Monday, January 23, 2023

From Ian:

From the River to the Sea, Palestine is already free
As Herodotus knew, the Philistines occupied a relatively small portion of the Land of Israel consisting of five city states: Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast, and Gath and Ekron a bit further east. And In fact, the area occupied by the Philistines was collectively termed Philistia. But Herodotus applied the name Palaestina to the entire region he described as being located between Phoenicia in the north and Egypt in the south, and which he referred to as the “land of the circumcised” (which the Philistines notably were not). In short, Herodotus applied the name Palaestina to the entire land of Israel.

One would expect that Herodotus had a compelling reason to call the entire Land of Israel by the term “Palaestina”. And, indeed, there was a compelling reason, and that reason wonderfully and absolutely confirms the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.

As a historian and geographer, Herodotus was very familiar with the inhabitants of the Land of Israel, and their stories and history. And a key story is that of the Patriarch Jacob wrestling a man/angel all night, before encountering his brother Esau. Jacob emerged from that wrestling match victorious, and the man/angel gave Jacob a new name – Yisrael (Israel) – “because you strove with G-d and man and prevailed”, and he blessed Jacob/Israel (Genesis 32:25 – 30). Yisrael/Israel means the one who wrestled/strove with G-d.

That wrestling match and subsequent new name were so pivotal that they redefined Jewish identity forever. From then on, the Jacob’s descendants would be known as Bnei Yisrael -- the Children of Israel; and the promised land became known as Eretz Yisrael – the Land of Israel.

(Even today, as we merit to see the ongoing ingathering of the Jewish exiles as promised by G-d, the name chosen for the new Jewish state is Medinat Yisrael - the State of Israel.)

The importance and meaning of that biblical event was not lost on Herodotus, and is the key to his coining the name now devolved to “Palestine”:

The Greek word for wrestler is Palaistis, and Herodotus called Eretz Yisrael “Palaistine” – the Land of the Wrestler (Jacob/Yisrael/Israel). Palaistine is simply a Greek translation of the Hebrew name “Eretz Yisrael”, the Land of Israel.

It is time to set the record straight and jettison the false linkage between Palestine and the Philistine invaders. Palestine is an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew name Eretz Yisrael. It actually constitutes an ancient acknowledgement that the Land of Israel belonged to its Jewish inhabitants; that it never contained an ancient so-called “Palestinian” people. The so-called 'Palestinians' of today are merely Arab invaders who came not so long ago.

And, ironically, every time the anti-Israel world uses the term “Palestine” they are unwittingly confirming the connection of the Jews to the Land of the Wrestler, to the Land of Israel.

From the river to the sea Palestine is already free, and with G-d’s help may we soon merit to see the return of the rest of the Land of Israel that lies on the other side of the Jordan river.

Eugene Kontorovich: Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Political Appointments
Israel’s Supreme Court last week invalidated the ministerial appointment of Aryeh Deri, leader of one party in the new governing coalition. The ruling didn’t even pretend to be interpreting Israel’s Basic Laws, which lay out the basic structure of government. The Knesset had specifically passed a law authorizing someone in Mr. Deri’s situation (he had pleaded guilty to criminal charges) to hold cabinet office. But the court said it would be “unreasonable” for Mr. Deri to be a minister.

In other words, it canceled the prime minister’s appointment of a cabinet member on grounds that it was technically legal, but gross—a kind of impeachment by judiciary.

The new government’s proposed judiciary reform has provoked pushback from the Biden administration and others on the ground that it threatens the rule of law. This case is a timely illustration that the opposite is true. No judiciary in the world has as far-reaching powers over government as Israel’s. The court assumed these powers in recent decades without authorization from lawmakers or a national consensus, and there is no reason they should be unalterable.

Judicial review—the ability of a court to declare that a law violates a country’s constitution—is an American invention. Israel doesn’t have a constitution. The court assumed that power in 1995, when it proclaimed that the Knesset had given it the power to strike down laws. The 1992 law under which the court claimed that authority passed 32-21. A majority of the 120-member Knesset didn’t show up to vote, not having known the court would later claim the law as a quasi-constitution.

This was only one step in the court’s power grab. It gradually eliminated all restrictions on justiciability and standing, allowing it to rule on any issues in public life whenever it chooses, without the constraint of lower-court proceedings or fact-finding. It employed the doctrine of “reasonableness” as a free-standing basis to block government action, including the government’s makeup. And the court has claimed authority to decide whether any new Basic Laws, or amendments to old ones, are valid, ending the charade that it is subordinate to law.
Lapid calls for presidential committee to shape ‘balanced’ judicial reforms
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid has called on President Isaac Herzog to set up a committee that will recommend a “balanced” plan to reform the judiciary.

“I proposed to President Herzog that he form a presidential committee to offer a reasonable recommendation to improve the judicial system and find the proper balance between the legislative and judicial branches,” said Lapid on Monday. “President Herzog is considering the proposal. I hope and believe the committee will be formed and will prevent the destruction of our democracy and the terrible division among the people of Israel.”

The comments come against the background of a political battle around the government’s judicial reform plan, which aims to curtail what it says is judicial overreach. The plan would give the Knesset the ability to overturn court decisions that cancel laws, allow elected officials greater influence in selecting judges, and reduce the power of legal advisers attached to government ministries.

Lapid earlier this month described the prospective judicial reforms as an “extreme regime change” and vowed to continue fighting in streets across the country in “a war over our home.”
Jerome Marcus: A 'democratic revolution' against a court with unlimited power?

Saudi Arabia Isn’t What It Used to Be
Surveying the major changes that the Saudi kingdom has been undergoing in the past few years, John Hannah urges American policymakers to find ways to support the country’s progress. Instead, he writes, they have become too fixated on specific misdeeds to appreciate what’s happening:

By all means, press Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and the Saudis on the need to limit the worst excesses of a political system that, after all, remains an absolute monarchy, especially when it comes to the all-too-frequent mistreatment of dual U.S.-Saudi nationals. Don’t back away from the role that human rights and democratic values have long played in U.S. foreign policy. Just don’t let it blind you to the unprecedented and historic process of economic, social, cultural, and religious liberalization that is transforming one of the world’s most important midsized powers. It’s a transformation that promises to benefit not just tens of millions of Saudis (especially the more than 60 percent of the population under age thirty-five) but also Middle East security and U.S. national interests more broadly.

Less than a decade ago, my main impressions on visiting the kingdom were of a sullen, bleak, and xenophobic populace of unproductive subjects, living off unearned government largesse, foreign labor, and a steady diet of religious intolerance. Fast forward several years, and there’s a palpable sense in Riyadh of dynamism, energy, and future possibility. The private sector is expanding; young people—especially women—are entering the workplace in record numbers, starting businesses, and being held accountable for their performance. The country is opening itself to the rest of the world in terms of tourists, commerce, and cultural influence in ways never before seen.

Over the past five years, Mohammad bin Salman has . . . incarcerated radical clerics preaching violence. Extremist madrassas, both at home and abroad, have been defunded. Any Saudi support to foreign mosques and organizations must now be approved by host governments.

[T]he Saudi crackdown on extremism has also been accompanied by one of the world’s most ambitious programs of domestic reform as well as a historic new willingness to support the normalization of relations with Israel. Add it all up, and it makes the growing chorus of voices that appear single-mindedly focused on shunning, punishing, and (however inadvertently) driving the Saudis into the arms of Washington’s most dangerous great-power adversaries not just shortsighted but harmful.
What are the Prospects for Normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel?
According to sources in the Palestinian Authority familiar with the secret contacts between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has a list of conditions that will lead to a political breakthrough in relations with Israel.

Israeli commitment not to annex territories in Judea and Samaria.
Maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and giving Saudi Arabia a foothold in the holy compound.
Israeli steps to improve the daily life of Palestinians in the West Bank.
An Israeli commitment to work with the U.S. administration and Congress to approve the sale of advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia, including aircraft.
Creating a political horizon for the Palestinians based on the two-state principle based on the Arab Peace Initiative from 2002.

The elderly King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, holds a much more rigid position than his son, the Crown Prince. He believes a normalization or peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia should only be signed after a political settlement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

At this time, there is no indication of progress in the secret contact between Israel and Saudi Arabia. During the World Cup games in Qatar, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said that normalization between the two countries requires more time.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told Bloomberg News on January 19, 2023, “True normalization and true stability will only come through… giving the Palestinians a state,”

Israel trusts the pragmatism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is considered the strongest man in Saudi Arabia and has proven that he has a political vision and the ability to march the kingdom toward progress. Prime Minister Netanyahu has also demonstrated his ability to achieve a breakthrough in Israel’s relations with the Arab world, as evidenced by the Abraham Accords.

But, senior Saudi officials emphasize that Israel must make real progress in its relations with the Palestinians.

While the internal Palestinian division continues and the battle for succession at the top of the Palestinian Authority increases, political energy must be invested in the practical possibilities for achieving progress in Israel’s relations with Arab countries and focusing on relations with Saudi Arabia. The possibility of achieving a political breakthrough exists, and a creative way – preferably with American involvement– can be found to mediate the differences in positions between the two countries.
MEMRI: Saudi Journalists: We Must Promote A Modernized Shari'a That Reflects The True Spirit Of Islam As An Answer To The Extremist Model Presented By The Taliban
A number of articles recently published in the Saudi press criticize the extremist model promoted by the Taliban in Afghanistan and by ISIS and the movements of political Islam. This model, they argue, does not reflect the true spirit of Islam and is based on a misguided implementation of the Islamic shari'a. It results from decades of indoctrination that promoted Islamic jurisprudence suited to past eras, before the age of progress and prosperity in the Muslim world. The articles add that the extremism of these movements reflects an "ideological crisis" in Islam, and that there is therefore an urgent need to enact reforms in order adapt the Islamic shari'a to the modern age and foster a spirit of tolerance and love of life.

The following are translated excerpts from these articles.

Saudi Journalist: The Taliban's Islamic State Model Only Oppresses Women And Produces Jihad Fighters
In a sarcastic article in the daily 'Okaz, columnist 'Abdallah Bin Bakhit writes that ISIS, the Taliban and the organizations of political Islam espouse a misguided model of the Islamic state that, instead of promoting progress, only oppresses women and produces jihad fighters. This model, he adds, is the result of the extremist ideas that have been promoted by preachers in the Muslim world for decades. This, he says, is why Al-Azhar, the supreme religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world, refrained from accusing ISIS of heresy. If it did, it would have been forced to direct the same accusation at many other movements and preachers.

Bin Bakhit wrote: "I was glad when Al-Azhar refused to accuse ISIS of heresy. Many intellectuals protested and condemned this [decision], and some even accused this venerable religious university of hatching conspiracies. [But] if we consider the issue in depth, we will see that Al-Azhar took the right decision. It did not find anything in the conduct of ISIS that justified accusing it of heresy. All the decisions taken [by ISIS] and all their actions on the ground conform to the religious rulings we have constantly been hearing about for 40 years. Al-Azhar refrained from accusing ISIS of heresy because this would have meant directing the same accusation at all those who took to the pulpits to preach Islam in the era of the Islamic Awakening that spread through the Arab countries [in the late 20th century].[1] ISIS realized the vision of the [Islamic Awakening] movement in practice and to the letter. They implemented everything they learned from the books of tradition and everything they heard from the senior clerics. Their problem was that they implemented it too soon. They announced [their state] before they had the necessary strength, and the world pounced on them and defeated them. Nobody wants to remain on the losing side, [so] our honorable clerics distanced themselves from [ISIS], although before this they used to provide [ISIS] with funds and fighters and pray for it with all their hearts.

"I was not among those who yearned for the complete disappearance of ISIS. I wanted the world to provide it with territory to establish a state that would implement the shari'a, [the kind of state] that all the organizations of political Islam have promised [to establish] and which all the Muslim peoples have been yearning for. Whenever one of our honorable preachers is asked why the Muslim states are not leading the world, he ascribes this to the fact that we are not implementing the true Islam. Thankfully, the world continues to turn and the dream is now about to come true, because, after the world deprived ISIS of the honor of implementing the shari'a, history gave us the Taliban to perform this duty… Let's wait and see how they implement the shari'a and how this affects the development, prosperity and welfare of the Afghan people and guides the entire world to the right path.
EU foreign ministers to host Palestinian PM as they seek better ties
The European Union's council of foreign ministers is set to host Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh for lunch on Monday when it holds its monthly meeting in Brussels.

"We will discuss how to engage more with the Palestinian Authority," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters prior to the meeting.

"We will discuss how to engage more with the PA and the situation on the ground, which is worrisome," he added.The conversation comes as the EU has expressed its concern over the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government.

UK group slammed after using Israeli MKs in pro-Palestinian adverts
The pro-Palestinian UK-based Europal Forum group has launched a new campaign against Israel's new government to highlight its supposed racist elements. Europal Forum describes itself as "an independent and non-party political organization based in London, working to build networks throughout Europe in support of the promotion and realization of Palestinian rights", but has been designated by Israel's Defense Ministry under Israel's anti-terrorism laws over its questionable ties.

The campaign features 25 cabinet ministers and MKs currently serving in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition, which took office in December.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is featured in one of the adverts, which all have the slogan, "Israeli racism in quotes". Cohen is quoted as saying "Those who view themselves as Palestinian … will receive all the assistance they need from us to move to Gaza on a one-way ticket." Miri Regev is also quoted as saying Palestinians don't have national rights in Israel.

The problematic activities of the advocacy group were exposed by the Israeli right-wing watchdog group Ad Kan in a docu-drama called Hashtula. Ad Kan issued a statement on Sunday slamming the organization and Israel's lackluster response. "The civilian battlefield is not properly addressed," it said. "This campaign must be met with decision force from Israel's government. Their effort to undermine the legitimacy of Israel's existence is a real security threat that is just as grave as missile attacks on civilians.
UN Personnel Pose in Front of Taliban Flag
What has been very obvious over the past few years (and going back even before that) is that international diplomacy with the Taliban is a game of bad cop/good cop in which the Taliban are the bad cops and the diplomats are the good cops. And we’re the suckers being played by the Taliban and their political allies.

Sometimes the mask drops. Like when Biden stole money from the families of 9/11 victims to send to the Taliban.

Or when officials from a UN delegation there to lobby the Taliban to be nicer to women posed in front of the Taliban flag.

The United Nations issued an apology after some of its officials were seen posing in front of the Taliban flag in Afghanistan.

The world body called it a “significant lapse in judgment”. A group of UN personnel were in Kabul to address the ban on women aid workers in the country.

The UN revealed on Friday that Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed made a rare visit to the southern part of the nation and expressed concerns to Taliban officials in Kandahar over violations of women’s rights

Mohammed then gave an interview to the Taliban’s pals at Al Jazeera claiming that progress was being made. She told other media outlets that the Taliban had “progressive” voices.
Hezbollah built 20-plus posts along border with Israel
The Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization has built more than 20 observation and guard posts along the Israel-Lebanon border over the past year.

According to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between the IDF and Hezbollah, the terrorist group is forbidden from operating near the frontier.

Hezbollah launched the project in parallel to Israel’s construction of a fortified perimeter fence along the 140-kilometer shared border, Ynet reported on Monday.

Israeli media reported in June that Hezbollah had built 15 outposts on the Israeli border, with each such site containing an outlook position or tower, two to three housing units and storage facilities.

“The problem is that as soon as Hezbollah builds a post like this, the Lebanese army and UNIFIL [the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] no longer arrive [in the area],” the reports quoted a senior Israel Defense Forces Northern Command source as saying at the time.

The same month, the IDF said that the Lebanese terrorist group had established an intelligence-gathering outpost on the Israeli border disguised as an environmental protection facility.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan demanded in July that the U.N. take action against Hezbollah over military posts the group had recently erected along the border.

The flag of a supposed Lebanese civil organization, “Green Without Borders,” flies over the posts, but the IDF has exposed this as a fictitious group founded by Hezbollah back in 2018.

A prominent channel affiliated with the Syrian rebels recaps Israel’s military activity in Syria in 2022
A prominent channel affiliated with the various Syrian rebel factions publishes data on the IDF’s activity in Syrian territory in the past year. Here is the data:

1. Israel carried out a total of 28 attacks on Syrian territory in 2022 (airstrikes and ground-to-ground missiles).

2. A total of 235 targets were attacked (68 of which were military bases), according to the following geographical distribution:

130 targets in the capital of Damascus
45 targets in Hama
19 targets in Homs
12 targets in Quneitra
11 targets in Aleppo
7 targets in Daraa
6 targets in Tartus
4 goals in al-Suwayda
1 target in Latakia

3. The types of sites targeted, in percentages:
32% – Military bases belonging to the Syrian army
28% – Hezbollah posts
40% – Sites belonging to Iran and Iranian-backed militias (except Hezbollah).

4. The most prominent targets of the Israeli attacks: A drone manufacturing plant, a chemical weapons factory, a scientific research center, logistics warehouses, missile development centers, weapons factories, Damascus International Airport, and targets in its surrounding area.

5. About 90 people were killed in Israeli attacks in Syria in 2022, including Syrian soldiers and Iranian militiamen, and about 125 were injured. This is a significant increase compared to 2021, when, according to these sources, only 32 people were killed in Israel’s attacks.
Troops come under gunfire in Jenin, Nablus; 14 suspects arrested — IDF
Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops in the northern West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus during extensive raids before dawn on Monday that saw 14 wanted Palestinians arrested, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The military said special Border Police forces and the IDF’s Haruv counter-terrorism reconnaissance unit entered Jenin to arrest a Palestinian suspected of involvement in terror activities. The suspect’s makeshift “Carlo” submachine gun was seized by the troops, the IDF said.

It said Palestinians hurled explosive devices and opened fire at troops.

The military added that troops “disarmed” several more IEDs found hidden in a motorcycle used by an arrested suspect.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank city of Nablus, the IDF said forces came under fire while arresting two wanted Palestinians and seizing weapon parts.

The Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group said in a statement that its members had opened fire at the Israeli troops in the city. A makeshift ‘Carlo’ submachine gun seized by troops in the West Bank city of Jenin, early January 23, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Troops also heard gunfire while arresting three suspects in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near Tulkarem, the IDF said.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, a security officer was lightly by glass shrapnel after his car was hit by gunfire in Nur Shams during the operation.
Two Palestinians arrested in central Israel on suspicion of plotting attack
Two Palestinians were arrested on Sunday, in possession of knives, near the central Israeli city of Modi’in on suspicion of planning to carry out a terrorist attack.

It comes as shots were fired towards the city of Kiryat Arba, located adjacent to Hebron in Judea.

Emergency services personnel said that nobody was injured, although a home may have been hit by the gunfire.
Palestinians vow to foil Israeli demolition of Khan al-Ahmar
The Palestinian Authority on Monday called on the US and European Union to prevent the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, located in Area C of the West Bank.

The appeal came amid demands by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and some members of the Likud Party to immediately evict the residents of the village.

In September 2022, the High Court approved a request by the pro-settler Regavim Movement demanding that the prime minister and defense minister explain why the government has not implemented the demolition order issued two years ago against the illegal village.

The government is scheduled to present its response to the court within two weeks. What does the Palestinian Authority say about Israeli attempts to demolish Khan al-Ahmar?

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the “heinous campaign of incitement by ministers, members of the Knesset, and extremist settlers to demolish the village.”

The ministry said in a statement that it rejects the attempt by some political parties in Israel to establish a link between the illegal settler outpost that was established last week in memory of the late Rabbi Haim Druckman near the settlement of Migdalim in the West Bank.

Last Friday, the IDF dismantled the small outpost, sparking calls by Ben-Gvir and others to evict Khan al-Ahmar.
Jordanian court orders Israel to pay $500,000 to man hurt in 2017 embassy shooting
A Jordanian court has ordered the Israeli embassy in Amman to pay $500,000 in compensation to a Jordanian man who was injured by an Israeli embassy guard in 2017, in an incident that saw two people shot dead and caused a significant strain in bilateral relations.

Ziv Moyal, the guard, opened fire after one of the Jordanians allegedly attacked him, whereupon Jordan briefly refused to allow him to return to Israel and became irate when he was later warmly welcomed back to the country by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The incident prompted all diplomatic staff, including Ambassador Einat Schlein, to return to Israel, which had no diplomatic presence in Jordan for six months before a new ambassador was appointed.

Jordanian media reported over the weekend that the court had accepted the arguments of the plaintiff, Maher Fares Ibrahim, a furniture transporter who was seriously injured in the incident and recognized as handicapped, and suffered significant financial losses because he was unable to continue working.

In 2018, Israel agreed to pay $5 million in compensation to the Jordanian government, which transferred it to the families of the two people who were shot dead in the incident. The kingdom had also demanded that Israel prosecute Moyal over the deaths.

Israel has maintained he acted in self-defense and hasn’t agreed to press charges against him.

‘Whispered in Gaza, Part 2’: When Residents of the Strip Tried To Challenge Hamas
This article, the second in a series of three, presents nine short, animated interviews with residents of the Gaza Strip.

Produced by the Center for Peace Communications, a New York nonprofit, they are being published by The Times of Israel because they represent a rare opportunity for ordinary, courageous Gazans to tell the world what life is like under the rule of Hamas.

All interviews were conducted over the course of 2022. The speakers all currently reside in Gaza.

Last week, in the first installment, Gazan men and women described their professional disenfranchisement by Hamas and the repression of their personal freedoms. They told of arbitrary arrests, shakedowns of small-time merchants, and the silencing of journalists. Voicing staunch support for Palestinian self-determination, they also denounced Hamas as harming that cause by starting wars with Israel it cannot win while hiding in bunkers and leaving civilians to suffer casualties. They conveyed an understanding of Hamas warfare, moreover, as a play for aid money that the movement goes on to plunder.

In this installment, we learn more about local grievances, as well as a homegrown attempt to do something about them: the effort waged by approximately 1,000 Gazans in 2019 to challenge Hamas authority through street demonstrations. Four veterans of that protest movement recount their experience and explain how it reshaped their lives and outlook.
Whispered in Gaza - Nepotism is Everywhere
“There’s nepotism in everything here,” according to “Ashraf.” On the one hand, you need friends in the Hamas-run electric company to get a break on your bill – and if you are one of the 20,000 Gazans with a permit to work in Israel, they charge you exorbitantly. On the other hand, a young relative of Hamas official Yahya Musa who mocked Hamas and cursed Islam was roaming free only two days later, for an offense that would see an ordinary Gazan “in jail to this day.”

Whispered in Gaza - What I Want for My Children
“Amna” wants her children to have a decent education, “to think rationally… and live a modern life.” For this reason, she fears sending them to Hamas-run schools, “because that’s where they indoctrinate people,” instructing children “how they can go to heaven” through martyrdom, “and I don't want my kids to be exposed to that indoctrination.”

Whispered in Gaza - It's Forbidden to Say We Don't Want War
“Layla” is tired of war, but knows better than to say so. “If you’re a Gazan citizen who says, ‘I don’t want war,’ you’re branded a traitor,” she explains. The region’s media landscape compounds the isolation she and many others feel. “A lot of the media outlets are working for Hamas … They depict Hamas as heroes.”

Whispered in Gaza - The Crime of Counseling
“Layla” opened a counseling center in her house, tending to the emotional needs of women and children. “Solving their problems made me happy,” she says. Hamas authorities, however, demanded that she either shut it down or work under their oversight, “so that the issues would be contained … [lest] people go out and protest what the authorities are doing.” One day, police arrived, surrounding her home on all sides.

‘This is Not Normal’: Antisemitism in Palestinian School Curriculum Persists as Problem Despite Global Outrage, Experts Say
Study cards for eleventh graders accusing Jews of being “in control of global events through financial power,” seventh graders instructed to describe Israeli soldiers as “Satan’s aides” in a textbook chapter imploring Muslims to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and children gathered to listen to a poem with the following line: “Give me a Kalashnikov, an [M-] 14, an axe and a knife.”

These are some of the examples of the virulent antisemitism experts say continues to show up in educational materials provided to children living in territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The problem has persisted despite years of outrage and international pressure and contributes to prolonging the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, experts and lawmakers told The Algemeiner.

“For the Palestinian Authority, the strategy is to use the unique authoritative nature of textbooks to create a society, which is essentially violent,” Marcus Sheff, the CEO of Impact-se, an Israeli education watchdog, told The Algemeiner. “If you look across the Palestinian textbooks from cover to cover, as we have from line to line, there is no Israel. There is a yearning for places located inside of Israel, and there is, if you like, an enthusiasm for violence conveyed in their lauding those who have been violent in the past and in their justifying violence today.”

Educational materials produced by the Palestinian Authority, similar to that issued by Hamas in Gaza, are some of the most antisemitic in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and reflects Palestinian societies’ larger hopes for a world without a Jewish State, Sheff added.

“What is the strategy of the PA? It is a picture of one state, essentially one Palestine ‘from the river to the sea’ which will be gained by the students through violence,” Sheff continued. “That is the strategy essentially, and you know, this is well understood by many. This is not normal. It should never be considered normal.”
PMW: Fatah incites violence, praises murderers and declares that Israeli Arab terrorist murderers are a “source of pride” and “symbols of the Palestinian people”
Fatah, the party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is again openly inciting terror and violence. This time the excuse is that Israel had the bare-faced audacity to prevent celebrations to mark the release from prison of Palestinian terrorist murderer Maher Younes.

In 1980, Maher Younes, together with his cousin Karim Younes, kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg while he was on his way home from his base. They were arrested in 1983. After being convicted, they were initially sentenced to death, but on appeal, their sentence was reduced to life in prison. In 2012, then Israeli President Shimon Peres decided to commute their sentence to 40 years in prison. Karim Younes was released on Jan. 5, 2023 and Maher Younes was released on Jan. 19, 2023. Both Karim and Maher Younes hold Israeli citzenship and live in Israel, where they also committed their crime.

As Palestinian Media Watch exposed, the PA widely celebrated the release of Karim Younes, inter alia, with high-level officials visiting him in his home within Israel. Abbas even called him to congratulate him and repeated his admiration and unwavering support for terrorists and murderers and his wish to “get rid of” Israel.

Responding to Israel’s decision to prevent the release of Maher Younes turning into another fest of terror glorification, the Fatah prisoners movement declared a ”general mobilization” and called on the “Fatah member knights who have rifles” to "ignite the fire of resistance and defiance”:
Terrorists Karim and Maher Younis rearrested, questioned over alleged incitement
Arab Israeli terrorists Karim and Maher Younis, who were both released from jail this month, were rearrested on Saturday and questioned over online content they posted that reportedly includes incitement to violence.

The cousins murdered Israel Defense Forces Cpl. Avraham Bromberg in the Golan Heights in 1980. Both were sentenced to life in prison in 1983 but had their sentence commuted to 40 years in 2012 by then-Israeli President Shimon Peres. Maher was released from jail on Thursday morning, two weeks after Karim, who received a hero’s welcome in the northern village of ’Ara.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir reportedly ordered their detainment, which reportedly lasted for several hours.

Prosecutors are discussing possible fresh charges against Maher, based upon public statements he made shortly after his release, according to Channel 12.

He called for the “unification of all Palestinian factions because security prisoners are suffering. Together we may succeed. This is a difficult political period and we need to fight intelligently. We are a nation of heroes. We do not surrender.”
“The angels await me, [as do] Martyrdom and redemption” – PA TV adds song to funeral of 14-year-old
Official PA TV host: “We are watching the video from the funeral of 14-year-old Amr Al-Khamour (i.e., terrorist, participated in violent riots).”

Lyrics: “Accompany me to eternity, accompany me to Paradise
Decorate me with roses, my Mother, this is the most beautiful time
See me, I’m fighting, [see] how I rain down bullets on them
And the angels await me, [as do] Martyrdom and redemption”
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Jan. 17, 2023]

The song in the background is called “I’m dreaming of Martyrdom” and was added to the footage by official PA TV.

Amr Khaled Al-Khamour - 14-year-old Palestinian terrorist and member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization who participated in violent riots, in which rioters threw rocks, firebombs, and explosives at Israeli soldiers in the Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem on Jan. 16, 2023. The soldiers returned fire, killing Al-Khamour. Al-Khamour had left behind a handwritten last will, in which he wrote: "I am on the path of heroic Martyr Uday Al-Tamimi," referring to a terrorist who murdered a female Israeli soldier in northern Jerusalem on Oct. 8, 2022. He also left instructions for his parents, stressing he "wished for Martyrdom": "When I come to you as a Martyr, Allah willing, O my mother, make sounds of joy and do not cry... Do not be sad, O father, I wished for Martyrdom and achieved it."

Netflix's hit show 'Fauda' becomes most watched show in Lebanon
The fourth season of Fauda premiered last Friday on Netflix all over the world, after it was already broadcasted on YES a few months ago and immediately became a huge hit in many countries.

The successful Israeli series was at first place in the Netflix viewing charts in Lebanon (where a large part of the fourth season plot took place), the United Arab Emirates, Romania, the Czech Republic and Greece.

It was second place in the viewing charts in India and Italy.=, Poland and the Netherlands and third place in France and Kenya. It was in fifth place in Turkey, tenth place in Brazil and ninth place in Saudi Arabia. It was also in the top ten most watched list in Belgium - in which a significant part of its plot took place.

What happened in the fourth season?
In the fourth season of the successful series, the undercover operatives go to work in a number of destinations outside of Israel's borders, between Belgium and Lebanon. Following the previous season, Doron is faced with a lot of guilt for his teammate's death and feels anger and frustration due to his removal from the unit.

According to a review done by Walla! that was written after the first episode was broadcasted, "the transition from the crowded streets of the Jenin refugee camp to the green streets of Brussels highlights Fauda's clean approach to the conflict. The European elements constitute a bureaucratic obstacle between the Israeli security forces and the terrorists. You can't act freely in Belgium without the High Court and without B'Tselem.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Iran's Newest Commitments
The Arabs are not only disturbed about Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, but also its ongoing meddling in the internal affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

In a sign reflecting the Arab concern over the Biden administration's perceived lenient policy towards the mullahs and their nuclear ambitions, Egypt and Saudi Arabia announced in mid-January that they have "agreed on the need for Iran to fully respect its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in a way that prevents it from acquiring nuclear weapons."

"[W]e need negotiations on specific issues that allow us to eliminate security risks, support stability and bring an end to Iran's interference in Arab affairs." — Tariq Al-Homayed, Saudi journalist, former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, January 15, 2023.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue supporting the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon and Palestine." — Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahain,, January 13, 2023.

The mullahs are telling the Arabs that they can continue barking to their hearts' content, but Iran will do whatever it wants in their countries.

When the Iranian foreign minister says his country will continue supporting the "resistance" in Lebanon, he means that Tehran will continue to provide weapons and money to Hezbollah, the terrorist organization that effectively controls Lebanon and has turned the country into a state of anarchy and lawlessness.

Like Hezbollah, the Palestinian groups are largely responsible for the misery of the people living under their rule.

"As for foreign policy, 'Khomeinism' produced a country that lives in an economic blockade for decades and that no longer knows a language other than weapons for dialogue with its neighbors and countries of the world." — Baha' Al-Awwam, Syrian journalist, Al-Ain, December 3, 2022.

"During the era of former US President Barack Obama, the US wanted to unleash the hand of political Islam in the region, so it supported the 'sons of Khomeini' and 'the grandchildren of [Muslim Brotherhood founder] Hassan al-Banna.'" — Baha' Al-Awwam, Al-Ain, December 3, 2022.

It seems as though the Obama and Biden administrations are ultimately willing to agree to almost anything the mullahs want and throw in a trillion dollars if the mullahs just please do not use their nuclear weapons -- as Obama candidly put it in 2015 -- "on my watch."
Israel, US kick off massive war games in apparent message to Iran
The Israel Defense Forces and United States Central Command on Monday kicked off a large-scale joint exercise in Israel and over the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the two militaries announced.

The drill, dubbed Juniper Oak 2023, will involve over 140 aircraft, 12 naval vessels, and artillery systems from both nations and last until Friday, CENTCOM said in a statement.

A senior US defense official told NBC News that the drill was aimed at showing adversaries, such as Iran, that Washington is not too distracted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threats from China to mobilize a large military force.

“This exercise strengthens collective US-Israeli readiness and improves the interoperability of both forces, thereby contributing to regional stability. Exercises like Juniper Oak show that interoperability and integration represent the improved security in the region,” CENTCOM said.

“The exercise will test joint Israeli-US readiness and improve the operational relationship between the two armies,” the IDF said in a statement.

General Michael Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM, said the drill “enhances our ability to respond to contingencies, and underscores our commitment to the Middle East.”

CENTCOM in its statement said the forces would practice joint command and control; air operations in maritime surface warfare; combat search and rescue; electronic attacks; suppression of enemy air defenses; strike coordination and reconnaissance; and air interdiction.

Of the 142 aircraft involved in the drill, 100 are American, NBC reported, including four B-52 strategic bombers, four F-35 fighter jets, 45 F/A-18 fighters, and two MQ-9 Reaper drones.
Netanyahu: US has ‘Genuine’ Desire to Reach Understandings on Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the United States “genuinely” seeks to reach an understanding with Israel with regard to the threat posed by Iran.

In his opening remarks to the Security Cabinet, Netanyahu said that last week’s visit to Israel by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had come at a “special time, one of serious challenges to our national security, and of serious opportunities for peace with our neighbors.”

His discussions with Sullivan had focused on “regional security challenges, especially Iran,” as well as ways the two countries could cooperate against this common threat, said Netanyahu.

“I must say that regarding the meetings, I was impressed that there is a genuine and mutual desire to reach understandings on this issue, which is of decisive importance to the security of the state,” he said, adding that further discussions on the issue will be held in the coming weeks.

Netanyahu last week described the United States as a “trusted partner” in matters of shared security and advancing peace, and expressed gratitude for President Joe Biden’s commitment to stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
EU needs court ruling before designating IRGC terrorist group
The European Union cannot blacklist Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps before a court in one of its member states rules that the paramilitary group meets the designation of a terrorist organization, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said on Monday.

“It is something that cannot be decided without a court, a court decision first. You cannot say I consider you a terrorist because I don’t like you,” said Josep Borrell, according to Reuters.

Borell said that E.U. foreign ministers would nevertheless discuss during their meeting on Monday imposing additional sanctions on Tehran due to its ongoing crackdown on protesters.

“We are going to discuss new personal sanctions in accordance with the legal framework of human rights,” he said.

The Iranian regime has killed hundreds of people in a crackdown on nationwide protests that erupted following the death on Sept. 16 of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iranian morality police, who had arrested her for failing to wear her veil correctly.

The European Parliament last week voted 598-9 in favor of requesting that Brussels list the IRGC as a terror entity.

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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 19 years and 40,000 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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