Saturday, August 27, 2016

  • Saturday, August 27, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the IAF website on August 16:
50 years ago today, a MiG-21 fighter jet was brought to Israel in a covert operation that received the name Operation "Yahalom" and as its name states, was the crowning jewel. In the operation, an Iraqi pilot recruited by the "Mossad" (Israeli secret service) defected to Israel with the aircraft and also provided instruction and maintenance material which proved very valuable for the security and reputation of Israel.

Brig. Gen. (Res') Yesha'ayahu (Shayke) Barkat, a fighter pilot who had served as a Squadron Commander and Flight Instructor and who was the Head of the IAF's Intelligence Directorate at the time of the operation, goes back to those days. He recalls the intelligence based operation and how Israel was the only country to succeed where many other countries had failed and acquire the aircraft that intrigued and threatened the west.

"The MiG-21 was the pride and joy of the USSR and after bringing it to Israel we flew it and fought against our fighter jets with it. We had a quiet and comfortable environment to train for 'dog-fights' with it and test its strengths and weaknesses. We learned its speeds, maneuvers, reactions and the field of vision from its cockpit - all of these helped us understand how to shoot it down", he shared. "These were the lessons that decided the 'Six Day' War. Moreover, acquiring the jet granted us an international status as an intelligence system and ushered us into the ‘International Intelligence Market' and to trading intelligence".

The "Mossad" and its international branches were responsible for recruiting the pilot, they activated their personnel around the world in an attempt to find the man that would bring them closer to the long-awaited aircraft. "Among the candidates, there was one outstanding option - Munir Radfa. One of my men joined the meeting between the Mossad and Radfa in Athens. They became friends and planned the flight together, based on technical details about the MiG-21 that we learned from Munir".

Captain Munir Radfa was an Iraqi MiG-21 pilot and served as the Deputy Commander of a Fighter Squadron in the Iraqi Air Force. Being a Christian singled him out in a Majority Muslim ruled Iraq and as a result, despite his professional achievements, his promotion was halted. In addition, Munir was riddled with feeling of guilt and revulsion from the cruel missions assigned to him, which required the bombing of Curd civilians in Northern Iraq. Radfa wanted to leave Iraq and flee to a Western country with his family. The circumstances of his life became the reasons he was chosen by the "Mossad".

"When everything was already set, I still wasn't sure that Munir would be able to pilot the jet and arrive here. I knew that all of the efforts would have been for nothing if I wouldn't make sure. I asked the then IAF Commander to fly with him. He thought that I was crazy, but we took a ‘Meteor', a dual-engine two-seater jet, from Ramat-David AFB and Munir came to Israel. The' Mossad' arranged a dinner for us, we spoke about our families and personal lives and the next day I tested his flight skills".

Didn't you suspect that Radfa was in fact operating on behalf of Iraq and that it was all a plot of theirs to penetrate Israeli airspace?

"That's why I wanted to fly with him. We met in Ben-Gurion Airport in the morning; IAF commander was worried about me so he put the whole force on ready alert. I was very young and had no fear of flying behind an Iraqi pilot who I barely knew, I wasn't worried at all. Back then, the stick was manual and not electronic, so it operated on the force of your hand".

In August 1966, the last and most important leg of the operation began. The "Mossad" had a novel way of signaling Radfa, who had returned to Iraq, that they were ready for his arrival. Every day, a song in Arabic was broadcasted on The Voice of Israel Radio Station. The song's lyrics were "Marhabten, Marhabten, Marhabten" ("Welcome"). "I hid in the bathroom in the hour on which the song was to be broadcasted, so my wife wouldn't ask me why I was listening to that station. For three days straight the song was broadcasted at a predetermined hour. On the first day the IAF's Senior Command congregated in Operational HQ, but Radfa did not make contact and slowly, the room emptied. On the third day he arrived, we were sitting together and saw the MiG-21 on the screens".

Radfa had indeed made it to Israel and was followed by his family, but he had a hard time acclimating himself to Israel and later moved to the U.S, where he lived until his death from cardiac arrest in 1998.




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From Ian:

Arab Support for Palestinians Frays
It’s relatively easy for anti-Israel activists to persuade ignorant young Westerners that Israel is an “apartheid state” when the main opposition to this canard comes from Jews, who can be smeared as “interested parties.” It’s much harder when a Muslim Bedouin comes up afterward and says, “My name is Mohammad, and I served in the Israel Air Force, and I’m preparing Bedouin guides to serve. I’m here to protect Israel from the BDS lies. You must know that Israeli Arabs have the freedom to live, work, worship and travel.”
Like Wannous, Ka’abiya is still very much in the minority, but again, neither is he unique. His best-known colleagues include diplomat George Deek, who argues that Israeli Arabs can and should “live as a contributing minority” in Israel just like “the Jews in Europe, who kept their religion and identity for centuries but still managed to influence,” and Father Gabriel Naddaf, who has been successfully encouraging his fellow Christian Arabs to serve in the Israeli army and has defended Israel at the UN.
In arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian status quo is unsustainable, both the Israeli left and its American Jewish counterpart rely heavily on fears that the ongoing conflict is eroding Western support for Israel, and that therefore, time is on the Palestinians’ side. But given the West’s growing and unhappy acquaintance with radical Islam, Israel’s improving status in other parts of the world (as detailed in my previous post), and the nascent change in Arab attitudes toward the Palestinian issue, it’s looking far more likely that time is on Israel’s side.
In the long run, these developments could also help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by convincing Palestinians that Israel isn’t likely to disappear, so negotiating a reasonable peace deal is their best option. But whether or not that ever happens, there’s no reason for Israel to feel pressured to make hasty concessions for fear of diplomatic isolation. As recent developments make clear, Israel can afford to wait.
More on Palestine is Part of Syria
Continuing to research the link between Palestinianism and its Syrian roots on the question of whether the term "Palestine" was an actual one or did the Arabs who resided in the territory actually see themselves of Syrians, or South-Syrians.
Nuri As-Sa'id's Fertile Crescent Project 1943
The following proposals of mine are based on the close and firm ties between
Iraq and all the Arabs inhabiting historical Syria. The States of the Arabian Peninsula
The Arab States and the Arab League have an economic system which differs from our own, though they are very close to us in respect of language, customs and religion. On the other hand, Egypt has a bigger population than that of backward (i) States. It also has its (own) problems in the Sudan and elsewhere. Because of this, I have assumed that these States are not inclined to join an Arab federation (2) or an Arab League from the start (3). But if the union (ittihad) of Iraq and Syria does materialize, it may then be very likely that these States mentioned (4) may in the course of time show their desire to join this union. But I expect that this union - even if confined to Iraq and Syria - will at the very beginning lead to the facilitation of joint consultation among all the Arab States and to
all these States acting in concert, whether they are inside the union or outside it...
...In my view, the only equitable solution indeed, the only hope of securing permanent peace, reassurance and progress in these Arab areas, is for the United Nat- ions to declare now the following:
(1) That Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Trans Jordan be reunited into one State.
Douglas Murray: From Cannes to Bavaria, politicians fiddle with burkini bans while Europe boils
To diminish that pool, European governments should avoid unnecessary policies (such as policing swimwear) that exacerbate unnecessary grievances and focus instead on those necessary policies – slowing Muslim immigration, carrying out proper vetting of those who arrive and expelling anyone who preaches hatred – whether they cause grievances or not.
With this approach currently seen as politically impossible, it is increasingly clear that the governments of Europe are preparing for the worst. In Germany in recent days, the government has been advising citizens to stockpile essentials, including water. A leaked government document also raises the issue of conscription in Germany.
For a country that last year took in perhaps as many as 1.5 million additional Muslims, these are signs of panic. Clearly the Germans are expecting that at some point one of the mass-casualty, possibly chemical or biological attacks that Islamist groups have been trying to carry out for years will be successful.
Aside from the fact there is little that the public in Germany, or Britain, could do in such a situation, such warnings are additionally unwise because they do much of the terrorists’ job for them. The German government and Chancellor Merkel, in particular, have a huge problem on their hands.
On the one hand, they cannot admit that their indiscriminate open borders policy – even before 2015 – to have been a mistake. On the other, they rightly fear the public backlash that is already nascent but which would explode should any mass casualty attack occur.
And so it is unsurprising that Germany has been having its own burkini debate in recent weeks, with politicians discussing the wisdom of a ban. It is not only the perfect summer story, but also the perfect modern European story. Not one life will be saved by banning the burkini. But the politicians who have presented Europe with this huge societal change now find they have no answers in the face of growing public anger at the circumstances they have brought about.
When a problem has no solutions, the only thing left to do is to change the topic. And so, in the wake of daily attacks, our continent is spending the summer talking beach-wear. Some people may think this is better than nothing. But it isn’t. It is fiddling while Europe boils.

Friday, August 26, 2016

From Ian:

Jew-Hatred at the World Social Forum
The 2016 annual meeting of the World Social Forum took place in Montreal this month to strategize and coordinate campaigns in support of anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, and now anti-Semitism.
Viewed as a progressive alternative to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, it began with an anti-Semitic cartoon depicting a stereotypical hook-nosed Orthodox Jew controlling the United States government as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by proxy. The cartoon, part of a now-canceled talk by Seyed Ali Mousavi, titled “Terrorizm [sic], Wahhabism [sic], Zionism,” was criticized by two Canadian members of Parliament, leading to removal of the Canadian government logo from the forum’s list of partners.
Although Mousavi’s talk was canceled, the WSF website lists at least a dozen other events intended to promote the wholesale boycott of Israel. They include a workshop comparing the calling-out of anti-Semitism to McCarthyism, headlined by Diane Ralph, a notorious conspiracy theorist who has blamed Israel and the U.S. for staging the September 11 terrorist attacks.
WSF attendees also heard from Sabine Friesinger, a former student union president involved in the violent riot preventing current-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking at Concordia University in 2002. Elderly Holocaust survivor Thomas Hecht was physically assaulted during that riot.
Another speaker at the conference was Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. In a 2014 speech at UCLA, Barghouti denied the existence of the Jewish people, claiming that Jews are not indigenous to Israel and have no right to self-determination or collective rights. Nonetheless, Barghouti rejected the notion that BDS is anti-Semitic.

Black Lives Matter and Self-Hating Jews
Between 1939 and 1945, one-third of the Jewish people in the world were murdered. That was genocide. And since Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 in a war of self-defense, the Arab population in these two areas has gone from just over a million to well over 4 million. That is not genocide. If anything, it’s a population explosion.
Why is it worth mentioning this demographic data? Because the recently released manifesto of the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement set up to address the issue of innocent black men who have been shot by police officers, includes a broadened agenda denouncing Israel, the Jewish homeland, for practicing “genocide” against the Palestinians.
Rachel Gilmer, a woman born to a Jewish mother who has disavowed her Judaism, played a major role in insinuating this hatred for Israel into the Black Lives Matter document. And why am I not shocked? Because historically, Gilmer fits into a well-known description of a “self-hating Jew.”
One of the most famous such figures was the iconic Jewish communist Rosa Luxemburg, who when approached to denounce anti-Jewish pogroms, responded with this heartwarming declaration: “Why do you come to me with your special Jewish sorrows?… I cannot find a special corner in my heart for the ghetto. I feel at home in the entire world wherever there are clouds and birds and human tears.”
Well, not exactly the entire world. Luxemburg’s indifferent response to the death of her mother prompted her anguished father to write: “An eagle soars so high he loses sight of the earth below… I shall not burden you any more with my letters.” Other than her father, the only other person I know who referred to Rosa Luxemburg as an eagle was that “great humanitarian,” Vladimir Lenin. “But in spite of all her mistakes,” Lenin declared after Luxemburg’s murder, “she remains for us an eagle.” As the ever-shrewd Winston Churchill remarked of Lenin: “His birth was Russia’s greatest tragedy. His death [and succession by Stalin] was Russia’s second greatest tragedy.” And among Stalin’s few supporters in the United States—even after he was revealed to be a mass murderer —a large, perhaps the largest, percentage were, who else? Self-hating Jews.
Black Lives Matter and the endless war against the Jews
The man who controls the language controls the conversation, as George Orwell rightly observed. The word that the left is trying, with a certain success, to appropriate now is “genocide.” Genocide is what Hitler set out to do, to exterminate Europe’s Jews (and who knows where his evil ambition would have gone from there).
The manifesto of the Black Lives Matter movement, with the connivance of intellectually slovenly academics, applies “genocide” to Israeli self-defense in Gaza. There’s neither logic nor data to prove it.
“Between 1939 and 1945,” writes Joseph Telushkin in the Tablet, an online magazine, “one-third of the Jewish people in the world were murdered. That was genocide. And since Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 [as a result of a] war of self-defense, the Arab population in these two areas has gone from just over a million to 4 million. That is not genocide. It’s a population explosion.”
Facts are stubborn and persistent, but so are those who deny, manipulate and abuse them. Black Lives Matter, in protesting the shooting of young black men by police (and in the case of one or two of the young black men, they were asking for it) was a positive thing, but the movement now is trying to turn the rage against injustice to destructive rage against Israel. It’s an old phenomenon. Blame the Jews: They’re rich (most of them own department stores) and live the life of Riley, so why not?
Until now the Jew-baiters tried to camouflage their game, being careful to say they weren’t talking about the Jews, just the Zionists, the Jews who wanted to build and protect a Jewish homeland. When a black student at Harvard tried this line on Martin Luther King, he was having none of it. “When people criticize Zionists,” he told him, “they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”
This was a time when Jews and blacks marched together against segregation and racial abuse in the South, when racial reunion and solidarity seemed both close and far away. Now, after nearly eight years of the Obama era, it seems only far away, and the Jew-baiters now rarely bother to camouflage Jew-baiting by calling it skepticism of Zionism.

  • Friday, August 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ancient Beer-sheva

From Times of Israel:

In an official letter this week, the United Nations specifically referred to Israel’s southern city of Beersheba by its Arabic name — Ber asaabeaa.

The letter requested the release of a UN Development Program employee, whom Israel has accused of aiding the Hamas terrorist group, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said Thursday.

The name Beersheba comes from the Hebrew Be’er Sheva, meaning well of seven or well of oaths. Though the exact origin of the name is disputed, according to the Bible the city gained its moniker as a result of the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac digging seven wells in the area, after having sworn two separate oaths there with the Philistine King Abimelech.

Though Beersheba was part of the proposed Arab territory in the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, the city is located deep inside the sovereign borders of the state since 1948, which have been recognized by the international body.
Imagine the diplomatic firestorm that would follow if the UN referred to the city of its headquarters as "Manna-Hata" which was the original Lenape name from which Manhattan was derived. (Speaking of, why does the UN allow itself to exist on usurped native American lands?)

The UN is attempting to erase not only Israel, but Jewish (and Christian) history in its zeal to delegitimize the Jewish state on all possible fronts.





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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Trump and the American Dream
On the eve of his 2008 electoral victory, Barack Obama pledged to “fundamentally transform,” America.
He kept his word.
And it is this fundamental transformation and the Republican leadership’s failure to stop it that transformed a loud-mouthed, brash billionaire into the Republican nominee. It was this transformation, and the Republican establishment’s failure to block it, that made it impossible for moderates like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush to win the Republican primaries in 2016.
Not only has the country been transformed, the Republican electorate has been transformed.
Today America is steeped in crisis. Foreign audiences concentrate on the crisis of American power overseas. Today, due to Obama’s decision to prefer his failed attempt at rapprochement with Iran over longtime US allies in the region, the Americans have lost their strategic superiority in the Middle East and are on the way to losing whatever residual influence they still maintain over regional affairs.
Turkey’s ground invasion of Syria on Wednesday is a clear sign of the disintegration of America’s regional position. While the invasion was ostensibly launched against ISIS, the plain fact is that its main target is the Kurds. That is, NATO member Turkey invaded Syria to take out the US’s primary ally in its campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
And the US is providing air cover to the Turkish invaders while abandoning the Kurds.
Every advance the US has made in its campaign against ISIS has been achieved on the backs of the Kurds. And yet, Vice President Joe Biden, who was visiting in Ankara the day of the Turkish invasion, openly threatened the Kurds. Biden said the US will abandon them if they refuse to conform with Turkey’s demand that they withdraw to the eastern side of the Euphrates River.
Biden’s move merely reinforced the growing impression that the US is only dangerous to its allies. The Iranians, for instance responded to the Turkish move by harassing the US Navy destroyer USS Nitze as it traversed the Strait of Hormuz. Rather than sink the Iranian vessels that threatened it, the Nitze responded by shooting off a couple of flares. The State Department then whined about the assault, calling Iran’s act of war “unprofessional.”
And the worst part about the US’s strategic crackup is that it is but one of the crises endangering America today.

Beersheba, where Abraham and Isaac dug wells? The UN says it’s Bi’ir as-Sab
In an official letter this week, the United Nations specifically referred to Israel’s southern city of Beersheba by its Arabic name — Ber asaabeaa.
The letter requested the release of a UN Development Program employee, whom Israel has accused of aiding the Hamas terrorist group, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said Thursday.
The name Beersheba comes from the Hebrew Be’er Sheva, meaning well of seven or well of oaths. Though the exact origin of the name is disputed, according to the Bible the city gained its moniker as a result of the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac digging seven wells in the area, after having sworn two separate oaths there with the Philistine King Abimelech.
Though Beersheba was part of the proposed Arab territory in the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, the city is located deep inside the sovereign borders of the state since 1948, which have been recognized by the international body.
Located in a dry riverbed, near a freshwater aquifer, the most ancient remains of Beersheba are from the 12th and 11th centuries BCE. The city was built up throughout the centuries, becoming a regional capital in the 8th century BCE.

  • Friday, August 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Recently, a novel was released called "The Jews of Alexandria."

It has been reviewed positively in the Egyptian press. and it was one of the featured titles at a recent book fair.

It is also antisemitic.

The plot goes like this:

John, a Jewish barber surgeon, succeeds in curing Said of Egypt, a real 19th century Egyptian ruler, of a disease when everybody else fails.

He is rewarded by Said with lands around Alexandria, and there is a plan to make these lands a settlement for poor Jews, who would work those lands. But a family feud breaks out (in John's family) and they kill him and take over the land.

In order to cover up their deed, they decide to make him into a "holy man" like Abu Hatzeira, a popular saint, whose grave would attract many worshippers (a common thing among Jews and Muslims).

Then a new generation of Jews emerges after WWII, who try to blend into Egyptian society, "which was welcoming, and not hateful towards them or tried to take revenge on them like Adolf Hitler". When the State of Israel is born, they immigrate there, and "follow the same pattern" like they did in Egypt - taking over lands, creating false holy places.

The review of the book at Al Ahram this week says the book tries to be sympathetic towards Jews but you just can't make those evil people look good::

Because of the subject matter, which is the life of Jews in general, the author tries to penetrate the thinking within the Jewish community and understand customs and traditions and its way of thinking over several decades, trying to upset the prevailing stereotypes about Jews that Egyptians have. But he does not succeed in this because the Jews are the Jews, in their greed and cajoling and lies and hatred of others, and sex trafficking and the use of women to gain access to their belongings. Thus, the narrator proves more and more that the stereotype of Jews is true.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)


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  • Friday, August 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Jerusalem Post reported last week:
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman unveiled a new policy toward Palestinians based on the “carrot and stick” model – harsher punishment for families and villages from which terrorists originate and economic benefits for those areas that have not produced terrorists.

“We will implement a differential policy in Judea and Samaria,” Liberman said. “Its purpose is to continue to give benefits to those who desire co-existence with us and make life difficult for those who seek to harm Jews.”

The minister added that “anyone who is prepared for co-existence will prosper, while those who opt for terrorism will lose.”

According to the new policy, the defense establishment divided the West Bank map into two parts – the main part marked on the map in green represented the areas from which no terrorists had come, while a smaller part, mainly in the southern West Bank from Hebron southward featured villages colored in red and yellow.

The areas that will get benefits immediately are Beit Sahur, in which a hospital will be built; western Nablus, in which an industrial zone will be built; and Kafr Bidia, in which a soccer field will be built.

Infrastructure plans will also be expanded in Kalkilya, Hableh and Izbat Tabib, and an economic corridor will be opened from Jericho to Jordan in accordance with a plan being promoted and paid for by the Japanese government.

The means of punishment for areas from where terrorism originates will include increased IDF activity in Area A of the West Bank; home demolitions; increased arrests; raids on homes from which terrorists came; confiscation of terrorism funds and property; cancellation of VIP permits for senior Palestinian Authority officials taking part in incitement; increased vehicle searches at the Kalandiya refugee camp; and stricter enforcement against illegal building.

One of the keys of the plan deals with the defense establishment’s desire to hold talks with Palestinian figures without mediation and without the approval of the Palestinian Authority. Although Liberman did not call it as such, it could be defined as “a track that circumvents Mahmoud Abbas.”

According to Liberman, “[Abbas] speaks with everyone in Israel and, therefore, the goal is to attain symmetry between Israel and the PA.”

He said PA officials speak to all parts of Israeli society – ministers, MKs, mayors, academics and more – whereas Israel holds talks only with PA officials or those who have received the approval of the PA.

“Our goal is to create a dialogue with anyone who wants to talk to us,” the minister stated. He added, however, that “we have no intention to crown kings in the PA or to interfere in internal affairs.”
Israeli politicians slammed the plan from all directions, but the response in the official Wafa news website is even more interesting:
The Palestinian private sector in a press statement Thursday rejected and described as insulting the so called “stick and carrot” policy unveiled by the Israeli Minister of “Defense” Avigdor Liberman.

The statement, issued by the all-inclusive coordinating council of all the business associations, chambers of commerce, and industrial & trade organizations representing the mass of business leaders in Palestine, said: “We view the policy proposed to directly contact Palestinian figures, businessmen and academics and bypass the Palestinian National Authority and its legitimate leadership under elected President Mahmoud Abbas as amateurish, and completely humiliating, under estimating our intellect; and reminds us of old age ideas that are null and void.

“We as leaders of business and respected figures in our community, representing the private sector in the state of Palestine regard with honor and pride the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian National Authority with the related government agencies as our national government providing us with rule of law, security and enabling environment,” the statement added.

Now, do you think for a moment that the businesspeople drafted this letter on their own? This is an infomercial for Mahmoud Abbas, not a press release from independent businesspeople! The language leaves little doubt that it was drafted and written entirely by Mahmoud Abbas' loyalists and given to these groups to sign, probably with an implicit threat attached. Businesspeople aren't in the habit of spontaneously praising their government this way, and the additional language of "providing us with the rule of law, security and enabling environment" sounds more sarcastic than sincere.

This proves what we reported recently - Palestinians agree that there is no free speech in the territories.  This letter proves it.

It also proves that Abbas is running a dictatorship where he does not allow the possibility of any messaging that is not pre-approved by him. Which is yet another reason to take any statements given to the media from institutions in the PA with a huge grain of salt.

Palestinians know the rules, but Western consumers of news are clueless about them.




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  • Friday, August 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


From The Independent (UK):

Human rights groups have claimed the Israeli military investigations are biased and ineffective and have called for an impartial inquiry into the alleged war crimes.

The most deadly case which was closed without charges on Wednesday was an investigation into the killing of 15 members of the same family by an air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza.

The military said the building targeted by the strike that killed the family was a Hamas command centre, a claim refuted by relatives of those killed. It ruled the air strike was in line with international law, although it conceded civilian casualties were higher than anticipated, AP reported.

"The attack complied with the principle of proportionality, as at the time the decision to attack was taken it was considered that the collateral damage expected to arise as a result of the attack would not be excessive in relation to the military advantage anticipated from it," it said.

"This assessment was not unreasonable under the circumstances, despite the discovery, in the wake of the strike, of discrepancies between the reality prevailing on the ground and the information available at the time."

Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch, told The Independent: "We do not believe that either the Israeli or Palestinian authorities are conducting adequate domestic investigations into serious allegations of war crimes.

"The Israeli military investigative system has proven to be unwilling to examine decisions made at a senior level that appear to violate the laws of war, including targeting apparently civilian objects such as residential buildings and firing heavy artillery into densely populated civilian areas.

The Independent should look at both sides of the story. But here's what it did: for the Israeli side, it quoted AP's partial quote of the report, but it then went to the trouble of talking to critics of Israel from Human Rights Watch and publishing an unsourced claim that relatives "refuted" Israel's version.

What could the Independent have done?

Well, it could have bothered to read the entire section of the inquiry report about the Zoaroub family. Because one of the people killed in the strike was a senior Hamas military commander and relative of the family, Nazmi Zoaroub.
The factual findings collated by the FFA Mechanism and presented to the MAG, indicate that on August 1, 2014, the IDF carried out an aerial strike on a building, which was an active command and control center of the Hamas terror organization. The attack aimed to neutralize both the command and control center and the military operatives who, according to assessments, were manning it, with special regard to Nazmi Zouarob, a senior military operative in the Hamas, who was carrying out military operations from within the structure.

During the planning stages of the strike, it was assessed that the extent of the collateral damage expected to result from the attack would not be excessive in relation to the significant military advantage that was anticipated to result from a strike on the command and control center and the military operatives manning it. The strike on the building was planned for execution by means of a precise munition and in a way which would allow for the attack's aim to be achieved whilst minimizing harm to an adjacent building. It was further found, that it would not have been possible to provide a warning prior to the strike on the building, as such a warning would have frustrated the objective of the attack.

In practice, it became clear in the wake of the strike that there had been discrepancies between the information on the basis of which the strike was carried out and the facts which were revealed in its wake. As such, it is alleged that as a result of the attack, around 15 individuals were killed (as mentioned above, the precise number of the fatalities varies from report to report). It appears that a number of the fatalities had been residents of the building, while others were visiting the premises. According to the FFA Mechanism's findings, among the deceased was the senior military operative, Nazmi Zouarob.
Nazmi Zouarob died eleven days after the airstrike in the hospital, so he is not listed among the people killed in the house.

Here's Nazmi making his martyr's video with his immediate family:


If Nazmi Zouarob was using the house as a command and control center - which is highly likely if he was killed there - that means that his relatives were either willing accomplices by allowing their house to be used by Hamas, or they were unwilling human shields. Either way, their deaths are Hamas' fault, not Israel's, although the IDF admits that it did not know how many civilians were in the house at the time and may have chosen another time or type of attack if it had known. 

The Independent could have bothered to read the report and seen that a senior Hamas commander was present - but it didn't bother to. It did spend the time to get quotes from Sari Bashi, though, who knows nothing about this specific case. 



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Thursday, August 25, 2016

  • Thursday, August 25, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
File photo
Terror groups in Gaza shot another rocket towards Israel on Thursday evening, but it fell short.

A rocket that was reportedly fired from the area of the former Jewish settlement of Netzarim and it exploded near the central eastern border of Gaza. Gaza media reported of the sounds of a huge explosion both from the launch site and the crash site.

There were no casualties.

It appears that the jihadist groups in Gaza are restless...



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From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Are Jews Who Refuse to Renounce Israel Being Excluded From ‘Progressive’ Groups?
Last year, Rabbi Susan Talve, a longtime activist on race issues in the St. Louis area was told that her advocacy for Israel was incompatible with the objectives of Black Lives Matter: “Solidarity from Ferguson to Palestine has become a central tenet of the movement,” she was informed, because “Israeli and U.S. state oppression are deeply interconnected.” Similarly, a student who attended a Black Lives Matter rally at Northwestern University last year was told, “you support Israel, so you cannot also support us.”
Recently, that seems to be the response of many of the hard Left activists who dominate so-called “progressive” social justice movements.
Over the past several years, progressive Jews and supporters of Israel have had to come to terms with the reality that those who do not reject Israel and accept the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement’s unique brand of bigotry are no longer welcome in some progressive circles. And while both the Democratic and Republican parties have embraced the importance of the U.S. alliance with Israel, that dynamic is under threat more so than at any point in my lifetime.
The self-described “progressive wing” of the Democratic Party — represented by radical and often repressive organizations such as MoveOn, CodePink, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter (BLM) — has become openly opposed to the nation state of the Jewish people. Increasingly, these organizations demand that their members and “allies” renounce support for Israel and for Zionism in order to belong. Using the pretext of intersectionality — a pseudo-academic theory which insists that all social justice movements, except those supportive of Jews or Israel, are inexorably linked — anti-Israel activists have successfully made opposition to Israel and support for BDS a litmus test, especially for Jews, to belong to “progressive” movements focused on a wide range of issues.
Earlier this year, supporters of the LGBTQ community in Israel learned this lesson the hard way. BDS activists together with a local Black Lives Matter chapter broke up a gay pride event, because it featured a presentation by an Israeli group. The protestors claimed that the event organizers had engaged in “pinkwashing” the Israeli occupation by showing solidarity with the Israeli LGBTQ community.

UN wants Israel to free staffer accused of aiding Hamas
The United Nation’s legal department “demanded” Israel release an employee of the international organization on Thursday, who has been accused of aiding the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, according to Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, 38, an engineer in the UN’s Development Program, was arrested by the Shin Bet security service in July. He is suspected of funneling resources to the terrorist group.
According to the international organization, all UN employees are entitled to diplomatic immunity. The group’s legal department also demanded that UN officials have access to Bossh while he is being held in a Beersheba jail.
The letter, which referred to Beersheba by its Arabic name Bi’ir as-Sab, was sent to the Israeli UN delegation this week.
Danon refused the UN’s request. “We do not grant immunity to terrorists trying to harm our citizens,” he said, according to a statement released Thursday by his office.
After World Vision Scandal, Palestinian Aid Groups Face New Scrutiny
The case of World Vision isn’t an isolated incident, said Yona Schiffmiller, director of the NGO Monitor’s North America office. “There is an ongoing fundamental problem that exists in the NGO/humanitarian aid community. It doesn’t want to take security concerns to heart.”
There are similar cases of financing terrorism under the guise of charity, dating back to the 1970s, said Colin P. Clarke, a RAND Corp. political scientist and international security expert.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Provisional Irish Republican Army are just two examples of groups that have used the scam, he said.
In Bosnia, Algeria, and Afghanistan, insurgents benefitted from considerable support provided through religious charities, whose donations increased in the wake of publicized insurgent military success or media-focused campaigns depicting civilians suffering in these countries.
While Clarke contends that donors, and the NGOs that administer the funds, are probably unaware of where the money goes and assume it helps provide medical, legal and other types of aid to suffering civilians in war torn countries.
But groups like Hamas set up a social service wing, called Dawah, along with its military arm, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
“You cannot separate between them,” Darshan-Leitner said. “You cannot designate money to benevolence and think it will not get to the military. That’s just how it is.”

  • Thursday, August 25, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


El Nashra (Lebanon) reported on new archaeological studies in Israel, as reported in English by Christian News:
An ancient synagogue recently discovered in Israel has been deemed an important find for Christians as it confirms text found in the New Testament.

The synagogue, uncovered in Tel Reches Peak near Mount Tabor in the Galilee, dates back to the second temple era. Researchers found a large room nine meters high by eight meters wide, which was lined with benches of limestone blocks. A foundational pillar was also discovered in the rubble.

“This is the first synagogue of its kind in the Galilee villages,” Dr. Motti Aviam, a researcher at the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology, told YNet News. “In Migdal, for example, there is a synagogue but that is a big city. Here we are talking about a magnificent agricultural area about four Dunam in size where buildings are decorated with frescoes and stucco articles.”

“Jewish families lived in the estate but due to the fact that the nearest synagogue was four kilometers away (a distance deemed too far from a community according to Jewish law) the owner of the estate built the synagogue for himself and for the dozens of workers in his employment,” he explained.

Avaim said that the synagogue appeared to be a simple structure, most likely used for reading the Torah and delivering sermons. He noted how the synagogue aligns with biblical text.

“The New Testament describes how Jesus delivered sermons in a synagogue in Capernaum and other synagogues in the Galilee,” Aviam outlined.

“During the same period, Jesus was still a Jew who observed Jewish rituals and requirements and like many rabbis, he delivered sermons in synagogues,” he said. “Christianity … placed an emphasis on His sermons at synagogues in the Galilee. This makes the place very important for Christians.”
El Nashra emphasizes how this synagogue supports the New Testament narrative.

But it doesn't quite make the leap that this shows that Jews lived in the area way before Islam.




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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


It’s hard to understand Vladimir Putin’s attitude toward Jews.

On the one hand, Putin-controlled media continues to pour out vulgar anti-Jewish memes, including a recent TV program in which Jews sunk the Titanic, blew up Chernobyl and took down the World Trade Center. And Russia has surprising connections and influence in European radical right-wing political parties like Hungary’s Jobbik, France’s National Front and more.

On the other hand, at the same time, Russia is hosting a conference of 500 European rabbis in order to discuss the problem of Jew hatred in Europe, and in January Putin even suggested that Jews fleeing Europe should go to Russia. Jews “should come here, to Russia. They left the Soviet Union; now they should come back,” he said.

On the one hand, there appear to be good relations between Putin and Israel’s PM Netanyahu. Arrangements in place to prevent accidental clashes between Israeli and Russian air forces operating in Syria seem to be working. It does not seem to be the case that Putin is preventing Israel from taking action against attempts to transfer game-changing weapons to Hezbollah.

On the other hand, Russia is supplying modern weapons to Iran, and it appears to be cooperating with the Iranian regime’s project to control the arc of land from its eastern border through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean, as well as opening a direct line through Anbar province in Iraq, via  Jordan, to Israel’s midsection. This is not “good for the Jews.”

When Putin occupied Crimea two years ago, he claimed that Ukrainian nationalists who overthrew the pro-Russian Yanukovych government were neo-Nazis who threatened Jews. He might have been partially right, but Jews there are also accused of being allies of the right wing. Vicious anti-Jewish propaganda has appeared, which the nationalists claim is produced by the FSB (the current incarnation of the Russian secret security service) to discredit them. 

The explanation is not that Putin likes Jews or that he dislikes them. It is simply that the Jews and Jew-hatred are convenient and helpful tools for achieving his objectives. Some of these are to weaken the EU and NATO and destabilize Europe, at which he has been spectacularly successful. This is why Putin wants to strengthen the right-wing movements – to create as much chaos in Europe as possible. 

You may recall that NATO was originally established to contain Soviet expansionism by building a nuclear-armed wall around the USSR. Today it is a quaint relic of that period, almost toothless. NATO didn’t stop Putin from taking Crimea and isn’t likely to send its tanks or bombers to protectUkraine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Transnistria

The Jewish state, too, can be helpful to Putin. In the Middle East, his immediate goal is to weaken the influence of the US over the region, both inobjective geostrategic ways, by placing military assets in critical spots – S-400 air defense systems in Crimea and Syria, bombers in Iran, bases in Syria – and diplomatically, by driving wedges between the US and its traditional allies, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel. 

The US, either by incompetence or design, has played into Putin’s gambit. Both the US and Russia have wooed the Iranian regime, but only Putin has received anything in return. The Iranians have pocketed US concessions made during the nuclear negotiations without ending their hostility to the US, their support of terrorism or their intention to obtain nuclear weapons (which may have been delayed by a short period, if at all). 

In addition to the strategic benefits Russia gets from its alliance with Iran, the American attempt to appease Iran has damaged relations between the US, its (former) Sunni allies and Israel; this is a definite plus from Moscow’s point of view. 

As Obama continues to pressure Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians and to restrain her from taking action against Iran, Putin is offering help, both in controlling Iran and Hezbollah and as a mediator (along with Egypt) with the Palestinians.

Putin’s longer-range goal is to replace the US as the dominant power in the Middle East. This will place him in conflict with Iran, which also wants the role of top dog. Putin understands Iran’s expansionist ambitions. It would be rational for him to want to place limits on the regime, especially in regard to her nuclear weapons development. Iran is developing or may already have a nuclear-capable missile that can reach Moscow. I don’t believe that Russia wants to see such missiles with nuclear warheads in her backyard, 1500 km. from Moscow. Putin is willing to partner with Iran in order to achieve his objectives, but he very much intends to be the controlling partner.

Can Putin be trusted? No, of course not. Regardless of the propaganda flowing from his psychological warfare factories, he is not sentimental about Jews. The ex-KGB officer is not sentimental about anything. But I think he is smart enough to understand the potential stability that a strong Israel – the only nation in the Middle East that can at the same time be powerful without also being tempted to engage in aggression against its neighbors – would give to the eastern Mediterranean region, which incidentally contains large reserves of natural gas.

Unlike Obama, who I believe is both stupid and irrationally anti-Israel, Putin is both smart and rational, and the smart, rational thing for him to do is to allow Russia to benefit from a powerful but nonthreatening Jewish state that is prepared to view her as an ally.

Within the next few years it will become clear if he sees it this way too.





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