Saturday, November 19, 2022

From Ian:

New coalition can give Temple Mount back to Jewish people - opinion
This absurd state of affairs, where Jews are openly discriminated against in Israel’s capital, is the result of years of government apathy of both the Left and the Right, and it is time for this to change.

Jewish visits to the Mount are limited to just four hours a day, five days a week. No similar restrictions apply to Muslims.

Jews cannot ascend the Mount on their Sabbath. Muslims can.

Jews are heavily discouraged from praying on the Mount, and there have been cases in which the police detained Israelis for saying a blessing before drinking water or reciting “Shema Yisrael.” Muslims, by contrast, can pray as they wish.

There is no moral, legal or philosophical justification for this prejudicial policy against Jews, which has no place in a free society.

To be fair, in recent years the government has allowed the number of Jews visiting the Mount to increase. During the High Holy Days last month, 7,130 Jews ascended the Temple Mount, including 4,673 during Sukkot. This marks an increase of 33% over the previous year. Similarly, on Election Day earlier this month, 378 Jews were permitted to visit the site, more than double the number the last time Israelis went to the ballot box.

But when compared to the tens of thousands of Muslim Arabs who attend Friday prayers on the Mount each week, these numbers pale in comparison.

Simply put, the Jewish people’s basic rights to freedom of worship and expression on the Temple Mount are being trampled underfoot in a manner unheard of anywhere else in the Western world.

The potential new coalition can change this
BUT THE coalition in formation has an opportunity to change this. As Tom Nisani, director of the Beyadenu activist group, recently pointed out, over half of the members of the new coalition government have themselves visited the Temple Mount, so they know firsthand about the intolerable situation that exists there.

It is imperative for the new government to move quickly to correct the steady erosion of Jewish rights on the Mount and find a way to enable those Jews who wish to pray there to be able to do so, while of course safeguarding freedom of access for all.

Denying Jews their elementary right to commune with their Creator on the Temple Mount for fear of offending others is nothing less than a stain on Israel’s democracy. And the sooner it is removed, the better.
Is it time for Italy to move its embassy to Jerusalem?
Rome and Jerusalem – perhaps no other pairing of capitals conjures up more history, grandeur, conflict, apocalypticism and simple, raw emotion.

The modern Western world would not exist as we know it today without the meeting and clash of these two capital’s respective societies and cultures.

It would result in the formation and rise of Christianity and Christendom, “Judeo-Christian” values, biblical inspiration and aspiration, the political history and order of Europe (as all its major royal houses would claim descent, and by extension legitimacy, from the House of David) and much more.

Jerusalem and Rome also ultimately serve as an example of reconciliation, partnership and mutual respect.

As such, modern-day Italy, more than any other country on earth, save Iraq (as the modern geographic iteration of what was once the non-Arab Kingdom of Babylon and eventually the Babylonian Empire), has a particular historic responsibility to move its embassy to the Nation of Israel’s 3,000-year-old capital.
Palestinians hail UN self-determination vote, vow to step up diplomatic campaign
Palestinian officials said over the weekend that the Palestinians have scored another “diplomatic victory” after the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the UN General Assembly approved a resolution in support of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

The officials said that the Palestinians are planning to step up their diplomatic campaign against Israel in the international arena in the aftermath of the results of the recent Knesset elections.

The draft on the right of self-determination was approved in a vote of 167 in favor to five against (Nauru, Marshall Islands, US, Israel and Micronesia), with seven abstentions (Cameroon, Kiribati, Guatemala, Paula, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Togo).

The vote comes days after the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee adopted a resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the illegality of Israel’s “occupation” on the grounds that it can be considered de-facto annexation.

The latest resolution was submitted by Egypt, in coordination with the Palestinians, on behalf of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). It is scheduled to be submitted for approval by the UN General Assembly in mid-December.

Introducing the resolution, the representative of Egypt said that the international community still falls short of operationalizing the basic right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, as they “continue to suffer under occupation.”

She said her group, the OIC, supports realization of this right through the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the “borders of June 4, 1967, with east Jerusalem as its capital.”


Palestinian Authority in danger of imminent collapse, Shin Bet chief warns Netanyahu
Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar warned about the danger of an imminent collapse of the Palestinian Authority and further deterioration of the security situation in the West Bank as a result during a meeting with prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu last week, according to Walla.

The Shin Bet and other organizations in the security system are concerned about the escalation of the security situation in the West Bank in the backdrop of the establishment of Netanyahu's emerging government.

Security bodies point to the growth of organizations such as the "Lion's Den," which are composed of young people who are not affiliated with any other organization, who do not remember the second intifada and its consequences, and who have easy access to weapons and targets in the West Bank.

This phenomenon, together with the disintegration of the Palestinian Authority and its loss of control over large parts of the West Bank, creates a concern for a significant security deterioration in the West Bank, the likes of which has not been seen in about two decades.

Knesset members Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who are expected to be senior members of the political-security cabinet, support the intensifying of the scope of IDF's activities in the West Bank, changing conditions for opening fire and increasing measures used against the Palestinian Authority.
Pelosi’s Presumed Successor Hakeem Jeffries Friend of Jews, Israel
Anyway, I went to Wiki (so you won’t have to) and discovered that Hakeem Jeffries is a good guy. He grew up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the son of a social worker and a substance abuse counselor. When he ran to the House of representatives for the first time from the 8th district (which included Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Mill Basin, and Coney Island in Brooklyn, South Ozone Park, and Howard Beach in Queens), he was endorsed by Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Councilman David Greenfield, and former Mayor Ed Koch. They and other New York City Jewish public officials attacked his opponent in the Democratic primary, Councilman Charles Barron, on his antisemitic statements and his support of Zimbabwe ruler Robert Mugabe and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

At a rally in July 2014, Jeffries said: “Israel should not be made to apologize for its strength.” Recalling his childhood in Crown Heights, he added that he knew from experience that “the only thing that neighbors respect in a tough neighborhood is strength.”

In December 2016, Jeffries condemned the Obama Administration for not vetoing United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 against Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. That was Obama’s final revenge against the man he loathed more than anyone else – Bibi Netanyahu (he whispered as much to Vladimir Putin during an open mic “faux pas”).

One curious fact: Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961; Hakeem Jeffries on August 4, 1970.
Rabbis call out State Department for double standard on Ben-Gvir and Palestinian terrorism
A coalition representing more than 2,000 American rabbis criticized U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price for what it described as a double standard on support for terrorism.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) on Nov. 14 called out Price’s comments on Otzma Yehudit chairman and Religious Zionist Party MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, who had attended a ceremony commemorating 32 years since Rabbi Meir Kahane’s assassination. Ben-Gvir, a former member of Kahane’s outlawed Kach movement, said at the memorial, “It is no secret that today I am not Rabbi Kahane and I do not support the deportation of all Arabs, and I will not enact laws for separate beaches, although it is certain that we will act and do everything to expel terrorists from the country for the sake of the Jewish character of Israel, for the settlements and its Jewish identity.”

Price subsequently said regarding Ben-Gvir’s actions that “celebrating the legacy of a terrorist organization is abhorrent.”

CJV Rabbinic Circle Chair Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer said in a statement, “Attending a memorial for a murder victim is hardly ‘celebrating’ terror, especially as Ben-Gvir carefully said that he did not agree with the deceased’s positions.”

“But more significantly, if the United States Department of State were genuinely concerned with support for terrorism, it would not be enhancing its relationship with the Palestinian Authority, much less providing funding that ends up indirectly financing its infamous ‘Pay to Slay’ program,” Gordimer said, referring to P.A. payments to the families of those killed, injured or imprisoned in the course of committing a terror attack in Israel.
The Israel Guys: America's Undisguised Hatred for Israel | The Israel Guys
Three Jews were killed in a terrorist attack in Israel this week. There have also been multiple statements from the US administration to Israel this week. All of them however, have been blatantly anti-Israel and one-sided. America thinks they can tell Israel who can serve in their government. They are trying to prohibit Israel from declaring sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. And when they respond to a terrorist attack, they urge “both sides to restore calm”.

America’s one-sided rhetoric towards Israel could not be more apparent. Find out all of the details on today’s show.




Clashes in West Bank’s Hebron During Jewish Celebration
The West Bank city of Hebron saw violent clashes on Saturday as Jewish Israelis spent the weekend in the city for an annual pilgrimage tradition.

Jewish Israelis reportedly marched throughout Palestinian areas of the city on Saturday morning, flying Israeli flags. In response, Palestinians threw stones at the Israelis.

Additionally, reports note that Israel Police and Border Police blocked roads leading in and out of Hebron, turning away those attempting to enter the city.

The Jewish Israelis were in Hebron to celebrate the reading of the Torah portion Chayei Sarah, which tells the story of the biblical figure of Abraham purchasing the Cave of the Patriarchs, located in Hebron, as a burial place for his wife, the matriarch Sarah.

Each year, thousands of Jews gather in Hebron to celebrate the Shabbat when Chayei Sarah is read.

In a separate occurrence on Friday night, one of the bodyguards of far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir was wounded in an altercation in Hebron. The guard was sent to a hospital for medical treatment with no immediate information on his condition being available.


PA’s Abbas lands in Qatar for World Cup kick off, amid outcry over travel costs
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Doha, Qatar on Saturday to attend the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup, as he faced backlash at home for the reported exorbitant costs of his trip.

Abbas and his entourage were welcomed at the airport by the PA’s Ambassador to Qatar Munir Abdullah Ghannam and Qatari businessman Sheikh Fahad Bin Faisal Bin Thani al-Thani.

WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, with a highlighted section dedicated to covering the daily activities of Abbas, did not report his trip to Qatar.

His trip followed an outcry at home over leaked documents purportedly showing the embattled leader traveling to Qatar with a large entourage of close family members and aids. The documents, which appeared earlier this month but were not independently authenticated, also showed hotel bills of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The papers first appeared on social media pages associated with Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip since ousting pro-Abbas forces in 2007.

Based in the West Bank, the PA has increasingly become unpopular over accusations of corruption, silencing of critics, and mismanagement that exasperated its financial crisis.


Bulgaria charges five people in connection with Istanbul blast
Bulgarian prosecutors have charged five people for supporting terrorist acts in connection with an explosion in central Istanbul that killed six people on November 13, the country's chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev said on Saturday.

Three men of Moldovan origin and a man and woman of Syrian Kurdish descent were detained by Bulgarian special police forces earlier this week following investigations and close cooperation with prosecutors in neighboring Turkey, Geshev told Reuters.

"Five people have been charged. The charges are in two groups - for supporting terrorist acts in another country, namely the attack in Istanbul, and for human trafficking," Geshev said.

"These people were mainly involved in human trafficking through the border (with Turkey) and smuggling," he said.

Prosecutors will ask a Bulgarian court later on Saturday to keep the four men in detention, while a different option will be sought for the woman in light of a health condition, he said.

Turkish prosecutors have already asked for some of the suspected accomplices in the blast to be extradited, Geshev added.

On Friday, a Turkish court ordered the pre-trial detention of 17 people suspected of being involved in the explosion, including the suspected bomber, who police identified as Syrian national Ahlam Albashir.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, which also injured more than 80 people on Istiklal Avenue, a busy and historic pedestrian strip.
US, France, Germany, UK Welcome IAEA Resolution Calling for Iranian Cooperation with Nuclear Probe
The United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (US+E3) on Friday welcomed an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors resolution calling for Iran’s “urgent” cooperation with an IAEA probe into Iran’s undeclared nuclear sites. The US+E3 originally introduced the resolution on Thursday.

“This resolution was adopted in response to Iran’s insufficient cooperation with the IAEA on serious and outstanding issues relating to Iran’s legal obligations under its Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement,” the statement from the four countries said. “Iran must provide technically credible explanations for the presence of uranium particles identified at three undeclared locations in Iran and clarify the whereabouts of the related nuclear material and/or contaminated equipment.”

The resolution adopted on Thursday is the second such IAEA board of governor’s resolution on Iran this year. Thursday’s resolution is more specific strongly worded than the first which was passed in June. Thursday’s resolution noted that further IAEA action may be needed so long as Iran fails to comply with its legal obligations.

In May, Iran described an IAEA report on the three undisclosed nuclear sites as “unfair” and the result of “pressure from the Zionists.”

Iran’s failure to meet its nuclear obligations has remained a fundamental stumbling block for the Biden administration’s efforts to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew from in 2018 – even as Iran’s suppression of domestic protests has led Robert Malley, US Special Envoy to Iran, to claim that return to the JCPOA is “not even on the agenda.”
Would-be assassin originally told to slit the throat of Israeli businessman in Georgia
Pakistani terrorist Amir Khan, who was sent to assassinate Israeli businessman Itzik Moshe in Georgia earlier this month, was originally supposed to assassinate the businessman by slitting his throat, Walla News reported on Saturday afternoon.

During the investigation into the 32-year-old would-be assassin, it was revealed that the original mission plan was changed after he refused to comply and demanded to be provided a firearm instead.

According to Khan, a 45-year-old man - known only as Sufian - with connections to international terrorist organizations and Iranian authorities entered Georgia ahead of him without any problems, and it is he who hired Khan to carry out the murder.

"I had two chances to do it...but I told him that I could not kill a person with a knife, and he got me a gun," the terrorist said in his testimony.

In the testimony, which was published across Georgian media, he described in great detail how he was recruited into the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and how he was sent to the capital, Tbilisi, to carry out the mission.

Among the suspects involved in the foiled assassination attempt is also a woman who is suspected of assisting in gathering intelligence information ahead of the assassination attempt. Additionally, a Pakistani citizen and two Iranian translators who are suspected of working as accomplices were also arrested during the initial stages of the investigation.

Now, in Georgia, the concern is rising that representatives of the IRGC, who are close to al-Qaeda, are moving freely into the country and are waiting to be activated in designated apartments without interference. Such an apartment was also used in the assassination attempt against Moshe.

Khan lived in such an apartment for a month with an Iranian agent, and only after weeks had passed did they reveal to him the details of the mission he had to carry out in Tbilisi.
Canada’s Spy Agency Investigating Iranian Death Threats
Canada’s spy agency is investigating reports from people who are living in the country who have received “credible” death threats from Iran, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) said in a statement.

The threats are “designed to silence those who speak out publicly” against Iran, the statement said.

CSIS is collecting information from people who experienced harassment and intimidation linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the statement said.

“CSIS is actively investigating several threats to life emanating from the Islamic Republic of Iran based on credible intelligence.”

The CSIS statement was first reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) on Friday.

The agency is working closely with Iranian-Canadian communities which have been “disproportionately” targeted, the statement said.

Iran‘s intelligence services have made at least 10 attempts to kidnap or even kill British nationals or people based in the United Kingdom regarded by Tehran as a threat, the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency said on Wednesday.


Op-ed: Another student government condemns Israel and endangers Jewish students
On Nov. 8, ignoring the strong objections of Jewish and pro-Israel students, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio passed a viciously anti-Israel resolution.

In response, CWRU’s President Eric W. Kaler correctly pointed out that “the foundation of this resolution is profoundly anti-Israel and antisemitic. Passing this resolution last night undermines the safety and comfort on our campus of members of our Jewish community. … Undoubtedly, it promotes antisemitism. A vote for this resolution is clearly a vote against Israel and aggression towards the Jewish members of our community.”

It is no coincidence that the resolution was authored by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). This group is part of a highly organized “network of hate” financed by organizations like al-Awda, which supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

The vote was conducted by secret ballot and, as CWRU’s Hillel put it, endorsed a resolution that “falsely smears Israel, Israelis and many Jews as anti-peace.” Hillel added that the debate before the vote “like so many before it here and on other campuses—rested on familiar and repeated antisemitic tropes.”

The USG openly ignored the voices of most of the student speakers. Hillel pointed out, “Of the 27 speakers who addressed the USG last night, 17 were proud Jewish students who advocated for their right to express their identities—including their deep connections to and support for Israel—without fear.”

The USG has a history of such behavior, and has failed even to condemn antisemitism on campus in general. This was despite the warning from USG Speaker Ethan Deemer that support for the anti-Israel BDS movement “will do nothing except create a hostile environment for Jewish students on our campus at a time when antisemitism is sharply on the rise in America.”

One Jewish student, who did not wish to be named, told CWRU’s student newspaper The Observer, “There is a direct correlation with antisemitism and a BDS bill or initiative on college campuses.” Separately, a Hillel representative pointed out that “at schools that have passed BDS bills, groups such as Report Campus Hate have discovered increased antisemitism. I have experienced this, having gone to a Jewish school where kids from the public school came and threw things at us—that is a real form of hate.”
Anger as hate charges against ‘Palestine Convoy’ pair are dropped
Campaigners have attacked a decision to drop hate charges against two men on the May 2021 “Convoy for Palestine”.

Mohammed Iftikhar Hanif and Jawaad Hussain had been charged with “using threatening, abusive or insulting words, or behaviour, with intent, likely to stir up racial hatred” while driving through North London during the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement that, after a review of the evidence, there is "no longer a realistic prospect of either defendant being convicted".

Nick Price, Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said that they know the decision is "disappointing", but insisted that prosecutors would not have been able to prove the cases against the two men.

Mr Price told the JC: "This was a shocking incident, and we know how disappointing this decision will be for the Jewish community.

“Throughout this case, we have worked hard with the police to identify those filmed and the extent of their involvement. However, upon reviewing the evidence it has become clear we would not be able to prove to a court that one of the two charged individuals was in the car at the time of the captured footage. We could also not demonstrate that the second person had participated in the conduct to the criminal standard.

“We will continue to work with the Jewish community to rebuild trust. Anyone who sees hate crime should report it to police. We will prosecute all cases where there is sufficient evidence to do so.”

This comes after the CPS dropped charges in July against two other men also accused of stirring up racial hatred on the same convoy, citing the same reason, meaning that no one is currently facing charges following the incident widely condemned across the country.


Waves of bomb threats hit Jewish schools across the US
In the latest wave of antisemitism to hit the US-based diaspora, Jewish schools and community centers around the United States have received bomb threats, forcing closures throughout the country.

At Jewish day schools in Texas and Pennsylvania, bomb threats were made to these institutions, forcing them to evacuate for student safety. This follows a consistent uptick in antisemitic attacks and comments in the US in recent weeks.

On Monday, while school was in session at the Austin Jewish Academy in Austin, Texas, a parent shared that an assailant had called the school to say there was a bomb in one of the hallways. Students were evacuated and the building was swept, but nothing was found.

In Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy was evacuated after receiving what school officials called "multiple concerning calls." The school was evacuated for hours. However, officials have reason to believe that this institution was not targeted for being Jewish.

Michael Balaban, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, told Forward that several schools across state lines received similar calls over a 30-minute period. Of the five contacted, only two were Jewish, leading officials to believe it was not an outwardly antisemitic attack.

The continued rise in antisemitism in American schools
School Watch initiative of the Israeli-American Council (IAC) has reported hundreds of percentage worth of antisemitic comments in schools. “I cannot remember the last time that there were so many cases of teenagers using the word ‘Hitler’ in American public schools,” IAC’s CEO Shoham Nicolet told The Jerusalem Post from his home in California.

There has been a rise of incidents in public schools overall, he said, adding that he thinks some of them may be credited to the antisemitic statements made recently by rapper Kanye West and basketball star Kyrie Irving.

The council president explained that most of the Israeli-American community sends their children to public schools and that this is exactly where the hate is coming from.
Munich Theater Cancels ‘Antisemitic’ Play
Following protests by German Jewish student groups, the Metropol-Theater in Munich, Germany has cancelled the production of “Birds of a Kind,” a play which critics allege teems with antisemitic tropes and Holocaust trivialization.

The cancellation comes less than a week after the Jewish Student Union in Germany and the Association of Jewish Students in Bavaria issued an open letter expressing dismay about “the extent of the antisemitism displayed in it” and calling for the theater to be defunded.

Written by Lebanese-Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad, “Birds of a Kind” tells the story of Eitan, a German-Jewish geneticist who falls out with his family after they disapprove of his falling in love with a Moroccan woman. The conflict, according to German culture writer Peter Jungblut, symbolizes a struggle “between Shoah survivors and their descendants, who do not want to let their identity be dictated by the concentration camp experiences of their ancestors.”

In other scenes Eitan’s grandfather says, “are they putting us in the oven now?” while moving through security checkpoints at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Israeli soldiers are described as “the news Nazis.”
First resolution recognizing contributions of Israeli-Americans introduced in Senate
Bipartisan members of the Senate’s Black-Jewish Caucus on Thursday introduced a historic resolution recognizing the contributions of the Israeli-American community in the U.S.

The measure, which was introduced by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), is the first resolution focused on Israeli-Americans. It stated that the values of the more than 800,000-strong Israeli-American community contribute significantly “to the welfare and diversity of the United States” and help strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and Israel.

The resolution cited numerous industries where Israeli-Americans have made a positive impact, including health sciences, pharmaceutics, disaster relief, astrophysics, mathematics, chemistry, aerospace engineering, biotech, agriculture and internet technologies.

It also applauded Israeli-Americans and Jews for advancing civil rights, equal protection and justice, particularly for the most vulnerable.






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