Monday, September 18, 2023

From Ian:

Jason D. Greenblatt: No Matter Our Religion, We All Want Peace
Over the past seven years, I have been privileged and humbled to have had a front-row seat to a dramatically changing Middle East. On a recent trip to Riyadh, a post of me and my daughter in a Riyadh mall on social media garnered more than 1.8 million views. Most of the comments were welcoming. The only real controversy was from commenters who chided the person who posted the photo for doing so without my permission.

I have been fortunate to have had countless powerful experiences with Arabs, Christians and Muslims throughout the Middle East. In all conversations, even when we disagree on Israel (a not uncommon occurrence), the conversations have been respectful and typically end with a polite goodbye, perhaps a handshake, and sometimes even a hug. I am deeply inspired by the changes that I see in the tone and tenor of the conversations. Reactions to my op-eds in the Arab press are often quite positive, pragmatic and hopeful, even if my views are contrary to the beliefs of many.

A very pro-Palestinian friend of mine in one of the Gulf countries wrote: "The thoughts you express are becoming more and more common in the region. I believe the major Gulf states and a lot of the Arab states have recognized that the Palestinian question will not be resolved given the current status quo and while the internal divisions within the Palestinians themselves are not resolved." I hear these sentiments more and more these days.

I firmly believe that, while most of the region would love to see an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they also know that, for the time being and for so many reasons, that is not achievable. But more and more they are recognizing that we cannot get so caught up in making things perfect and, as a result, never get anything done. In more and more conversations, people tell me that Israel must be integrated into the region, all while not giving up hope that, one day, a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will present itself.

During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews all over the world will pray for many things. To my dear cousins in Arab lands, I hope you will join us in our prayers for peace. Let us walk down the path of Abraham together, as descendants of Abraham, and work together to build a beautiful, prosperous and peaceful future for the next generation.
'The Heist': How Israel, Mossad are combatting Iran's nuclear program
On the night of January 31, 2018, the spies, the analysts, the technicians, and the operations chiefs of the Mossad, the State of Israel’s fabled intelligence arm, were gathered inside the agency’s state-of-the-art situation room on the outskirts of Tel Aviv to oversee an operation that they all knew could turn out to be momentous for their country—or, if things went awry, disastrous.

Yossi Cohen, the dapper chief of the agency, dressed in his usual crisply ironed white shirt, sat at a desk, keeping his eye on the time, while the whole room was in a state of tense expectation, waiting for him to give the order for one of the Mossad’s most audacious operations to begin. On the surrounding walls, an array of plasma screens glimmered, as if waiting for the satellite video feed of the operation to appear on them, providing a real-time view of what was taking place on the ground hundreds of miles away. The Mossad's sleepless nights

Cohen and dozens of Mossad agents had been working for days, almost without sleep. The moment had arrived. At exactly 10:31 p.m., Cohen said, “Execute,” carefully enunciating each of the syllables of the command, which set in motion a Mossad team poised for action in Iran, specifically in the Shirobad industrial neighborhood on the southern outskirts of Iran’s capital, Tehran. Shirobad wasn’t the kind of place you would imagine as the scene of a spy drama with international consequences.

It was just a drab zone of corrugated-iron-roofed warehouses stretching as far as the eye could see. But on that night, two dozen selected Mossad operatives—most likely a mix of Israeli agents and Iranians opposed to the Islamic Republic’s theocratic regime—were propelled into a swift, well-rehearsed motion.

While Cohen watched the clock back in Israel, they broke into one of the warehouses, used high-temperature blow torches to penetrate a series of steel vaults, and began to remove files, physical and electronic, that contained the entire record of Iran’s strenuous effort to become a nuclear-armed power going back to its beginnings nearly thirty years before.

Cohen watched the clock because time was of the essence. The team in Iran had exactly six and a half hours to find the vast amount of material they needed, load it onto trucks, and make their escape, or they would be discovered, and the mission, with all its months of meticulous planning—data analysis, risky intelligence gathering by agents infiltrated into Iran, and more—would come to naught, and two dozen lives could be lost to the tender mercies of Iranian justice.
David Singer: Instead of protests outside the UN, let's unite Israelis with a ceremony
The introduction by Israel of a Welcome to Country ceremony – similar to that which has existed in Australia since 1973 – could be just the circuit-breaker needed to reunite a bitterly divided Israeli society - even the protesters and the 15 judges of Israel’s Supreme Court who sat on the issue of basic laws on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

Such a ceremony would serve to bring the Jewish people together to publicly honor, recognise and acknowledge their forefathers as the traditional owners of the land on which the State of Israel has been established and to which Israel is entitled to lay claim in Judea and Samaria under articles 6 and 25 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

It would also unite Israelis in their fight against attempts by the UN and UNESCO to create political facts on the ground by erasing Jewish ownership of historic Jewish archaeological sites instead of those Kaplan Street protesters fighting the UN.

The UN and UNESCO's latest despicable effort is Jericho – containing Jewish heritage sites including the Hasmonean Winter Palaces, King Herod’s Third Palace, a Byzantine-era synagogue dating back to the 6th Century CE, ritual baths, and nearby burial caves used by priests of the Second Temple.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica faithfully records the history of the Jewish people’s arrival in Canaan as detailed in the Old Testament:
“Twelve Tribes of Israel, in the Bible, the Hebrew people who, after the death of Moses, took possession of the Promised Land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. Because the tribes were named after sons or grandsons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel after he wrestled an angel of the Lord, the Hebrew people became known as Israelites.

Ed Husain: The Abraham Accords Three Years On
This week marks the painful remembrance of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet, the week also shares the anniversary of the most powerful intellectual and diplomatic rebuke to the Al Qaeda worldview. Osama bin Laden attacked America for its role in the Middle East and desperately tried to whip up hatred between Westerners, Jews, Muslims, and Arabs. His death in 2011 did not end his message, but the Abraham Accords signed on September 15, 2020, have changed the lives of millions. And it has the potential, if America builds on existing achievements, to positively alter the Middle East and the wider world.

First, I am writing these lines as I shuttle between Jerusalem and Arab capitals. The Accords helped establish direct flights between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, some above Saudi airspace. In the airport lounges of Dubai, I watch ordinary Iranians and Israelis, supposedly sworn enemies, talking about their families and businesses. Trade volumes are increasing annually between Arab nations and Israel from $590 million in 2019 to $3.4 billion last year and will burgeon significantly. With 200 weekly flights between Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, more than a million Israelis have visited the United Arab Emirates. Air traffic has increased between Israel and Morocco, Jordan, and Turkey.

Second, since 1947, Israelis have lived behind an iron curtain with little contact with their Arab and Muslim neighbors. Most Israelis, only encountering Palestinians at checkpoints, viewed Arabs with suspicion. Now, as one Israeli general explained to me, “We Israelis are wearing new glasses and seeing Arabs and Muslims as partners in peace.” In the security of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Israelis visit mosques and malls, beaches and golf courses, kosher restaurants, and even a synagogue beside churches and mosques. In Jerusalem, Israelis are stabbed and dare not enter Gaza. In the Arabian Gulf, Israelis and Arabs dance at weddings, invest in businesses, and change school curricula to educate for a better future. As the Accords declare: “We seek tolerance and respect for every person in order to make this world a place where all can enjoy a life of dignity and hope, no matter their race, faith or ethnicity.” Change takes time and leadership. What the Accords have started must continue and, in the long run, will increase the popularity of peace in Arab countries. Persuading 350 million Arabs will be a more complex challenge than 10 million Israelis, but the work has begun and requires American and regional support.

Third, where the UAE has led, Saudi Arabia will likely follow, and now there is a serious and sustained negotiation led by the United States to make peace between Mecca and Jerusalem, Islam and Judaism, Israel and Saudi Arabia. That such a diplomatic and civilizational breakthrough is even on the negotiation table is a significant advance from the days when Osama bin Laden wrongly claimed to represent Saudi interests. Bin Laden sought to expel American and Israeli interests from the Middle East: The Saudi crown prince, Mohamed bin Salman, seeks treaty-level American security guarantees and advanced weapons systems to protect Saudi Arabia from radicals inside and outside his country. These are the corridors opened by the Abraham Accords.

Fourth, the Accords suspended Israeli annexations of disputed territories until 2024 and kept alive Palestinian dreams of a future state. That “normalization, not annexation” model is now on the table for Saudi Arabia to secure a longer term of no expansion. Palestinian leaders from the West Bank have been meeting in Riyadh and Amman to open a new stage of respect and dignity for their people. Still, the challenge for those of us who support Jewish-Muslim coexistence is to deepen further the noble aim expressed in the Accords: “We believe that the best way to address challenges is through cooperation and dialogue and that developing friendly relations among States advances the interests of lasting peace in the Middle East and around the world.” In a future Palestinian state, we should imagine the presence of Jewish citizens. After all, Israel has a 20 percent Arab population.

Fifth, for years since 9/11, Israelis and Westerners would point fingers at Arabs and Muslims and say, “Where is a real peace with Israel if you are moderate and peaceful people?” Our silence was revealing. The Abraham Accords have ended that question and allowed Muslims and Arabs to hold their heads high. But such confidence in coexistence remains fragile. Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Pakistan, Yemen, and others should end unwarranted hostility with the world’s only Jewish state. If we pursue our peaceful pathway, in time, they will join the circle of peace, too. But it won’t be free of challenges.

Daniel Pipes on The Oslo Accords: Lessons Learned
In their eagerness to end the conflict, Israel's leaders made three overarching miscalculations in their pursuit of peace with its enemy: "One, a shift in strategic thinking; two, misunderstanding the Palestinians; and three, very poor negotiating tactics." More specifically, Israel committed twelve "bewildering" mistakes. It:
1. Minimized the importance of the military, leading it to degrade its own military power.
2. Exhibited a "severe reluctance to take casualties."
3. Assumed that Arafat, an unelected leader, represented the Palestinian population, when he did not.
4. Ignored the venomous radicalism "verging on the anti-rational" openly expressed by Palestinians.
5. Regarded Palestinian representatives as "partners for peace" who accepted Israel's existence.
6. Parroted each other in making "painful concessions" – a euphemism for "unilateral surrender"; no less than five Israeli prime ministers (Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, and Benjamin Netanyahu) used this term.
7. Made self-abnegating speeches bemoaning the national fatigue from fighting.
8. Engaged in "magical thinking" that "became a parody of itself" by describing the Palestinians in fantastical terms.
9. Gave Arafat territory and legitimacy in return for his signature on documents.
10. Did not enforce multiple agreements between 1993 and 1998.
11. Misunderstood the nature of peace: Rabin's oft-repeated phrase, "You don't make peace with friends, you make peace with unsavory enemies," missed the mark, for peace can only be achieved with former enemies that have been defeated.
12. Permitted a "false parity" between Rabin, the elected head of a sovereign government, and Arafat, the dictatorial leader of a "murderous organization," creating a "dysfunctional illusion" that still persists.

Nonetheless, there is good news for Israel: its population and leaders are unlikely to repeat the majority of those mistakes. Really, just three remain: numbers 2, 3, and 12.

US State Dept. denies Saudi-Israel peace talks halted
The US State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs denied reports that efforts to reach a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel had been halted on Monday.

"The United States remains committed to furthering Israel's regional integration, including through active diplomacy aimed at Israel-Saudi normalization. Talks are ongoing, and we look forward to further conversations with both parties," the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs posted on X.

The Arab news outlet Elaph recently cited an unnamed Israeli official in the Prime Minister’s Office as saying that Saudi Arabia had informed the Biden administration of its decision to halt all talks of normalizing ties with Israel on Sunday.

According to the Elaph report, Riyadh issued a message through the US, explaining that the “extremist” nature of Israel’s right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “torpedoing any possibility of rapprochement with the Palestinians, and thus with the Saudis."

Furthermore, the report specified that Saudi Arabia was put off from a potential peace deal due to Netanyahu’s “acceptance” of demands made by the likes of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who the Saudis see as “extreme right.”

Antony Blinken: Palestinian issue is critical for peace deal
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Saudi Arabia informed the Biden administration that resolving Palestinian issues is critical for any normalization deal with Israel.

“It is also clear from what we hear from the Saudis that if this process is to move forward, the Palestinian piece is going to be very important too,” Blinken said on Wednesday in an interview with the podcast Pod Save the World.

Saudi-backed EU venture aims to incentivize Israeli-Palestinian peace
Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the Arab League and other international partners will unveil an initiative Monday aimed at incentivizing Israel and the Palestinian Authority to strike a peace deal.

The “Peace Day Effort” will be rolled out at a ministerial event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Participating countries from three working groups will be tasked with coming up with the contents of a “Peace Supporting Package,” which will be presented to Israel and the PA upon the signing of a future peace agreement, a senior international official familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel

One working group will outline potential peacetime regional, political and security cooperation mechanisms; a second working group will develop proposals for economic cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, innovation, transportation, natural resources and the environment; and a third working group will develop proposals for cooperation in humanitarian, inter-cultural and human security issues.

The initiative has been in the works for several years and is being presented as a joint effort by the EU, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League in cooperation with Jordan and Egypt. However, officials familiar with the project said the main driving force behind it is the EU’s Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Sven Koopmans.

The plan’s backers say they are looking to build on the Arab Peace Initiative — a 2002 proposal offering Israel diplomatic ties with the entire Arab League if the former reached a two-state solution with the Palestinians. That framework has taken a hit in recent years, as several Arab countries agreed to normalize ties with Israel without waiting for the creation of a Palestinian state. Even the API’s principal backer, Saudi Arabia, is in talks with the United States about normalizing ties with Israel.

The Peace Day Effort is also building on a 2013 offer by the EU to present an “unprecedented package of political, security and economic support” to both of the conflict’s parties once they reach a peace deal. The terms of such an offer were never fleshed out and the formation of the working groups will provide the sides an opportunity to do so.
Can a Saudi Nuclear Program Be Secretly Managed?
The Saudis have requested that Washington provide it with a civilian nuclear program.

One question raised involves what kind of insurance policy Israel would have against a Saudi ruler going rogue to try to transform the civilian program into a military one.

Israeli sources say there are secret technological "backdoor" ways to ensure that if the Saudis started to misuse the program for military purposes, it could be shut down or otherwise sabotaged.

However, former Israel Security Agency cyber official Harel Menashri said, "You can sell and craft a system with backdoors, but... the Saudis are not fools. They will figure it out - even if it takes two years or 10 years, and once they neutralize the backdoor, you have a big problem."

Menashri also cautioned that "if the U.S. gives the Saudis [nuclear capabilities], it opens the entire Middle East to the problem of a nuclear race."

He noted that originally, Russia only gave Iran a nuclear power plant. But eventually, Iran developed an independent local enrichment capability.
Netanyahu issues clarification after suggesting protesters helping PLO, Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was harshly criticized Monday morning for saying anti-judicial reform protesters were "joining forces with the PLO and Iran" in harming Israel.

"The protesters have made blocking roads a normal event, refusal [to serve in the military] normal, and they are defaming Israel before the world," said Netanyahu ahead of his departure to the United States. "I was the head of the opposition and I did not slander Israel in front of the world."

State Party leader Benny Gantz said that Netanyahu was causing "tremendous damage" to Israeli society with his remark.

"Netanyahu's attack, accusing the protesters in the US of colluding with our enemies, is serious and worthy of all condemnation," he said in a statement. "Even if we disagree on the course of action, we are talking about patriots, lovers of the country. Even a thousand flame-throwing speeches at the United Nations will not repair the tremendous damage that Netanyahu is causing to Israeli society through his conduct. It's time to stop the 'coup d'état' and bring order to the government, instead of blaming the protesters."

Similarly, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid said, "There is no person who has destroyed our image in the world more than Netanyahu in recent months. Nothing helps the Iranians more than the 'coup d'état' of his government. His accusations against the patriots of the protest is more proof of the serious disruption to his judgment and understanding of reality."

Netanyahu's office later clarified that he did not mean to equate protesters with Iran, but merely pointed out that for the first time in history, Israelis will be protesting outside the UN headquarters during an address by an Israeli premier along with Palestinian and BDS supporters.

Protest leaders are planning to hound Netanyahu during his entire seven-day US visit, and last week projected a message onto the UN building in New York City reading: "Don't believe Crime Minister Netanyahu. Protect Israeli democracy."

"The slogan projected on the UN building wall is just a small taste of what is awaiting the indicted defendant Netanyahu on his visit to NYC," the protesters said in a statement. "We will be waiting to greet him. In the air, on land and at sea. The whole world will know that Netanyahu is a liar. We will not allow him to disgrace Israel and deceive world leaders with his speeches."

Netanyahu is 'clear and present danger to Israel's existence,' says opposition MK
"Netanyahu is a clear and present danger to Israel's existence," warned Yesh Atid MK Michal Shir on Monday in response to the comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his way to the United States.

Before boarding an El Al flight to America, Netanyahu said that Israelis planning to protest against him in California and the United Nations General Assembly were "aligning with the PLO and Iran."

His office later released a clarification, saying that he was referring to the fact that "while Israel's prime minister will represent the State of Israel in the UN, Israeli citizens will protest alongside PLO and BDS supporters."

In response to Netanyahu's statement, Israel's politicians argued over whether Israelis protesting against Netanyahu in the US are enemies of the state or patriots abroad.

"He who cooperates with supporters of Jewish terrorism compares pilots and hi-tech people to PLO and Iran," Shir continued. "It wasn't protestors who called [former Palestinian Authority president Yasser] Arafat a friend and partner; it wasn't them who funded Hamas, nor were they crushing Israel. Netanyahu is the best partner for Israel's haters. He's doing their work for them."

Other opposition MKs expressed similar sentiments, claiming the protesters were patriots, not enemies.

National Unity leader Benny Gantz, who had earlier wished Netanyahu luck on his trip and had pledged support from the opposition on "anything related to the nation's security and strategic interests," strongly condemned Netanyahu's comment.
JPost Editorial: Netanyahu must push Musk to act against antisemitism on X
Netanyahu has been a trailblazer in combating antisemitism, and he often speaks out forcefully when it rears its ugly head around the globe. At the same time, his political and diplomatic pragmatism has, at times, seen him align with figures who have engaged in rhetoric regarded as antisemitic.

Consider his close relationship with Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, who shares many of Netanyahu’s values and his affinity for overhauling judicial systems. In recent years, Orban has been accused of antisemitism, including in his campaign against George Soros, using the same trite conspiracy theorist rhetoric and harmful stereotypes as Musk and others.

Netanyahu has remained mostly laissez-faire on these matters, and has gone so far as to hail Orban’s support for Israel and the Jews.

Predictably, news of the Musk-Netanyahu meeting drew criticism from UnXeptable, a movement launched by Israelis living abroad who are disturbed by recent developments in Israel. The group announced it would organize protests in San Jose and San Francisco on Monday.

“It’s deeply unacceptable that Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the world’s only Jewish state, who calls himself the protector of Israel, is flying across America to seek the counsel and support from a notorious enabler of anti-Jewish hate speech,” said Offir Gutelzon, a tech entrepreneur and co-founder of UnXeptable.

The legendary former ADL chief, Abe Foxman, said that Netanyahu’s meeting with Musk “at this point in time is an insult to the majority of the American Jewish community and counterproductive to the fight against antisemitism on social media.”

We urge the prime minister to use his meeting with Musk to not just address business ventures and encourage investment in Israel, but to act as the leader of the Jewish state demanding effective action against antisemitism on social media.

This is especially necessary at a time when Jews feel attacked and detached, horrified by the rampant antisemitism on X and hurt by Musk’s sustained attack on the ADL. It’s time to end all hate speech on social media, including hatred of Jews and Israel.

That should be Netanyahu’s message.

Germany rebuffs Israeli anger after envoy attends High Court ‘reasonableness’ hearing
Germany backed its ambassador in Israel after Jerusalem complained about his presence at the landmark High Court of Justice hearing on the coalition’s reasonableness law last week.

German Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert posted a video of himself at the dramatic 13-hour session, stating: “I think something important is happening here for Israeli democracy, and we, as friends of Israel, are also looking with a lot of interest towards the Supreme Court, and I wanted to see for myself.”

An Israeli diplomat told The Times of Israel on Monday: “At Foreign Minister Eli Cohen’s instruction, a senior Foreign Ministry official spoke with [German] Ambassador Seibert and expressed our protest on the matter. Similar messages were sent from the embassy in Berlin to Germany’s Foreign Ministry.”

In response, Germany’s Foreign Ministry endorsed Seibert’s move, while saying it could not confirm whether an official complaint had been filed.

“The observation of important political, also domestic, developments in their respective host countries is a central responsibility of diplomats. The visit of a public hearing of a partner state`s Supreme Court, like the visit of Ambassador Seibert, is an excellent example for this common practice.

“The Federal Foreign Office is in permanent contact with its Israeli partners,” they added.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told journalists in New York that the ambassador “is a very committed man with very clear principles. And I believe that everyone knows that — including in Israel.”
In Rosh Hashanah Message, Trump Slams ‘Liberal Jews’ for Voting to ‘Destroy’ US, Israel
Former US President Donald Trump lambasted “liberal Jews” for not supporting him and voting to “destroy America and Israel” in his Rosh Hashanah message marking the Jewish New Year.

“Just a quick reminder for liberal Jews who voted to destroy America & Israel because you believed false narratives!” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform on Sunday. “Let’s hope you learned from your mistake & make better choices moving forward! Happy New Year!”

Accompanying the message from the former president and 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner was a list of his accomplishments while in the White House related to Israel and Jewish issues.

“Wake Up Sheep. What Natzi/Anti Semite [sic] ever did this for the Jewish people or Israel?” the image asks.

The following list of accomplishments includes Trump moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and the signing of a Holocaust education bill.

“Clearly, one of the greatest Anti Semites of our time!” the message concludes, along with “#JEXIT,” referring to a social media movement to attract Jewish voters to the Republican Party.

Israeli Security Forces Respond to Third Attempted Terror Attack in Span of Hours
Israeli security forces first thwarted a stabbing terror attack at a border checkpoint near Jerusalem on Monday morning, neutralizing the terrorist before any casualties could be inflicted.

Later in the day, a shooting attack was reported near the settlements of Ariel and Merav, with no casualties at either of the incidents. Manhunts were underway in search for the suspects.

The terrorists had fired at a military patrol near the settlement of Merav, only damaging the vehicle, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson.

“A suspect arrived at the Mazmoriya checkpoint in the outskirts of Jerusalem, east of the village of Tzur Bahar, and pulled a knife at the security forces,” the Israel Police said in an earlier statement.

“A border police officer, who spotted the suspect, opened fire at him and neutralized him,” the statement added. According to videos of the scene, it appeared the terrorist was still alive.

“There are no casualties to our forces,” the police statement concluded. Police later added that the suspect aroused suspicion of security forces stationed at the checkpoint, who asked to examine him, at which point the attacker drew the knife. After security forces shot him, the attacker was treated by medical personnel at the scene.

Later in the morning, a report was received of an attempted shooting attack at Jit junction in the West Bank, located near the settlement city of Ariel. The attacker shot at an IDF position, and no casualties were reported. But nine bullet casings were found at the scene.
PA doubles ‘pay-for-slay’ stipend to Ari Fuld’s killer
The Palestinian Authority has doubled the terror “salary” it pays every month to Khalil Jabarin, the murderer of Israeli-American father of four Ari Fuld, according to the Fuld family’s attorney.

Jabarin is serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison for the fatal stabbing of Fuld, 45, and attempting to murder three other people at the Gush Etzion shopping area on Sept. 16, 2018.

Fuld drew his sidearm and managed to shoot his attacker, preventing him from harming other civilians in the area, before collapsing and being rushed to a hospital, where doctors declared him dead.

The Efrat resident was posthumously awarded the Medal of Distinction, the third-highest award granted by the Israel Police.

Since the attack, Jabarin’s family has received a monthly stipend as part of the P.A.’s practice of rewarding those who kill and wound Israelis. The amount will increase the longer Jabarin remains in jail, Ramallah confirmed in 2018.

“Yesterday, the Palestinian Authority doubled the monthly salary it pays the terrorist murderer of Ari Fuld, [of blessed memory], from $522 to $1,044,” Israeli attorney Maurice Hirsch announced on Monday, noting that the P.A. has already paid Jabarin $25,726.

“The P.A.’s pay for slay policy incentivizes terror & rewards terrorists,” Hirsch wrote on X (formerly Twitter), asking: “Why are the U.S. & E.U. helping the P.A. to reward terrorists & Jew-murderers?”

Shortly before Fuld’s murder, Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, named for an American Army veteran who was visiting Israel as a graduate student and was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa, barring U.S. funding to the P.A. as long as it continues its “pay for slay policy.”

Fatah: Jews are openly planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Fatah Spokesperson in Jerusalem Muhammad Rabia: “[In the past the Jews] secretly plotted and prepared projects and plans, which targeted the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Today this is being carried out openly by bringing the red heifers that they [the Jews] will slaughter and scatter their ashes… to purify themselves and allow them to break into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. They are dividing [the mosque] according to time and area, and now they are planning to destroy the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.” [Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Sept. 4, 2023]

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they vilify any presence of Jews on the mount as a "break-in." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

“Division according to areas and times” refers to a submission of a “private bill” by Israeli MP Uri Ariel in March 2003. The bill suggested ensuring freedom of religious worship by allowing both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount - what the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza. The bill sought to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews. The bill never progressed past the initial legislatory stage. While there was additional discussion on the subject in 2012, no legislation was ever passed.

In response to the incessant PA claims that the “division according to areas and times” of the Temple Mount is an operative Israeli plan, former Israeli PM Netanyahu stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of ‎changing the so-called status quo on the Temple Mount, which de facto is interpreted to mean Jews are only allowed to enter the Temple Mount, but not to conduct individual or communal prayers there.

In July 2021, former Israeli PM Naftali Bennett said Muslims and Jews have freedom of worship at the Temple Mount, which was understood by many as a hint to changing the status quo at the site, but the following day his office backtracked and said he misspoke and did not mean Jews would have freedom of worship, but rather would have freedom to visit. “There is no change in the status quo,” a statement from PM Bennett’s office confirmed.

UNRWA asks Gaza staff not to discriminate against gays. How are the Palestinians reacting?
The strange alliance between progressive leftists and Islamists is based on the fact that the leftists close their eyes to the uncomfortable reality. The blogger Elder of Ziyon highlighted a particularly poignant example when UNRWA officials in Gaza this week required local employees of UN facilities to sign a code of conduct. The code was several pages long. One section read:
“UNRWA considers gender equality in accordance with the views of the United Nations and describes gender equality to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues (UNRWA staff) and beneficiaries (service recipients – the refugee population).

“UNRWA employees must treat all people equally and with respect in accordance with UN policy.”

The reaction in Gaza was, predictably, violent. And every single organization that spoke out argued that UNRWA should discriminate against homosexuals.

The Joint Committee for Refugees in Gaza issued a statement reading:
“This code violates the moral system of our Palestinian people…. blatantly hurts the feelings of refugees and employees, calls for moral decay and despises all customs, traditions, struggles and history of our Palestinian people and violates the laws of the host country… So-called gay rights are completely rejected and have no place in our Palestinian society, and the claim that they are part of human rights are false claims.”

The Joint Committee of West Bank and Gaza Employee Unions at UNRWA condemned the code, saying:

“We call on the UNRWA leadership to respect our values, common sense and Islamic morality and not to spread such ideas.”

They asked the union members to return the document unsigned.

Bassam Tawil: Why Are Palestinians Fleeing the Gaza Strip?
These Palestinians are running away because they can no longer tolerate life under the Islamist movement of Hamas. They are not fleeing because of Israel.

"I know I'm risking my life, but I want to leave, dead or alive. At least I will find a dignified life abroad. People want to leave because of the oppression and injustice we see here [in the Gaza Strip]." — Sfouk AlSheik,, September 10, 2023.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has been controlled by the Iran-backed Hamas terror group, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood organization. Instead of working to improve the living conditions of the two million Palestinians living under its rule, Hamas has since invested millions of dollars in manufacturing weapons and building tunnels from which to attack Israel. Hamas had an opportunity to turn the Gaza Strip into the "Singapore of the Middle East," but its desire to destroy Israel has brought only war and death to the Palestinians. To achieve its goal of murdering Jews and eliminating Israel, Hamas appears ready to sacrifice endless numbers of Palestinians.

Hamas evidently does not care if hundreds of Palestinians are killed and injured in wars instigated by its rocket attacks against Israel. Hamas does not even hesitate to use Palestinians as human shields during its wars with Israel. Members of the terror group have endangered the lives of thousands of their own innocent civilians by firing rockets from residential areas close to schools and hospitals.

"Despite their exposure to the risks of drowning, loss, and death, Palestinians fleeing the Gaza Strip see that Turkey and Europe are their hope and future." — Mahmoud al-Raqab, Palestinian political analyst,, September 10, 2023.

Needless to say, Abbas, in his speech, completely ignored the plight of the young Palestinians fleeing the Gaza Strip. For Abbas, promoting hate against Israel and Jews is more important than addressing the economic and humanitarian crisis he helped create, through his sanctions in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas leaders, for their part, continue to pretend that in the Gaza Strip everything is fine. They are also continuing to incite Palestinians to carry out terror attacks against Israel. Notably, the Hamas leaders are making these statements from their five-star hotels and villas in Qatar and Lebanon.

Iran Frees American Detainees After US Allows $6 Billion Transfer to Tehran
Five U.S. detainees flew out of Iran on Monday in a swap for five Iranians held in the U.S. in a rare deal between the arch enemies that also unfroze $6 billion of Tehran's funds.

A plane sent by mediator Qatar flew the five U.S. citizens and two of their relatives out of Tehran soon after both sides received confirmation the funds had been transferred to accounts in Doha, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

At the same time, two of the five Iranians landed in Qatar, a U.S. official said. Three have opted not to return to Iran.

The deal, after months of talks in Qatar, removes a major irritant between the U.S., which brands Tehran a sponsor of terrorism, and Iran, which calls Washington the "Great Satan."

But they remain deeply divided on other issues ranging from Iran's nuclear program and its influence around the region to U.S. sanctions and America's military presence in the Gulf.

A senior U.S. administration official said the deal did not change Washington's adversarial relationship with Tehran, but the door was open for diplomacy on Iran's nuclear program.

"If we see an opportunity, we will explore it but right now, I've really nothing to talk about," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The five Americans with dual nationality are due to fly to Doha and then on to the U.S. "They are in good health," an Iranian official briefed on the process said.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said two of the Iranians being released would return to Iran while two would stay in the U.S. at their request. One detainee would join his family in a third country, he added.

Soccer crowds hail Ronaldo's arrival in Iran ahead of match
Al-Nassr captain Cristiano Ronaldo received a warm reception in Iran on Monday, in the first visit of a Saudi team to Iran since 2016 ahead of the beginning of the group stage of the Asian Champions League.

Al-Nassr faces the Iranian Persepolis in Group E on Tuesday, while Qatari side, Al-Duhail, play Istiklol Dushanbe of Tajikistan.

The streets were crowded with fans who raised welcome banners and pictures of Ronaldo upon the arrival of the Saudi Arabian team in Iran after the restoration of relations between the two countries.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that matches between Saudi and Iranian teams would be held on a home-and-away basis after the agreement of the two local federations.

Matches had been played on neutral territory since 2016 because strained diplomatic ties between the two countries meant Saudi nationals were not permitted to travel to Iran.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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