Sunday, September 10, 2023

From Ian:

As crucial hours pass, Morocco yet to accept most aid offers following quake
Nearly two days after a devastating earthquake hit Morocco, killing thousands in the Marrakesh region and overwhelming the country’s rescuers, Rabat had yet to accept on Sunday afternoon most of the offers of assistance pouring in from around the world.

There were sporadic reports of teams arriving in the country: Spain said it sent 56 rescuers and four search dogs after receiving a formal request for help. Qatar also had a team on the way with specialized equipment. Tunisia also said it had dispatched a delegation of over 50 rescue experts.

But many countries were still waiting for authorization from Moroccan authorities amid growing bewilderment by some that with the hours ticking by and the chances of finding survivors dwindling, the nation did not seem to be in a hurry to accept aid.

Arnaud Fraisse, founder of French aid organization Rescuers Without Borders, told Radio France Sunday that he had a team stuck in Paris waiting for the green light, but the Moroccan government was “blocking all rescue teams.” He said he could not explain Rabat’s conduct.

“We know there is a great urgency to save people and dig under the remains of buildings,” said Fraisse. “There are people dying under the rubble, and we cannot do anything to save them.”

Aid offers have poured in from around the world. Among the many countries that have pledged assistance but have not been given the go-ahead were Israel, the US, France, the UK, Turkey, Algeria and Taiwan.

The UN said it had a team in Morocco coordinating with authorities about how international partners can provide support. About 100 teams made up of a total of 3,500 rescuers from around the world are registered with a UN platform and ready to deploy in Morocco when asked, Rescuers Without Borders said.

The United Nations estimated that 300,000 people were affected by the quake and some Moroccans complained on social networks that the government wasn’t allowing more help from outside.
Jewish Heart of Marrakesh in Ruins
Morocco’s ancient Jewish quarter was severely damaged by Friday’s earthquake.

The horrific 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday night killed thousands of people; many more are injured or missing. International rescuers have been pouring into Morocco to help. Israel’s highly trained disaster relief experts are on stand-by, waiting for permission from Morocco to enter the country and help.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in the High Atlas mountain region, about 45 miles southwest of Marrakesh (also known as Marrakech), Morocco’s fourth-largest city. Much of Marrakesh has been damaged, including the city’s historic “Mellah,” or Jewish quarter. “It’s as if it was hit by a bomb,” explained Hafida Sahaouia, a resident of the quarter, whose own home was utterly destroyed. “We were preparing dinner when we heard something like explosions. Panicked, I quickly went outside with our children. Unfortunately, our house collapsed. We lost everything.”

Much of the Mellah is currently impassable. Once home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the Arab world, today it seems that this centuries-old Jewish quarter has been reduced to rubble.

While rescuers race against the clock to save survivors, Morocco’s Jewish community is coming to terms with incredible loss of life, as well, and the destruction of what was one of the world’s most-visited and unique Jewish quarters. Here is a brief Jewish history of the Mellah.

Ancient Origins
Moroccan Jews have long traced their history back to refugees who fled west after Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzer destroyed the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Legends also abound about Jews visiting Morocco from the Land of Israel in Biblical times to purchase gold to bring back to Israel, or to fight the Philistines who’d been driven out of the Land of Israel. The oldest archaeological evidence of Jews in Morocco is ancient Hebrew-language tombstones in the ruins of the Roman town of Volubilis in Morocco.

The Miara Jewish Cemetery.

One Medieval Islamic scholar, Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) wrote that Jews became so numerous and influential in the area that Berber tribes converted en masse to Judaism. For generations, Khaldun’s assertion was taken as fact, and it was widely assumed that many Moroccan Jews had origins in local tribes. In recent years historians have largely debunked this claim, noting that Morocco’s Jews almost certainly descend directly from visitors from the Land of Israel.

Muslim Coexistence – and Pogroms
Morocco’s territory was largely conquered in the Seventh century CE by the fearsome Muslim warlord Abu al-Muhajir Dinar al-Ansari. He and his troops pressured local Berber leaders to convert to Islam, along with their tribes. Within a generation, the area of present-day Morocco became nearly entirely Muslim. The land’s substantial Christian community largely disappeared. Morocco’s Jews, however, resisted calls to convert, maintaining their distinct beliefs and lifestyles.

Muslim leaders largely tolerated Jews, imposing a “dhimmi” status on them. So long as Jews paid special dhimmi taxes and avoided prestigious professions, they were allowed to remain in Moroccan lands. The conditions Moroccan Jews faced varied. At times, they were allowed to live in Moroccan cities; at other times they were forced to relocate. Under the leadership of Yusuf Ibn Tashfin (c1061-1106) any Jew found to have stayed in Marrakesh overnight was put to death.

For Moroccan Jews, periods of relatively peaceful coexistence alternated with horrific anti-Jewish violence as anti-Jewish pogroms broke out during times of political and social tension. One pogrom in Fez in 1033 is thought to have killed over 6,000 Jews. A major pogrom broke out in Marrakesh in 1232. Some historians believe that another pogrom in Fez in 1465 killed nearly all of the city’s Jews.

In the 1400s, the Sultan took steps to protect Fez’s Jews, inviting them to live in a royal property called the Mellah. “Mellah” means salt in Arabic, and the land he allowed Jews to settle on is thought to have once been either a storehouse for salt or a place where saltwater was stored. Soon, other Moroccan cities established “Mellahs” of their own, including Marrakesh.
Morocco earthquake damages two historic synagogues
Two synagogues in Marrakech's old city sustained damage in the recent earthquake, reports Israeli Rabbi Doron Danino, who was in the city over the weekend. He recounted his experience during Shabbat in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Rabbi Danino stayed at a quaint hotel in the Mellah, Marrakech's Jewish quarter. On Friday night, he worshiped at the Al Fassayn Synagogue, which he described as having suffered "significant damage". The following morning, he attended services at the Slat al-Azama Synagogue, which was "partially damaged". This historic synagogue, believed to be founded by Sephardic Jews who fled Spain in 1492, also encompasses the Jewish Museum and Jewish Center. Its architectural beauty merges a traditional Moroccan riad with elegant zellij decorations. Notably, in the 1950s, it was renovated to incorporate a distinct section for women.

Recounting the terrifying moments of the earthquake, Rabbi Danino said, "Post my dinner with the Haliva family in the Jewish quarter, as I settled in my hotel past 10:30 pm, it felt as though a speeding train was passing. Given there's no railway nearby, the sensation was bewildering. It was akin to the relentless vibrations of a washing machine in spin mode. Inside my room, furniture tumbled and cracks snaked across the walls. Peering outside, I saw debris cascading within the hotel compound. Opting for safety, I stayed put in my room. When the tremors subsided, the grim sight of crumbled structures, including the Haliva's residence where I had dined, greeted me." Damage to historic buildings

Overwhelmed by the ordeal, Danino expressed, "The buildings around me are in ruins. The quake's ferocity was unparalleled, and its duration felt interminable." He added, "Interestingly, the newer districts seemed to have weathered the quake better."

The Palestinians Set Israel's Own System Against Itself
This is Part 7 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.

While Israel’s Civil Administration (COGAT), which governs Area C of the West Bank, technically receives orders from the defense minister, on a day-to-day basis it operates with unchallenged autonomy.

Israeli laws mandate that attempts to trespass and commandeer land must be intercepted, but COGAT commanders are wary of action and weary of global condemnation. They have learned to expect international headlines, along with formal complaints, threats and lawsuits from the Europeans, when they so much as remove a corrugated roof from an illegal structure, which the European Union will likely rebuild anyway. For every razed structure, five new ones take its place.

That Palestinians are legally permitted to bring grievances against COGAT to Israel’s Supreme Court further undermines enforcement. Both foreign and Israeli NGOs receive millions of euros every year to “protect” the Palestinians in the court system, which is backed up with appeals.

In the meantime, the Palestinians build and build, engaging in a brilliant strategy of setting Israel’s own system against itself.

While COGAT generals have a diverse array of personal views about the conflict, the Israel Defense Forces tend to be conformist and technically oriented, concerned with tactical training, readiness and counterterrorism, and focused on immediate, critical threats from Lebanon, Gaza and Iran. The defense establishment views the West Bank as a political dispute as opposed to a national security issue.

But COGAT is well aware of the scope of the hostile takeover in Area C and is choosing not to enforce its legal mandate. Due to intense pressure from the EU, COGAT generals routinely speak with Palestinian Authority officials and work out agreements to refrain from demolishing infrastructure unveiled in Salim Fayyad’s master plan.

While COGAT does occasionally destroy unauthorized structures deemed to be dangerous from a security or safety point of view, such as those built close to IDF training or firing zones, on major traffic arteries, or those that were used as launching pads for terrorists, these demolitions are exceedingly rare, and almost always receive massive media coverage and condemnation.

Through a Supreme Court case, Regavim, an Israeli NGO, succeeded in forcing COGAT to reveal its list of established enforcement priorities. At the top of the list was prevention of Jewish construction on privately owned or state land, while at the very bottom of the list were PA-EU orchestrated takeovers.

In other words, Israel’s Defense Ministry was forced to admit by court order that its enforcement guidelines for land use policy were tilted against Jews and in favor of Arabs.

“They let the Palestinians do things they’d never think about allowing Jewish people to do,” alleges Dr. Yishai Spivak, an investigative researcher with Ad Kan, an Israeli nonprofit that studies organizations and trends that harm Israel’s sovereignty and Zionist identity.
Debunking the Palestinian statehood myth, one fact at a time
There has been so much discussion and debate within Australian Federal Politics lately, particularly within sections of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) about the inevitability, legitimacy, and recognition of “a Palestinian State within pre-1967 borders” that I felt compelled to set the record straight in relation to what I consider to be some critical historical falsehoods and myths being regularly espoused and circulated to support such claims. Enough is enough.

According to the Oxford definition, a fait accompli is “a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.” This term came to mind when listening to a recent speech to the Australian Parliament in Canberra by Aboriginal Australian Senator Lidia Thorpe.

In her speech, Senator Thorpe urged the Australian government to acknowledge the sovereignty of Palestine and the Palestinian people, blurring her extremist Indigenous views to make her case. “We know how it feels to be on the end of a slow, pervasive violence which claims more and more lives as time goes on with no one blinking an eye. We know about apartheid. And we know about being occupied by a power incapable of recognising the truth.”1

The way in which Senator Thorpe condemned “the violent occupation of Palestine, the brutality of the colonial power that is Israel and their state-sanctioned murder of the Palestinians” encouraged me to provide some truth, legitimacy, and balance to an otherwise biased, one-sided, and distorted version of reality when it comes to the aggressive anti-Israel sentiment that has become only too common for me to stand idly and allow to occur.

Palestinian nationalism has “become accepted as fact by most Americans and shaped their views and the policy of most U.S administrations toward the Arab-Israeli conflict.” However, this has not always been the case on the global political stage. According to then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in a 1969 interview in the Sunday Times of London, “there is no such thing as Palestinians. It is not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people”. 2

When considering the long-held claim of historical religious rights and connection to Jerusalem as the eternal ‘Palestinian’ capital, one must consider the existence of any tangible evidence of specific passages or wording within the Islamic sacred text (Quran) which support such a claim. The confronting reality for many readers given global sympathies towards their ongoing struggle, is the misguided notion that the Quran articulates any passages or wording to support this in any way.
Netanyahu warns against Uman travel: ‘God has not always protected us in Europe’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israelis Sunday that traveling to Uman in Ukraine over Rosh Hashanah was dangerous, even as the government approved financial aid for such pilgrims.

“Israeli citizens who are traveling to Ukraine must take personal responsibility for their travel at this time,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Tens of thousands of Israeli and other Jewish worshipers make an annual journey to Uman for the Rosh Hashanah holiday to pray at the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a revered Hasidic leader who died in 1810. In recent years worshipers have been undeterred by the coronavirus pandemic or the war in the country.

The prime minister noted that during his recent conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, the Ukrainian leader stressed that the city does not have enough shelters for its own population in case of a Russian attack, let alone tourists.

“God has not always protected us, not on European soil and not on Ukrainian soil,” he said.

Netanyahu said that when Israel comes under missile attacks, people head for shelter and have protection, “but there — there are no shelters and there is no protection.”
In first, Israeli officials in Saudi Arabia for UNESCO conference
An Israeli delegation of nine staffers is currently in Saudi Arabia as observers to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel on Sunday.

The delegation is led by the head of Israel’s Antiquities Authority and includes diplomats, a different Israeli official said. It is not a bilateral visit, and it was unclear whether the group would meet with Saudi officials.

Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have diplomatic relations, though the White House has been pushing them toward normalizing relations.

Last week, Israel reportedly backed off its attempts to have two ministers publicly enter the kingdom for the UN meeting.

After pressure from the US, Israel decided not to push for visas for Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Education Minister Yoav Kisch, Channel 13 reported.

The Saudis had been introducing obstacles during the visa process, according to the report.

American officials advised Israel not to put Riyadh in an uncomfortable position while a far more significant bilateral normalization deal was in the works.

The bureaucrats attended the conference instead.
Mahmoud Abbas’ Continuing Legacy of Holocaust Distortion
Abbas’ troubling relationship with the Holocaust and historical accuracy stretches all the way back to 1982, when he published his PhD thesis on Zionism and the destruction of European Jewry.

Titled “The Relationship Between Zionists and Nazis, 1933-1945,” Abbas’ dissertation is chockful of antisemitic distortions, including the claim that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis against European Jews, that Zionism and Nazism derive from the same ideology of racial superiority and that Zionists incited against the Jews under Nazi control in order to increase immigration to the Land of Israel.

Abbas also claims that the figure of six million Jews killed during the Holocaust was exaggerated by the Zionists for “political profit” and that the number of Jewish victims is most likely under a million.

Soon after, Abbas developed his thesis into a book entitled “The Other Face: The Secret Connections Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement.”

Written in Arabic, this book expands on Abbas’ assertion that Zionist Jews were responsible for the annihilation of European Jewry during the Holocaust while also further contending that those few who were willing to expose the nefarious connections between the Nazis and Zionists were killed by Israeli intelligence.

In his book, Abbas also questions the use of gas chambers by the Nazis, basing himself on the work of noted Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.

With an academic background like this, it is no surprise that throughout his public career, Abbas continued to trivialize the Holocaust, distort its history or use it as a battering ram against Israel.

In a 2013 interview, Abbas claimed that he had “70 more books that I still haven’t published” about the supposed collaboration between the Nazis and Zionists in the destruction of European Jewry.

In 2018, Abbas asserted that European persecution of Jews “was not against their religion but against their social function, which relates to usury and banking and such.”

In 2022, during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Abbas accused Israel of committing “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians.

In both 2018 and 2022, following an outcry, Abbas appeared to walk back his comments a bit, describing the Holocaust as the “most heinous crime in history.”

However, as pointed out by Yair Rosenberg in Tablet Magazine, this description of the Holocaust falls within Abbas’ worldview.

According to Abbas, the Holocaust was a terrible crime, but it was the byproduct of collaboration between the Zionists and Nazis. In other words, Jews are the criminals responsible for the destruction of European Jewry.

It’s only a matter of time until Mahmoud Abbas makes another speech or off-hand comment that questions the extent of the Holocaust or that blames the Jews themselves for the destruction of European Jewry.

Then, like now, will the politicians, media, and talking heads feign surprise and outrage that the “moderate” head of the Palestinian Authority could make such absurd remarks?

After all, he’s only been spreading his revisionist theories and ahistorical opinions on the Holocaust for more than 40 years.
PA spox defends Abbas claim Nazis annihilated Jews over ‘usury’
A spokesman for the head of the Palestinian Authority has defended his recent antisemitic statements, arguing he merely cited “academic and historical” sources.

“What was recently attributed to President Mahmoud Abbas in a television program regarding the Jewish question was a quotation from writings of Jewish, American and other historians and authors,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement published last week by the P.A.’s official WAFA news agency.

Ramallah also expressed its “strong condemnation and outrage” over what it called a “frenzied campaign [against Abbas] for just quoting academic and historical quotations.” The statement did not name the authors Abbas was referring to.

“Mahmoud Abbas’s position on this matter is clear and unwavering, which is a full condemnation of the Nazi Holocaust and a rejection of antisemitism,” claimed Abu Rudeineh.

Abbas, who is at the same time president of the Palestinian Authority, chairman of the PLO and chairman of the Fatah movement, shared his theories about Ashkenazi Jews on Aug. 24, claiming they are the descendants of Khazars and that Adolf Hitler had Jews slaughtered not because they were Jews but because of their “social role” as moneylenders.

Russian officials enraged by historical 'inaccuracies' in 'Golda'
A Russian organization known as "Ofitzeri Rosii," or "Officers of Russia," has contacted the prosecutor general of the Russian Federation, Igor Krasnov, alleging historical inaccuracies in "Golda," the movie by Israeli director Guy Nattiv, which tells the story of the former Israeli prime minister, played by Dame Helen Mirren.

The film's Russian premiere took place in Moscow several days ago as part of a Jewish film festival, and it premiered in Russian theaters threes day ago.

The Russian organization is livid with how the former Soviet Union was portrayed, as well references by Golda Meir, a native of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, to Ukraine as a country. They allege Ukraine was never a sovereign nation, but merely a territory of greater Russia.

They further claim their complaint is not only their own, but rather a joint appeal by many Russian citizens who have noticed the many ways in which Russia was defamed as the movie unfolded, and that it was clear the movie's creators were attempting to trigger a rift within Russian society, including between Russians and Jews.

"We received an appeal from citizens who were present at this screening," their message said, "who noted the undisguised Russophobic context of this propaganda product of the British film industry, an attempt by English scriptwriters and directors to split Russian society, including along ethnic and religious lines, pitting Russian and Jewish people against each other."

"Considering the difficult foreign policy situation and the ongoing special military operation, in which, by the way, military personnel and volunteers of both Russian and Jewish nationality, as well as many other nationalities, perform service and combat tasks shoulder to shoulder, these attempts look especially cynical and contradict the tasks of preservation and strengthening of traditional Russian spiritual values, including those set forth in the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation."

In order to solidify the Russian-Israeli connection, they said, "the film contains numerous attacks on the Soviet Union, which allegedly unleashed a war against Israel through the Arab states. This ignores the historical fact that it was the Soviet Union that strengthened the creation of Israel as a state, and diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Israel were severed only after the Israeli aggression in 1967, when Tel Aviv suddenly attacked its neighbors, violating all norms of international law."

JPost Editorial: Tamir Pardo crossed a red line
Former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo is the latest in a line of former top officials to cross a line in his desire to bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing government.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, Pardo claimed that Israel is implementing an “apartheid state” policy against Palestinians in the West Bank.

“In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state,” said Pardo, who was the Mossad chief from 2011-2016.

This isn’t an “extreme” viewpoint, he said, “it’s a fact.”

Larger implications of Pardo's comments
Although he limited his comments to the West Bank, they will almost certainly be used to attack all of Israel on international platforms.

The fact that Pardo held such a senior position would appear to add credence to his words. Unfortunately, his comments are factually flawed.

As the Post’s Tovah Lazaroff explained last week, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), which is home to more than two million Palestinians and half a million Israelis, is divided into three sections, Areas A, B, and C, in accordance with the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Areas A and B, which comprise 40% of the West Bank, are under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.

The remainder of the West Bank, some 60%, is under Israel’s military and civilian control. The nearly half a million Israelis who live there are under IDF military rule but maintain the same individual rights as those who live in sovereign Israel. The more than 300,000 Palestinians who live there also do so under IDF military rule, but maintain some rights from the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu condemns anti-reform protest leader who likened government to Nazis
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked Shikma Bressler, a leader of the opposition to judicial reform, who compared his government to the Nazis during a panel discussion on Friday.

“I strongly condemn the words of the leader of the leftist demonstrations, Shikma Bressler, who referred to the government ministers as ‘Nazis,'” Netanyahu said on Saturday.

“This scandalous statement is both an insult to the Holocaust and a wild incitement to the murder of government ministers and elected officials. The right to demonstrate is not the right to incite,” he added.

Referring to reports of renewed efforts to reach a compromise on judicial reform, Bressler said at the first Nahalal Conference on Democracy in northern Israel, “It is forbidden to talk to Nazis, whether they are Jews or non-Jews.”

Bressler pointed to stickers from a pro-reform rally on Thursday that expressed support for Jews who had committed, or called for, acts of violence against Arabs.

A few hours after her statement, and following an uproar, Bressler apologized on X: “I made a mistake in my comments. I used a word that has no place in the conversation. I regret and apologize for these remarks.”

Member of Knesset Ofir Katz of Likud, the coalition whip, took the opposition to task for not denouncing Bressler’s remarks.

“Not one. Not even one politician from the ‘enlightened’ camp dared to condemn the ugly words of the protest leader. A camp full of ex-pats: chiefs of staff, Mossad personnel, police personnel, and everyone trembling before her,” Katz said.
Anti-judicial reform NGO hires Washington PR firm
Blue and White Future, an Israeli NGO that provides financial and organizational support to several groups actively protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, recently hired a Washington-based PR firm to bolster its cause in the United States.

Trident DMG will provide Blue and White Future with “strategic communications services,” according to filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act cited by Politico. The three-month contract is reportedly worth $75,000.

Among other services, Trident will distribute press releases, arrange radio and TV interviews, and disseminate the “positions of the pro-democracy movement in Israel” in newspapers and magazines, the Department of Justice filings revealed.

Trident DMG was founded by Democratic Party strategist Josh Galper, former CNN journalist Eleanor McManus, former Clinton White House special associate counsel Adam Goldberg and former Clinton lawyer Lanny Davis.

Blue and White Future is chaired by CEO Eran Schwartz, a leader in the demonstrations against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s judicial reform drive. Other public faces of the association include Gilead Sher, who served as chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, as well as Maya Jacobs, Barak’s former spokesperson.
Palestinian terrorists try to fire rocket at Israeli moshav
Terrorists in northern Samaria tried and failed to fire a rocket at an Israeli community on Sunday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The improvised launcher was located adjacent to the town of Silat al-Harithiya, northwest of Jenin and in the area of the Menashe Regional Brigade’s responsibility, the army said.

The Hamas-linked Al-Ayyash Battalion published a video showing what it said was a Qassam 1 rocket aimed at the Israeli moshav of Ram-On in the Gilboa region, which has been targeted before. The launch failed after the primitive projectile traveled a short distance.

The Israeli military said that it was investigating the incident.

Oved Nur, head of the Gilboa Regional Council, called on the security establishment to take stronger protective measures.

“The IDF and the security forces are doing an excellent job, and we give them full backing, [but] on the other hand, as we have said again and again, there is a significant and urgent need to reinforce the security and protection measures required for the Gilboa communities in general, and those near the [security] fence [with Samaria] in particular,” Nur said.

“We demand that an Iron Dome [battery] be deployed in our area and act proactively in the territory of the [Palestinian] Authority to reduce the motivation to harm the citizens of the country. In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the situation in the council [area] is completely routine.”
Arab, anarchist rioters vandalize Judean town of Otniel
Some 30 Arab and anarchist rioters on Saturday damaged property in the town of Otniel in Judea, south of Hebron, according to the Mount Hebron Regional Council spokesman’s office.

The rioters were spotted approaching the community, and its security patrol was waiting for them when they crossed into the town. The head of Otniel’s security called the Israel Defense Forces for help.

The rioters vandalized property and equipment and destroyed a tent used by the local youth for prayer and Bible study.

Military and security personnel arrived and removed the rioters. Two of the anarchists attacked soldiers and were arrested, the Mount Hebron spokesman’s office said. Some Otniel residents were also reportedly detained for questioning.

For their part, the left-wing activists claimed that they were attacked. Ori Givati, advocacy director at Breaking the Silence, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that “settlers attacked activists with severe violence at two o’clock in the south of Mount Hebron.

“The attack took place near police officers who did nothing and did not even allow the activist to receive medical treatment for nearly two hours despite his demand. No settler was arrested. The two activists who were attacked are arrested.”

Daniel Greenfield: ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ ‘Palestinian’ Terrorists Fight Over Control of UNRWA School Bomb Factories
Whenever Israel has to venture militarily into one of the cities or towns dubbed ‘refugee camps’ largely because the UN insists on funding its perpetual ‘refugees’ no matter how many generations have passed, there is outrage, condemnations, and hysteria. Whenever Israel has to fight Islamic terrorists ensconced in an UNRWA facility being used as a bomb factory or launching site for rocket attacks, politicians start comparing Israel to the Nazis.

But when the terrorists are doing it to each other, there’s an awkward silence.

The prized objectives here are the UNRWA bases and bomb factories operating as schools.

In the weeks since the ceasefire was reached, UNRWA reported that a number of the schools it manages in the camp were taken over by militant groups.

The fighting was focused on a school compound belonging to the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, a source in the camp’s Palestinian leadership told AFP on condition of anonymity.

UNRWA had previously warned that militants were occupying its schools in the camp.

Does anyone else ever occupy the schools? Funding UNRWA means funding terrorists. And, in this case, terrorists battling for control over their ultimate resource… UNRWA.

If Israel were in there, there would be outrage. Since the terrorists are doing it to each other, the story gets buried on Page 54.
Fatah quotes Arafat: “We fight when we want to fight, according to a Palestinian decision”
Fatah quotes Arafat: “We fight when we want to fight, according to a Palestinian decision, not external instructions”

The Fatah Movement – Bethlehem Branch posted a video and text on its Telegram channel showing former PLO and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat giving a speech in the Gaza Strip at an unknown date:

PLO and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat: “Yes… we fight when we want to fight, according to a Palestinian decision, and not according to external instructions. Whoever wants it wants it, whoever rejects it rejects it, and whoever doesn’t like it – let them go drink from the sea.” [Fatah Movement – Bethlehem Branch, Telegram channel, Aug. 14, 2023]

“Palestinian women are the strongest in the world” because they also “lead” terror attacks
Official PA TV program Female Palestinian Expatriates, hosting former PLO diplomat and engineer Raqiya Al-Ali who lives in Tunis

Former PLO diplomat and engineer Raqiya Al-Ali: “The Palestinian women are among the strongest women in the world. Why? Because the yoke borne by the Palestinian women is heavier than that borne by any other women… [The Palestinian women] are also comrades in arms. Let us not forget that there are female Palestinian pioneers who led military operations (i.e., terror attacks) and hijacked planes.” [Official PA TV, Female Palestinian Expatriates, Aug. 28, 2023]

Making child soldiers in PA Security Forces/Fatah summer camp
The video shows children performing drills with assault rifles in a PA Security Forces and Fatah summer camp

PA Security Forces member: “The role of the [PA] National Security [Forces], on the instructions of Gen. Nidal Abu Doukhan – National Security Forces Commander – is… to serve the national movement and our people. He directed extensive cooperation between us and [Fatah's] district branches, and specifically the Central Hebron district, so that we would establish [summer] camps that serve the national unity and make the civilians feel safe… We are under occupation and the occupation is always lying in ambush for us, and we need to deal with it intellectually, culturally, mentally, and in struggle, in every field.” [Fatah-run Awdah TV, Facebook page, Aug. 3, 2023]

FDD: Twenty Years Later, Iran Remains In Non-Compliance With Its Nuclear Nonproliferation Obligations
Sept. 12 will mark the 20th anniversary of the first resolution criticizing Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) board of governors.

The board, a 35-nation body tasked with policymaking for the UN nuclear watchdog, issues such resolutions to pressure countries to comply with their nonproliferation safeguards obligations. In 2023, the Islamic Republic has still not fulfilled the demands of the original resolution, and it appears poised to make nuclear weapons at a time of its choosing.

A new approach is needed that refocuses Western attention on addressing Iran’s fundamental breaches of its nonproliferation obligations — and soon.

The strictly worded resolution passed by the board in September 2003 demanded that Tehran provide “a full declaration” under its safeguards agreement — the fundamental legal accord that parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty reach with the IAEA to ensure international oversight and the peacefulness of their nuclear programs.

The resolution followed international discovery in mid-2002 of Iran’s vast, secret nuclear program, including a uranium enrichment site at Natanz and Iran’s acquisition and processing of uranium. Both breached Tehran’s safeguards agreement, because Iran failed to report them.

To support the IAEA’s “verification of the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations,” the first resolution also demanded unrestricted access to Iranian sites and environmental sampling, which would enable the agency to detect traces of nuclear materials. The board requested Tehran answer the agency’s questions about the origins of its nuclear activities, give details about experimentation, and provide any other information or explanations the agency deemed necessary.

Twenty years later, Iran has not remedied “all failures identified by the Agency” or cooperated “fully with the Agency to ensure verification of compliance with Iran’s safeguards agreement,” as the original resolution stipulated. The board has since passed 15 other Iran resolutions. In 2006, it referred Iran’s case to the UN Security Council, which passed a series of sanctions against Tehran.
Iran, US on Verge of Prisoner Swap under Qatar-Mediated Deal
When $6 billion of unfrozen Iranian funds are wired to banks in Qatar as early as next week, it will trigger a carefully choreographed sequence that will see as many as five detained U.S. dual nationals leave Iran and a similar number of Iranian prisoners held in the U.S. fly home, according to eight Iranian and other sources familiar with the negotiations who spoke to Reuters.

As a first step, Iran on Aug. 10 released four U.S. citizens from Tehran’s Evin prison into house arrest, where they joined a fifth, who was already under house arrest. Later that day U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the move the first step of a process that would lead to their return home.

They include businessmen Siamak Namazi, 51, and Emad Sharqi, 59, as well as environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, 67, who also holds British nationality, the U.S. administration has said. The Tahbaz and Shargi families did not respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for the Namazi family declined to comment.

The identities of the fourth and fifth Americans, one of whom according to two sources is a woman, have not been disclosed. Reuters couldn’t establish which Iranian prisoners, in turn, would be swapped by the U.S.

At the center of the negotiations that forged this deal between the superpower which Iran brands the “Great Satan” and the Islamic Republic which Washington calls a state sponsor of terrorism is the tiny but hugely rich state of Qatar.

Doha hosted at least eight rounds of talks involving Iranian and U.S. negotiators sitting in separate hotels speaking via shuttle diplomacy, a source briefed on the discussions said, with the earlier sessions focused mainly on the thorny nuclear issue and the later ones on the prisoner releases.
Mossad head: 27 Iranian murder plots against Jews and Israelis foiled
The Mossad intelligence agency, in cooperation with its international allies, has so far in 2023 foiled 27 plots by Iran to murder Israelis and Jews outside the borders of the Jewish state, the agency’s Director David Barnea revealed on Sunday.

Speaking at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT)’s 22nd World Summit on Counter-Terrorism at Herzliya’s Reichman University, Barnea spoke of a “significant increase in attempts to attack Jews and Israelis worldwide” by what he called “the Terroristic Republic of Iran.”

“The plots being pursued by these [terrorist] teams were orchestrated, masterminded and directed by Iran,” he said, noting that the attempted attacks occurred “all over the world,” including “in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.”

Two weeks ago, Israel’s National Security Council cautioned citizens to remain vigilant while traveling over the upcoming Jewish holiday period. The updated travel warning cited a higher risk of Iranian terrorism in both neighboring and faraway countries including Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as in countries in Africa and Latin America.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have also charged the Islamic Republic with orchestrating the most recent surge in Palestinian terrorism, which saw three Israelis killed and one seriously wounded in just under 72 hours last month.

As part of his remarks on Sunday, Barnea showed a video he said proved beyond a doubt that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is directly involved in murder plots against Jews worldwide. “The Iranian regime is no longer able to deny its involvement, and most importantly, it has no immunity,‎” stated the Mossad head.
Iranian embassy in Paris targeted in arson attempt - report
Iran’s embassy in Paris was allegedly targeted in an arson attempt on Saturday evening, according to media reports.

Videos of fire damage outside the embassy’s back gate have circulated online.

Iran’s Mehr News Agency wrote that an investigation into the fire was launched and later accused the French authorities of failing to meet their obligation, under the Vienna Convention, to protect the diplomatic sites of the Islamic republic.

Who attacked the embassy?
While it is unconfirmed who carried out the attack, a number of social media users have connected the timing of the attack to the upcoming anniversary of the murder of Mahsa Amini.

Amini’s murder by Iranian police caused a number of protests to break out across Iran. Over 1500 protesters were killed.

Why the Antisemitism Awareness Act Matters
As we head back into a new school year, we know that our American Jewish students will be on the front lines of the battle against rising antisemitism. Many of our students, whom we have taught to cherish and protect their Jewish identity, their Zionism and their deeply nurtured connections to the state of Israel, may face much hostility from both their anti-Zionist peers as well as from their professors.

As they head back to their campuses, over the course of the year, many will be confronted with chants of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” They may have to endure mock “apartheid walls” or “die-in’s.” Many professors, particularly in Middle East Studies, will libel Israel as “an apartheid state,” “a colonial state” or “a racist state.” Jewish students may see swastikas drawn somewhere on the campus and might have their mezuzahs ripped down from their doorposts. They might well be excluded from certain clubs or extracurricular activities if their peers find out they are Zionists or even Jewish. Their professors might single them out for ridicule if and when they find out that they are Zionists. One recent graduate had told me his professor said: “Had I realized you were a Zionist when grading your paper, I would have given you a lower grade.”

As students head back to Princeton University, they might be taking a humanity course featuring a book by Jasbir Puar, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, where she argues that Israel harvests Palestinian organs.

Or they might be unfortunate enough to have her as a professor at Rutger’s University, where she is the director of the women’s and gender studies program.

Or they might be unlucky enough to go to Oberlin College where Islamic Studies Professor Mohammad Jafar Mahalati has argued that the Iranian massacre of more than 5,000 of its citizens is simply “a minor detail.”

Colleges Already Flunking Their Tests on Antisemitism
Colleges and universities are back for the Fall semester, but when it comes to the rising swells of antisemitism that has overtaken the campus green as of late, it’s never too early to issue report cards. Failing grades are nearly everywhere, with some of the top schools managing to attract the most fashionable Jew-haters.

In a woke minefield, disarming antisemitism is of very low priority. Another academic year and so many new accusations against Jews to learn. It’s positively exhilarating.

Take Princeton University. That’s where Albert Einstein ended up after fleeing the Nazis, occupying an office at a time when Jews were scarce on campus. Today, you don’t need to be an Einstein to teach there. This semester, Princeton is tarnishing its Ivy League credentials by offering a course titled, “The Healing Humanities—Decolonializing Trauma Studies from the Global South.” Listed on the course syllabus is a book, “The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity and Disability.”

Yes, I know: Neither the course description nor the book title is written in any known language. The protocols of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a friend of jargon and enemy of grammar. The consequences of eroding academic standards are apparent everywhere.

But this curriculum word salad is rancid in yet another way. By assigning “The Right to Maim” to its students, the Princeton Humanities Department is endorsing a book, and the public pronouncements of its author, that charge the Israeli Defense Forces with harvesting the organs of Palestinians, and deliberately shooting to maim, and devising ways to stunt the growth, of Palestinian children.

Any proof for these defamatory assertions? No, not necessary on campuses where critical thinking is only an elective these days, with citations and references merely optional. The author of the book was once asked whether she could supply empirical data substantiating her claims. She casually replied that her main goal was to get the attention of the reader. Well, at least she’s a good student of history, smart enough to know that scapegoating Jews never fails to attract a crowd—no matter the country, regardless of era.

Reuters Blames Israel for Oslo Accords Failure, Ignores Palestinian Terrorism
When the world’s largest news agency produces a piece looking back at one of the Middle East’s historic events, you’d expect it to be as careful as possible in maintaining its standards of impartial reporting.

Yet Reuters failed miserably in its podcast weekend episode aimed at analyzing “the legacy of the Oslo Accords”, marking 30 years since they were signed.

One must hear it to believe it, but this is how the host summarizes their failure:
Cheers from the White House lawn in 1993 as Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat shake hands.

But immediate protests back home and Rabin – who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Arafat in 1994 – was assasinated the following year by a far right Jewish Israeli opposed to the deal.

Not a word about thousands of Israelis who were killed during and after the Oslo process by Palestinian terrorists (more than 100 in March 2002 alone, which saw almost daily attacks and suicide bombings in Israeli cities).

Not a word about Arafat consistently refusing generous offers. Not a word about him masterminding the Second Intifada.

Utter silence.

Only the extremist Israelis are to blame according to Reuters’ twisted narrative.

But it gets even worse.

The host, worried about the future of the two-state solution, asks a Reuters correspondent in Jerusalem for an explanation. What follows is oversimplified reporting, blaming everything on Israeli settlements while making the Palestinians look like they just want equal rights.

If an alien listened to this piece with the genuine intent of learning something about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he’d think the entire problem comes down to evil Jews who shattered hopes for peace and have been continuously oppressing innocent Palestinians ever since.

Almost half of the entire podcast on this issue is dedicated to the problem of Israeli settlements, as the correspondent is mourning the fact that they: Calls Hamas ‘Freedom Fighters’ in Vile Piece That Glorifies Palestinian Terrorism
Entertainment website recently published an interview with British-Palestinian filmmaker Farah Nabulsi, who discussed her forthcoming new movie ‘The Teacher,’ which tells the story of a Palestinian schoolteacher who “struggles to reconcile his life-threatening commitment to political resistance” with several relationships he has formed.

The original version of the interview, which was written by Deadline’s International Features Editor Diana Lodderhose and published on September 8, opened with the following paragraph:
When British-Palestinian filmmaker Farah Nabulsi was watching the UK media coverage of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011, it had a profound impact on her. At the time, Shalit was an Israeli occupation soldier who had been abducted in 2006 by Palestinian freedom fighters and the first Israeli soldier to be captured by Palestinians since 1994. Shalit was eventually released five years later in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners, including hundreds of which were women and children.”

This is undoubtedly among the most profoundly disturbing paragraphs about Israel ever published in a mainstream media outlet. Join the fight for Israel’s fair coverage in the news

First, to characterize Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization that rules over the Gaza Strip with an iron fist, as “freedom fighters” defies belief. The group, which is defined as a terrorist group by almost the entirety of the Western world, is behind some of the worst atrocities in Israeli history, including suicide bombings and shooting attacks that targeted innocent civilians.

We can only speculate as to which part of detonating an explosive-packed belt inside a restaurant filled with families, as was the case in the Sbarro pizzeria bombing, that Deadline editor Ms. Lodderhose believes constitutes freedom fighting.

Second, the description of Gilad Shalit as an “Israeli occupation soldier” is an example of the worst type of editorializing imaginable. Shalit, a corporal in the Israeli Defense Forces, was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists who had tunneled into Israel from Gaza and launched an attack on an IDF outpost.

Third, Lodderhose’s claim that “more than 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners” were released in exchange for Shalit is pure fiction. Among those set free in the controversial exchange was Ahlam Tamimi, the unrepentant mastermind of the aforementioned Sbarro attack who smirked when she was told how many children had died in the bombing. So was current Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar, who was originally sentenced to four life terms in 1989 for murder and kidnapping.

Sadly, the errors and editorial misjudgments are not confined to the first paragraph.
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks during August 2023 shows that throughout the month a total of 190 incidents took place: 166 in Judea & Samaria and 24 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’. No incidents were recorded in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ the agency recorded 113 attacks with petrol bombs, 42 attacks using pipe bombs, nineteen shooting attacks, six arson attacks, three stabbing attacks, two vehicular attacks and one rock throwing attack (the ISA only records rock throwing attacks which result in moderate or severe injuries).

Five people were killed and eighteen were wounded in attacks during July.

Throughout the first eight months of 2023 the BBC News website reported 2.2% of the terror attacks which actually took place (not including Operation Shield and Arrow) and 91% of the fatalities.

BBC News website coverage of Israel’s counter-terrorism operations continues to fail to adequately inform audiences how many of the Palestinian casualties were members of terrorist organisations and/or males involved in violence at the time.

Police are called to auction house amid fury over Nazi flag which was hoisted in window to promote World War Two sale
Police were called after an auctioneer hoisted a Nazi flag in his window to promote a World War Two sale, which could fetch £500.

The flag, which features a black swastika against the Austrian red-and-white triband, is expected to go under the hammer on September 30.

The upcoming auction at Saturday Auction House in Blackminster, Evesham, Worceshire, has sparked controversy among locals after auctioneer Trevor Williamson put the flag in the shop window.

The flag was removed on Monday after a complaint was made to West Mercia Police.

Mr Williamson says the 3ft by 5ft flag was seized by British troops in World War Two and kept as a souvenir.

Seth Frantzman: Trophy protection system to be used on new Leopard 2 tanks in Norway, Germany: Rafael
The Trophy active protection system will be used on new Leopard 2 tanks in Germany and Norway, according to Israel-based Rafael, part of the joint venture that will provide the platform.

That joint venture, EuroTrophy is based in Germany and was established in 2022 bringing together General Dynamics European Land Systems, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rafael. Rafael made the Trophy announcement in the leadup to DSEI, which begins in the UK next week.

“Trophy APS selected as the baseline APS of the new Leopard 2 A8 MBT configuration with first contracts awarded for Germany and Norway,” Rafael said in a statement. It noted that the decision was made by KNDS, which is a combination of Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and France’s Nexter Defense Systems. KNDS is the supplier that supports heavily armored vehicles, such as the Leopard. The Leopard has been made historically by KMW.

“With this achievement, Trophy has become the most successful active protection system integrated on Western Main Battle Tanks including Leopard 2, Abrams M1 and Merkava IV, as well as lighter platforms such as the Namer APC and other wheeled and tracked infantry fighting vehicles,” Rafael said. (In February 2021 Germany announced it would equip the Leopard 2 A7A1 version of the tank with Trophy. Those tanks are for the Bundeswehr and are intended to be fielded with the Very High Joint Readiness Task Force (VJTF). Trophy systems were delivered for the US Abrams tanks in 2020.)

“Furthermore, in May 2023, the Federal Acquisition Office of the German Armed Forces (BAAINBw) has signed a framework agreement with KMW for the delivery of up to 123 Leopard 2 in A8 standard configuration,” the company said. The Norwegian Defense Material Agency has commissioned KNDS to deliver 53 Leopard 2 A8 tanks with the Trophy system, according to Rafael
Israeli and US Navy SEALs dive into startup world together
Many Israeli startup founders are veterans of famed IDF technological units 81 and 8200.

Israeli Navy SEALs, on the other hand, are more likely to work in security after their service. Same goes for US Navy SEALs. (SEAL stands for Sea, Air, Land.)

Version Bravo was established with the understanding that operational veterans of these two elite naval units have unique untapped entrepreneurial potential.

“The name ‘Version Bravo’ encompasses our core mission: To help former special operators take their military skills into the business world,” says Global Director Nuri Golan, who leads the program as a volunteer.

Golan served six years in the Israel Navy SEALs (Shayetet 13), earned an MBA at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and moved back to the United States, where he was raised. He took on Version Bravo as a voluntary sideline to his own successful startup career.

“Bravo is the military phonetic word for the letter B. Similar to how a ‘beta version’ describes the next version of a product, Version Bravo is a first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship program that helps our special operators to become the most impactful civilian versions of themselves as innovators, job creators and entrepreneurs,” Golan tells ISRAEL21c.

“We saw that a lot of veterans of both communities don’t find their way quickly in civilian life. But the skills you get in special forces training and service – leadership and management, working under stress, making and assessing tough decisions on a daily basis — are directly translatable to the startup and entrepreneurial world,” Golan explains.

“All these soft skills are there and the guys just need a little boost to put them to use in business.”

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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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