Sunday, February 05, 2023

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.

Turkey foils ISIS plot to bomb embassies, attack synagogues and churches
Turkish security forces have foiled an Islamic State terrorist plot to bomb the consulates of Sweden and the Netherlands in Istanbul and target religious sites, including synagogues, in the city.

According to Turkish media, authorities busted a cell of 15 ISIS terrorists who were planning attacks in response to the Jan. 21 burning of a Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

The demonstration was led by Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan, who heads the Danish political party Stram Kurs (“Straight Course” or “Hard Line”). Days later, he burned a copy of the Koran near a mosque in Copenhagen and outside the Turkish embassy in the Danish capital.

The intelligence that led to the arrests in Turkey suggested that the cell may have received instructions from the Islamic State-Khorasan Province, which is active in South and Central Asia.

The U.S. embassy in Turkey last week warned Americans of possible “imminent retaliatory attacks” in the country “against churches, synagogues and diplomatic missions in Istanbul or other places Westerners frequent, especially in the [city’s] Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim and Istiklal areas.”
MEMRI: ISIS Editorial Titled 'Kill The Jews' Calls For Global Religious War Against Jews, Suicide Attacks, Operations Targeting Synagogues In Israel, Europe, Worldwide
The following are some of this week's reports from the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Project, which translates and analyzes content from sources monitored around the clock, among them the most important jihadi websites and blogs. (To view these reports in full, you must be a paying member of the JTTM; for membership information, send an email to with "Membership" in the subject line.)

On February 2, 2023, the Islamic State (ISIS) released issue 376 of Al-Naba', its weekly newsletter. The issue's feature article, titled "Kill the Jews," called for a global religious war to be waged against Jews, wherein Muslims should attack Jews and Jewish sites of worship everywhere.[1]

Muslims Must Shun The Jews And Prepare For War With Them
The editorial derides the Jews as being diametrically opposed to the Islamic ummah. It opens: "Allah revealed the qualities of the unbelieving Jews in many verses in his wise book, and He described them in detail and precision. There is no doubt about the wisdom of this precise, divine description, so it should serve as a lesson and warning for you to take caution and to be prepared. A Muslim shuns the conduct of the Jews, the adherents of their customs, and their aides, and he takes heed of their deception; out of necessity, he prepares to wage war against them."

Citing verses from the Quran, the article attributes several malevolent characteristics to the Jews as a whole. For example, it asserts that in the Quran, Allah revealed the "unbelief and polytheism" of the Jews, their "distortion and corruption of Allah's word," their "suppression of the truth," their "betrayal of the covenants and killing of the prophets," their "severe hostility toward the believers," their "curse and heartlessness," their "cowardice in battle," their "practice of usury and robbery," their "continued striving for corruption and chaos," their "acceptance of wrongdoing," their "lust for [earthly] life," their "arrogance and pretension," and their "jealousy and malice toward Muslims."

Roots Of Conflict With Jews Are Religious, Not Political
The editorial also underscores that the roots of the conflict with the Jews are not political, but religious. "Most people have disregarded the Quranic characterization of the Jews and its aim," it asserts, noting, "They have instead concerned themselves with a historical narrative of events, thereby deviating from the roots of the conflict. They determined that the war with the Jews is a national conflict whose reason is 'aggression against lands and possessions." Indeed, they have come to warn against the dangers of being dragged into a religious war with the Jews, as if this were a crime!" Later the editorial asks: "Is there any pretext left on which someone can claim that the war with the Jews is not religious?"

The article also takes aim at the "allies of the Jews," which it describes as the "apostate Arab rulers, whom the Islamic State has declared as unbelievers, whom it sees as a part of the Jewish invasion of Palestine, and whom it calls to fight against." The Islamic State, it asserts, "puts on equal footing all of their axes, whether Qatari or Emirati, Arab or Persian."
Pro Israel Advocates Should Stop Using “Judea and Samaria”
After the death of King Solomon in 931BCE, the Jewish people split their kingdom under two rulers, creating the southern kingdom of Judah and northern kingdom of Israel. Sometimes fighting together against external foes and sometimes fighting internally, the kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians between 734 and 712 BCE from the Assyrian campaigns of Tiglath-Pileser III, Shalmaneser V and Sargon II. Sargon II swapped the population of the Jews and his kingdom in Babylon as told in 2 Kings 17:

In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozan, and in the towns of Media. (2 Kings 17:6)

The LORD was incensed at Israel and He banished them from His presence; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone. (2 Kings 17:18)

The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns. (2 Kings 17:24)

Those new Assyrians who were settled in Samaria were told to follow Jewish religious customs, but they did not:

To this day, they follow their former practices. They do not worship the LORD [properly]. They do not follow the laws and practices, the Teaching and Instruction that the LORD enjoined upon the descendants of Jacob—who was given the name Israel— (2 Kings 17:34)

There are many papers written by historians and archaeologists about Samaria during this time period, as there are written documents such as the Annals of Sargon II and prisms which reflect these battles, as well as a shift in types of pottery found with the population migration.

Judea refers to the province of the tribe of Judah which held Jerusalem and the area to the south. King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple in 538BCE, after Nebuchadnezzer destroyed the Temple in 586BCE.

The term “Jews” arose because they were the people of Judea. As noted above, Samaria was part of the region but inhabited by non-Jews who did not follow Jewish rituals.
Netanyahu Rejects King Abdullah’s Demand for More Temple Mount Waqf Officials
Israel will not acquiesce to Jordan’s request to increase the number of Waqf officials on the Temple Mount, a senior political official told Makor Rishon on Sunday in response to an inquiry regarding King Abdullah’s demands from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Amman a week and a half ago.

Since Netanyahu’s re-election, Jordanian officials have expressed their concern about “changing the status quo on the Temple Mount,” which Netanyahu has promised would not happen. The Jordanians for their part did not observe the status quo on the Temple Mount and in recent years helped build a new mosque at the Gate of Mercy and demanded that Israel allow the increase in the number of Waqf personnel on the mountain.

The official confirmed that King Abdullah raised the issue of the Temple Mount during the conversation and that Netanyahu answered that “there’s reality and there’s spin – there is no change and there will be no change in the status quo on the Temple Mount. The Holy of Holies is the Holy of Holies,” the official said.

Regarding the ascent of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the mountaintop, the Israeli side told the Jordanians that this was not about changing the status quo, seeing as previous internal security ministers had also ascended the mountain.

During the visit, when the Jordanian King asked Netanyahu to increase the number of Waqf personnel on the mountain, according to another political source, Netanyahu clarified: “There will be no such thing.”
Omani blogger visits Israel, causing an uproar in the Arab world
Arab social networks are in turmoil after the visit of the Omani blogger Asmaa Al-Shehhi to Israel. The blogger, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, posted videos on her Instagram account when she arrived at Ben Gurion Airport.

In the video that caused an uproar, she filmed the entrance gate to the country where Israeli flags appeared and said that "the employees of the place were shocked when they first saw a passport from the Sultanate of Oman." What did Twitter users have to say on her Israel trip?

As a result, many Twitter users condemned it and saw it as "normalization" with Israel. The Twitter account Omanis Against Normalization described the event as a "betrayal of the Palestinian cause and support for the tourist office of the occupying country." The tweet stated that she violated the Omani law, which the Shura Council approved in December last year, calling for a boycott of Israel.

Another user scolded the blogger and wrote that "she is not a well-known figure in the Sultanate." According to him, "Her act does not represent the attitudes of the residents of the Gulf state, which has no official relationship with Israel."

Another user tweeted that "We will visit Jerusalem together with its liberators. Be sure that she is not Omani."
F-22 performs first-ever air-to-air 'kill' - analysis
The shooting down of an alleged Chinese giant spy balloon was done by an F-22 Raptor off the coast of South Carolina. “An F-22 Raptor fighter from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, fired one AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon,” the US Space Force website reported. “The balloon fell approximately six miles off the coast in about 47 feet of water,” the report said. “No one was hurt.”

In addition, the US military said the shooting down took place somewhere between 60,000 and 65,000 feet, and the F-22 fired its missile at 58,000 feet.

“F-15 Eagles flying from Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, supported the F-22, as did tankers from multiple states including Oregon, Montana, South Carolina and North Carolina,” the US Space Force website reported. “Canadian forces also helped track the overflight of the balloon. The Navy has deployed the destroyer USS Oscar Austin, the cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the USS Carter Hall, an amphibious landing ship in support of the effort.”

According to The Drive news site, “The saga that began with the balloon’s appearance high above Billings, Montana, on February 1 reached its climax Saturday with an explosion and the balloon’s subsequent fall from high altitude. Videos of the shoot-down showed an F-22 Raptor launching an air-to-air missile at the balloon for the kill. This would be the F-22’s first ‘kill.’”

Aircraft milestones
That this is the F-22’s first air-to-air kill is important as a milestone for the aircraft. Two F-22s involved in the mission had call signs that hearkened back to US First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr, who received a US Army Air Service Medal of Honor for his role in the World War I. He shot down 14 German military balloons in 1918. The call signs for the F-22s were FRANK01 and FRANK02. The FAA had ordered a ground stop for aircraft in the area. It was not clear if there was a similar warning for ships in the area.

“The F-22 primarily uses the AIM-9X now, but can also carry the AIM-9L/M as it had for years,” The Drive reported. “The missiles can be cued by the F-22’s AN/APG-77 radar and AIM-9X Block II can use its datalink to be locked on and prosecute its target with the help of the F-22’s powerful radar after launch. It isn’t clear if the missile had a warhead or not.”
"DeSantis Includes Millions in State Budget for Jewish Institutions, Security"
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has included more than $18.2 million in funding for Jewish schools, museums, and memorials in his proposed Florida state budget for fiscal year 2023-24.

The funding includes a record $5 million in security funding for Jewish day schools, Agudath Israel of Florida pointed out in a statement welcoming the proposed measures.

The proposed state budget totals $114.8 billion.

Also last week, State Representative Mike Caruso introduced bipartisan legislation to combat antisemitism.

HB 269 would expand the definition of hate crimes and increase the penalties for such actions. The new definitions include the distribution of flyers, stalking, defacing graves and certain buildings, or projecting images on someone else’s property — if the act shows ethnic or religious animus.

The measure comes as a response to antisemitic messages and swastikas defacing buildings in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach as well as multiple instances of antisemitic materials being left outside of homes in Florida.

“The state of Florida is taking the threat of rising antisemitism seriously,” said Rabbi Moshe Matz, executive director of Agudath Israel of Florida.

“The recent public displays of antisemitism and distribution of antisemitic materials is deeply concerning to our community. We are heartened to see that Florida is taking action to respond.

Study Reveals Major Failings in New York Times’ Coverage of Israel
The research focused on the way a leading and influential international media outlet portrays Israel, especially during a year in which a diverse and liberal government was in place – one which included an Arab-Israeli party for the first time in history.

The results of the unique study, which analyzes patterns of both coverage and omissions of information, show a clear anti-Israeli bias in the New York Times on both levels. The report points to the 53% negative coverage of Israel throughout the year, and also to the consistent omission of information regarding threats that Israel faced.

Sigan approached the newspaper with the research summary for publication, but it declined to publish an opinion piece explaining the study and main findings.

The New York Times, which has a print circulation of around 750,000 in the US, and 8.6 million paid subscribers to its digital edition platform in addition to millions more readers online and in print, is one of the twenty most popular in the world.

Sigan selected The New York Times because, in her words, it is ‘the most important news outlet in the world, with a long-standing reputation for professionalism. That’s why the findings are so disturbing.’ 2022 was a year of particularly heavy coverage of Israel within its pages, while terror and threats that Israel faces were neglected.

Among the report’s findings:
Terrorist organizations did not receive adequate coverage: Hezbollah was mentioned in only 4 headlines throughout the year (of which 1 was negative), and Hamas in 2 headlines (of which 1 was negative).
The proportions are even worse when it comes to opinion and politics: 20 negative opinion articles were directed against Israel from January 2022 until today, compared to 13 articles against Iran, where the nuclear project is thriving and massive human rights protests broke out in the past year.
From January through October Israel received 51% negative coverage. In the months of November-December (since the elections but before the formation of the new government), a sharp increase was recorded: 68% of the coverage of Israel was negative.
National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir was referred to 20 times along with the word “terrorist” in 2022. However, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar had only 2 such references, and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah not even one.

The study results are being published in parallel with ADL reports that show that the number of Americans holding antisemitic beliefs has doubled since 2019; with Jewish Agency reports that show a 50% rise in antisemitic incidents on American university campuses since the beginning of the academic year; and the Jewish Federation surveys that show antisemitic violence has stabilized on the peak figures of 2021.
Ruthie Blum: The Israeli left’s violent rhetoric and phony ‘apologies’
Boy, has it ever been a busy several days for Israel’s anti-government propagandists. Though it’s hard to believe that they could have sunk any lower in their lies about the evils of Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s judicial-reform plans, they managed to outdo themselves.

Let’s start with opposition leader Yair Lapid. In a speech on Saturday night at a rally in Haifa, the Yesh Atid Party chairman declared that the protesters present, as well as those in Beersheva, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, “came to say that they don’t want to live in a country where people who work are less important than people who don’t work, and where people who serve in the army are less important than people who don’t serve in the army, and that people who don’t abide by the law are more important than people who do abide by the law.”


Describing the demonstrators as “people trying to save their country,” he assured the crowd that he and his supporters “won’t let that happen.” Talk about Freudian slips.

“We’ll fight here in the streets,” he said. “We’ll fight in the Knesset. We’ll fight in the courts. We’ll rescue our country, because we’re not willing to live in an undemocratic [one].”

Then there’s Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who took to the Kaplan Street podium in his city to warn the ruling coalition: “The more extreme you grow, the more liable you are to encounter extreme reactions that endanger the unity that we [the royal “we” that lost the Nov. 1 election] took great pains to build.”

No, he wasn’t kidding. Nor did his concluding threat sound empty.

“This is the opportunity to reach broad agreements, and if words end, actions will begin,” he shouted. “We won’t stop at public squares; we won’t be indifferent; we won’t respond by resigning ourselves to the situation.”
Lapid vows to defeat ‘terror-supporting’ Netanyahu government
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, speaking on Sunday amid the furor triggered by a call by an anti-government protest leader to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed to continue fighting against the government until it is defeated.

“The new spin of the poison machine: Bibi [Netanyahu], [Finance Minister Bezalel] Smotrich and [National Security Minister Itamar] Ben-Gvir think they can preach morality to us. This weak, racist and terror-supporting trio—it’s time to understand we don’t work for you, you won’t silence us and we won’t take your lessons in democracy,” wrote Lapid in a post to Twitter.

“You are leading us to an end Israel as we know it. We’ll fight you and win,” he added.

Netanyahu on Saturday night harshly criticized what he said was a “growing wave” of threats directed at himself and other officials.

“It seemed that all boundaries had been crossed by threats against elected officials and myself, but this is not the case, because we have now heard and seen an explicit threat to murder the prime minister of Israel,” said Netanyahu in a statement.

Israeli forces arrest senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist
Israeli forces arrested a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative in Samaria overnight Saturday, according to Israeli and Palestinian media reports.

Khader Adnan was one of several Palestinians detained by Israeli security forces on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities, said the reports. He was arrested in his hometown of Arrabe, according to Wafa.

The IDF said in a statement that numerous arrests had been made in counter-terrorism operations throughout Judea and Samaria, but did not name the suspects.

Adnan, long accused of being a spokesperson for PIJ, has regularly been held in administrative detention over the past 15 years, and is known for having gone on several lengthy hunger strikes.

Also overnight, Israeli authorities returned to the Palestinian Authority the body of Salah Muhammad Ali, who on Jan. 25 was shot dead while aiming a fake gun at security forces.

Meanwhile, Israeli air defense systems downed an unmanned aerial vehicle over the Gaza Strip late on Saturday night, according to the IDF.

The PA ending security coordination with Israel ‘almost a set ritual’
The Palestinian Authority’s Jan. 26 announcement of a halt to security coordination with Israel, following the IDF’s counter-terrorism raid against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Jenin and the ensuing firefight, is not the first time that Ramallah has made such an announcement.

On May 21, 2020, the P.A. also stated that it would cease security coordination with Israel, in protest at the Trump administration peace plan that supported Israeli annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the West Bank. The P.A. also said at the time it would stop cooperating with the CIA.

Then in November 2020, the P.A. announced that it had renewed security and civilian coordination with Israel, following assurances given by Israel that it was committed to prior agreements with the P.A.

The P.A.’s latest proclamation, when viewed in the larger context, should therefore be seen in proportion, a former defense official told JNS.

“The truth is that the announcement and the decision are not unusual, and in fact, are even softer than the ones taken two years ago,” said Col. (res.) Michael Milshtein, head of the Palestinian Studies Forum at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, and a senior researcher at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Reichman University in Herzliya (formerly IDC Herzliya).
PA Security Forces terrorist leaves “message for the Zionist enemy”
Some members of the PA Security Forces play a double role and are cops by day and terrorists by night, as Palestinian Media Watch has exposed.

One such PA Security Forces terrorist, Hamdi Shaker Abu Daya Al-Zama’reh, wrote a “message to the Zionist enemy” before he carried out two shooting attacks: The first against an Israeli civilian bus; and the second against Israeli soldiers performing security checks on cars near Hebron – an attack in which Abu Daya Al-Zama’reh was killed when the Israeli soldiers returned fire.

In his message to Israel, Abu Daya Al-Zama’reh threatened to “plant disasters in your homes” and inflict “death and humiliation,” stating that Palestinian violence “focuses on making sure that Allah’s word will rule this land”:
Text of message: “A message to the Zionist enemy
In this war of ours… have you not understood that our defense focuses on making sure that Allah’s word will rule this land? …
Today [I] Hamdi [Abu Dayya] will prevent you from the morning’s enjoyment and the night’s quiet, he will plant disasters in your homes, and tomorrow you will stand facing death…
My enemy… Every day that I live, fear will prevail among you and [my] actions will torment you and send you to a place whereyour blood will drip; you will lament your lives because of the fire of my orphan bullets.
I’m your fate, and every day an orphan lone wolf will set out against you who will gnaw your flesh and break your bones.
My enemy, you must know that the future will not bring you good or tranquility, but rather death and humiliation as long as you intend to remain in my homeland. By Allah, we prefer your deaths and death awaits you wherever you flee…
Allah willing there is no peace for my enemy on my land.
The homeland is worthy of dying [for it]
Palestine, Hamdi Abu Daya Al-Zama’reh
Oct. 25, 2022”
[Al-Hadaf Portal, independent Palestinian news website, Jan. 17, 2023]

PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Shtayyeh expressed support for the terrorist by defining him as a "Martyr", and claimed Israel had “executed” him:
“[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for the incessant acts of murder and execution against our people. In response to the death as a Martyr of Hamdi Shaker Abdallah Abu Daya (i.e., terrorist, shot at Israeli soldiers) … Shtayyeh demanded that the UN intervene to stop the acts of murder…”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 18, 2023]

Ten days after Al-Zama’reh’s call for violence was published, a Palestinian terrorist murdered 6 Israelis and 1 Ukrainian national and wounded 5 others as some of them were coming out from prayers in the Ateret Avraham Synagogue in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Yaakov on Sabbath eve, Jan. 27, 2023. A day later, a 13-year-old Palestinian terrorist shot and seriously wounded an Israeli father and son as they were walking to prayers near the City of David archaeological site south of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Mother of dead terrorist: “Every child wants to become a Martyr”
The mother of dead terrorist Yusuf Muhaisen is seen making sounds of joy at his funeral.

Mother of terrorist Yusuf Muhaisen: “Every mother is liable to become the mother of a Martyr. Every Martyr wants to become a Martyr. Every child wants to become a Martyr. Every young boy wants to become a Martyr, but [losing] a child is a [source of] sorrow for one's entire life.”

Posted text on Fatah Facebook page: “The mother of Martyr Yusuf Muhaisen as she accompanies him to his final rest in the town of Al-Ram in the occupied capital [Jerusalem]”
[Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Facebook page, Jan. 27, 2023]

Yusuf Yahya Abd Al-Karim Muhaisen – 22-year-old Palestinian terrorist who shot fireworks at Israeli soldiers while participating in violent riots in Al-Ram, northeast of Jerusalem, on Jan. 26, 2023. The soldiers returned fire, killing Muhaisen.

Mother of dead teen terrorist: He “asked for Martyrdom and received it”
Official PA TV News, interview with mother of terrorist Karam Salman, who attempted to infiltrate the Jewish town of Kedumim with a handgun.

Mother of terrorist Karam Salman: “Praise Allah, [Karam Salman] (i.e., terrorist) asked for Martyrdom and he received it. [He is] the most handsome groom in the world, the most handsome groom in Paradise. The angels will accompany him to his wedding… Allah willing, we will accompany him as a groom to his wedding in Paradise.”
[Official PA TV News, Jan. 29, 2023]

Karam Ali Salman – 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist and Fatah member who attempted to infiltrate the Jewish town of Kedumim, west of Nablus, while armed with a handgun on Jan. 28, 2023. Salman’s infiltration attempt was caught on security camera and noticed by the security command center, which dispatched a patrol that shot and killed Salman before he could infiltrate the town. A Martyr's funeral is considered his wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise in Islam.

Official PA news agency WAFA functions as “a governmental office” – not true media outlet
Editor in Chief of the official PA news agency WAFA Khuloud Assaf: “We are bound by the civil service regulations that are not suitable for the nature of our work as journalists or as a media outlet. This concerns all the official [PA] media and not just [the official PA news agency] WAFA. Like every governmental office the work hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and this makes it really difficult for us regarding shifts, work hours, and personnel.”

The Iranian Response Will Come
Iranian Patience
Iranian sources say that Iran’s response to the Israeli attacks is only a matter of time. Iran has patience, and every Israeli attack is recorded in the Iranian ledger.

In the past two years, Iran has strengthened its air defense systems following Israel’s attacks on the facilities in Karaj and Kermanshah and moved some of its military factories to protected buildings.

It is believed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has already ordered the Revolutionary Guards to prepare the Iranian response to the Israeli attacks and that the preparations are underway and will take some time.

These are several of the scenarios for an Iranian response:
Attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets abroad.
Launching precision-guided missiles and drones from Iranian territory toward Israeli targets at sea (such as gas rigs in the Mediterranean) and on land.
An Iranian missile or drone attack on targets in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where the Iranians claim that a base of the Israeli Mossad operates.
Launching of missiles and drones by the pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen toward Israeli targets.

Clear Message to Iran
In an unprecedented show of strength, the U.S. and Israeli armed forces launched the Juniper Oak exercise in January, deploying ships, aircraft, artillery, and cyber weapons.

Iran is also worried about the visits of senior American government officials to Israel: Jack Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, William Burns, the head of the CIA, and Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Moreover, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Biden are expected to meet in Washington next month.

The Iranian assessment is that this indicates Israeli-American military coordination and that an escalation in Israel’s military activity against Iran is expected, and Iran should prepare accordingly.
UK government pauses plan to ban IRGC
A plan to ban Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the UK for being a terrorist organization has been temporarily shelved by the government over fears that the move could harm diplomatic communication channels between London and Tehran. It is not known how long the pause will last.

The IRGC, established in 1979 in the wake of Iran’s revolution, has been accused of orchestrating insurgencies, assassinations, attacks and other acts of aggression worldwide.

The proposed ban would have made membership of the IRGC or attendance of meetings in support of it illegal in the UK, and hindered its ability to raise funds in the country.

In November, the director general of UK intelligence branch MI5, Ken McCallum, accused the IRGC of plotting to assassinate or kidnap people living in Britain on at least 10 occasions in 2022.

The IRGC was also accused by British security services of threatening journalists working at London-based news outlet Iran International, which necessitated the deployment of armed police at its offices.

The IRGC’s outlawing has long been supported by senior British politicians, including Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Minister of State for Security Tom Tugendhat.

A source told The Times: “Foreign Office officials have real concerns about proscription because they want to maintain access.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Issues Pardon for ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Prisoners
Iran’s supreme leader has pardoned “tens of thousands” of prisoners including some arrested in recent anti-government protests, state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday, after a deadly state crackdown helped quell the nationwide unrest.

However, the pardon approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came with conditions, according to details announced in state media reports, which said the measure would not apply to any of the numerous dual nationals held in Iran.

State news agency IRNA said those accused of “corruption on earth” – a capital charge brought against some protesters, four of whom have been executed – would also not be pardoned.

Neither would it apply to those charged with “spying for foreign agencies” or those “affiliated with groups hostile to the Islamic Republic”, state media reported.

Iran was swept by protests following the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman in the custody of the country’s morality police last September. Iranians from all walks of life took part, marking one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

According to the HRANA activist news agency, about 20,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, which the authorities accused Iran’s foreign enemies of fomenting.

American Bar Association pushed to reject common definition of antisemitism
The American Bar Association has been called upon by progressive activists to pump the brakes on a new resolution condemning antisemitism, arguing it creates a "chilling" effect on free speech and is anti-Palestinian.

The ABA's House of Delegates is slated to convene on Feb. 6 to vote on Resolution 514, which "urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments in the United States to condemn antisemitism, as referred to in The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism," the ABA said on Jan. 24.

But ahead of the vote, multiple groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Council on American Islamic Relations, issued a statement on Jan. 18 that condemned antisemitism but argued the IHRA is "dangerously chilling fundamental rights of free speech, freedom of assembly and protest, and academic freedom."

Resolution 514 unpacks several manifestations of antisemitism from the IHRA definition, which includes unfairly targeting Israel through "applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation," "denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor," and targeting Jewish people on the basis of "holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel."

The ABA's report furthers that the U.S. State Department uses the IHRA standard for antisemitism and encourages "other governments and international organizations to use it as well." The IHRA definition is defended in the report as a "broadly endorsed definition" of antisemitism.

"In an era of rapidly rising global antisemitism, now is not the time to discard one of the most fundamental and critical tools in the arsenal to combat it," the ABA resolution reads.

Arab Opinion Poll: UPI Heads in the Wrong Direction
Israel has long been a welcome distraction from domestic problems for many Arab governments and regimes. After all, an external enemy to fixate on draws the public’s attention away from issues such as economic stagnation, internal dissent, and lack of freedom. And there are plenty of Israel haters outside the Middle East who are more than happy to support this narrative.

In its story “Arab countries ‘headed in wrong direction,’ new poll says,” the UPI wire service reports:
A majority of Arab citizens believe their countries are “headed in the wrong direction,” with most blaming diplomatic relations with Israel, according to a recent poll out of Washington, D.C.

Does the majority of the Arab public believe that diplomatic relations with Israel are the direct cause of their countries heading in the wrong direction?

UPI’s article links directly to the executive summary of the Arab Opinion Index 2022 making this assertion relatively easy to check.

From the language, it is clear that the UPI reporter’s lead is based on the paragraph in the tweet above. Yet it makes no mention of Israel.

It is only when we reach “Section 6: Arab Public Opinion and Perceptions of External Threats” and “Section 7: Arab Public Opinion and Foreign Policies toward Palestine/Israel” that we discover the majority of those questioned consider Israel to be a significant external threat and among many determinations:
An overwhelming majority of respondents (84%) would disapprove of their countries’ recognition of Israel, with only 8% accepting the prospect of formal diplomatic recognition.

So it’s fair to conclude from this poll that unfortunately the majority of citizens of Arab countries hold a negative opinion of Israel and are not in favor of diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

It’s completely wrong, however, to extrapolate that Arabs believe diplomatic relations are the primary cause of their various problems.

The old-new antisemitism
First, Israel has morphed from the status of the underdog to that of the enforcer of law and order in the Wild Middle East. Liberal society tends to distrust those who enforce the law. The “woke” tendency to distrust and disdain the police reflects this.

Moreover, postmodern liberalism appears to blindly detest any group that exerts power over a relatively weak opponent. Currently, the balance of power between Israel and its Arab neighbors maintains Israel as a strong, democratic state in a sea of relatively weak authoritarian regimes.

After 75 years of representing morality and law in a part of the world that views the Judeo-Christian moral tradition as foreign and hostile, Israel is now mercilessly criticized by a “woke” world that has embraced the dark side of postmodernism. Perceiving Israel as the bad guy in a manner oblivious to reality is currently in vogue.

Bob Dylan expressed the absurdity of this cognitive distortion in his 1982 song “Neighborhood Bully”:
Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
His enemies say he’s on their land
They’ve got him outnumbered about a million to one
He’s got no place to escape to, no place to run
He’s the neighborhood bully

Twentieth-century history proved beyond any doubt that the Jew has nowhere else to go but Israel. Yet it appears that, in a grotesque parody, the enlightened world prefers the Jew passively murdered in the gas chamber rather than the active Jew struggling to survive in his ancestral land. Shedding tears over helpless victims being led as sheep to the slaughter is palatable to the world. Thank God, it is no longer palatable to the post-Holocaust Jew.

A second factor that accounts for the demonization of Israel is simply antisemitism. For centuries, our enemies proposed multiple and often contradictory reasons for hating us: Jews are too successful. Jews are a burden on society. Jews are killers of God. Jews have rejected the true prophet. Jews are communists. Jews are capitalists.

These are all variations of the unjustified and vicious enmity that has been hurled at the descendants of Jacob. The rabbis stated it plainly: “Esau hates Jacob.” This hatred has been manifested for more than 2,000 years. It appears under numerous guises such as Nazism, communism, eugenics, religion and, most recently, “woke postmodernism,” to name a few.

Thinkers such as Freud and Nietzsche have traced this hatred to the idea of despising the lawgiver. Two thousand years earlier, the rabbis of the Talmud stated the same idea: “From the time of the giving of the Torah on Sinai, hatred (sinah) descended upon the world.” Law imputes responsibility for actions. When one acts irresponsibly, scapegoating is a natural albeit dysfunctional defense.

In the face of unbridled hatred, Jews ought to embrace their identity with passion and pride. Quivering with fear in the face of irrational antisemitism, even when it appears under the guise of progressive ideas, simply plays into the hands of Jew-haters.

Over 100 years ago Ehad Ha’am, the leader of cultural Zionism, when confronted with the relentless antisemitism of his generation, asked, “Is it possible for the entire world to be wrong and for us to be correct?” His answer was unequivocal and ought to resound in our ears today: “Yes, it is certainly possible.”
Founder of organisation linked to purchase of Wembley synagogue reportedly called on Muslims to avoid behaving as “imitations of the Jews”
The allegations come shortly after Dawat-e-Islami UK, the charity behind the purchase, was forced to issue an apology after it referred to the congregants of the synagogue as “non believers”.

The founder of a Pakistani organisation whose UK charity affiliate recently purchased Wembley United Synagogue has previously made inflammatory remarks about Jewish people, according to the JC.

A fundraising flyer which announced the purchase of the synagogue said: “A mega project in Wembley, London (a former place of worship of non believers).”

A spokesperson for Dawat-e-Islami UK said that he wished to “apologise for the hurt caused by our leaflet this week” and that the text would be amended.

However, it has now been reported by the JC that the charity has been discovered to have a troubling record.

In 2021, the charity reportedly hosted the cleric Sheikh Asrar Rashid, who has previously described Jews as “a cowardly nation” and is alleged to have said that Hitler did Jews “a favour”.

In addition, the JC also stated that the founder of Dawat-e-Islami in Pakistan, Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri, published a book in which he called on Muslims to boycott Jewish goods and to avoid behaving as “imitations of the Jews”.
Suspect arrested over San Francisco synagogue shooting
A suspect has been arrested in connection with a shooting in a San Francisco synagogue two days ago, authorities announced on Saturday.

The suspect, identified as Dmitri Mishin, 51, is alleged to have fired several shots in the Schneerson Center before fleeing. No one was hurt and no damage was caused, leading police to suspect that the gun had been loaded with blanks.

Mishin is being held on suspicion of disturbing a religious assembly, brandishing an imitation firearm and causing another to refrain from engaging in a religious service, according to CBS News.

He entered the Jewish place of worship and “[started] shooting in the air everywhere, and talking about the Mossad, and this and that, and craziness, and then he seems to [waiver] and leave,” Alon Chanukov, junior rabbi and vice president of the Schneerson Center, told CBS.

The outlet reported that Mishin is also a suspect in a similar incident that occurred on Tuesday night at a theater about a kilometer from the synagogue.

Investigators reportedly found evidence connecting Mishin to both incidents during a search of his home.

‘Palestine’ Sprayed Again on NYC Chabad Mitzvah Tank
A Chabad-Lubavitch mitzvah mobile was targeted by pro-Palestinian Authority antisemites in New York City for a second time in just a few months.

Chabad-Lubavitch volunteers found the word “PALESTINE” was painted on to the side of the mitzvah tank in big black letters when they went to start up the mitzvah tank on Friday.

“Our Mitzvah Tank was once again hatefully vandalized. Same location (Manhattan’s busiest traffic corridor),” Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Yehuda Pevzner wrote in a tweet. “NYPD detectives are investigating and we hope that this case is taken very seriously,” he added.

The previous attack took place on October 31, 2022. Police believe the same person was responsible for both attacks.

UAE, France, India to Cooperate on Energy, Climate, Defense
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), India and France announced a trilateral initiative to launch clean energy projects, with a particular focus on solar and nuclear sources.

In a phone call on Saturday, the three countries’ top diplomats agreed to cooperative projects in the fields of energy, climate change and biodiversity, they announced in a joint statement.

They will expand their cooperation through initiatives such as the UAE-led Mangrove Alliance for Climate and the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership led by India and France. It was agreed that the three countries should focus on key issues such as single-use plastic pollution, desertification and food security in the context of the International Year of Millets, the statement said.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine a year ago, European countries began looking for alternative energy sources to replace Russian oil and gas, including reaching out to oil-rich Arab Gulf countries has been a common strategy. Another factor in the increasing integration of the Gulf states into international bodies is the normalization with Israel achieved by the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco with the US-brokered Abraham accords in 2020.
From Silicon Valley to the Start Up Nation to the Scale Up Nation Two tiny countries that pack a punch when it comes to technology! Let’s explore Israel-Taiwan tech relations:

Should history ruin your holiday?
The loveliest beaches in the places you’d least expect to find them. That was the headline on a classic newspaper travel piece I read a couple of weeks ago. Here were eight of Europe’s “secret beaches”, strangely unfrequented but calling out to be rediscovered.

It was a nicely-written article with lovely photographs. The author started with a September walk down a four-mile stretch of sand which was almost deserted. How totally absurd, she mused, that so few people should be walking in that place. Beyond a “defensive line of dunes” lay an inviting sea and the writer kicked off her shoes and “padded toward it through ash-fine sand the colour of coconut cream”.

Some of you will have guessed what is coming. It may be that you had distant relatives for whom that ash-fine sand was the last surface they ever walked upon and that roaring sea was the next to last thing they ever heard. For the writer was walking beside the Baltic Sea along the beach at the Latvian town of Liepaja. She notes the tumbled Tsarist-era fortress on the shore and sees it as a romantic ruin. Eighty-one years ago, however, it offered an entertainment venue to German soldiers who came to see the mass executions of Latvia’s Jews.

There were pictures. An electrician working on wiring in the apartment of a German officer based in Liepaja found four rolls of film which he stole, copied and returned. He put the prints in a box and buried them until after the War. In the now-famous grainy black-and-white photographs of women huddled on the beach waiting to be corralled towards the killing trench, you can’t really tell that the sand’s colour is so delightful.

I don’t blame the writer for apparently not knowing any of this. Or maybe she did know and wanted visitors to go to Liepaja and find out its history for themselves almost accidentally and be the more affected by the discovery. I do understand something of the ways of newspapers and I am absolutely certain that the travel desk had not the slightest idea about it. I think they’d rather have recommended a holiday in Chernobyl.
Solomon Perel, Holocaust survivor who disguised himself as a Nazi, dies at 97
Solomon Perel, a Holocaust survivor who is known for the fact that he pretended to be a member of the Nazi party in order to survive the war, passed away on Thursday at the age of 97.

Perel was a public speaker who told his story in a myriad of different places, and was an active Holocaust educator.

Although he himself was born in the German town of Piene, Lower Saxony, Perel's family were Russian Jewish immigrants.

Wartime experience and legacy
When the Nazis came to power and Perel was about 10 years old, he moved along with his family to Lodz, Poland. Once the Nazis invaded Poland, when Perel was 14, he ran away with his brother Yitzchak to the Soviet-occupied area of the country and was placed in an orphanage.

When the Germans took over the entirety of Poland, Perel again ran away but was captured by a German military unit. By virtue of his fluency in German, he was able to convince the soldiers that his real name was Josef Freil and that he was a German citizen living abroad. At this time Perel was 16 years old and was thus conscripted into the German army. He served as a Russian-German interpreter in the military and even took part in the interrogation of Joseph Stalin's son who was a Red Army commander.

As the war barreled toward its end, he was captured along with his comrades by United States troops, but because he was a junior-level recruit and still quite young (19 or 20 years old), he was released and not detained as a prisoner of war.

Perel returned to his Jewish identity after the war and discovered that his brother David already lived in Israel. Perel followed him there in July 1948, enlisted in the IDF and fought on the Jerusalem front in the War of Independence.

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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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