Sunday, September 03, 2023

From Ian:

The Conveniently Forgotten Context of Israel's Six-Day War
This is Part 6 of a 10-part series exposing the underreported joint European and Palestinian program to bypass international law and establish a de facto Palestinian state on Israeli land.

In 1967, Israel fought a monumental six-day war with its neighbors, who invaded the small country in a combined military assault with the declared goal of wiping the Jewish state off the map.

To the amazement of the international community, Israel emerged victorious, gaining control over multiple territories, including the West Bank.

Historically known as Judea and Samaria and once home to a thriving Jewish population, the West Bank was occupied by Jordan without international approval from 1948 to 1967. In that time, the Hashemite Kingdom ethnically cleansed its Jewish residents and destroyed dozens of synagogues.

It renamed the region the “West Bank,” meaning west of the Jordan River, to sever any Jewish connection to the land in an attempt to legitimize its occupation of territory that was never within its internationally recognized borders.

When Israel wrested control of the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, it refrained from annexing the territory, immediately offering to exchange land for peace.

This unprecedented overture was met with three resounding “NO’s” at the infamous 1967 Arab Summit in Khartoum: “no recognition, no negotiations, and no peace with Israel.” Consequently, the West Bank came under Israeli military rule.

“For reasons I can’t begin to explain, Israel thought it could make everyone happy. That’s how this whole monster was created,” says Naomi Kahn, international director of Regavim.

The monster she is referring to is the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, otherwise known as Israel’s Civil Administration, a unit of the Defense Ministry established to govern the local population in Area C and manage all issues pertaining to civilians, both Jewish and Arab.

Instead of extending Israeli law to the territory liberated in 1967, Israel’s leaders chose to “temporarily” maintain the existing legal framework until a negotiated solution with the Arabs could be reached. To this day, the Commander of the Central Region, rather than elected representatives, retains the ability to legislate and administer Area C.
Setting The Record Straight: Part XI: “Palestinian H-bombs”
Of the eight Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflicts, the second intifada was the seventh and the “third bloodiest,” asserts Samuel M. Katz, a Middle East security and international terrorism expert. Most wars are waged to attain political goals or to seize other countries’ land. Yet, Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat and the Hamas leadership had no plan to force political concessions from Israel, establish new territorial realities, or offer a pragmatic solution to end the carnage that was never even recognized as a total war. One objective seemed to be to inflict as much pain and suffering in Israel as they could. [4]

In pursuit of the goal of causing the greatest harm to Israel, the Palestinian Arabs deliberately planned attacks that would produce a catastrophic number of deaths without the slightest fear of international censure or retribution. The terrorists never wore uniforms and did not conduct their activities in the open. Often, they hid among the local population, using civilians as human shields. [5]

The support of suicide bombings was not an impulsive decision by the Palestinian Arabs. At the beginning of the second intifada, known as the al-Aqsa Intifada, which erupted on September 29, 2000, in the Old City of Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, the Arabs used the same strategy employed by Hizballah to force the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to leave southern Lebanon—a combination of ambushes, drive-by shootings, and assaults on IDF outposts. The goal was to convince the Israeli public to regard these areas as liabilities and to compel the government to vacate them. [6]

Yasser Arafat Confirms Ultimate Objective
Yasser Arafat confirmed this goal and to drive Jews out of Israel in a discussion about the use of political warfare, its implication, and potential threat, in an interview in the Lebanese daily, An-Nahar on August 2, 1968. Historian Efraim Karsh who found the interview, said Arafat outlined the strategic objective of the organization as “the transfer of all the bases of resistance” in Judea, Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and areas which Israel took control during the [1967 Six Day] war, “in order to transform in stages the opposition into a popular revolutionary army.” Therefore, Arafat said, the PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization] could “hinder immigration and encourage the emigration of Israelis from the country … ruin tourism … weaken the Israeli economy in forcing Israelis to budget a large part of their resources for security purposes … the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere of tension and anxiety which would cause the Zionists to understand that they could not live in Israel,” — in a word, disrupt the Israeli way of life.” [7]

In an address entitled “The Impending Collapse of Israel,” Yasser Arafat addressed a secret meeting of leading Arab diplomats in Stockholm’s Grand Hotel on January 30, 1996, at which he reportedly declared: There will be a massive influx of Arabs to “the West Bank and Jerusalem,” and that the psychological warfare the Palestinian Arabs will conduct against the Israelis will precipitate a massive emigration of Jews to the United States. “We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem” and claimed,”[Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin involved in negotiation of 1993 Oslo Accords] have already promised us half of Jerusalem. The Golan Heights have already been given away, subject to just a few details.” [8]

Additionally, Arafat alleged that half of the Russian immigrants to Israel are actually Muslims, and after the expected civil war in Israel erupts, these Muslims will fight for a united Palestinian State.” He then said: “We of the PLO will now concentrate all our efforts on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps. Within five years, we will have six to seven million Arabs living on the West Bank and in Jerusalem. All Palestinian Arabs will be welcomed by us. If the Jews can import all kinds of Ethiopians, Russians, Uzbeks and Ukrainians as Jews, we can import all kinds of Arabs to us.” He added that the PLO plans “to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian State. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews won’t want to live among us Arabs.” [9]

In an appeal for pan-Arab support, he assured the Arab diplomats: “I have no use for Jews; they are and remain Jews! We now need all the help we can get from you in our battle for a united Palestine under total Arab-Muslim domination!” [10]
Bassam Tawil: Human Rights Watch’s jihad against Israel
Each time HRW publishes an anti-Israel report, one cannot help recalling the damning criticism of the organization by its own founder and longtime chairman, the late Robert L. Bernstein.

In a 2009 opinion piece in The New York Times, Bernstein lashed out at HRW over its obsession with Israel:
“Israel, with a population of 7.4 million, is home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against the government, a politically active academia, multiple political parties and, judging by the amount of news coverage, probably more journalists per capita than any other country in the world, many of whom are there expressly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he wrote.

“Meanwhile, the Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350 million people, and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens who would most benefit from the kind of attention a large and well-financed international human rights organization can provide is being ignored as Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel.

“Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields. These groups are supported by the government of Iran, which has openly declared its intention not just to destroy Israel but to murder Jews everywhere. This incitement to genocide is a violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

“Leaders of Human Rights Watch know that Hamas and Hezbollah chose to wage war from densely populated areas, deliberately transforming neighborhoods into battlefields. They know that more and better arms are flowing into both Gaza and Lebanon and are poised to strike again. And they know that this militancy continues to deprive Palestinians of any chance for the peaceful and productive life they deserve. Yet Israel, the repeated victim of aggression, faces the brunt of Human Rights Watch’s criticism.”

Although Bernstein’s criticism was published more than a decade ago, HRW continues to prove that his every word remains as relevant today as it was then. HRW’s ongoing obsession with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, serves as a reminder that the organization is on the side of the terrorists who appear as committed to killing Americans (here, here and here) and other Westerners, as to destroying Israel and killing Jews.

As the United States approaches the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we see Islamic State virtually doubling the territory it controls in Mali, in addition to other terror threats.

The HRW reports are no less dangerous than the non-stop incitement to violence by Hamas and PIJ on Al Manar, Al Jazeera Arabic, or by the regimes of Qatar and Iran. Such reports provide ammunition to Iran and its proxies to pursue their murderous campaign against Israel and the West, and reveal that HRW is not all that different from the Palestinian terrorists and their patrons in Iran.

Israel fumes as UNESCO weighs designating ancient Jericho as Palestinian heritage site
Israel harshly criticized the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization this week for plans to designate the ancient city of Jericho as a Palestinian World Heritage site.

Ancient Jericho is one of 53 natural and cultural sites the World Heritage Committee will be voting to include on its list when it convenes in Saudi Arabia in two weeks.

MK Dan Illouz (Likud) blasted the decision, saying "Jericho is first and foremost a city of biblical significance."

According to Jewish tradition, Jericho was the crossing point of the Israelites into the Land of Israel after wandering in the desert for forty years following the Exodus from Egypt.

Illouz called on President of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay to deny the Palestinian Authority's request for the recognition that is "archaeological false."

"This is not only an insult to Jews, but also an insult to Christians around the world who admire the site for its biblical history," Illouz wrote in a letter to Azoulay.

"The Palestinian Authority is systematically working to erase all ties of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. This is evident on the Temple Mount, where valuable archaeological findings were destroyed, as well as throughout Judea and Samaria, where acts of vandalism and deliberate destruction of biblical evidence frequently occur. It is our duty to stop this and insist on our right to our country against enemies at home and abroad," the letter said.

Netanyahu welcomes US House Democrats to Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted a delegation of Democratic members of the U.S. Congress at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The premier said at the start of the meeting that it was an “opportunity to cement our relationship which is always based on a bipartisan relationship between Israel and both sides of the House and both sides of the Senate,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“It’s very important for us, and I view this meeting as an important building block in this relationship,” Netanyahu continued, calling U.S. support for Israel “vitally important” and thanking the lawmakers “from the heart and mind.”

Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia is leading the AIPAC-organized trip to Israel.

Attending the meeting were the Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi, National Public Diplomacy Directorate head Moshe Aviv and the prime minister’s foreign policy adviser.

Last month, Netanyahu and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) discussed the fight against Iran and its terrorist proxies across the Middle East, particularly the threat posed by Lebanon-based Hezbollah, during a meeting in Jerusalem.

“Israel is one of the United States’ most important and cherished allies,” Rachel Dumke, the senator’s deputy communications director, told JNS after the meeting.

Daines heard firsthand about the challenges Israel faces and thanked Netanyahu for his “steadfast leadership,” according to Dumke.

The senator also reaffirmed “our commitment to stand in solidarity with Israel” and discussed “how our nations can further strengthen their partnership in countering the world’s leading sponsor of terror in Iran and achieving energy security,” Dumke said.
Seth Frantzman: Economic freedom seminar builds on Abraham Accords
A unique seminar this week brings together Israelis, Moroccans, and Bahrainis to the UAE where they will join Emirati students. The seminar is part of the Friedberg Economics Institute Fellows program called Economics, Growth, and Prosperity which is building on the Abraham Accords. The event takes place through September 7 in Abu Dhabi. It is the second time this unique event has taken place, and it occurs on the eve of the third anniversary of the Accords.

This event presents an important opportunity to examine the economic connections that link Israel, the Gulf, Morocco, and other countries. Omar Ghobash, UAE ambassador to the Vatican, is scheduled to speak on Sunday, while other experts and dignitaries will also attend and speak over the coming days.

Last week Bob Borens, the director of the Friedberg Economics Institute (FEI) spoke to The Jerusalem Post about the program. He notes how the institute was founded in 2013 “to provide a platform for educating Israelis about the nature and benefits of economic freedom,” adding that “This is important because the data show that countries that follow these principles have the best economic results – highest growth, highest income, etc.”

The Fraser Index of Economic Freedom of the World measures five components related to how countries can demonstrate whether they improved, or not, in the realm of economic freedom. According to Borens, “Israel has improved dramatically over the years and I believe this is a major reason for the dramatic improvement in economic results. Israel ranked 95 in the world in 1980 and now ranks 49.”

FEI has been conducting seminars on economic freedom for the last decade and these have focused on Israeli university students. “After the Abraham Accords were signed, we decided to add another seminar bringing university students from the Accords countries together to learn about economic freedom,” notes Borens. The first took place in 2022 and included students from the UAE, Morocco, and Bahrain, who came to Israel for the seminar.

The first seminar was a great success, Borens says. “We conveyed our message successfully and there also turned out to be a great cultural dividend. The Arab and Israeli students bonded and formed friendships. Also, all the Arab students told me how different they found Israel to be from their previous understandings and expectations. They were all very pleasantly surprised and all said they look forward to coming back.”
In first, head of Moroccan senate to make official visit to Knesset on Thursday
The head of Morocco’s senate, Enaam Mayara, will make an official visit to Israel’s parliament on Thursday, the Knesset’s spokesperson’s office said Sunday.

Mayara’s trip will mark the first visit by a Moroccan leader to Israel’s legislative body, as well as being one of the most high-level visits by a foreign Muslim politician to Knesset.

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, who formally invited President of the Moroccan House of Councillors Mayara, said the trip is “a precedent-setting visit that attests to the new era that has been created in Israel-Morocco relations.”

The Moroccan senate head’s visit will follow reciprocal relationship-building moves taken by Israel in the past months. Critically, in July, Israel recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, over which Rabat has battled rebels.

In June, Ohana made a Knesset speaker’s first visit to Morocco’s parliament, and a delegation of Israeli lawmakers visited the Kingdom this summer. as part of a broader parliamentary forum.

Ties with Morocco, normalized in 2020 under the Abraham Accords, have had upsets. In June, Rabat canceled its plans to host this summer’s Negev Forum in protest over Israeli settlement announcements. The gathering of foreign ministers from Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt and the US has been postponed several times since it was first slated to be held in March, in light of rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and some Arab leader discomfort with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government.
Netanyahu Arrives in Cyprus for Trilateral Energy Meeting
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrived in Lanarca on Sunday afternoon, where the prime minister is slated to meet with the leaders of Cyprus and Greece on production and transport of natural gas.

The Netanyahus were welcomed at the airport by Cypriot Defense Minister Michalis Giorgallas and Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus Oren Anolik.

“I remind you that in 2016, we established the trilateral eastern Mediterranean alliance,” Netanyahu told reporters prior to his departure.

“This alliance has been a major success. It has led to a major improvement in economic relations, including in tourism, millions of Israelis have visited Greece and Cyprus up to now, has led to an improvement in security relations, and of course we are also discussing the energy issue,” he said.

The prime minister said there are decisions to be made “soon” on the issue of energy “as a result of our having carried out another revolution, the extraction of natural gas from the sea.”
Israeli FM heads to Bahrain
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen left on Sunday for a diplomatic visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is his first visit since taking up his post to one of the countries of the Abraham Accords.

Cohen is leading a political and commercial delegation that will participate in activities to promote trade and investment between the countries, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

He will meet with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani on Monday.

In addition, Cohen will inaugurate the permanent home of the Israeli embassy in Manama and sign a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between Israel and Bahrain.

An earlier trip by Cohen to Bahrain scheduled for the first week of August was canceled by the Gulf state in protest of a visit in late July by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest site in Islam.

Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount in observance of Tisha B’Av, an annual fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples that stood on the Mount.

Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in signing the Abraham Accords with Israel on Sept. 15, 2020.
Barcelona mayor reverses decision to cut ties with Tel Aviv
Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni reversed the decision by his predecessor to suspend the Spanish city’s official relations with Israel, including its twinning agreement with Tel Aviv, local media reported on Friday.

Tel Aviv represents “the best of Israel’s progressive values,” explained Collboni, while adding that Barcelona’s commitment to the Palestinian cause was “unequivocal.”

In February, then-mayor Ada Colau released a public letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announcing the end of her city’s agreement of friendship and collaboration with Tel Aviv, citing “repeated violations of human rights of the Palestinian population.”

“At the request of more than 100 entities and thousands of Barcelona neighbors, I have just communicated to Netanyahu that we suspend institutional relations with the State of Israel due to the repeated violations of human rights of the Palestinian population and non-compliance with United Nations resolutions,” she wrote on Facebook in Spanish, and on Instagram.

Lior Haiat, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, called the move “unfortunate” and “in complete contrast to the position of the majority of the residents of Barcelona and their representatives in the city council.” The Barcelona city council also rejected Colau’s decision, with her Barcelona in Common party being the sole faction to vote in favor.

Colau was voted out in June after being in power for eight years.

“With the reestablishment of relations, we are also respecting the majority position of the plenary of the Barcelona city council,” Collboni said on Friday.

The restoration of relations with the Jewish state’s second-largest city “is not detrimental” to ties with the Palestinian Authority, Barcelona Commissioner for International Relations and City Promotion Pau Solanilla said on Friday, noting that Collboni’s first official trip outside Europe will be to “Palestine.”
Grant Shapps: 'The UK gifted my Jewish family safety and freedom'
New defence decretary Grant Shapps has pushed back against critics of his appointment citing his experience and highlighting his background as a descendant of Jewish refugees.

Writing for the Mail on Sunday, Shapps said it was a “huge honour” to be appointed to the role in the country that provided his family with safety after enduring anti-Jewish pogroms in Eastern Europe.

He said: “At the end of the 19th century, my family fleeing persecution and pogroms in Eastern Europe sought safe haven. They found it here, in the nation that gave them the gift of freedom. A gift I will do everything I can to preserve, to pass on to generations to come.”

Critics accused Shapps of lacking the necessary experience for the role and say he is unlikely to stand up for the Armed Forces in funding negotiations.

But the Welwyn Hatfield MP insisted “defence is in my DNA" and referred to his grandfather Morris Grossman and uncle Solly Shapps who fought in North Africa during the Second World War.

He said: "Though I might be new to defence, defence is in the DNA.Not because my Uncle Solly Shapps - who called me 'old blue eyes' when I was too young to have heard of Frank Sinatra - fought in North Africa. Nor is it because my grandpa Morris Grossman told me about his battles in that distant desert theatre."

Among those who expressed doubt about his appointment was former chief of the general staff Richard Dannatt, who last week said Shapps knew “very little about defence” adding, “It’s a complex portfolio. It will take him quite some time to get up to speed.”

Dismissing charges of inexperience, Shapps said: “I’m not new to international security. From my time chairing Cobra and serving on the National Security Council, I’ve come to appreciate the dangers our nation faces.”

Supporters of Shapps point to his rapid response to the Covid pandemic as transport secretary and his key role in the UK’s response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

IDF soldier killed in ramming to be buried Tuesday after family flies in from Ukraine
Sgt. Maksym Molchanov, an off-duty Israeli soldier killed in a truck-ramming terror attack near the central city of Modiin last week, was to be buried on Tuesday after his family arrives in the country from Ukraine.

In a statement Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces said the funeral would take place on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv.

Molchanov, 20, moved to Israel from eastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv in 2017, leaving his family behind.

Molchanov served in the 411th Battalion of the 282nd Regiment in the Artillery Corps, and was posthumously promoted from the rank of corporal to sergeant.

In the attack carried out on the Israeli side of the Maccabim checkpoint on Thursday, six other people, including three of Molchanov’s comrades, were wounded. The Palestinian assailant was shot dead at a nearby checkpoint after allegedly attempting to carry out a second attack.

Molchanov’s family decided that he would be buried in Israel, rather than having his body sent to Ukraine for interment.
IDF commandos: Israel not equipped to handle Iranian-funded explosives
Israeli military commandos warned on Sunday morning that the IDF's armored vehicles are not equipped to deal with terror attacks carried out using improvised explosive devices (IED), which are thought to be funded and supplied to the West Bank by Iran.

Following recent use of IEDs in attacks, most notably in a blast near Joseph's Tomb where an IDF officer and three soldiers were wounded last week, the commandos warned that "it is clear to all of us where this is going.

"It will only get worse."

IDF commandos lament lack of armored vehicles
The commandos lamented the lack of armored vehicles available for operations in the West Bank. "Everybody has seen the explosive terror labs uncovered in the Jenin operation. The IDF destroys a lab used by Palestinian terrorists to make explosives on August 16, 2023 (IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

"On one hand, we're talking about an increased amount of explosives, a situation which urges caution. On the other, there is an issue with the availability of armored jeeps, this is felt on our way to our targets and by the targets."

IDF denies reports
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit rejected the claims on Sunday, stressing that "there is no shortage of armored vehicles.

"The vehicles are under continued maintenance in order to ensure their operational capacity remains at a high level."
Confirmed: Israel to Build Security Fence on Jordanian Border
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that Israel intends to build a security fence along the Jordanian border.

Netanyahu made the announcement in a tweet on Sunday afternoon, noting that Israel erected a fence along the southern border with Egypt, and thereby prevented more than a million Africans from infiltrating into the country.

“Now we will build a fence on our eastern border (Jordan) and ensure that there will be no infiltration from there either,” Netanyahu wrote.

The announcement came after a weekend in which dozens of Israeli police officers were wounded — including one who required surgery for a head wound — in clashes with Eritrean infiltrators living in south Tel Aviv who were rioting over support and opposition for the government in their home country.

“We will protect our borders – we will protect our country!” the prime minister declared.

Existing Barriers on Borders are Effective
In May 2018, the Israeli government announced the completion of a 34-kilometer (21-mile) border fence between southern Israel and Jordan intended to protect civilian aircraft landing at Ramon International Airport in Timna.

The current project would extend that barrier northward.

It took Israel three years to build its 245-kilometer (152-mile) barrier along the Egyptian border, at an estimated cost of NIS 1.6 billion ($450 million). The project, which began in 2010, included installation of network radar and cameras that send alerts to IDF units about suspicious movements along the border.

The Israeli-Egyptian barrier almost entirely stopped the mass infiltration of migrants from Africa into the country, in addition to serving as an added security measure preventing terrorist infiltration.
Israel’s Shin Bet Foils Shooting Attack on West Bank Home
A joint effort by the Shin Bet and the IDF foiled a shooting attack on a house in the settlement of Merav on April 18, without causing any casualties.

As part of the investigation, a Carlo-type weapon was recovered.

Yosef Abu Al Rub, 32, a resident of the village of Jilbon near Jenin, was arrested by the Shin Bet on suspicion of attempting to carry out the shooting attack.

Muhammad Abu al-Rob, 35, resident of the same locality, was also apprehended. He had already been arrested in the past for his involvement in terrorist activities.

Yosef Abu Al Rub admitted to having planned to carry out the shooting in Merav with a weapon belonging to Muhammad Abu Al Rub.

He also added that he had taken photos of the site and sent them to his accomplice. He also confessed to being involved in other shootings against IDF forces operating in the area.

It was Yosef Abu Al Rub’s father who returned the Carlo weapon to the Shin Bet.

On August 30, indictments were filed against both men.
Israeli Tourists Robbed and Attacked with Machetes in Kenya
Two Israeli women visiting the Watamu area of Kenya fell victim to a violent attack and robbery on Saturday.

The assailants, armed with machetes, targeted the tourists while they were en route to their hotel, leaving one of them with a severed finger and the other sustaining injuries in the process.

Both women were promptly transported to a local hospital to receive the necessary treatment for their injuries.

In response to the incident, the Israeli consulate in Kenya swiftly mobilized to support the affected Israeli citizens. The consulate maintained close contact with the victims and their families back in Israel throughout the incident.

Additionally, the consulate facilitated and expedited the visa process for the family members of the injured tourists to ensure they could join their loved ones in Kenya.
Israeli A-G to Supreme Court: Strike down the ‘reasonableness’ law
Israeli Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara on Sunday asked the Supreme Court in Jerusalem to strike down a semi-constitutional amendment limiting judges’ ability to overturn laws based on what they consider “acceptable,” exacerbating existing tensions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

In her filing to the court, Baharav-Miara claimed that “due to the severe impact of the amendment on the public and the serious consequences for the separation of powers, the rule of law and individual rights,” she had no choice but to support declaring the legislation null and void.

On July 24, all 64 lawmakers in the governing coalition voted into law a bill to restrict judges’ use of the “reasonableness” standard. The amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary bars “reasonableness” as a justification for judges to reverse decisions made by the Cabinet, ministers and “other elected officials as set by law.”

NGOs immediately filed petitions asking the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, to strike down the law. While the court scheduled a hearing, it has not gone as far as to issue an emergency injunction against the law as several of the petitioners had requested.

“We are ready. We will appear at the Supreme Court to defend Israeli democracy and do everything we can to stop the judicial coup,” the Movement for Quality Government’s Chairman Eliad Shraga said at the time. “We will continue to protest and fight everywhere and from every podium until the threat is removed.”

Nasrallah hosts Palestinian terror chiefs in Beirut
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah hosted Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror chiefs on Saturday in Beirut, according to Arab media reports.

Hamas deputy politburo head Saleh al-Arouri and PIJ secretary general Ziyad al-Nakhala joined the secretary general of the Iran-backed Lebanese terror group to discuss “the latest political developments, especially with regard to the Palestinians,” according to a joint statement.

“During the meeting, there was a joint assessment of the situation in the West Bank and the escalation of the resistance movement there, as well as the recent Israeli threats,” the statement read.

The statement added, “The firm position of all the forces of the axis of resistance in confronting the Zionist enemy, its occupation, and its arrogance was emphasized.”

During the meeting it was agreed on “the importance of daily and permanent coordination and communication between resistance movements, especially in Palestine and Lebanon, to follow up on all political, security and military developments and make the appropriate decisions.”

The meeting was held nearly a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iranian terror proxies in the region that they would “pay the full price” for terror acts against Israelis.

“Hamas, and the other Iranian proxies, understand very well that we will fight with all means against their attempts to use terrorism against us—in Judea and Samaria, Gaza and everywhere else. Whoever tries to hurt us, whoever finances and organizes, whoever dispatches terrorists against Israel—will pay the full price,” Netanyahu said last Sunday.

Seth Frantzman: How an anti-ISIS operation in Syria got bogged down in tribal politics
The clashes along the Euphrates River valley, between local tribes and clans and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have now expanded to other areas of Syria.

The clashes now threaten to inflame other areas of Syria and bring in Turkish-backed groups, as well as potentially Iranian-backed militias, the Syrian regime, and Russia.

This is an incredibly complex situation, and in order to understand it, it’s worth looking back at how the various forces involved got to this point. The heart of Syria's story

At the heart of the story are the challenges facing the SDF. The SDF was formed in 2015 with US backing to defeat ISIS in Syria. The SDF grew out of Kurdish groups linked to the YPG, a Kurdish self-protection force that was active in a small area of eastern Syria and in Afrin, two areas where Kurds live.

Through the SDF, and with the US backing, the Kurds and an increasing number of partners from the Arab community rolled back ISIS and liberated Raqqa in 2017. However, their massive gains gave them control over a large area with limited forces and even more limited resources. This set up the current troubles.

Let’s start with what has happened in the last week. On Saturday, the US-led coalition put out a statement: “Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve calls for an immediate end to the continued clashes in the Deir ez-Zor region.” The US backs the SDF and calls for all forces to immediately cease fighting. The US blames malign actors for the escalation.

Ostensibly the current crisis was set off by the arrest by the SDF of Abu Khawla, a leader of the SDF’s own Deir ez-Zor Military Council. Abu Khawla has supporters within his own Bakir clan, but the fighting quickly spread to other areas. An article at Al-Monitor by Jared Szuba provides an explanation of the complexities involved and shows how the fighting is not really about the arrest itself. The article also quotes Nicholas Heras of the Newlines Institute: “Abu Khawla is intensely controversial... A significant part of his influence relies on support from the US through the SDF. He is not really an iconic figure to inspire a multi-tribal insurgency in Deir ez-Zor.”

Some argue that the reason for the clashes is mostly local: the tribes are buckling under the rule of the SDF, which some depict as oppressive or ignoring local demands. That explanation doesn’t explain why the fighting has spread to other areas of Syria, why Turkey, the Syrian regime, and Russia are all involved, and why anti-Kurdish sentiment among other Arab groups in Syria has been part of the fighting. For instance, Turkish-backed Syrian rebel groups, styled the Syrian National Army, have attacked villages near Manbij, 270 km. northwest of the clashes near Deir ez-Zor. Turkish forces reportedly shelled Syrian regime forces near Ma’arat Na’aman, 390 km. east of Deir ez-Zor. Russia has also carried out airstrikes near Aleppo.

The roles of the US, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are important here. Iran supports the Syrian regime and has sent forces to Syria since 2012 to back the regime. Russia backs the Syrian regime and intervened in Syria in 2015. The US backs the SDF and intervened in Syria both to back the rebels initially and then the SDF against ISIS in 2015.
Seth Frantzman: Iran-backed militias attack Kurds in Kirkuk
Iranian-backed militias in the city of Kirkuk have killed several Kurds and continue to threaten more attacks against Kurds in the city. Kirkuk is controlled by the Iraqi government, which wrested the city back from Kurdish control in 2017. The Kurdistan autonomous region is located north of the city, and the city itself contains diverse groups of people including Kurds, Turkmen, and Arabs.

Historically, it has been disputed between Kurdish forces and the Iraqi government, and in recent years Iranian-backed militias have played a more aggressive role in the city. Iran uses its militias to fire rockets to target gas fields on the road to Sulaymaniyah that are controlled by the Kurds.

According to reports from Erbil in the Kurdistan region, a Kurdish protester named Aram Mustafa was murdered by gunshots fired by the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units in Kirkuk on Saturday. Rudaw media said that “Kurdish leaders issued urgent calls for calm as the streets of Kirkuk descended into violence on Saturday and three people lost their lives.”

The report says that the current wave of protests and violence are due to a complex decision taken by Baghdad. Iraq had ordered an Iraqi military Joint Operations Command (JOC) to move out of a building that had been used by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani had indicated the Kurdish KDP could return to Kirkuk for the first time since 2017.

What are the KDP and PUK?
There are two main Kurdish political parties, the KDP and PUK, the latter of which traditionally had a stronghold in Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah. Former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani had always said that Kirkuk would not be bartered away. The PUK had helped put down extremist groups in the city in the past but ISIS threatened the city in 2014 and the KDP came to play an increasing role there under governor Najmiddin Kareem. When Kurdish control ended in 2017 and the KDP and PUK withdrew, the Iraqis destroyed images of KDP leader Masoud Barzani.

Now that Iraq and the KDP are discussing Kirkuk apparently, the Iranian-backed militias want to threaten Kurds there. “Dozens of protesters, mainly members of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia and their supporters, have set up tents near the JOC headquarters since Sunday evening in protest of a KDP return. They have blocked access to the highway and vowed to continue their demonstration until Sudani retracts his decision,” Rudaw reported.

Anti-Zionist Professors Force Stalinism into the Academy
On August 24, Mondoweiss – an avowedly Jewish media outlet whose radical leanings make Jewish Currents looks like Israel Hayom – announced with great fanfare the official launch of the Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism, founded by Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulahdi of San Francisco State University. Abdulahdi is probably best known for having attempted to platform convicted terrorist Leila Khaled at San Francisco State University to give a presentation on “resistance.” While the university failed to take measures against what was clearly intended to be an instructional session, Zoom, citing anti-terrorism laws, refused to broadcast the first woman ever to have hijacked an airplane. So Professor Abdulahdi, an unapologetic militant Israel-hater, moved on to her next project: her new institute.

There is nothing surprising in the Institute’s stated mission. Their premise denies that Zionism is a legitimate movement for Jewish national self-determination in our people’s ancestral homeland, arguing instead that it is “a political ideology tightly enmeshed with racism, fascism, and colonial dispossession.” And, much like other anti-Zionist organizations and scholars, they frame their vilification of Israel through intersectionalist social justice: Zionism is centered as a crucial element within the nexus of global imperialism, racism, neoliberal capitalism, militarism, technologies of surveillance, and the violent policing of oppressed communities in such far flung places as the United States and Guatemala. Much as social justice activists today argue that all oppressions are intertwined, the Institute insists that fighting Zionism is necessary for global liberation. And although they are dedicated to scholarship and “critical study,” the Institute proclaims that “Academic research is not politically or morally neutral,” which all but confirms that their approach is unabashedly biased even when the facts suggest otherwise. “Critical Study” in practice means militant resistance couched in academic jargon.

We have already seen institutes, networks, and academic associations demonize Zionism in such a manner, even bringing it into the classroom. And much like their predecessors, Dr. Abdulahdi and her team cite the work of discredited scholars such as Steven Salaita to prove that Zionist organizations are in collusion with academia to malign, eject, and ultimately silence Palestinian voices. Even their mission to decouple Zionism from Jewish identity is not an innovation. Of course, the Institute goes to great lengths to argue that they are not antisemites and, moreover, anyone who accuses them of antisemitism is deliberately misusing the charge to advance their malicious Zionist agenda. So what else is new?

Actually, something is new, and it represents the dangerous crossing of several thresholds that had yet to be crossed. In early August, Jewish studies scholars produced a statement condemning the current Israeli government (and its predecessors) of worsening crimes against the Palestinians along with the intent to impose an oppressive and violent “Jewish supremacist” regime, while “American Jewish billionaire funders help support the Israeli far right.” In an op-ed for the Jewish Journal I accused the statement’s authors of the deliberate use of antisemitic tropes (blaming international Jewish money for Jewish supremacy) that strike a chord with the wider intersectionalist left for whom such tropes are axiomatic. Even if that was not their intent (those I have spoken with continue to deny it), I warned that the non-Jewish left would use this statement (and earlier statements in their campaign to liquidate Israel and erase our right to fashion our own Jewish identity because these “authoritative” Jewish intellectuals have written these words. How can accusing American Jewish billionaires of funding Jewish supremacy be antisemitic if the greatest Jewish minds say otherwise? In less than a month, my prediction sadly came to fruition: the Mondoweiss piece cites the work of multiple Jewish studies scholars who have sought to unmask the deceptive use of money by rightwing Zionist organizations in order to impose their schemes both inside and outside the academy. There is a direct continuum between these articles and statements and the agenda of the new Institute whose mission is to criminalize a core component of contemporary Jewishness.

Tailspinning Journalism The Nimbus Antics of LA Times’ Suhauna Hussain
The journalistic contortions and evasions in Suhauna Hussain’s Los Angeles Times coverage about an anti-Israel demonstration protesting Google’s Nimbus contract are as dizzying as Harry Potter’s record-breaking rides on his fictional broomstick by that name.

A wholesale confirmation of her ongoing allegiance to the journalists’ protest letter placing anti-Israel partisanship ahead of ethical reporting, Hussain’s latest installment on this concocted story exemplifies journalism in a tailspin.

“These terms — apartheid, persecution, ethnic supremacy — are increasingly gaining institutional recognition after years of Palestinian advocacy, and we, as journalists, need to examine whether our coverage reflects that reality,” proclaimed the 2021 open letter signed by hundreds of journalists against journalism, including The Los Angeles Times reporter. Hussain’s coverage on the orchestrated anti-Google protests, in 2021 and again last week, is the ultimate outcome when journalists trade advocacy for accuracy.

And advocate for the anti-Israel advocates she does. Several blatantly anti-Israeli groups like Jewish Voices for Peace, MPower Change, Palestinian Youth Movement openly claimed credit for their leading role in the Aug. 30 San Francisco anti-Israel demonstration.

But Hussain fails to note the role of these anti-Israel advocay organizations, instead depicting the event as a grassroots effort on the part of employees, thereby falsely inflating the significance of the marginal event. “Employees protest” is the headline, ignoring the key role of anti-Israel organizations. “A protest erupted Tuesday at a Google Cloud’s conference in San Francisco, as employees critical of the company’s contract with Israel’s military sought to ratchet up pressure at the company’s annual showcase of its latest products and technology,” Hussain’s article begins, suggesting a spontaneous, impromptu in-house effort on the part of Google employees. (Strikingly, the Times runs a photograph of the protest credited to the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, while refraining to disclose the organization’s involvement in the protest.)

Two paragraphs later she cites former employees and unidentified “local community activists,” still failing to reveal the affiliations of these mysterious activists: “Some 30 protesters, including former Google employees and local community activists, chained themselves together.”

She perseveres in her gravity-defying narrative of a campaign driven by Google employees, stating a couple of paragraphs later: “A group of workers has opposed Project Nimbus since it launched in 2021, concerned that Google’s technology could help the Israel Defense Forces surveil and harm Palestinians.”

Indeed, last year, we first documented how for Hussain, then a tech reporter at The Los Angeles Times, “’contextualized truth’ — [ie reporting through the lens of Israeli military occupation and alleged apartheid, per the journalists’ open letter] — dictates the purging of all information indicating anything other than a grassroots employee campaign against Nimbus.” At the time, we noted that Hussain simply discarded any indications that the campaign was an outside job from the start.
Sunday Times omits the extremism of its 'academic' source on Israel
First, Browne’s conspiracy theory the two-state ‘ruse’ isn’t challenged by the Times reporter, who could have noted that the Palestinians leadership turned down multiple Israeli offers that would have created two-states. But, by far the most egregious problem with the piece is that Scott failed to disclose that, far from being a mere academic, Browne is an extreme anti-Israel activist who supports BDS, opposes “normalisation“, has accused the state of “genocide” and justified Palestinian terrorism.

In this tweet, he accuses Israel of genocide.

Here, Browne praises Palestinian “martyrs” and the “resistance”.

In that vein, in a 2021 op-ed he co-authored for the Irish Times, Browne – the professor in “conflict resolution and resolution”! – opposed “peace building” efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, disagreed with the ‘claim’ that Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas, and opined that Palestinian terrorists enjoy the “right of resistance”.

We consider Scott’s omission of Browne’s clear extremism on the Israel-Palestinian conflict to be so misleading to readers that it arguably constitutes a violation of the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code, and we’ll be contacting the outlet asking that the article be amended to add that vital context.
BBC’s Knell reports four attacks without using the word terror
Knell fails to adequately clarify that the IDF’s counter-terrorism operations are the consequence of that rise in Palestinian terror attacks rather than something that “also” happens to take place. Readers then discover that the BBC’s portrayal of Palestinian casualties relies on information provided by the Palestinian Authority – which is of course dominated by the same Fatah faction that claimed the terrorist responsible for the attack on Route 443 – and that the BBC itself is not able to inform its audiences that the vast majority of those killed were linked to terrorist organisations and/or engaged in terrorism or violent rioting at the time.

“In 2023 so far, more than 180 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to figures collated from PA sources. Israel says most of those killed were militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting against incursions and civilians not involved in any confrontations have also been killed.

Some 33 people – the vast majority of them civilians – have been killed in Palestinian attacks against Israelis during the same period.”

Knell’s portrayal of the number of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks does not include the word terror and does not clarify that six of the civilians murdered were minors between the ages of six and seventeen.

White Supremacists Call to Ban the ADL on X (Twitter) while Elon Musk Looks On
According to online accounts, #BanTheADL trended second Friday on X (formerly Twitter) with close to 10,000 posts. It began on Thursday, when several extreme-right, antisemitic accounts created the hashtag.

X’s owner, Elon Musk, is taking a benign approach to this campaign, and is even considering how to increase the site’s revenues through it. But first:

How did it all start?
To remind you, the stated mission of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) is to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and secure justice and fair treatment to all.” With that in mind, on August 30, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted: I had a very frank + productive conversation with Linda Yaccarino (she succeeded Elon Musk as the Chief Executive Officer of X Corp – DI) yesterday about X, what works and what doesn’t, and where it needs to go to address hate effectively on the platform. I appreciated her reaching out and I’m hopeful the service will improve. ADL will be vigilant and give her and Elon Musk credit if the service gets better… and reserve the right to call them out until it does.”

Turns out the ADL has many enemies (who would have thunk it?), and those were not amused by the ADL’s statement.

There was mixed martial artist Jake Shields who has been accusing the ADL for almost a year of brainwashing children to become gay and trans; and Keith Woods from Irland who Rolling Stones says is a close friend of white supremacists Richard Spencer and Nick Fuentes; Lauren Witzke, a far-right flat-Earther and Qanon follower with a website that runs antisemitic articles, who failed in her 2020 bid to become the GOP Senator from Delaware; Andrew Torba, CEO of Gab which runs a neo-Nazi online platform; and Matthew Parrott, a neo-Nazi who was among the organizers of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

By Thursday night, #BanTheADL was way up there in the lead of trending topics on X.

Keith Woods made matters clear in a separate tweet as to why the Nazis hate ADL more than other groups: he shared a November 4, 2022, Greenblatt tweet that declared, “Today, we are joining dozens of other groups to ask advertisers to pause Twitter spending because we are profoundly concerned about antisemitism and hate on the platform. Here’s why we’re asking advertisers to #StopHateForProfit and #StopToxicTwitter.”

When Jews Found Refuge in the Sikh Empire
In the first half of the 19th century, visitors to the Sikh Empire, centered in modern-day Pakistan, were amazed by the splendor of its royal court. London’s Victoria and Albert Museum describes it as “one of the most magnificent in the whole of India.” Ranjit Singh, the maharaja who ruled in opulence, maintained a solid gold throne for state occasions, though he usually preferred to eschew luxury and often sat on the floor with his subjects.

Ranjit Singh was a brilliant military leader and statesman known as “The Lion of the Punjab.” He was a member of the Sikh faith, a monotheistic religion which developed in the 1400s in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. The Sikh Empire he forged stood for 50 years, until it was conquered by British East India forces in 1849. During Ranjit Singh’s rule, the Sikh Empire was known for religious tolerance. In the annals of the region’s bloody history, his rule stood out as a golden age of peace and security.

In an almost forgotten episode of both Jewish and Sikh history, the Sikh Empire Ranjit Singh founded came to the aid of Jews in their hour of need. In the midst of horrific anti-Jewish violence miles away, the Sikh Empire opened its doors to Jews, helping save hundreds of lives. The Sikh Empire became a home to a now long-forgotten Jewish community in the heart of Pakistan’s Punjab region.

Jews in a Holy Iranian City
While the Sikh Empire was flourishing, over a thousand miles to the northwest a very different region was engaged in long-running fights and violence. In the early 1800s, the city of Mashhad - today Iran’s third largest city - was a semi-autonomous region, buffeted by local fighting and struggles between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

Regarded as a holy city by Shi’ite Muslims, no non-Muslim was allowed to live in Mashhad. Nevertheless, Mashhad was home to a small Jewish population who were caught up in the region’s struggles. The story of how this unlikely Jewish community came to be was a testament to the region's war-torn history.

Even though Mashhad was a tortuous, months-long journey away from the regions of the Sikh Empire, the Jews of Mashhad were intimately linked to the homeland of the Sikhs. A generation earlier, the fearsome Persian ruler Nader Shah had conquered the Punjab region, as well as other vast swathes of territory in India. Known for his bloody cruelty, Nader Shah tortured and killed his enemies with abandon - Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and others - and plundered as many priceless riches as he could from the Indian subcontinent.
The secret story of a brave neighbour
′Dr David Gerbi is passionately committed to preserving the memory of Libya’s Jewish heritage. But Mabrouka was almost as passionate about finding what was being done to Tripoli’s Dar al-Bishi synagogue – where illicit building work was being carried out – as Gerbi was. What was her secret? Here is a summary of a feature called Brave Neighbors (I dream of Tripoli). There is no online link.

Dr David Gerbi has a mission: to preserve Libya’s Jewish heritage. It almost cost him his life. He was threatened by Muslim militias and hurriedly bundled out of Libya when he attempted to pray in Tripoli’s Dar al-Bishi synagogue in 2011. But Gerbi, who is a Rome-based psychologist, is not alone – he relies on a dedicated band of brave Libyans to give him information. They too do so at their own risk.

For instance, Muhammad bin Othman was shot in the leg when he tried to find out what militiamen were doing inside the synagogue. Rumour had it that the men were surreptitiously converting the synagogue into a Muslim cultural centre. Othman spent two months in hospital.

One woman who helped Gerbi more than anyone else is Mabrouka, who lived across the road from the synagogue with her family. Mabrouka was able to slip inside the synagogue and photograph what work was being done. She sent the pictures to Gerbi who was able to attract international attention to Libyan duplicity and the work was stopped.

Her activities were eventually discovered by the militias. Mabrouka was arrested and accused of treason and spying for the Zionists. She was sentenced to eight months in jail. she became ill and needed medical treatmement. To everyone’s surprise she was expelled from Libya and deported to France.

The story does not end there. Why was Mabrouka so passionate about helping to preserve the Dar al-Bishi synagogue? Gerbi questioned her about her family history, although they lived as Muslims.

It turned out that her grandmother on her mother’s side had the name Gerbi Zachia. Gerbi suspected that her grandmother was Jewish. When Mabrouka asked her mother, she said sternly:’Do not ask such questions. It is better to be silent.’

Her grandmother was Jewish, which means that bothe Mabrouka and her mother were Jewish according to Jewish law.

‘Unfortunately,’ says Gerbi, this is not a rare phenomenon, and I am not surprised. There are quite a few Jewish women who married Muslims over the years. In many cases this happened by force, with Muslim men abducting Jewish women. The women lived as virtual prisoners and were afraid to admit that they were Jews, so as not to suffer from Libyan society, that openly persecutes Jews.’

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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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