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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

A Soldier’s Mother: The Hypocrisy of Israel

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

As a technical writer, I can tell you that the hardest part of documenting a product is when it is a moving target, when the parameters keep changing. As a parent, I can tell you that if your rules keep changing, you’ll never really be able to get your children to listen to you. As a voter, I can tell you that the more a politician changes his/her position, the less likely it is that I will vote for him or her.

As an Israeli, I condemn any attempt to deny the followers of a religion access and the right to practice their religion on their holy sites. We as a nation would never enter the Bahai Temple in Haifa and remove all the Bahais. We have never attempted to close the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to Christians (and our police regularly enter only to stop Christian sects from killing each other (as told to me on three separate occasions by Israeli police).

We have only closed off the Temple Mount to Muslims after incidents of violence and even then, for very limited times and usually only restricting access to young males and not the entire Muslim population wishing to visit.

But when it comes to the Jews, our government rarely hesitates to block our access, restrict our rights, humiliate and insult Jewish visitors. And worse, the rules are arbitrarily enforced and constantly changing at the whim of the Jewish police and Arab WAQF who watches and waits to pounce because there is little more that can drive them to violence than the site of a Jewish man or woman whispering a prayer. Even moving one’s lips is enough to get you thrown off the Temple Mount…if you are a Jew.

When you expect rules to be followed, but keep changing them, the less respect you deserve, the less likely it is that anyone will uphold them.

The Jewish people have been fighting for centuries, for millennia, to be free – free to live in our land, free to worship our God, free to raise our children and practice our religion. And we have been successful throughout the world. The Soviet Union has collapsed and the Jews can now freely come here and, for the most part, practice Judaism if they choose to be there. Such it is in most of Europe, North, Central, and South America.

Really, it is only in Arab countries, Muslim lands, where Jews are restricted. For the most part, they have left; only small pockets of Jews remain. Syria has no Jews; Afghanistan might have one Jew left. Egypt has less than 40 and Yemen less than 20. There are reportedly around 35 in Bahrain and less than 10 in Iraq.

Only in Arab countries…and Israel, are Jews restricted from where they can travel, where they can pray. And not just pray. In Israel, for Jews wanting to visit the single most holy place in all of the world, the list of what we are not to do is both arbitrary and growing.

Can you imagine a sign such as this one placed at the entrance to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv forbidding entrance to non-Jews?

Tell me, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, what logic are you attempting to convey about the importance of the Temple Mount to others, when you fail to uphold our rights yourself?

Yes, the world should watch the video you are so proud to announce (below) and attend the seminar you are so desperately offer the UN. Perhaps, Mr. Prime Minister, you should consider attending it yourself.

Even as the Prime Minister of the State of Israel…EVEN as our Prime Minister, you do not have the right to stop us from praying on the Temple Mount.  Why can’t you just say that if Jews praying on the Temple Mount offends our enemies, that is simply proof of what is wrong with them?

You are a hypocrite if you call to congratulate our athletes in Rio for standing proud against Arab intimidation there, but fail to show the same pride here. Yes, Or Sasson was correct in offering his hand to the Egyptian athlete, even knowing that there was a good chance that good old Islam El Shehaby was going to refuse to shake it. So why is it wrong for a Jew to pray? What is wrong with you, Mr. Prime Minister?

Let us be free to pray in every corner of our land, as we are free all over the world. Let us return in pride to the Temple Mount, as we have returned in pride to all other corners of our land. Call it. Announce it. Demand it. From this moment onward, Jews WILL pray on the Temple Mount and if the Arabs turn violence, THEY will be removed, not us. If THEY provoke us, the Temple Mount will be closed every mourning for four hours a day – and only Jews will be allowed up there…and Christians, because we are not afraid of Christian prayers…and even Muslims, if they promise not to be violent because we are not afraid of Muslim prayers either. Let all who are prepared to pray on the Temple Mount be allowed to do so in peace. Remove those who cause violence, not those who are the victims.

And if you won’t do it, Mr. Prime Minister of the State of Israel, then remove yourself. I think, Mr. Prime Minister, it isn’t only UNESCO and the UN that needs that history lesson.

And the list of things we cannot do…here it is…at least as of an hour or so ago…

You aren’t allowed to pray, if you are a Jew, on the Temple Mount.

You aren’t allowed to move your lips in silent prayer, if you are a Jew on the holiest site known to our religion

You aren’t allowed to whisper, lest you actually be saying a prayer, if you are a Jew.

You aren’t allowed to bless your people, your family, your children, unless you are a Jew, or a bereaved father who is able to “sneak” the prayer into a guided tour after his child has been brutally murdered, stabbed to death in her bed.

As of this past week, you aren’t allowed to cry, even if you are overwhelmed with the holiness of the place and the amazing opportunity to enter this holy place.

And as of today, you apparently aren’t even allowed to mourn up on the Temple Mount. You aren’t allowed to rip your clothing up there, if you are a Jew, because the guards who honor Muslim sensitivities above all others are Jewish and they know that a Jew in mourning rips their clothes as a sign of their grief.

That’s right. Can you imagine? A Jew is not allowed to whisper, cry, rip his shirt in grief. If he does, an Arab will come over and tell a Jewish policeman…look at him, look what he is doing. Get him out of here…and the policeman will.

This is what we have come to? This is the freedom we have in our land? That even our tears are considered enough of an insult to demand our being denied access to OUR Temple Mount?

Paula Stern

An Egyptian Loser

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

The Egyptian Judo Olympiad refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent, Ori Sasson, who then went on to win a bronze medal.

The Egyptian was eventually sent back home by his country’s Olympic committee.

Video of the Day

Shabak Foils Hezbollah Operation that Used Facebook to Recruit, Plan Terror Attacks

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Israeli security forces revealed on Tuesday that a joint operation of the Shabak, IDF and Police has foiled a number of terrorist organizing efforts whose members, residents of Judea and Samaria, had been recruited via Facebook by Hezbollah agents living in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The arrest of these members has prevented the execution of several planned attacks inside Israel.

Shabak noted that Hezbollah has been very active in recent years with recruitment efforts of activists in greenline Israel, Judea and Samaria and Gaza, to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets. Besides instructions for shooting and suicide attacks against these targets, the same activists also received training in luring and conscripting new members.

A terror cell from the Kalkilia area in Samaria was ordered to attack an IDF patrol. The head of the cell, Mustafa Kemal Hindi, 18, a resident of Kalkilia, had been recruited by Hezbollah in December 2015, through the Facebook page of Falastin al-Hurra, which delivers anti-Israel content.

Hindi told his interrogators that he kept in contact with his Hezbollah operator “Bilal” using Facebook and later through an email address he started on his operator’s instructions. He later received encryption software for his emails.

Hindi was instructed to recruit a cell and to carry out attacks against Israeli targets, including the shooting at an IDF patrol outside Kalkilia. He recruited four of his neighbors, in their early 20s, and the cell started collecting data on the IDF patrols in the area, and was trained in using a hunting gun and in improvising explosives. They were arrested in early June 2016 before they were able to carry out their intended mission and were indicted in military court in Judea.

Tuesday’s report lists several, very similar operations, conducted by Hezbollah via remote control using the fast and reliable services of Facebook. Some of these operations involved Israeli Arabs, who were approached by the Shabak and were made aware that communicating with Hezbollah over Facebook is a violation of security laws.

The financial part of the Hezbollah operations in Israel and the PA are being handled by members living in the Gaza Strip who lend logistical support to both recruitment and operational efforts.

David Israel

Analysis: Trump’s Anti-Terror Plan Calls for Tough Immigrant Vetting, International Coalition Against ISIS [video]

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday gave a foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Ohio, outlining his plan to fight terrorism. Addressing the large crowd (as usual), Trump opened, “Today we begin a conversation about how to Make America Safe Again. In the 20th Century, the United States defeated Fascism, Nazism, and Communism. Now, a different threat challenges our world: Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

The candidate cited a very long list of terrorist attacks against individual Western targets (Paris, Brussels, Orlando), as well as a more generalized but no less forceful depiction of attacks on Muslims: “Overseas, ISIS has carried out one unthinkable atrocity after another. … We cannot let this evil continue.”

Trump promised, “We will defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism, just as we have defeated every threat we have faced in every age before.” He then threw a jab at both president Obama and Democratic presidential Candidate Clinton, saying, “Anyone who cannot name our enemy, is not fit to lead this country.”

This led to a Trump analysis of how President Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton are to blame for the current alarming state of events. He blamed them for policies that led to the creation of ISIS, saying, “It all began in 2009 with what has become known as President Obama’s global ‘Apology Tour.’”

Remarkably, Trump omitted eight whole years in which the US was attacked by a different group of Islamic radicals, and the fact that then President GW Bush retaliated by invading a country that had nothing to do with that attack, inflicting chaos on Iraq and taking out the one fierce regional enemy of Iran, Saddam Hussein. According to Trump, none of those eight bloody years of a Bush war had anything to do with the creation of ISIS (which took place in 2004) — it all began with “a series of speeches,” in which “President Obama described America as ‘arrogant,’ ‘dismissive,’ ‘derisive,’ and a ‘colonial power.'”

“Perhaps no speech was more misguided than President Obama’s speech to the Muslim World delivered in Cairo, Egypt, in 2009,” Trump said Monday night. Of course, the Obama Al Azhar University speech did launch a bizarre foreign policy that punished America’s friends and rewarded its enemies. Even if one were not pro-Israel, one would have to wonder what drove that disastrous foreign policy. But the Obama speech did not instigate the catastrophic failure of US policy in the Middle East, it only picked up Obama’s predecessor’s very bad situation and made it worse.

Trump believes that “the failure to establish a new Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq, and the election-driven timetable for withdrawal, surrendered our gains in that country and led directly to the rise of ISIS.” But in eight miserable years, having spent trillions of borrowed dollars our grandchildren and their grandchildren after them will continue to pay for, there were no US gains in Iraq — which is why when Obama honored the Bush agreement with the Iraqi government and withdrew some of the US forces, the whole thing came tumbling down.

Trump blames Hillary Clinton for destabilizing Libya, a claim supported by many, including President Obama and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He also added a jab at the Clintons, saying, “Yet, as she threw the Middle East into violent turmoil, things turned out well for her. The Clintons made almost $60 million in gross income while she was Secretary of State.” It’s factually true, but the implied moral outrage is hard to accept with a straight face, seeing as it came from a man who prided himself on turning homeowners’ misery into a hefty profit for himself during the housing crisis of 2008.

After much more of the candidate’s unique view on US foreign policy and the causes for rise of terrorism, Trump finally cut to the chase.

“If I become President, the era of nation-building will be ended,” he said. “Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam. … As President, I will call for an international conference focused on this goal. We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President [Al] Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”

Trump added to the list of his envisioned coalition partners the NATO countries, explaining that although he “had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism; since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats.”

He also wants Russia to participate, clearly despite its dubious new alliance with both Iran and Turkey that threatens the very presence of US troops in that part of the region.

On this point, the Trump vision looks an awful lot like the current Administration’s policy on fighting ISIS: “My Administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expanded intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting. We cannot allow the Internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes, by our enemy – we must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do so immediately.”

So far so good, but then Trump suggested “we must use ideological warfare as well. Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam.”

Trump then depicted his opponent as contributing to the repression of Muslim gays and women, promising his “Administration will speak out against the oppression of women, gays and people of different faith. Our Administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices.”

At which point one must ask if the candidate is relying on expert advise on the Middle East. Because while he is absolutely right in condemning the cruelty and repression that have been the reality in Muslim countries from Pakistan to Morocco, his idea of promoting an American foreign policy of “speaking out against the horrible practice of honor killings” and against the myriad other acts of unimaginable violence against women, his ideas that to defeat Islamic terrorism, the US must “speak out forcefully against a hateful ideology that provides the breeding ground for violence and terrorism to grow” is shockingly sophomoric. Surely Trump knows that these attempts are a recipe for a far worse disaster than the one brought on by the Obama Al Azhar speech.

At this point, Trump turned to an area with which he is more familiar, the need for a new immigration policy. “A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people,” the candidate declared, adding that “the time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.”

“In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law,” Trump said, explaining that “those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas.”

Easier said than done, of course, because it’s naturally difficult to discern what lurks inside the mind of any person, immigrants included. Trump’s solution is, to “temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.”

“As soon as I take office, I will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.” It should be interesting to gauge the response of, say, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, to the news that no more cash-laden Arab oil sheiks would be allowed to visit Vegas under a Trump Administration.

“Finally, we will need to restore common sense to our security procedures,” Trump declared, listing several notorious murders committed by Muslims on US soil, noting that in each case there had been warning signs that were overlooked by the authorities.

“These warning signs were ignored because political correctness has replaced common sense in our society,” Trump stated flatly, adding, “That is why one of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam. … The goal of the commission will be to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.”

“This commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners,” Trump said, essentially suggesting legitimizing the police profiling that has been so vilified in the media and by many politicians. He also promised to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open (although Obama has just released fifteen of its inmates). He wants additional staff to Intelligence agencies and will keep drone strikes against terrorist leaders as part of his options. He also wants military trials for foreign enemy combatants.

In conclusion, there was absolutely no new policy idea in the Trump speech on foreign policy Monday night, but there was an implied, if mostly unspoken promise, to encourage all levels of law enforcement to be less restrained in pursuing their targets. In fact, across the board, what Trump was offering Monday night were not so much new ideas as the promise of taking existing ideas to a new level of dedication in their execution. It could mean a wider loss of individual civil rights, and serious economic hardship for US industries that cater to any aspect of immigration, and it could also end up with the alienation of both European and Mid-Eastern countries who would not take kindly to Trump’s promised level of fierceness, and would retaliate.

It should be noted in that context, that after having spoken bluntly about extreme security measures that could harm specific ethnic and religious groups, Trump attempted to soften his own tone with a final paragraph that promised: “As your President … I will fight to ensure that every American is treated equally, protected equally, and honored equally. We will reject bigotry and oppression in all its forms, and seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people. — Only this way, will we make America Great Again and Safe Again – For Everyone.”

Like him or hate him, Donald Trump remains the champion of cognitive dissonance.

 

JNi.Media

PA Attorney: Israel to Hand Over Terrorists’ Bodies

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

A PA Arab prisoners’ committee on Monday announced that Israel had agreed to hand over for burial the bodies of Arab terrorists still in its possession. The announcement did not mention a specific timeframe for returning the bodies, save for that of Muhammad Jamal al-Kalouti, 21, who was shot dead by police in March together with Abd al-Malak Saleh Abu Kharoub, 19, outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

Attorney Muhammad Mahmoud of the prisoners’ committee Addameer said that Israeli authorities would release al-Kalouti’s body to his family on Wednesday.

On March 9, 2016, these two terrorists shot at a bus from a car at the Ramot Junction north of Jerusalem. The bus was not hit but shell casings were found at the scene. They then drove their vehicle to the Shechem Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, and shot at police and civilians. Police returned fire and killed them. A passerby was seriously injured by police gunfire. Two rifles were found in the car. Both terrorists carried blue Israeli identity cards (Source: The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center).

According to Mahmoud, Israel agreed to release the body on the condition that the funeral be carried out at midnight Wednesday, with a maximum of 25 people attending, and that the body be buried in the al-Mujahidin cemetery near Herod’s Gate. According to the announcement, the family was charged $5,200 in fees for the processing of the body.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has reversed the Israeli policy regarding the return of terrorists’ bodies to their families for burial, disregarding the recommendations from the security apparatus, including his predecessor Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) preferred instead to embrace the contrary position of Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud).

It should be noted that the Jack Khoury story in Ha’aretz on the Muhammad Mahmoud announcement, which was published at 1:17 AM Tuesday, was titled, “Israel agrees to hand over bodies of seven Palestinians killed in confrontations,” with the sub-headline, “Police agree to transfer the remains held for months after negotiations with families under pressure from Israel’s High Court, according to the Palestinian prisoner administration.” Even the first paragraph continued the obvious lie that the release of the bodies was an official Israeli decision. It read: “The Israel Police has agreed to hand over the bodies of seven Palestinians from East Jerusalem who were killed in confrontations with Israeli forces and which were held for a number of months, the Palestinian prisoner administration said on Monday.”

The headline has since been modified to read: “Israel Reportedly Agrees to Hand Over Bodies of Seven Palestinians Killed in Confrontations.” Now we have to wait and see what Israel has to say about it.

JNi.Media

EU Spokesperson Condemns Israeli Demolition of Illegal EU Structures in Mount Hebron Hills

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

A spokesperson for the European Union External Action Service (EEAS), the European Union’s foreign policy branch, criticized recent Israeli demolitions of illegal Palestinian Authority Arab structures in Judea and Samaria, many of which were sponsored and financed by the European Union.

“The regrettable significant increase in demolitions of Palestinian structures by the Israeli authorities in 2016 appears to be continuing following the end of Ramadan,” the spokesperson said.

The EEAS spokesperson referenced the most recent demolition of EU-funded structures in Umm al-Khair, which is located in the Mount Hebron hills near the Jewish community of Carmel.

Arguing that such operations undermine Israel’s responsibilities as an “occupying power,” the EEAS spokesperson demanded a cessation to Israeli demolitions of illegal EU structures throughout Judea and Samaria.

“The Israeli authorities must halt demolitions of Palestinian houses and property in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law and to cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, of designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and of denying Palestinian development,” the spokesperson insisted.

The spokesperson said that Israeli demolitions of the illegal structures raise doubts about Israel’s true long-term goals vis-a-vis the Arabs.

“As stated in the recent Quartet report, such a policy, including the recent high rate of demolitions, is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution and raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions,” the spokesperson added.

The Quartet report, which was released in early July and accused Israel of “unilaterally” taking land “for exclusive Israeli use” in Area C of Judea and Samaria, also recognized Israel’s authoritative control over development in Area C.

“The Israeli military retains full authority over development in Area C, including planning and zoning for housing, industrial zones, tourism sites, and essential infrastructure, such as roads and electricity lines,” read the Quartet report.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Knesset Subcommittee Holds Session on PA Violation of Area C Control

Monday, August 15th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee held an emergency hearing on Monday in an effort to understand why Palestinian Authority policemen entered Area C during a confrontation over a waste disposal facility being built near the Israeli town of Michmash.

PA policemen had fired in the air at a joint Israeli-Arab protest against the construction of a waste disposal plant in Samaria on August 10 at the Rimonim Junction, north of Jerusalem. As the junction is located in Area C, it is forbidden for PA police to be present there without Israeli permission. The 1993 Oslo accords divide Judea and Samaria into Areas A, B, and C and stipulate that Israel maintain full control over Area C.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) declared that “it is unclear to me how IDF Central Command gave permission to PA forces to enter Area C, and I am not sure that a general or defense minister can even make that decision, which violates the Oslo Accords that were ratified by the Knesset.”

Major Ahiad Messika, who heads the control department of the Central Command, told the subcommittee that the PA police were allowed to enter in order to deal with the Arabs protesting the waste disposal plant. “We knew that a confrontation was expected between the Palestinian population from Ramun and the workers from the plant, and the regional brigade commander gave the order for PA police to enter and deal with the protesters. “

He added later that “we never expected that PA police would use live fire.”

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) blasted the decision to build the waste disposal plant as well as the PA police’s action. “The shooting incident is the culmination of many one-sided decisions, which permit a German firm to build a waste disposal plant that exclusively benefits Palestinians in Area C,” he contended. “Instead of finding a solution acceptable to both populations, they are promoting a one-sided plan, which contradicts our laws and agreements.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-subcommittee-holds-session-on-pa-violation-of-area-c-control/2016/08/15/

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