And that process was deeply unfair. According to Greenblatt, the obsession with Oslo resulted in a U.S. policy that considered the Israeli and Palestinian narratives about the conflict to be "equally valid, equally compelling, and equally deserving of serious attention." In short, U.S. policy was "striving for symmetry," as opposed to fairness. Symmetry is a process that is rigged to produce equal outcomes. Fairness, says Greenblatt, is a process where both parties are treated equally.

In this respect, Greenblatt's outsider status served him well. He saw no reason why the former president should not have made good, for example, on his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to its capital in Jerusalem, something all prior presidents since Ronald Reagan had promised but never delivered. Greenblatt takes pleasure in quoting back the apocalyptic predictions of Washington insiders like former CIA director John Brennan, who claimed the embassy move "would damage U.S. interests in the Middle East for years to come."

One reason Trump's gamble in the Middle East paid off is because by the time he came into office, America's Arab allies were already frustrated with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Greenblatt writes that in 2017 Arab leaders were still publicly supporting Abbas, "but behind the scenes, a different picture seemed to be emerging. Abbas and the ‘Palestinian cause' had become a diminished presence in a broader political discussion in the region." He adds, "More and more, at least in private talks, Arab governments were mulling tentative ties to Israel. At the same time they were beginning to seriously tire of being asked to fund what seemed, increasingly, a chronically corrupt, weak, and incompetent organization in Ramallah."

The other factor that led to the Abraham Accords was the Iranian nuclear bargain negotiated by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama. That agreement allowed Iran to keep its industrial scale nuclear infrastructure and reap the rewards of sanctions relief and an effort to normalize investment in Iran's economy. All the while, the Iranians were stepping up its shadow war throughout the Middle East. In this respect, the environment was perfect to unite Iran's enemies against a common foe.

Greenblatt says the first seeds of the accords were planted in Trump's overseas visit in May 2017 to Saudi Arabia. That was the visit that featured Trump and other Arab leaders in the famous photo with their hands on the glowing orb. Greenblatt writes that after the visit, Trump phoned Israel's prime minister at the time, Benjamin Netanyahu, to say, "King Salman feels very strongly, and I can tell you, would love to see peace with the Israelis and the Palestinians." Greenblatt adds that Trump also told Netanyahu, there's a growing sense among your neighbors that they have common cause with you against Iran.

It should be said that Israel and Saudi Arabia, along with other Arab states, worked together secretly against Iran throughout the Obama years. And on much lower levels even explored diplomatic normalization. That said, there is a major difference between quiet cooperation and formalizing diplomatic ties. It took the sustained attention of the White House to turn the good vibes of the 2010s into the Abraham Accords, and for that Trump deserves credit. It also took outsiders like Greenblatt who were confident enough to ignore the advice of the Oslo priests and try something new.

It's not always the case that the smartest guys in the room don't know what they're talking about. But every now and again, the experts get it wrong. And when they do, it takes an intelligent outsider to politely decline their counsel and try something else.

Netanyahu to JNS: I intend to achieve peace with Saudi Arabia
Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year consecutive term as Israel’s prime minister came to a close just over a year ago, after successive parliamentary blocking maneuvers prevented him from forming a stable right-wing government.

What formed in its place was an unstable alliance including every single member of Israel’s left wing, and, for the first time in Israel’s history, an Arab party, that is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The blocking coalition which brought Israel’s significantly smaller left-wing minority from the back benches of the opposition into senior government ministries was empowered by a handful of right-wing defectors who hoped that preventing Netanyahu from taking office would later usher in an era of new right-wing leadership.

The coalition was led by “alternate prime ministers” Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, under a rotation arrangement. Neither had the parliamentary support to form a coalition on their own.

By all accounts, the government was a disaster. The fractious coalition did not provide the political stability its leaders promised. Even more disappointing to the coalition’s members and its supporters, Netanyahu, now leader of the opposition, refused to step aside, knowing that the improbable coalition was certain to crash. Crash it did, with Bennett resigning from politics after barely a year in office.

Despite being sent kicking and screaming into the opposition, Netanyahu remains Israel’s most popular politician by far, as well as the most polarizing.

Ruthie Blum: The ‘settler violence’ narrative and Knesset elections
The irony is stunning. In the conflict between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, the former is the one rejecting the values of liberal democracy and embracing extremism; for the latter, it’s the other way around.

This isn’t to say that Israel doesn’t have its share of violent Jewish criminals. But when an Israeli civilian or soldier, in Judea and Samaria or elsewhere in the country, commits an act of aggression against anyone, he or she is arrested and prosecuted. The opposite is the case In the P.A., where those who kill Israelis are hailed as heroes, and their families are showered with honors and hefty monthly stipends.

Another point that the pundits and politicians who pounce on every opportunity to underscore “settler violence” fail to acknowledge is the P.A.’s belief and teachings that the entire State of Israel is a settlement. Indeed, as far as the honchos in Ramallah and Gaza are concerned, Tel Aviv bar-hoppers and Haifa mall-goers are no different from Jews living in Efrat or Tekoa. And Lapid and Gantz are indistinguishable from Bibi and Ben-Gvir, other than in the extent to which they can be manipulated.

Speaking of the two banes of the left’s existence, in an interview last weekend, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said that “[Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir] are not only waiting for a mother and her four children to be murdered on the eve of the election to guarantee victory; they’re helping it along.”

His slanderous words contained a tragic morsel of veracity. The duo in question don’t have to “wait for” or “help along” Palestinian slaughter.

For all the bloody attacks successfully carried out—such as the knifing of a young man in Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon—hundreds more are thwarted, thanks to the vigilance of Israeli security forces and by the grace of God.

The phenomenon has become so commonplace these days that it barely garners front-page headlines. “Settler violence,” on the other hand, is given star billing. This is because it’s rare, not rampant.
High Court says lame-duck gov't may sign Lebanese gas deal, paving way for final vote
The Supreme Court, in its capacity as the High Court of Justice, threw out on Sunday four legal challenges to a landmark maritime agreement between Israel and Lebanon, clearing a major hurdle for the deal that could mark a major breakthrough in relations between the two countries.

The court did not immediately release its reasons for rejecting the challenges, which were submitted by an influential conservative policy group. The court's ruling paves the way for the agreement to be given final approval by Israel's government, a step expected later this week.

Lebanon and Israel both claim some 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea. At stake are rights over exploiting undersea natural gas reserves. Lebanon hopes gas exploration will help lift its country out of its spiraling economic crisis. Israel also hopes to exploit gas reserves while also easing tensions with its northern neighbor.

Critics of the deal who had appealed to the court said the current interim government should not be allowed to change Israel's maritime border or make such weighty, strategic decisions without an electoral mandate.

"Israel has crossed a fundamental democratic line, with a lame duck government agreeing to give up the country's sovereign territory to an enemy state days before an election," said Eugene Kontorovich, of the Kohelet Policy Forum, the conservative think tank that had petitioned the court. Israel heads to the polls for the fifth time in less than four years next week.

Israel and Lebanon and formally have been at war since Israel's establishment in 1948. In 2006, Israel and the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah fought a monthlong, inconclusive war and tensions with the group remain high.

Albanian prime minister in Israel in wake of Iranian cyberattacks
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama touched down in Israel on Sunday for a three-day visit at the invitation of his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, just weeks after Tirana cut off diplomatic ties with Iran over cyberattacks Tehran launched in July.

Rama was slated to meet with Lapid on Sunday afternoon, and later in his trip with, among others, President Isaac Herzog and Gaby Portnoy, the head of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, according to Israeli media reports.

In September, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll met with Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka, and offered “to share our knowledge and experience in cyber defense.” He also “expressed Israel’s appreciation” for Tirana’s decision to expel Iranian diplomats.

“We will continue to tighten cooperation between Israel and Albania,” said Roll.

Following the cyberattacks, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions against Tehran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and Minister of Intelligence Esmail Khatib.
Algeria: we left because of Muslim antisemitism
Henri-Charles Dahan, born in 1947, was a young witness to the rising violence (‘the events’) against French rule in Algeria leading to the exodus of its Jews in 1962. In his grandfather’s generation, the main threat came from far-right white settlers (Pieds Noirs) who burned down his business. But in the 1950s, when Dahan attended the Lycee Bugeaud in Algiers, the purveyors of antisemitism were Muslim. Here is an extract from his eye-opening account of those times for Morial, the newsletter of the Algerian Jews in France. ( With thanks: Leon)

As far as I am concerned, the ‘events’ did not affect our relations with the young Muslims of our entourage, our classmates or neighbours. We did sometimes have fights, but we did not talk politics. Each tacitly accepted that the Muslims supported independence and vice-versa, that non-Muslims were for French Algeria. I am speaking for my own age group. Otherwise, when boys traded ‘racist’ insults it was just boys’ talk.

However, I should point out one exception. Our neighbour opposite was a virulent Nazi Islamist, openly anti-Jewish, as was his family. Because of individuals like him, we fled. They already incarnated Muslim hegemonic fanatism. My parents were familiar with it and spoke about it to us too. I must stress this fact, because most public accounts by Jews minimise the antisemitism of some Muslims, while emphasising the antisemitism of the Pieds Noirs. I know that the previous generation had suffered from Pied Noir antisemitism but in my generation this was not the case. On the contrary, we were most fearful of Muslim antisemitism.

In 1956, we were happy about the Suez operation against the arrogant Nasser. Until 1957, the ‘events’ only caused us quiet anxiety. In Algiers I saw only one Muslim demonstration. It was after a football match and caused only superficial damage. But after the bloody attack on the Casino de la Corniche (a terrace cafe bombed in June 1957 – ed) there occurred the first attack outside a neighbouring cemetery. My younger brother had nightmares after seeing a wretched Muslim passer-by flung against the rocks from the boulevard parapet. In spring 1957, the events directly affected my mother. A wretch murdered her elder brother in his shop in Setif. He left a widow and four young orphans. At the time the GPRA (rebel) leader Ferhat Abbas was still a chemist in Setif. No doubt he disapproved of this act of terrorism. Muslim supporters of the ‘fedayeen’, as we called the Islamonazis haranging Israel, ended up making the events a religious war, at least for most of the Jews I knew.

Israel making same mistakes it made before Yom Kippur War
It’s hard to tell whether the lessons learned during that war were internalized. It seems that analyzing the situation carefully is a sound strategy even now, in October 2022, as violence and terror attacks in the West Bank increase in frequency every single day.

This is happening due to Palestinian Authority washing its hands off of maintaining the stability in its territory, the way it has been doing in past 20 years.

In the West Bank, this has led to the uprising of young, Islamic radicals from Jenin and Nablus, who wish to rebel and go against the political and economic norms established there over the last two decades.

This new order in the West Bank is being built on an unwritten agreement between Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah, and serves to destabilize the Palestinian Authority even further, harming its ability to maintain order in these areas.

October 2022 is very similar to October 1973. In the months preceding the war, Israel could see the signals, such as Egyptian army's military drills, but preferred to interpret these signs through an old and irrelevant world view. Now, in October 2022, Israel is observing what is happening in the West Bank, but prefers to interpret the reality as a temporary escalation or a mini-terror wave.

These outdated ways of thinking is an attempt to maintain the understanding Israel has with the Palestinian Authority, which facilitated nearly 20 years of relative calm in Israel, hoping the system would eventually balance itself back to its starting point.

These past two decades allowed Israel to focus on external threats like Iran and Syria, enjoy economic prosperity, all while ignore the brewing trouble in its back yard.

Israel is stepping onto the same wrong path it walked prior to the Yom Kippur War, overconfident with success, and not expecting failure. The scattered showers of violence that are currently falling in the Palestinian villages and refugee camps may in an instant turn into a flashflood, and Israel will be caught off guard once again, unable to deal with the new reality imposed on it.
Israeli officials claim to have destroyed 90% of Iran's military operations in Syria
The Israeli military has destroyed about 90% of Iran's military infrastructure and attempts to entrench itself - with Hezbollah - in Syria, top officials in the defense establishment claimed over the weekend.

According to the officials, Israel has in recent years succeeded in almost completely curbing Iran's ability to transfer weapons to Syria, to manufacture weapons on the country's soil and to establish a base in it with pro-Iranian forces.

According to the sources, the plan of the former commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by the Americans in 2020, has failed due to the IDF’s continued air campaign against the forces in Syria. The last alleged attack attributed to Israel in Syria was Friday when local media reported that the IDF attacked near the airport in Damascus after about a month of relative silence.

The sources said that despite the tension between Israel and Russia – which recently threatened Jerusalem not to transfer arms to Ukraine - the deconfliction mechanism to prevent Russian-Israeli friction in Syria is working as usual. Periods without attacks, the sources said, are usually the result of an Iranian decision to suspend the smuggling of weapons to Syria, in order to try and find a new route to trick Israel.
Bodycam footage shows police officer chasing, shooting suspected Palestinian stabber
Police on Sunday published bodycam footage of an officer chasing and eventually shooting a Palestinian teen on Saturday after he allegedly stabbed and seriously hurt an Israeli man in East Jerusalem.

The footage showed the officer chasing after the suspect in a soccer field in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, as dozens of young Arab children were playing and holding soccer practice.

As the officer shouted at the suspect in Arabic to stop, the teenager is seen running off, leading the officer to set off in pursuit.

At one point the alleged stabber turned around with an object in his hand, which later was revealed to be the sheath of the knife used in the attack some 800 meters away, and charged at the officer.

The officer fired one shot and the young man fell to the ground.

“I saw him running with an object in his hand and there were a lot of civilians in the area, there was a life-threatening danger to the civilians… the terrorist then turned around in my direction with the object in his hand in order to attack. I felt my life was in danger and fired one shot,” the officer said in a video statement published by police.

The chief of police’s Jerusalem District hailed the officer for his actions. “The policeman who neutralized the terrorist demonstrated vigilance, determination, engagement, courage, and great resourcefulness. The accurate shooting and his professional performance led to the neutralization of the terrorist and prevented injury to the innocents who were around him. This is what is expected of every police officer in the Jerusalem District and the Israel Police,” said Doron Turgeman.
Spotlight on Jenin: Part Seven: Jenin in the Israeli and Palestinian Psyche
The High Cost of ‘Resistance’: Jenin in the Palestinian Psyche
For Palestinians, Jenin represented one of the primary centers of resistance to Israel and the IDF during the Second Intifada. However, according to analysts of the region, the Battle of Jenin left a dark cloud over the northern West Bank city in the Palestinian psyche.

While there was a sense of pride in the fact that Jenin was one of the few Palestinian cities to effectively fight the Israeli military, the death and destruction that followed the Battle of Jenin left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Palestinians.

For many Palestinians, the return to violence in Jenin and its surroundings is effectively a reclaiming of Jenin’s violent reputation by the next generation.

Aside from its violent reputation, for many Palestinians, Jenin also represents the impotence of the current-day Palestinian Authority (PA).

Due to the popular perception that the PA is corrupt and subservient to Israel, many younger Palestinians in Jenin have allied with radical Palestinian terror groups, such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, that provide them with an alternative to the PA.

Although Jenin has only recently reappeared in the news as the center of the latest rise in West Bank violence, the city is prominent in the memories of both Israelis and Palestinians.

For Israelis, Jenin symbolizes the deadly terror that haunted the streets of the Jewish state during the Second Intifada, some of the fiercest fighting that took place between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters during the same period as well as the international media’s attempt to demonize Israel while glorifying its enemies.

For Palestinians, Jenin represents the pride of effective “resistance” against Israel, the heavy price paid for this resistance as well as a symbol of the ineffectiveness of the Palestinian Authority in providing for the day-to-day needs of West Bank Palestinians.
Hen Mazzig: Beheading of gay Palestinian desecrates sacred city Hebron
Deep in the Judean Mountains of the southern West Bank lies the ancient Hittite stronghold of Hebron. The Bible (Genesis 23:1-20) tells of how Abraham purchased the Cave of Doubles from a Hittite named Ephron son of Zohar as a burial place; thither lie the bones of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, topped by a still-extant Herodian-era structure covering a site that bears traces of much greater antiquity.

King David reigned from Hebron for seven and a half years before transferring his capital to Jerusalem (Samuel 2, 5:5). Interestingly enough, the stories of the love between King David and the son of King Saul, Jonathan, were interpreted as a same-sex relationship by several scholars.

The site is venerated by all three faiths descended from Abraham’s teachings; in particular, Hebron is one of the four holy cities of Judaism, as well as being the fourth holiest city in Islam. How horrific, then, that the storied city was desecrated by an unspeakable act of butchery—the brutal public beheading, filmed live, of a Palestinian gay man, whose only crime was to live and love the way that he saw fit, much like King David.

Who was the Palestinian?
Shed a tear for Ahmed Abu Marhia. Fleeing death threats at home over his sexuality and a family that had shunned him, 25-year-old Abu Marhia was living under asylum in Israel, with plans to eventually resettle in Canada. A friend described him as, “a pleasant and sensitive guy, always appreciative and grateful. He had goals he sought to achieve in life, he found a good job and it seemed like it was all going to work out for him.” Reportedly, “[a]bout 90 Palestinians who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community currently live as asylum-seekers in Israel. They suffered discrimination and in extreme cases, violence in their communities before fleeing.”
IDF Rules of Engagement gave terrorists the chance to slaughter an entire family
A team of IDF sharpshooters and spotters deployed to ambush terrorists expected to attack the Beit El community from Old Highway 60 were instructed by direct order from the brigade commander in words which meant not to open fire unless it was certain that a terrorist attack HAD taken place.


Yifrach writes that the soldiers were very upset by the order which struck them as illogical and want to bring up the incident again and again until they receive an acceptable response from their superiors.

Here is the event, step by step:
#1. For two weeks the IDF sharpshooters and spotters were deployed in the location.
#2. During the Sukkot holiday, when people eat outside of their homes, the spotter, using night vision, identified a suspicious car with two men inside approaching on the road and began to monitor it.
#3. The spotter saw the vehicle stop and a terrorist, armed with an automatic weapon, get out of the vehicle.
#4. The spotter saw the terrorist raise his weapon, position himself to fire towards the direction of the Beit El community and seek a target. The spotter waited.
#5. The terrorist opened fire, spraying the Nizri family sukkah with bullet as the family ate dinner. One family member was lightly injured.
#6. A sharpshooter then killed the terrorist with a shot fired from a distance of 240 meters.
#7. The second terrorist escaped in the car and was captured later.

It turned out the no one in the sukkah was murdered, a miracle if ever there was one, and since this incident did not take place in the Israeli Air Force, where near misses are investigated with the same vigor as tragedies, what transpired received the standard Israeli reaction: since things essentially worked out the incident was inconsequential.

Now I am absolutely sure that if, thanks to the direct orders of the brigade commander, the NIzri family had been slaughtered that night, that the brigade commander would no longer be holding his command.
PMW: Abbas: “We don’t trust America”Fatah official: The US is the “enemy”
While the US has donated, over the years, billions of tax dollars to the Palestinians, and has been their largest donor, Palestinian leaders still “don’t trust America”, who they see as the “enemy.” Vladimir Putin and Russia, on the other hand, are seen as allies and supporters.

In his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas made his sentiments quite clear:
Abbas: "We don't trust America, and you know our position. We don’t trust them and don’t rely on them, and we won’t accept under any circumstances to America being the sole party in resolving the problem."
[YouTube channel of Cairo-based Alghad TV, Oct. 13, 2022]

Speaking previously, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki lamented that while the US used to be a friend of the Palestinians, it is no longer. Today it is “the enemy”:
Zaki: “We have many friends in the world, while the US has retreated, and it is the enemy and Israel is its claw in the region.”
[“Fateh TV” YouTube channel, Aug. 29, 2022]

Zaki added that once the Palestinians leave the shadows of the US, the Palestinians will be free to receive weapons from other sources:
Zaki: “Under the shadow of the US, no one can help us with weapons, but when its power disappears or decreases, Allah willing, we will receive help that is more than words and more than activities and processions.”
[“Fateh TV” YouTube channel, Aug. 29, 2022]

The approach of the Palestinian leadership to the US is unsurprising. According to Fatah, the party of Abbas, it is the US and the UK who are responsible for the fate of the Palestinians, since Israel “was brought "here" by the US and Britain”:

Senior Nablus terrorist killed in mysterious motorcycle blast
A senior member of the Nablus-based terror group Lions’ Den was killed in a motorcycle explosion early on Sunday, according to Palestinian media reports.

The reports named the operative as Tamer al-Kilani, and described the blast as “mysterious,” though some Palestinian reports claimed that an explosive device was attached to the motorcycle by Israel, Mako reported on Sunday.’

Other reports claimed that the blast was the result of a so-called work accident.

The Lions Den’ organization released a statement describing al-Kilani as “one of the boldest fighters,” and swore to avenge his death.

Al-Kilani was one of the founders of Lions’ Den, and was directly responsible for a string of attacks and attempted attacks in recent months, according to Ynet, Al-Kilani, 33, reportedly orchestrated an attempted attack by a terrorist named Muhammad Minawi, who was caught with a homemade submachine gun and two explosive devices in Jaffa in September.

Al-Kilani was also reportedly involved in a series of shooting attacks in the Nablus area. He spent eight years in Israeli prisons due to his membership in and activities for Fatah’s military wing.

Fatah about its Brigades: “They attacked and caused pain and chose Martyrdom-death”

PA official lauds 19-year-old’s death as a Martyr: “All respect goes to him”

Father of 19-year-old terrorist “Martyr”: “He wanted to die as a Martyr and achieved Martyrdom”

What Iranians Want From Washington
[W]e also know that Henry Kissinger, peddler of detente, helped prolong the evil empire's life by providing it with easy credit and undeserved prestige.

In the case of Iran, Obama and his entourage invented a false choice between "doing another Iraq", which meant a full-scale invasion that a majority of Americans wouldn't support, or putting a moribund regime on life-support in the hope it might stop mumbling "Death to America!"

Did Obama betray America?

That is also hard to answer because I am not persuaded that Obama was ever a true friend of America. Reading his various books it is hard not to notice a ressentiment that goes beyond a mere chip on the shoulder. I may be wrong but I think he tried to prolong the Khomeinist regime's life precisely because he shared its anti-American posture.

A study by a Swiss-Iranian researcher shows that over 400 former Islamic Republic and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials are employed in US universities, media and think tanks.

Last September, Khamenei spelled out his four principles for what he called "The New Islamic Civilization based on the Spirit of Ashura" that he hopes to build for mankind as a whole. The first of these was "Fighting America" followed by "Islamic unity", "Strict morality" and "Economic self-reliance".

Iranians don't ask the US for any material or military help in their struggle to build a different Iran. All they ask is for the US to be true to its professed principle of never siding with oppressors.

Hacks against Iran highlight regime’s vulnerabilities
Over the last several days, a series of documents purportedly linked to key institutions in Iran have either been leaked online or distributed surreptitiously to opponents of the regime.

In the latest round of hacks, a demand was issued that Iran must release political prisoners. Earlier this month, a fire broke out at the notorious Evin Prison. Iran, meanwhile, has continued to crack down on widespread protests that have gone on for weeks now.

The group behind the hacks calls itself Black Reward and recently claimed to have published a mass of documents related to Iran’s nuclear program.

According to UK-based Iran International, “The group said Friday it had hacked the email system of Iran’s Nuclear Power Production and Development Company, threatening that it will release the documents if the government does not stop its clampdown on protesters.”

It also said, “A total of 50 GB data was obtained. Black Reward earlier had warned that it will publish the data it has obtained within 24 hours unless the Islamic Republic releases all political prisoners and detained protesters.”

The message, ostensibly from the group, said, “Dear friends and countrymen... as part of the Iranian hacker community, unlike the Western countries, we are not flirting with criminal mullahs, and if we say something, we follow it 100%.”

The group claimed to have public as well as private conversations of Iran with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Start planning your New Zealand Summer Hoilday Sponsored by The Coromandel | New Zealand

The hackers discussed masses of documents related to nuclear development contracts, construction plans, operational schedules of parts of the Bushehr power complex, identity documents of engineers and other employees in the Iran atomic energy sector, and even passports and visas of Iranian and Russian specialists working at the Bushehr power plant. Russia has played a role at Bushehr for decades.

However, the files that were offered for download as part of the hack had their own issues. According to the hackers, Iran’s communication and information infrastructure already contains malware. The public was warned about this.
Boston councilor proposes official 'Hijab Day' on Mahsa Amini's birthday
Boston Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson put forward a resolution forward late last week, suggesting that Mahsa Amini's birthday, September 23, should be recognized as Boston's official Hijab Day, according to the official City of Boston, in a move that has sparked considerable outrage.

On Thursday, October 19, Fernandes Anderson stood in front of the city council and spoke about her worries regarding the rise of Islamophobia that surrounds hijab-wearing women in the US.

"For the past few weeks, people of good conscience a month or so from around the world have joined in the protest, the thousands across Iran demanding justice for Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died after three days in custody of Iran's notorious morality police after being accused of not properly covering her hair," she said.

"These protests in the heart of Iran have featured brave women burning their scarves and cutting their hair in the face of arrest, abuse, and in some cases, even death to show their solidarity with Amini's family and their will for freedoms and access to a joyful life absence of suppression from an oppressive state."

She continued, talking about the protests and Amini, leading the conversation to focus on justice for Amini and the other women who were killed for the crime of improperly worn hijabs, demonstrating the various ways one can wear a hijab, seemingly to prove that there is no incorrect way to do so.
Salman Rushdie ‘going to live’ but has lost use of eye and hand, says agent
Salmon Rushdie’s agent says the author has lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand as he recovers from an attack from a man who rushed the stage at an August literary event in western New York, according to a published report.

Literary agent Andrew Wylie told the Spanish language newspaper El Pais in an article published Saturday that Rushdie suffered three serious wounds to his neck and 15 more wounds to his chest and torso, in the attack that took away sight in an eye and left a hand incapacitated.

Rushdie, 75, spent years in hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 edict, a fatwa, calling for his death after publication of his novel, “The Satanic Verses,” which some Muslims consider blasphemous. Over the past two decades, Rushdie has traveled freely.

Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, has been incarcerated after pleading not guilty to attempted murder and assault in the August 12 attack on Rushdie, as he was being introduced at the Chautauqua Institution, a rurally located center 55 miles (89 kilometers) southwest of Buffalo that is known for its summertime lecture series.

After the attack, Rushdie was treated at a Pennsylvania hospital, where he was briefly put on a ventilator to recover from what Wylie told El Pais was a “brutal attack” that cut nerves to one arm.

Wylie told the newspaper he could not say whether Rushdie remained in a hospital or discuss his whereabouts.

“He’s going to live… That’s the important thing,” Wylie said.
Boy George slams Kim Kardashian’s silence in face of Kanye West’s antisemitism
English pop star George Alan O’Dowd, also known as Boy George, said Saturday he was “appalled” by recent antisemitic comments made by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and slammed Kim Kardashian for not openly criticizing her ex-husband over the scandal.

In a video posted on Instagram, Boy George said he was “listening with great sadness to the antisemitic comments coming out of Kanye West’s mouth” and that he was “kind of appalled that not more artists have come out and spoke against what he’s saying.”

“I’m appalled that Kim Kardashian hasn’t come out and added her voice to this debate, because this woman has children with Kanye, so she must understand as a mother what it feels like for little Jewish children to hear these f***ing comments, how demoralizing and terrifying it must be.”

He continued: “As a gay man I have experienced years of prejudice, you know, so the idea of doing that to someone else based on their race or their color or their sexuality or their gender is just f***ing appalling to me, and it should be appalling to you.”

Though not Jewish himself, the lead singer of the pop band Culture Club has maintained a close relationship with the Jewish state. He has performed in Israel several times and has spoken out against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In 2020, the eighties pop star declared his love for Israel by releasing a single written and sung with Israeli Asaf Goren, with lyrics in English and Hebrew.

BBC News makes an ineffectual and tardy amendment
In early August, during Operation Breaking Dawn, we documented the appearance of a filmed report lacking essential context on the BBC News website:

“Not only did the BBC fail to clarify that the building concerned was used by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, it also refrained from informing viewers that the residents had been instructed to evacuate before the attack took place, despite that fact being known to the BBC.”

CAMERA UK submitted a complaint raising those points and on August 23rd we were informed (as has become almost inevitably the case) that it would take more time to address the issues. On September 13th the BBC informed us that the time frame for addressing our complaint had expired.

On October 19th – over two months after the complaint had been submitted – we received the following response from the BBC:

Ohio GOP candidate apologizes for antisemitic ‘Jew you down’ comment
Facing criticism about her use in 2014 of the antisemitic phrase “Jew you down,” the Republican nominee for a competitive state Senate seat in Ohio this week said she was just trying to praise Jews’ frugality, before issuing an apology.

Michele Reynolds, a business owner and former public sector employee running as the GOP candidate in the state’s 3rd Senate district, self-published a book for business owners in 2014.

In it, she wrote, “I learned from other cultures on how they spend their money. Have you ever heard the term ‘Jew you down’? This culture has a reputation for not wasting resources.”

The book, “The Dreambiz Blueprint: 101 Business Tips on How to Develop and Operate Your Dream Business,” is not easily available online. The passage was reported Wednesday by reporter Jake Zuckerman and publicized by the Ohio Senate Dems caucus on social media.

The Reynolds campaign’s initial response, issued to the Columbus Dispatch, said the candidate had intended to spotlight “what she learned from the wisdom of the Jewish community and how they are reputable for building successful businesses with a foundation of solid money principles.”
WJRO Reports on Thousands of Cultural Objects Looted By Croatia during Holocaust
The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) last week announced the publication of an extensive report presenting a historical analysis and partial list of cultural objects looted from Jews and others by the Croatian fascists – the Ustaše – during the Holocaust and after World War II, that were nationalized by the Communist government and distributed to Croatian state institutions.

The report was completed in 2020, based on the archives of the KOMZA (Commission for the Gathering and Protection of Cultural Monuments and Antiquities) that were made accessible the previous year by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. It was researched and produced by Dr. Naida-Michal Brandl, Chair of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of Zagreb. Funding for the report was provided by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference). It lists more than a thousand objects that were taken from Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and families.

The report is now being released in cooperation with the Croatian government. It was originally scheduled to be released in 2020 but was delayed partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 earthquake in Zagreb. The Croatian Ministry of Culture has recently established an expert group on provenance research. A process for claims has yet to be established.

“This report is being released just weeks before the international Terezin Declaration Conference on Holocaust-era assets, and will serve as a powerful resource for Holocaust survivors and their families and the Croatian Jewish community who seek to pursue possible claims in the future,” said Gideon Taylor, WJRO’s Chair of Operations, and Mark Weitzman, its Chief Operating Officer.

“We are glad that the Croatian Ministry of Culture is doing the right thing by jointly releasing this report after many years of discussions. Although it has been nearly seventy-eight years after the Holocaust, it is particularly appropriate for Croatia to act now since Croatia is scheduled to assume the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) with its 35 member countries in 2023,” the WJRO officials said.
Australian private schoolboys are exposed for saluting Hitler, simulating sex acts on a train and telling female teacher they knew where she lived in horrific leaked document
Students from a Melbourne private school were sexually inappropriate in public and at school and sexually harassed and intimated a young female teacher, a leaked document has alleged.

The toxic culture among boys at St Bernard's College in Essendon emerged after independent interviews with staff members.

Teachers from the Christian Brothers catholic college detailed their concerns to an Independent Education Union of Victoria official, who compiled them into a 13-page report which has since been leaked.

The damning development is more bad news for under-fire Christian Brothers institutions after another school in the network was plagued by appalling student behaviour in May and their governing body was slammed in a report by KPMG two weeks ago.

In one instance a young female teacher feared for her safety after receiving threats from a male student who sexually harassed her, the Herald-Sun reported.

The teacher claimed the boy told her he knew the route she took home and correctly named the suburb she lived in after asking if she attended a gym there.

The same woman was subjected to comments about 'her looks' from another boy, who openly objectified her.

Another student was suspended for giving a Nazi salute while in class.

A swastika was etched into the teacher's whiteboard in the same classroom and only removed two weeks later.
False, antisemitic info on circumcision dropped from online cours
A dental assistant from the United Kingdom was asked by her workplace to attend an online course on child safety through Bupa, an international organization of dentists, and was exposed to antisemitic content.
"As part of the course, we learned about signs of abuse, and it was written that Jews circumcise girls - a fact that is not true and even antisemitic," the assistant, whose name has been withheld from publication, Maariv.

"I was shocked and posted it on the Jewish Britain Facebook group."

The Maariv reporter contacted the Bupa regarding this, and they responded: "We thank you for bringing this to our attention. The course was prepared by a third party and was not reviewed by us. We have now instructed that this offensive content be taken down. We apologize to those who were harmed by this."

"Antisemitism should not be passed over in silence"
The CEO of Fighting Online Antisemitism (FOA), Tomer Aldubi, commented on the case.

"Antisemitism of any kind should not be passed over in silence, both in the public space and in the online space, and it is appropriate that this case should also be dealt with severely," he noted.

Ben Shapiro and @Jordan B Peterson | Behind the Scenes in Israel

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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