Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Dr. Nasser Lahham, editor in chief of the relatively moderate Ma'an News site which is not affiliated with any terror groups, seems to have a problem with Israelis.

When natural disasters happen, whether earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, or even polar depressions, beasts stop fighting, and animals stop fighting. Except for the Israeli occupation, which has degenerated to a lower degree than animals and corrupted the whole earth with its horrible moral decline. Today, I write without hesitation that Israel's decline and lack of laws has become a contagious virus that can spread to the rest of the world.

The people of Palestine, including the settlers, felt the earthquake on Monday, yet the occupation was blocking the roads in Hawara, Beit Rima and Beit Ummar. The world was racing to extend a helping hand to Syria and Turkey, and the occupation was carrying out a mass execution of young men in Aqabat Al-Jabr camp. All of humanity was mourning and respecting the thousands of victims of the earthquake, and Israel was literally writing in its press "there are no Jews among the victims in Turkey."

What dirt! What depravity! And what a stigma in the forehead of humanity!

Instead of offering aid to the Palestinians under its military rule, Israel, "the state of the Jews and God's chosen people," as they claim, began striking at all meanings of religion, morality, and honor. And prove that she is without religion, dignity, honor, or morals. Indeed, the mafia gangs have morals and red lines, but Israel is stripped of them.

Hate blinded the hearts of the Zionists, and blinded their insight. They became monsters who drank the blood of the victims and ate the flesh of the dead.

...Today, with this devastating earthquake that killed the victims and the innocent. No one expects Israel to actually send relief missions or aid to the victims because it is among the humanitarian groups. No and a thousand times no. Perhaps  these missions are for the Mossad or for some security conspiracy or political blackmail. But not for relief.

Israel is the scum of morals on earth. It cannot be believed that it contributes to the relief of any other people.

And I want to remind the liberals and the deceived, that the Palestinian Authority sent the Palestinian Civil Defense youth years ago to help Israel extinguish the big fire that broke out in the Damon Mountains. Indeed, with the testimony of the Hebrew press. Palestine firefighters were heroes in fighting the fire. And when Israel held a ceremony honoring the firefighters, it refused to grant the Palestinian firefighters passage permits to enter the Green Line!!

Has humanity heard or seen more despicable morals than this people!
I'm not copying all of his false examples of Israeli "immorality," which are all lies, but just pointing out:

There is nothing wrong with being relieved that no Jews are earthquake victims, just as Palestinians are following how many Palestinians have been killed in Turkey and Syria. (And there are Jews missing and apparently killed in Turkey.) 

Out of ten Palestinian firefighters who helped out in the Carmel fire disaster, due to a bureaucratic screwup, three of them did not get permits. Israel apologized 

Israel has been widely praised for its selfless support in the case of natural disasters. Lahham is so filled with hate that he simply cannot accept any examples of Jews acting nicely. They are simply hiding their evil!

And this is not a member of Hamas or Islamic Jihad. This is a mainstream Palestinian news editor. Compared to most other Palestinians, he would be considered a moderate.

If you want to know why there is no peace - it is because Palestinians are fed a steady diet of lies and hate their entire lives, across the board, from every source. Anyone whose only source of information about Israelis are Palestinian schools and media would of course hate them. 

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  • Tuesday, February 07, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Maria Dubovikova, "prominent independent analyst and media expert • researcher • RIAC expert • THE RUSSIAN • Ex Al Arabiya / Arab News Columnist" with tens of thousands of followers, has been pushing a conspiracy theory about the Turkey earthquake.

Israel knew about the quake ahead of time and only told her friends.

She removed the Twitter thread but I was able to reproduce it with her Telegram and the Google cache:

Israel was boasting that it has elaborated the system for predicting earthquakes with 80% precision. A week ago, the Western embassies were closed in Turkey, and the Westerners were advised to leave the country ASAP due to the "terrorist attack threat." 

Today, Turkey and Syria are hit with an extremely strong earthquake. 

My guess is that Israel has informed its western counterparts about the upcoming earthquakes. 

The Western supremacists are caring exclusively about their own precious lives, giving a shit about those who are considered inferior to them, those third-rate Arabs and Turks. “There is no need to inform them about the threat. Let them die! Who cares!”

How many lives would be saved, if people were aware of the upcoming threat.
If anybody — Israel, Western powers — was aware of the upcoming earthquake and didn’t urge Ankara and Damascus about it — that’s a crime.

Bearing in mind “coincidence” of the earthquake in Iran and Israeli drone attack. Then the closure of the Western embassies and a call to Westerners to leave Turkey prior to the earthquake. 

These are the dots. Connect them your own way.
This is...nuts. It has the same quality as the popular "Israelis warned NYC Jews not to go to work on 9/11" meme.

Yes, last year Israeli researchers claimed that they could predict an earthquake with 80% accuracy - but that was only within 48 hours of the event, not a week ahead.  And only antisemites would conflate all Israelis with the Israeli government. 

The warnings to embassy personnel came after the Quran burning in Sweden in late January.

Her claim that it is no coincidence that Israel's drone attack in Iran happened around the time of an earthquake is really unhinged. That would mean that the Israelis could accurately predict an earthquake days or weeks ahead of time - to within minutes.

And her Telegram channel also reproduces a map that implies that the US might have exploded nukes under Turkey to cause the quake.

When called out on this obvious antisemitism, Dubovikova said she was half Jewish and had a grandmother in the Holocaust. 

I guess she considers that a "get out of jail free" card.

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From Ian:

Turkish Leader Declares State of Emergency as Turkey-Syria Quake Death Toll Passes 5,100
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces devastated by two earthquakes that killed more than 5,100 people and left a trail of destruction across a wide area of southern Turkey and neighbouring Syria.

A day after the quakes hit, rescuers working in harsh conditions were struggling to dig people out of the rubble of collapsed buildings in a “race against time”.

As the scale of the disaster became ever more apparent, the death toll looked likely to rise considerably. One United Nations official said it was feared thousands of children may have been killed.

Thousands of buildings were toppled, hospitals and schools wrecked and tens of thousands of people were injured or left homeless in several Turkish and Syrian cities by the magnitude 7.8 quake – the deadliest in Turkey since 1999 – and a second one hours later.

Bitter winter weather hampered rescue efforts and the delivery of aid, and made the plight of the homeless even more miserable. Some areas were without fuel and electricity.

Aid officials voiced particular concern about the situation in Syria, already afflicted by a humanitarian crisis after nearly 12 years of civil war.

In a speech on Tuesday, Erdogan declared the 10 Turkish provinces affected as a disaster zone and imposed a state of emergency in the region for three months. This will permit the president and cabinet to bypass parliament in enacting new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms.

The government planned to open up hotels in the tourism hub of Antalya, to the west, to temporarily house people impacted by the quakes, said Erdogan, who faces a national election in three months’ time.

The death toll in Turkey had risen to 3,549 people, Erdogan said. In Syria, the toll stood at just over 1,600, according to the government and a rescue service in the insurgent-held northwest.
Analysis: Is Israel Ready for the Earthquake to Come?
Israel will face a major earthquake and likely in the not-too-distant future.

“History tells us that roughly every one hundred years there is a very large earthquake, of magnitude 6 or above, and every thousand years there’s a massive one, 7 or higher, along the Dead Sea fault,” warned Nadav Wetzler, an Israel Geological Survey seismologist.

The last big earthquake in Israel’s immediate region was in 1927, the 6.2 magnitude “Jericho Earthquake.” It killed hundreds of people, and destroyed thousands of buildings.

That was nearly 100 years ago. Is Israel ready for the next one?

“I would say partly ready, the government formed a commission to coordinate the responses of the different government agencies and ministries. We also have developed a system for early warning – but this is only good when the earthquake is already happening,” said Shmuel Marco, a professor if geophysics at Tel Aviv University.

An early warning system may help people scramble from buildings before it collapses, but too many of Israel’s buildings are vulnerable to falling down. A report by the state comptroller’s office last month said 600-thousand buildings in Israel are not strong enough to resist quakes, including most of the earthquake-prone Galilee region.

Buildings constructed before 1980 were not legally required to be built to withstand earthquakes, but of 1.5 billion dollars allocated to strengthen Israel’s older buildings since 2019, less than 2 million has been used in the seismically active north of the country.
Israeli aid plane, Iranian military plane side-by-side in Turkey
It’s not often that an Israeli flag is seen flying next to an Iranian flag, but as United Hatzalah of Israel’s earthquake relief team landed in Turkey on Tuesday evening, this rare event occurred, displaying how the global community had come together.

The aircraft was organized by the emergency service with El Al subsidiary Sun D’or in coordination with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Israeli embassy in Turkey, and consequently proudly displayed Israeli flags on the cockpit window.

United Hatzalah’s plane, carrying 25 emergency response personnel and 10 tons of medical and humanitarian aid, taxied into a slot at Gaziantep airport.

The parking spot placed the Israeli plane right next to an Iranian military plane, likely also on a mission related to the earthquake. As the Israeli plane sported flags, an Iranian flag was painted on the other craft’s empennage.

Countries put aside differences to help Turkey
On the right side of United Hatzalah’s plane, separated by one private aircraft, was a Qatari airforce McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. While Qatar’s relationship isn’t as antagonistic to Israel as Iran, it also has had an incredibly strained diplomatic history with the Jewish State.

A United Hatzalah team member said that it wasn’t uncommon in such missions that people that might otherwise be enemies would both work on the same field to the same objective — saving lives.
  • Tuesday, February 07, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Middle East Monitor reports:

The Egyptian Suez Canal Authority (SCA) on Friday denied reaching an agreement with an Israeli company to manage its services and decided to take legal action against those spreading the rumour.

A statement by the authority denied the news: "In response to the information that was circulated on some anonymous personal accounts on social media regarding the canal signing a contract with a company to manage its services through a 99-year contract."

The SCA statement came the day after an alleged contract was circulated on social media platforms, with those posting it claiming that it is a contract between the Egyptian government and an Israeli company to manage the canal's services. The controversy increased after the confirmation by Israeli journalist Edy Cohen.

Chair of the SCA Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie confirmed in a statement: "These rumours are completely and utterly untrue."

He affirmed: "Egypt's absolute political and economic sovereignty in managing, operating and maintaining the navigational facility of the Suez Canal. All contracts the authority has entered cannot affect Egyptian sovereignty in any way over the canal and all its facilities, which are protected by the Constitution."
Edy Cohen published several pages of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Suez Canal Authority and a fairly secretive consortium based out of  the UK called HAB & JPR Privee Group. 

The wording in the denial indicates what is probably going on.  It wouldn't be unusual for the Suez Canal Authority to contract out specific services to others, under strict conditions - companies do that all the time. It clearly would not affect Egypt's sovereignty over the canal. 

Also, there is a difference between a Memorandum of Understanding, which is like an agreement to make an agreement, and a legally binding contract. Most MOUs allow each party to back out of it under certain conditions. SCA's denials are of a contract, not an agreement. 

I have no idea if HAB & JPR Privee Group is really Israeli.

Assuming that Cohen's MOU is legitimate, I find it interesting that it seems to be written on World Bank stationery. 

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  • Tuesday, February 07, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
The United States has a very nice web page that shows how much foreign aid is given and the specific recipients every year.

Here's a detail of what the West Bank/Gaza page looked like in 2020:

The highlighted text says, "USAID redacted this field in accordance with the exceptions outlined in the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016."

I count about $90 million given to these anonymous Palestinian recipients since 2016.

Looking at the text of that Act, it appears that there are only two reasons to redact the names of the recipients:
If the head of a Federal department or agency, in consultation with the Secretary of State, makes a determination that the inclusion of a required item of information online would jeopardize the health or security of an implementing partner or program beneficiary or would require the release of proprietary information of an implementing partner or program beneficiary, the head of the Federal department or agency shall provide such determination in writing to the appropriate congressional committees, including the basis for such determination. 
(B) NATIONAL INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES.—If the Secretary of State makes a determination that the inclusion of a required item of information online would be detrimental to the national interests of the United States, the Secretary of State shall provide such determination, including the basis for such determination, in writing to the appropriate congressional committees. 
Could it be that the reason that some of the recipient names are redacted is because they would be threatened if it was known they were accepting aid from the US? Or perhaps some of the programs are "under the radar" grassroots peace initiatives, that the Palestinian Authority tries to quash as "normalization"?

Either way, it seems like there is a bit of money sloshing around without any transparency.

One other interesting note. In 2019, the Trump administration announced that it ceased all aid through USAID to the Palestinians. Yet somehow USAID still managed to send millions to the Palestinians in 2019 and 2020 - much less than during the Obama and Biden administrations, but not close to zero.

It seems that the "Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016" leaves a lot of wiggle room for non-transparency. 

(h/t Irene)

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Last night, another Palestinian under 18 who was a member of an armed group was killed - and he will be counted as one of the "children" Israel "murdered" this year.
Hamza Al-Ashqar, 17, was killed in Nablus while shooting at soldiers

As is often the case with child soldiers killed who had been recruited by terror groups, part of Palestinian media emphasizes that he was a "child" while the other part proudly mentioned that he was a "heroic fighter." It all depends on the audience and which narrative will incite more people to be angry.

Al-Ashqar was a member of the Lion's Den and apparently one of the Fatah armed groups. Fatah issued an obituary, "With more pride and esteem, the Fatah movement mourns in the camp of the new soldier, the martyr hero Hamza Amjad Al-Ashqar, who was assassinated by an Israeli sniper, while he was a frontman defending the soil of the homeland to join the planet of martyrs."

It is becoming more obvious that Palestinian terror groups are purposefully recruiting children to be killed, since the Western media rarely mentions that they are child soldiers. As far as so-called human rights NGOs, I have yet to see a single one of them condemn the recruitment of child members of terror groups. 

It is a winning formula, so why not recruit more teenage cannon fodder?

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Monday, February 06, 2023

From Ian:

How 'The Collective Voice of the Muslim World' Weaponizes the UN against Israel
OPEC and the OIC are infused with nearly incalculable wealth and most member states of the OIC have found themselves upbraided for questionable ethics.

One critic suggested: "If the OIC Summiteers are serious about the burning issues of justice, freedom and good governance, then they should schedule a special debate on the Transparency International's (TI) 2003 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which ranked 38 of the 57 OIC member nations in its latest chart of the corruption levels of 133 countries... [it] is dismal reading for OIC as it is an overall indictment of the failures of the OIC countries to grapple with the problem of corruption..."

The UN itself is certainly not above reproach in the corruption department, as evidenced, among other cases, by the "Oil-for-Food Program;" the extensive history of "food for sex" with children by "peacekeepers" who enjoy immunity from prosecution; or the trial of Chinese executive Julia Wang, who attempted to purchase an influential UN post.

One may wonder why Nicaragua, not an Islamic country, and with significant problems on its own home front, would trouble itself with submitting the motion. A cursory investigation reveals some significant motivation: "With the majority vote of the Sandinista Caucus, the National Assembly today approved the Loan Agreement signed between the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Republic of Nicaragua... The project, which has an estimated investment of 23 million dollars, of which the OPEC Fund will finance 20.5 million..."

The OIC even attempted to co-opt UN forces as a pretext for Islamic military support of Lebanon's offensive against Israel.

Returning to the pre-1967 lines -- simply the armistice lines from 1949 where fighting had happened to stop -- is nothing short of suicide for Israel; it would be virtually indefensible, and the UN and all of its sponsors are well aware of that.

It would seem... that protecting freedom of religion, outside of Islamic fundamentalism, is not of any particular concern to the OIC or what now stands mostly as its legitimizing but rapidly crumbling front, the UN. The collaboration between the OIC and UN is simply a pretext to twist international law -- and public opinion -- to their own purposes, whether they are promoting themselves or delegitimizing the State of Israel.
Fisking Mira Fox at the Forward on Jenin
I wrote a chapter in my book on the Jenin “Massacre” as the supreme example of Lethal Journalism turning into Own-Goal Journalism with Western demonstrators, at the news of invented Israeli massacres, cheering on Jihadi suicide terrorists who would soon attack them. Now, over two decades later, a journalist writing in the (Jewish) Forward presents a remarkably twisted account of what happened then in which she channels the Palestinian libels, in order to characterize what is happening now in Jenin.

When I first read the words of the apocalyptic Saudi theologian in 2001 about the intifada
it is the Zionist’s duty to fight for the opposing side

I thought, how ridiculous. What Jew, much less Zionist, would fight for the insane hatreds of apocalyptic Jihadis with their ambitions to conquer the world and their weapon of suicide terror? Well, here we are in 2023. And Jewish Own-goal Journalism is thriving at the Forward. (Don’t they have any fact-checkers?)
A controversial documentary upended the narrative on Jenin 20 years ago. Has anything changed since?
Last week’s violent killings in Israel and the West Bank echo events from decades ago
Two decades ago, during the Second Intifada, Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp. In the aftermath of the 10-day battle, Israel blockaded the camp for days, forbidding medical teams, journalists and a U.N. fact-finding mission from entering. But Muhammad Bakri, an Arab-Israeli actor, snuck into the camp with a camera, interviewing numerous residents.

Bakri did not slip into the camp during the fighting, but came (weeks) after to interview Palestinians (only). In the opening footage he dates the end of filming around June 23, 2002. Anyone who has actually seen the film would know these interviews were not during the fighting.
The resulting film, Jenin, Jenin, which Bakri released shortly afterward,

If several months later is shortly afterwards…
told the Palestinian side of what West Bank residents refer to as the Jenin massacre, painting a very different story — with a much higher civilian death toll — than the version from the Israeli government.

This formulation is strange and, as will be seen below, disinformative. The Western media, with the help of Human Rights NGOs, had been circulating the Palestinian claims of massacre for weeks. The Israeli narrative took time to take shape, and was widely ignored even after the evidence came to light. Also note the post-modern take: two versions, two stories, as if de facto, the evidence of honesty in the narratives were irrelevant.

And yet, the most outstanding trait of Bakri’s film was the extensive, consistent, pervasive, dishonesty of the “witnesses,” from the old man whom Israeli’s helped but claimed they shot at him in cold blood, to the head of the hospital who claimed the israelis shelled his hospital and denied them deliveries of food and medical supplies. All of this was refuted by subsequent documentaries including Pierre Rehov’s The Road to Jenin, and Martin Himmel’s Jenin: Massacring the Truth.

Chinese Spy Balloon vs. Gaza Attack Balloons

One poses an indirect threat, the other direct.

One spies, the other murders.

One merely watches, the other explodes.

One looks for information, the other seeks to kill.

One gathers intelligence, the other quashes it--everyone knows that Jews are smart.

One doesn't target a specific ethnicity, race, or religion, the other explicitly targets Jews.

One made a world leader hesitate. The other brings an immediate response whenever possible, in order to protect the children.

One isn’t interested in children per se, the other is especially so, targeting them in particular.

One doesn't look like a toy, and doesn't attract children, and even if it did, they can't reach it. The other specifically lures children to their deaths through the use of bright colors and proximity, children being close to the ground, with the colorful orbs well within reach.

One concentrates its efforts on government officials and those involved in defense, the other concentrates its efforts on those innocent of even the meaning of the words “government” and “defense.”

Both are an attack on freedom.

And both are just balloons.

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From Reuters:
The pro-Assad regime Al Watan newspaper on  Monday quoted a Syrian official denying reports it relayed a request for Israeli aid in the wake of the massive earthquake that shook the region.
Earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a request from Syria did arrive and that Israel was prepared to send tents and medical supplies and provide treatment for the injured.
Arabic media reports one of the denials:
The source said, "If Netanyahu had received such a request, it was certainly from his allies and friends in ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations."

The source added to the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan: "The Israeli occupation entity is the cause of woes, wars and tensions in the region, and it is the last one who has the right to talk about providing aid and assistance. It is disgraceful that Netanyahu exploits the catastrophe of the earthquake that struck Syria to mislead public opinion and cover up the expansionist and aggressive policies of the occupation." 


The highest priority of any government is to protect its citizens. If Syria is telling the truth now, it is saying quite clearly that hating Israel is a more fundamental tenet than saving people's lives.  

That's about as good a definition of antisemitism as there is. 

It is exactly the philosophy of BDS, who claim to want to boycott Israel at any cost (for anyone but themselves.) 

And just like BDS, the insistence that human lives are less important than having nothing to do with the Jewish state is couched in terms of - morality!

Isn't it strange that the rest of the world doesn't think this is strange? Syria and other Muslim nations having an obsessive hate of Israel is accepted as a law of nature. 

And, in some ways, that's also a good definition of antisemitism.

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From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: How Israel's experience with search and rescue can help Turkey - explainer
Israel has decades of experience in providing aid in the wake of earthquakes and natural disasters. It has provided support after earthquakes in Greece in 1953, in Mexico in 1985, and in Armenia, Greece and Turkey in the 1990s. More recently, Israel has also provided aid in India, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Nepal and Mexico.

One of the reasons that Israel is equipped to help in these disaster situations is because it has experts in search and rescue due to its own long experience having to deal with threats of conflict and natural disasters, including possible earthquakes.

The Jerusalem Post has, in the past, interviewed a number of members of Israelis who were involved in search and rescue efforts over the years, including members of Israel’s Home Front Command’s search and rescue unit. That report was published in 2021 in an article in the Post's Magazine called 'Saving Lives: Israel's search and rescue teams on frontlines worldwide.' Here are some key takeaways from that article and what it may mean for today's efforts in Turkey.

Israeli rescue efforts in Haiti
Israel assisted efforts after the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2020 after a large percentage of the city of Port au-Prince were either destroyed or damaged in the quake. This meant that any team arriving not only had to go around the destroyed area to search for survivors under collapsed buildings but that they also had to assist the high number of newly homeless and displaced people.

One key issue for those responding from international delegations is that there are opportunities for shared work, such as between experienced teams from the US, Israel and other places.

Key points learned from Haiti were the need to have information on the ground and locals who can assist. Having the necessary speed to set up a field hospital or other facilities is important, as is getting the right permissions, coordination and equipment. During the mission in Haiti, Israel established an operation on a soccer field near the airport.

Israel assisted more than a thousand patients in Haiti. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine based on Israel’s experience there noted that “the government of Israel dispatched a military task force consisting of 230 people: 109 support and rescue personnel from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Home Front Command and 121 medical personnel from the IDF Medical Corps Field Hospital. The force's primary mission was to establish a field hospital in Haiti.”
Over 2,300 killed as 7.8 magnitude earthquake rips through Turkey, Syria
A massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake centered in southern Turkey killed more than 2,300 people combined in that country and Syria early on Monday, toppling buildings and causing shockwaves felt across the region, including Cyprus, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Israel.

Emergency medical services in Turkey and Syria said that the death toll was expected to rise in both countries as hundreds of people potentially remained trapped under collapsed structures.

The quake struck just after 4 a.m. local time, 23 kilometers (14.3 miles) east of Nurdagi, Gaziantep Province, at a depth of 17.9 kilometers (11.1 miles), and was followed just over 10 minutes later by a 6.7 magnitude aftershock, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Just before 1 p.m. local time another powerful 7.5 magnitude quake struck 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) southeast of Ekinözü, Turkey, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), said the USGS.

Israelis reported feeling both tremors in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and throughout the North.

“On behalf of all citizens of Israel, I send condolences to the citizens of Turkey at this difficult time following the earthquake that struck our region. At the request of the Turkish government, I have instructed all the authorities to immediately prepare for the provision of medical and search and rescue assistance,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

“A request was also received to do this for the many who were injured in the earthquake in Syria,” added the premier, and therefore he “instructed that this be done as well.”
Operation Olive Branch: IDF launches rescue op after deadly Turkey earthquake
In the coming hours, 150 IDF rescue personnel will take off to Turkey to assist with the earthquake disaster response as part of Operation Olive Branch.

IDF Home Front Command foreign rescue chief Col. Golan Voch told a briefing of military reporters on Monday night, “We are ready to leave in the coming hours. We are a special small rescue staff of 150 specialists.”

But he said, “This is not the first Home Front Command foreign rescue mission. This is the thirty-first mission in 40 years.”

"A great opportunity to help our neighbors"
“We have the great opportunity to help our neighbors after hundreds of them were killed and thousands have been injured. This is a great disaster. We also have not experienced anything like this [recently] - the last big earthquake was 13 years ago. We will do everything we can to save Turkish citizens,” said Voch.

Next, Voch said, “Our intelligence has selected three locations where we can optimize our assistance.” All three locations are four hours or less from the airport.

Further, he said, “Our intelligence knows how to carry out excellent work and when we land [in Turkey], it will be clearer which areas we are servicing.”

The IDF colonel stated, “We are defined as an international search and rescue advisory group. Our size is viewed as significant. We are made up of one-third intelligence and logistics and two-thirds specialists in rescue, medical attention and engineering – so we have an operational focus.”

Asked if the IDF would set up a field hospital, Voch responded that the IDF could do so, but that so far the rescue team that is being sent is exactly what Turkey requested.

Massive earthquake in Turkey shakes eastern Mediterranean region

Syria appeals to Israel for help via Russia following devastating earthquake
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime sent Israel a “near unprecedented” appeal for aid following the severe earthquake that hit the country on Monday.

Israel received the request through Russia.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake centered in southern Turkey killed more than 2,300 people, according to the latest numbers. Of those, at least 771 dead and more than 1,000 injured were in Syria. In the areas under the control of Assad’s regime, 371 deaths were reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Israel will help Syria, as well as Turkey.

“I have instructed to send, at the request of the Turkish government, rescue teams and medical aid…. Since a request was also received for many victims of the earthquake in Syria, I have instructed that [aid for them to be extended] as well,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister noted that Israel helps in emergency situations across the world, and would certainly act similarly in its own region.

The aid that will be transferred to Syria will be in the form of humanitarian supplies such as medicine, tents and blankets. However, unlike with Turkey, where two aid delegations will be sent, no delegation will enter Syrian territory.

The IDF sent a 150-strong delegation to Turkey, including regular and reserve troops who specialize in providing emergency rescue services. The delegation, which was slated to arrive in Turkey Monday night, is being headed by Col. (res.) Golan Vach, commander of the IDF National Rescue Unit.
In first, Israel poised to officially partake in Syrian relief efforts following deadly quake
A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing at least 1500 people. Hundreds were still believed to be trapped under rubble, and the toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched mounds of wreckage in cities and towns across the area.

Hours after the enormity of the situation became clear, Israel's Foreign Ministry said it was prepared to aid Turkey. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel's security forces were ready to provide any assistance needed and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said a swift aid program was being prepared. Israeli search and rescue teams, including the experience IDF Homefront Command units, are already undertaking the necessary steps to arrive in the affected area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he "ordered to send, at the request of the Turkish government, rescue teams, and medical aid," adding that the rescuers will also operate in Syria "in light of requests made there." A diplomatic official confirmed that a "request from the Syrian side" has been made, paving the way for Israel's assistance, although the official did not make it clear who in Syria was in contact with Israel, and whether they represent the regime in Damascus or rebel-held areas. Regardless, if an Israeli rescue mission arrives there, it will have been the first time Israel operates publicly on Syrian soil in such a context.

President Isaac Herzog also issued a statement sending his condolences to Turkey's people. "On behalf of the Israeli people, I am deeply saddened by the enormous disaster that has befallen Türkiye following last night's earthquake. My condolences to President Erdoğan and the Turkish people for the loss of life and destruction of livelihoods," he tweeted. "The State of Israel always stands ready to assist in every way possible. Our hearts are with the grieving families and the Turkish people at this painful moment."

The EU and the UN also made a request to Israeli authorities. Currently, officials are working on figuring out the exact needs of the Turkish authorities, with a small relief team being dispatched as an advance contingent.

In Israel, while no injuries or fatalities were reported, people clearly felt the quake along the coast. Residents from Haifa in the north all the way down to Tel Aviv and Ashdod said the walls of their homes were clearly shaking.

"We were asleep but then the dog barked," Noam Amir, who lives in Kfar Yonah just north of Tel Aviv, said. "Usually, her barking means someone is at the door, but just after she had woken us up, the entire building started to move. It lasted a good few moments, long enough for me to understand that this is an earthquake, wake up my wife and kids, and then rush them to the safe rooms."

On both sides of the border, residents jolted out of sleep by the pre-dawn quake rushed outside on a cold, rainy and snowy winter night, as buildings were flattened and strong aftershocks continued.
Israel to provide Syria with blankets, tents, medicine after earthquake - report
Israel will deliver blankets, tents, and medicine to Syria, Israel's KAN news reported on Monday afternoon, according to a discussion that took place earlier among the political echelon.

This news follows a deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria overnight in which at least 2,400 people were killed and thousands more were injured.

A senior IDF official denied any government intention to send aid to Syria.

Syria's request was relayed via Russia to Israel's National Security Council. According to an Israeli senior official, if a request is made of Israel to receive Syrian wounded and provide medical care, it will be approved.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has instructed the IDF and the Defense Ministry to immediately prepare to provide emergency aid through the Home Front Command's international rescue units, he said in a statement on Monday morning.

"The security forces are ready to offer whatever assistance is required," he said. "The security system has gained a lot of experience over the years in dealing with disaster areas."
Syria in state of catastrophe after devastating earthquake
The Palestinian Arabs have alway been a bit fuzzy about their supposed origins. Their story seems to always be whatever hurts the Jews most.

For example, many now claim to be Jebusites, because the Hebrew Scripture says the Jebusites controlled Jerusalem before King David. There is no evidence of the Jebusite people outside the Jewish Tanach, and that same Tanach says that King David purchased the Temple Mount from them. 

Many Palestinians tell Westerners nowadays that they are Canaanites. I've even seen some point to the Kanaan family as proof. Too bad that family traces its origins to...Syria. (The Kanani family name has nothing to do with Canaan and comes from Saudi Arabia.)

Back in 1947, though, the famed Syrian diplomat (and later prime minister) Faris Khoury gave what was considered the history of the Palestinian people to the UN. 

And he said that they were Philistines. 

During the First Special Session of the GA, exactly one year before Israel was reborn, he told the UN General Assembly:

Let us see who the Palestinians are who are now called the Arabs of Palestine. It is a fact which so   of you may or may not know.
The Palestinian Arabs are the descendants of the same inhabitants of that country of forty centuries ago who fought in the first campaign which the Jews waged against Palestine in the fifteenth century before Christ. In the Bible, they are called the Philistines. After about the thirteenth century, they adopted the Arabic language, which was later replaced by the Syrian language, a language closely related to the former. These people have not changed. They are the same people who were living there then. They have been there for forty centuries—since prehistoric times.

....The Jews remained for a very short time in Palestine. They occupied the eastern portion of it. The western portion of Palestine—and the best part of it—was still occupied and held by the Philistines, the remote fathers of the present people of Palestine.
In 1947, the most convenient origin story for Palestinian Arabs (note that Khoury never called them "Palestinians") was not that they were Canaanites, but Philistines. This was attractive for two reasons: one is that the Philistines fought the invading Jews, and the other is that the Philistines were not completely defeated by the Jews.  (Being defeated by the Assyrians and Egyptians is not nearly as offensive.)

When a people change their own origin story to whatever is politically convenient, it indicates that all the origin stories are fiction.

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From the official Palestinian Wafa news agency:
Five Palestinians dawn Monday were shot dead by the Israeli military in Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, adjacent to the occupied West Bank city of Jericho, according to medical sources.

A sizable Israeli force barged its way into the refugee camp, triggering confrontations.

The heavily-armed soldiers opened fire towards local young men, killing five. 

 The Hamas-linked Felesteen says things a little differently in Arabic:

This morning, Monday, five resistance fighters from the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement " Hamas ", were martyred, during the occupation's storming of Aqabat Jaber camp, south of Jericho.

Outside the PA official media, no one is even pretending that the dead were anything but terrorists in Arabic. Here is a cartoon showing that their blood is watering new flowers of terrorists:

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JNS reports:
Israel’s Cabinet voted on Sunday to establish a new community along the border with the Gaza Strip.

The future town, to be named Hanun, will be located in the Sdot Negev Region and eventually be inhabited by some 500 families.

“The establishment of the community is further evidence of the resilience of the [citizens living in the] ‘Gaza envelope’ and the power of the State of Israel. We’re proud to build up the Land of Israel and we’re proud to strengthen settlement in all parts of our land,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Hamas calls Israel building a community within the Green Line a "dangerous escalation"  - and threatened it:
The Hamas movement confirmed that the continuation of the Zionist occupation government with its aggressive settlement policies in our land, the latest of which was its announcement today, Sunday, of building a settlement near the Gaza Strip, constitutes a dangerous escalation that will not bring the settlers security or stability, and will not grant the occupation legitimacy or sovereignty over our land.

In a press statement, today, Sunday, Hamas stressed that the occupation government is solely responsible for its disregard for settling settlers near the Gaza Strip, and for putting them in danger, and it bears full responsibility for its settlement escalation throughout the occupied West Bank.

 The movement called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility in curbing those racist occupation policies that threaten peace and security in the region.

The English announcement stressed "colonialism" while the Arabic one (above) directly threatened the community.

Just more proof that it isn't the "occupation" that Palestinians are upset at - it is Israel's existence. 

And this is a story that Western media still barely reports.

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Sunday, February 05, 2023

With the announcement last week that Israel and Sudan plan to complete a signed agreement this year, Sudanese media has been discussing the pros and cons of normalizing relations with Israel.

Here's one that is very supportive by Salah El-Din Awdah:

And with logic we speak; And logic does not know the language of emotion; Rather, it is the language of the mind. And this language we respond to those who reject normalization.

Whether with Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, or the Emirates, finally with Sudan.

From a religious standpoint, there is nothing that precludes the conclusion of peace treaties with the Jews. Our Holy Prophet himself did it before.

And from a political point of view, every treaty is possible with any side; Politics is the art of the possible.
From a moral point of view, there is no crime in such a step.

Nor can we Sudanese  be more Palestinian than the Palestinians. The Palestine Liberation Organization signed the Oslo Accords with Israel And that during the life of its late leader, Arafat.

My attitude towards the Jews is not new. 

I have praised their democracy as opposed to our government. I have said that they have a million reasons to be proud of it; they describe it as an oasis in the middle of the desert, a democratic and rustic oasis, in the midst of a totalitarian arid desert.

It is strange that among the things that these rejecters blame Israel for is its killing of the Palestinians. They do not blame Islamic regimes for the same thing. 

Israel kills those it considers its enemies and does not kill its people. As for these Muslim regimes, they kill their own people....even killing  because of a veil, as in the Iranian tragedy of Mahsa. Or because of a protest, as in Syria. Or because of a social grievance, as in Al-Bashir’s Sudan. Or because of opposition to the government, as in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Or because of a political dispute, as in Abdel Nasser’s Egypt.

Those who oppose any agreement with Israel belong with all these killers. They are either Baathists, Nasserites, or Bashirites or even Iranians, as the mullahs of Iran arm their people and kill Mahsa without her veil.

Then there is an argument: What do we gain from the relationship with Israel? As if this Israel is a charitable organization and  not a country like the rest of the world. 
We respond to their question with a counter- and logical question: Why do we not ask such a question when establishing a relationship with any other country? Are relations between countries based on this condition?

Welcome to the Jews!

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From Ian:

David Collier: Jerusalem, dead Jews – and a history of media excuses
On Friday 27 January 2023, at about 8:15pm, a Palestinian terrorist murdered seven people outside a synagogue in Neve Yaakov, a neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

This was a cold-blooded, inexcusable, and targeted terrorist attack against innocent civilians. Yet whenever Jews are murdered just for being Jews – the media has a long history of twisting events or making excuses for the terrorists that set out to kill them.

This is the kind of reporting the recent massacre has seen:

Jerusalem synagoge massacre in January 2023
The New York Times runs with a ‘fear of escalation’, using the slaughter of Jews as a means to attack the current Israeli government. In another example of twisted reporting, CNN writes about the Israeli army action against Islamic Jihad terrorists that took place the day before – without even mentioning the targets were radical Islamic terrorists belonging to proscribed terrorist groups. An unforgivable description of ‘tit-for-tat’, equating Israel defending itself, with the brutal slaughter of Jews outside a synagogue.

Media excuses
Following this attack we even saw stories about the terrorist’s grandfather, who may have been killed by Israelis 28 years ago. All in an attempt to turn the finger of blame for the killing – back on to the Israelis themselves. When Jews die – it is the Jews fault.

None of this makes sense. Just two months ago on November 23, there was a twin bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem that killed two Jews. What did that have to do with the Israeli action in Jenin on January 6? Or the killing of Khairy Alkam in 1998?

But when Jews die, the excuses are always rolled out. Let me use attacks in Jerusalem to travel back in time to show you what I mean.

Please note – these are only provided as a few examples. There are 100s of incidents not listed below, and 1000’s more attacks that were not in Jerusalem.

On 8 November 2014, two terrorists entered a synagogue, in the Har Nof neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and attacked those praying with axes, knives, and a gun. Five died instantly, another died a year later from his injuries. The BBC reported on it by spending time talking about Israel’s ‘harsh’ response and ‘weeks of unrest’ (the tit for tat excuse again). What was even worse was the analysis beneath their report:

Personally, I would have thought that a mention of extremist Muslims carrying out 100s of ‘Islamist terror attacks’ globally would form part of any rational analysis in 2014, but that was too much to expect from the BBC. Instead, we are told that there is a long standing tradition in Jerusalem, and religious Jews are trying to change it. Ergo, the finger of blame over dead Jews is once again pointed at the behaviour of the Jews themselves.
The Queering of Antisemitism
Some years ago, I was the target of a series of antisemitic, homophobic, and anti-Zionist hate crimes on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University, where I teach. Aside from the death threats and property defacement, what troubled me most was how authorities and colleagues only acknowledged the homophobic part of the crime. Despite my protestations, the anti-Zionism was erased and the antisemitism, which was not subtle—a swastika drawn on my car with mud—was severely minimalized. On college campuses these days, LGBTQ concerns (as well as racial ones) always count. Anti-Zionism never does, and antisemitism only when it occurs alone—not in relation to other forms of social animus.

This series of hate crimes against me took place—in a way I have never found coincidental—during one of the periodic eruptions of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Several days later, I again found my office door defaced, and death threats left on my office telephone. One faculty member I knew who had read about the hate crime on the front page of The New Haven Register rushed to empathize, calling me the victim of “the homo-hating patriarchy.” I winced at my colleague commiserating with me in an ideological language that I knew targeted me in other ways.

As a lesbian Zionist academic, I have felt my once-solid alliances shatter, and my beloved communities of belonging descend into warring camps. Over the past few decades, as the academic field of queer studies has become more visible and influential, some of its leading proponents have pushed the idea that opposing Israel’s existence is a natural position for gays and lesbians to adopt. But, of course, it is not at all obvious why the progressive academics I once considered allies, who see themselves as champions of LGBTQ rights, have come to regard Israel—which has a sterling record of civil rights for gay people, ranging from housing and workplace protections to adoption and inheritance rights—as the “hetero-patriarchal,” homophobic, and “homo-nationalistic” enemy of queers.

The fact that the academic notion of queerness and hostility to the Jewish state are now virtually synonymous is largely the accomplishment of a small group of postmodern leftist scholars, the most prominent of whom is Judith Butler. It is therefore worth examining the ideas expounded by Butler and others in her camp, and the effects they have had on universities and the broader political culture of the left, to understand my own sense of vulnerability and isolation.

As the academic field of queer studies has become more visible and influential, some of its leading proponents have pushed the idea that opposing Israel’s existence is a natural position for gays and lesbians to adopt.
JPost Editorial: Decision to remove Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee was overdue
What makes Omar particularly dangerous is that while she spews blatant antisemitism, she pretends not to be an antisemite. That is what she did earlier this when she defended previous comments she made that were criticized for their antisemitic overtones by claiming she was not aware that insinuating that Jews wield influence or power was a form of antisemitism.

"I certainly did not or was not aware that the word ‘hypnotized’ was a trope. I wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money. That has been a very enlightening part of this journey," Omar told CNN's Dana Bash when asked what she has learned from her time in Congress.

The message that Congress sent this week by ousting Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee sends an important message that this type of rhetoric will not be tolerated and that there is a price to pay for antisemitism.

It also comes at a crucial time – when antisemitism is on the rise and on the heels of one recent report, for example, showing that 2022 saw a significant increase in antisemitic hate crimes throughout New York in particular and the US in general. In the Big Apple, for example, attacks on Jews reportedly went up by 41 percent last year.

In another report, the School Watch initiative of the Israeli-American Council (IAC) has reported a rise of hundreds of percents of complaints on behalf of Jewish children on antisemitism in schools.

Second Gentleman Douglass Emhoff wrapped up visits this week to Germany and Poland where he held meetings to discuss ways to battle antisemitism. “Let me be clear: words matter,” Emhoff said last month. “People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud, they are screaming them. We cannot normalize this. We all have an obligation to condemn these vile acts. We must not stay silent. There is no either or. There are no two sides. Everyone must be against this.”

Emhoff is right and that is what Congress showed by removing Omar from the prestigious committee. We hope the lesson will be learned.
Lots of Jew-hate this weekend in Arabic language news media (defined as such by Google News.)

The Palestinian Wattan site says that "we do not deny the truth of the Holocaust" but adds a caveat: "Regardless of the issue of the Zionist exaggeration of the victims of the Holocaust in order to win the sympathy of the world and the support of the Zionist state..." The article also rails against Holocaust education in UAE schools, saying that Israel's treatment of Palestinians is at least as bad as the Holocaust and should be taught together with it, at the very least.

Pan-Arab Laa Media also has a lengthy article about the Holocaust, saying that it was exaggerated, that Jews use it to force the world to do their desires, and that the Holocaust deniers who are telling the real truth are being persecuted.

Jordan's Alsaa.net says that any nuclear war will not affect the Arab countries near Israel. The Quran promised that the Children of Israel would gather in their land, and that prophecy is being fulfilled by Israel. Therefore, the Muslims will destroy the Jews by conventional weaponry, because that it the only way that the other Quranic prophecy will be fulfilled, that trees and rocks will tell Muslims that a Jew is hiding behind them so they can be killed, 

Al Taghyeer (Sudan) denies that Arab countries were ever antisemitic, and explained that their persecution of Jews was simply anti-Zionism: "The Jews were part of the social fabric of most Arab countries and Islamic empires, and they were not burned or exiled from their countries. [That is a pretty low bar.] Hostility to them escalated after they were promised to establish an alternative homeland for them in Palestine, in the famous Balfour Declaration. The intense hostility towards them as Jews emanated from two different directions, one of them from the leftist Arabist movement and the other an Islamic Brotherhood movement, despite the hostility between them, but they were united in this hostility."

Sudan's Sudanile says that the reason not to normalize with Israel has little to do with its treatment of Arabs(since Arab governments treat their own people at least as badly.) No, the reason not to have relations with Israel is "because God commanded us not to be loyal to the Jews" - the Quran says Jews hate Islam so therefore Muslims altogether shouldn't normalize relations with Israel. 

Also, a followup to the story about a book at the Cairo International Book Fair with the antisemitic cover

The book was withdrawn from the fair, and the publisher says this was because of pressure from Egyptian authorities. A small firestorm of criticism ensued on social media, and the publisher reinstated the book to the fair.

Observers believe that the entire controversy was engineered by the publisher to gain publicity for the book, pointing out that if the Egyptian government wanted to ban a book, it would never be returned to the shelves. 

In this case, antisemitism was the main selling point of the book.

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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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