Will Iran’s pinprick policy call US bluff?

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 1 hour 40 min ago

Trump has relied on feigning a disproportionate and irrational response but Iran may want to push the US into a corner.

‘Fire and Fury’ in Farsi: Is Trump treating Iran like N. Korea? - analysis

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 1 hour 51 min ago

Critics note an area where Pyongyang and the Islamic republic are similar.

Video Shows Mother Pleading as Daughter is Kidnapped

Breaking Israel News - 3 hours 48 min ago

A door-camera caught the kidnapping in Fort Worth, Texas, helping authorities capture the culprit soon after.

Bipartisan Letter Calls for Addressing Syrian Threats, Ensuring Defense of Israel

Breaking Israel News - 4 hours 51 min ago

A bipartisan letter signed by nearly 400 membersfrom both sides of the aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate was sent to U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, calling on him to address threats in Syria, in addition to ensuring Israel’s safety.

“At a time of grave insecurity in the Middle East, we are deeply concerned about the role that terrorist and extremist groups and U.S. adversaries continue to play, particularly in Syria,” stated the letter. “As some of our closest allies in the region are being threatened, American leadership and support are as crucial as ever.”

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The letter went on to describe the threats posed by groups, including ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Iranian proxies such as Hezbollah.

It also warns about the threat Russia poses by “working to secure a permanent presence in Syria, beyond its naval facility at Tartus.”

The congressional members recommended three elements to “limit the presence of terrorists and extremists, counter the activities of our adversaries and strengthen Israel’s security;” “underscore Israel’s right to self-defense;” “increase pressure on Iran and Russia with respect to activities in Syria;” and “increase pressure on Hezbollah.”

The letter was signed by 79 senators and 303 representatives from both parties, though Republican leadership in the House refrained.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Liz Cheney, the chairman of the House Republican Conference, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iran's reach puts U.S. forces, allies in striking range

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 5 hours 11 min ago

Iran backs militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are also based, and in Lebanon and Yemen, located next to Washington's closest regional allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Members of Congress Express Mixed Reactions on Rising Tensions Between US and Iran

Breaking Israel News - 5 hours 13 min ago

Amid increased tensions between the United States and Iran, members of the U.S. Congress have expressed mixed reactions to how the administration has been handling the situation, with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday warning of an “overwhelming military response” if Tehran attacks American interests, while U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) compared U.S. President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Iran to a “schoolyard bully.”

“The fault lies with the Iranians, not the United States or any other nation. If the Iranian threats against American personnel and interests are activated we must deliver an overwhelming military response,” tweeted Graham, who also mentioned he received a briefing on the matter from U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. “Stand firm Mr. President.”

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Just received a briefing from National Security Advisor Bolton about escalating tensions with Iran.

It is clear that over the last several weeks Iran has attacked pipelines and ships of other nations and created threat streams against American interests in Iraq.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 20, 2019

“Trump, the schoolyard bully, is threatening to take us into another war in the Middle East. Just what we need!” tweeted Sanders, who is running for president next year, on Monday in response Trump tweeting on Sunday that war would be “the official end of Iran.”

Trump, the schoolyard bully, is threatening to take us into another war in the Middle East. Just what we need! But it will not be Trump’s or his billionaire friend’s kids and grandkids who fight and die in that war. It will be working-class kids. No war with Iran! https://t.co/b32MYKtd4P

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 20, 2019

“Iran knows if they provoke the United States, they’re going to get their faces crushed in,” U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told Fox News on Thursday.

.@RepKinzinger to Neil: Iran knows if they provoke the United States they’re going to get their faces crushed in pic.twitter.com/mpu99PNj3H

— Neil Cavuto (@TeamCavuto) May 16, 2019

In addition to Trump, numerous Democrats are blaming the people surrounding the president, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), also running for president in 2020, told ABC News on Sunday that Bolton “pushed America into Iraq under a weak commander-in-chief in George W. Bush and he’s pushing America into Iran today. And we have the same situation with a commander-in-chief who dodged his own generation’s war.”

“This president has surrounded himself with people—Pompeo and Bolton, in particular—who believe that getting tough on a military basis with Iran is in our best interest. I do not,” said U.S. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

Last week, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said the United States could win a war with Iran in “two strikes.”

“Two strikes,” he told Margaret Hoover of PBS’s “Firing Line.” “The first strike and the last strike.”

 

Senator @TomCottonAR tells Firing Line if it comes to war with Iran, he is confident the United States would win, and would win swiftly. “Two strikes, the first strike and the last strike,” says the Senator. pic.twitter.com/twTdrFTwHu

— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) May 14, 2019

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Wednesday, “It’s close to inconceivable that the president, the administration would consider a war with Iran.”

Nonetheless, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who is running for president next year, told Fox News on Friday that “what is important that the American people know is a war with Iran would make the war in Iraq look like a cakewalk.”

“While Trump and others in his administration are saying they don’t want to go to war with Iran, I hear them saying that more now that they are getting a lot of pushback from our allies like those in the U.K., when in fact the actions of the administration have been telling us another story,” she continued. “It is pushing us closer and closer to the process of a war with Iran.”

Former intelligence officer: Here is how the U.S. could confront Iran

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 5 hours 24 min ago

Pregent’s map shows a variety of pressure points where Iran, its allies and proxies are present.

Progress made in demarcation talks between Israel and Lebanon - report

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 5 hours 38 min ago

According to the report, Israel agreed on the demarcation but had asked for clarification on some issues.

American Warships Train in Arabian Sea; Trump Voices Clear Warning to Tehran

Breaking Israel News - 5 hours 42 min ago

Two large U.S. warships conducted a rare training exercise in the Arabian Sea as U.S. President Donald Trump warning the war would be the “official end of Iran” as tensions have increased in recent weeks between Washington and Tehran.

The United States has increased pressure on the Islamic Republic with new sanctions and deploying two warships with fighter jets, in addition to a Patriot missile battery, to the Gulf in response to Pentagon reports that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was planning an attack on U.S. forces or interests in the region—moves that have caused European foreign ministers to call for de-escalation.

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“The exercises and training we are doing with Amphibious Squadron Six, the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and USS Kearsarge are aimed towards increasing our lethality and agility to respond to threats, and deterring destabilizing actions in this important region,” said Rear Adm. John Wade, commander of the Carrier Strike Group 12, in a statement.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Trump tweeted, “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”

If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019

However, Trump has expressed that he does not want war with the regime.

“I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons—you just can’t let that happen,” he said in an interview with Fox News that aired Sunday night.

Iran has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium, according to media reports on Monday.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Monday that American leaders “are not seeking a conflict, they don’t want a war with Iran, but if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate. And that is something that the Iranians need to think about very, very carefully.”

Last week, Trump said that Iran will “suffer greatly” if “they do anything.”

“We’ll see what happens with Iran. … If they do anything, they will suffer greatly,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office in response to reports that two oil tankers owned by Saudi Arabia and two others, one owned by the United Arab Emirates and another by Norway, were sabotaged, possibly by Tehran.

“It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens. I can tell you that,” said Trump. “They’re not going to be happy. They’re not going to be happy people.”

The president did not elaborate on the threat, saying, “You can figure it out yourself. They know what I mean by it.”

The New York Times reported last week the Trump administration has reviewed a military option that includes sending up to 120,000 troops to the Mideast were Iran to attack U.S. forces or increase its work on nuclear weapons. Trump denied the report.

JOSHUA 8:34

Breaking Israel News - 7 hours 4 min ago

The goal of settling the Land of Israel is not simply for the Children of Israel to be a nation like all other nations. For that, any land would have been sufficient; the Holy Land would not be necessary. Rather, the purpose of being in Eretz Yisrael is to be a holy nation living freely in its land. Therefore, it stands to reason that Yehoshua would teach the entire Torah again to every man, woman and child at this early point of the nation’s entrance into Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Meir Bar Ilan, an early Religious Zionist, taught that the goal must be “the Land of Israel for the People of Israel according to the Torah of Israel.” Similarly, commenting on the special relationship between the land and the Bible, former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres said of his mentor David Ben Gurion, “he restored the Bible to its people, and he restored the people to the Bible.”

A Terrifying Inside View of a Firebomb Attack on Bus

Breaking Israel News - 7 hours 12 min ago

A video taken by one of the students shows a terrifying insider’s view of what it is like to be attacked by a firebomb in Israel. The bus was traveling to Pnei Kedem in eastern Gush Etzion just south of Jerusalem, returning a group of girls from a Shabbat school trip. Palestinians attacked the bus with a homemade firebomb, also referred to as a Molotov Cocktail. Though improvised, the device made from a glass bottle and gasoline is deadly and can engulf vehicles in flames. In this attack, the bus was damaged and four passengers were treated for shock.

Battle for Jewish Presence on Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day

Breaking Israel News - 7 hours 53 min ago

On Saturday evening, Israel will be celebrating Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) commemorating the 1967 Six-Day War in which Jewish sovereignty returned to the Temple Mount after 2,000 years of exile. Ironically, there is currently a battle being waged to allow Jews to visit the site on that day and if the battle is lost, it will be the first time in 30 years that Jews will be barred from the site on that auspicious day.

A statement from Police’s Jerusalem district posted last week said the Temple Mount would be closed to Jews and tourists “for reasons of public safety and public order.”

Israeli law requires equality of religions at all holy sites however leaves security decisions to the discretion of the police and security establishment. The month-long Ramadan period is frequently a period of increased Muslim violence in Israel. 180,000 Muslims arrived at the Temple Mount on the first Friday of Ramadan and a similar number is expected to do so at the end as well. For this reason, the Israeli police frequently close the Temple Mount to Jews at the end of Ramadan for security considerations. This year, Ramadan ends on Tuesday, June 4, two days after Jerusalem Day.

The last time the Temple Mount was closed to Jews on Jerusalem Day was in 1988, when it also coincided with the end of Ramadan. Last year, more than 2,000 Jews visited the site on Jerusalem Day but the number of Jews visiting the site has increased exponentially in recent years.

Unfortunately, this Ramadan period has already been marred by Muslim violence on the Temple Mount that has gone largely unreported in the press.

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The Students for the Temple Mount group responded to the police decision by petitioning the Supreme Court to “disqualify the police’s decision to restrict the right of Jews and other religions to enter the Temple Mount during the month of Ramadan, partially or fully, because it was made in violation of legal authority, without the granting of the right to a lawful hearing and a prohibited, unjustified and disproportionate violation of basic constitutional rights.”

Several media have reported that the petition to the court was rejected but Assaf Fried, Assaf Fried, the spokesman for the Temple Organizations, explained to Breaking Israel News that the issue is not settled and may not be settled until Jerusalem Day arrives.

“There is currently a war being waged over whether or not Jews will be able to visit the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day, Fried told Breaking Israel News. “The worst thing you can do in a battle is to give up at the outset. We have not given up.”

“There are many organizations and individuals who are going to great lengths to ensure that the gates will be open,” Fried said. “It is not a decision the police came to easily. The security establishment has gone to great lengths to ensure the religious rights of Muslims as well as Jews even when the easiest solution would have been to shut the Temple Mount down to one or both.”

Fried speculated that a final decision would be made in the final moments based on the reality of the situation as it develops. He noted that the Palestinians and the Muslim Waqf are moving forward and establishing facts on the ground as they did just a few months ago when rioters took over an area adjacent to the Golden Gate.

“In any case, we are celebrating 52 years since the Jews returned to our holiest site,” Fried said. “It is of utmost importance for every Jew to come to Jerusalem and to ascend to the Temple Mount if it is permitted. If we relinquish that right, we have relinquished the Temple Mount and our future as a nation.”

Sheba Medical Center Burn Unit Uses Cutting-Edge Technology to Save Lives

Breaking Israel News - 8 hours 37 min ago

An 18-month-old Palestinian girl, Shams Ismail, was sleeping soundly until a fire blazed in her house, engulfing the small child in flames. Her parents desperately attempted to break the door down but to no avail. Firefighters arrived on the scene and tore down a wall, rescuing her. But it was almost too late. At the checkpoint, IDF soldiers saw that the girl needed to seek treatment quickly, or she would certainly die.

They rushed her to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in critical condition. Over half of her body was badly burned and her respiratory system was shutting down.

The situation was dire.

Normally, in such circumstances, doctors use skin grafts to treat burnt skin. But since the patient was so young and much of her body was scorched, the doctors at Sheba decided to take a risk and apply an innovative method never before done in Israel: they grew new skin in a lab from a sample of Ismail’s in an attempt to repair the damage. In 10 days, they were able to create enough new skin to cover the toddler’s entire stomach.

“Using one’s own skin to grow additional skin in a laboratory and graft it back onto the body is essentially the best treatment available to burn victims today,” said Prof. Josef Haik, Director of the National Burn Center at Sheba Medical Center. “When Ismail came to us, she was in a very severe condition with no certainty of survival. Our highly talented team of medical experts at Sheba Medical Center was able to treat her with this new method, and now we are beginning a long and hopeful rehabilitation regimen on the road to recovery.”

At Sheba’s Burn Unit, doctor’s work on a daily basis to provide that kind of innovative treatment to patients who are badly injured and, in some cases, at the brink of death.

Like many innovations to come out of Sheba, which was recently named one of the top 10 hospitals in the world by Newsweek magazine, miraculous pioneering medical solutions were born out of tragedy.

The Burn Unit is no exception. Founded in 1973 during the Yom Kippur war, the unit was established to treat the staggering amount of wounded IDF soldiers arriving with grave burns all over their body.

Today, Sheba’s Burn Unit is regarded as the most advanced medical center in the country and treats all patients, regardless of age, gender or, as seen in the moving example above, ethnicity.

“The fact that Israel boasts such an advanced treatment center for burns, and that it was born out of its need to care for our IDF soldiers is heartwarming,” said Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of the official welfare fund of the IDF, LIBI USA, which provides soldiers with support, education and assistance to help ease the burden of their service.

If treating Israeli citizens and security forces weren’t enough, doctors of the burn unit are also dispatched abroad to help in emergency situations. For example, last year, a team of plastic surgeons and burn specialists flew to Guatemala to aid people badly burned by an active volcano that erupted.

“When we talk about being a light unto the nations, Sheba, which began as a military hospital specifically for IDF troops, personifies that motto on a regular basis,” Grossman, remarked.

Indeed, Sheba Medical Center, was founded 71 years ago along with the creation of the state itself. What was first called Army Hospital #5, has morphed into a hub of cutting-edge innovation. Those first treated were IDF soldiers wounded during the War of Independence and, as such, the hospital remains loyal to its roots and dedication to treating those who protect the country.

In fact, the hospital’s director-general, Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, comes from a robust military background. After serving as a combat surgeon, he rose the ranks to become IDF Surgeon General.

As a result, the hospital is an efficient, well-run machine and like the soldiers it treats, is always looking to be a beacon of innovation.

“Our soldiers use the best technology available to protect us, so it should stand to reason that when they are hurt, we use the best technology to treat them,” Grossman said of Sheba.

As for the burn unit, unprecedented skin grafts aren’t the only impressive technology in its nine-bed facility. Its recently established I-PEARLS (Israel Pediatric Aesthetic and Reconstructive Laser Surgery) Center of Excellence uses “Israeli-developed lasers including carbon dioxide (CO2) ablative lasers to safely and effectively reduce the devastating impact of scars in burned children,” Israel21c, explained.

This innovative laser treatment can help reduce the appearance of scars and dramatically improve a child’s quality of life.

“We find modes of treatment we never experienced before. For example, we weren’t touching scars when they were fresh; we’d wait a year or two. Today, with a combination of different lasers we can treat scars almost upon healing, taking out redness and itchiness. In long-term scars we couldn’t help before, we believe now we can change their appearance and elasticity,” Haik explained.

“Many of these children are our next generation of soldiers,” Grossman said. “It’s our obligation and duty to ensure that these children are not only safe, but that with cutting edge medical treatment, they’re also given hope, despite what tragedies befell them.”

Written in cooperation with LIBI USA.

Baby Girl Born on Birthday of Sister Killed by Terrorists

Breaking Israel News - 9 hours 47 min ago

Adva Bitton, whose daughter Adele died in 2015, gave birth to a baby girl on Monday, Adele’s birthday.

Adva Bitton, mother of 4-year old Adele Bitton who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2013 rock-throwing terror attack in the West Bank and died two years later, speaks to the media after giving birth to a baby girl at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, May 20, 2019. (Photo by Flash90)

In 2013, five Palestinians targeted a bus and a private car near Ariel in Samaria. The car, driven by Adva, crashed into a vehicle parked on the side

Adva Bitton, cries over the body of her daughter 4-year old Adele Bitton during her funeral in the settlement of Yakir, near Ariel on February 18, 2015. Bitton, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2013 rock-throwing terror attack in the West Bank, passed away yesterday from complications from pneumonia. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

of the road and four members of the family were injured. Adele, who was two years old at the time, sustained a severe head injury which left her unresponsive and paralyzed. She died two years later from complications of pneumonia linked to the neurological damage caused by the injury.

“Just as we live with our loss 24/7, we are choosing life and continue to bring life into the world,” Adva told Channel 12 News in an interview after the birth.

The new baby is the Bitton’s seventh child.

The five Palestinian terrorists responsible for Adele’s death confessed but retracted their statements in court, stating that their admissions had been extracted under interrogation. They were sentenced to 15-year prison terms. Their families receive monthly stipends from the Palestinian Authority.

 

Six-Month Ceasefire Announced…But Then There Was None

Breaking Israel News - 10 hours 20 min ago

Israeli Media reported on Monday that Hamas agreed to a six-month ceasefire but just a few hours later, Hamas denied that any agreement had been reached.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported in its Monday evening broadcast that an Egyptian-brokered agreement was reached between Israel and Hamas for a six-month cessation of hostilities along the Gaza border. Times of Israel reported that the agreement included “a Hamas obligation to halt violent incidents along the border fence, maintaining a buffer zone 300 meters from the border; an end to the launching of incendiary balloons at Israeli communities and nighttime clashes between Gazans and security forces; and a stop to flotillas trying to break through the maritime border between Gaza and Israel.”

“In return, Israel will once again allow fishing at up to 15 nautical miles off Gaza’s coast, enable United Nations cash-for-work programs, allow medicine and other civil aid to enter the Strip and open negotiations on matters relating to electricity, crossings, healthcare, and funds.”

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The report claimed that the agreement had a clause that if calm is held for six months, work would proceed on a more permanent ceasefire that would include the return of the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 incursion into Gaza that are currently held by Hamas and the release of two Israeli civilians held in Gaza.

In the last year, countless thousands of aerial incendiary devices launched from Gaza have burned thousands of acres of agricultural fields and nature preserves. Violent riots have challenged the security fence with burning tires, rock-throwing, explosive devices, and Hamas snipers. Several rounds of rockets have been fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas into Israeli cities, the most recent taking place earlier this month, totaling nearly 700 projectiles and killing four people.

In point of fact, hostilities continue unabated on Israel’s southern border. Palestinians recognized Nakba (catastrophe) day last Wednesday on May 15, commemorating when Israel declared independence in 1948. Hamas health officials reported that some 60 Gazans were wounded as 10,000 rioters clashed with IDF troops n Nakba day. At least nine fires were caused by incendiary devices launched from Gaza.

The Prime Minister’s office denied the existence of a ceasefire, issuing a statement saying simply, “There are no new understandings with Hamas.” The statement went on to describe the ongoing efforts to return the bodies of the two soldiers.

Hamas also denied there was a ceasefire.  Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Bahroum made a statement on Monday night.

“What was agreed by Egyptian, Qatari and international mediation between the resistance [Palestinian armed groups] and the occupation is a temporary ceasefire as long as the occupation implements all understandings,” Bahrouns statement read.

The popular resistance committees, an umbrella organization for Palestinian terrorist groups, also issued a statement on Tuesday morning.

“There is no de-escalation with the occupation and the Israeli report about it is misleading,” the statement said.

Ethiopian’s Making Aliyah Welcomed At Ben Gurion

Breaking Israel News - 11 hours 30 min ago

An amazing act of redemption took place in Ben Gurion airport last night (May 16, 2019) when hundreds of Ethiopian Jews arrived to make Aliyah. Filmed by a Gedaliah Blum, a friend of Return O’ Israel, is an emotionally charged welcome by hundreds of Jews along with some Christians who were on hand to receive the new immigrants.

Aliyah or the return of the scattered Jewish people is an integral part of Biblical, Jewish and Christian redemption. We are privileged modern day witness of the fulfillment of prophecies made thousands of years ago. As anti-Semitism continues to raise its ugly head around the world, Israel – the biblical homeland of the Jewish people, is supposed to be the safe haven to which many realize they must return.

Unfortunately, these and many immigrants of the past who have and are returning to their inheritance as both the biblical and legal possessors of the land of Eretz Yisrael, are finding that reality is much different. Though Jerusalem was reunited along with all of the territory of Israeli lands restored after the Six Day War in 1967, much of the land of Israel remains off limits to Jews today and is unsafe for its Jewish residents.

025667067_2019_05_20_12_01_00_1_1_

For this reason, the wonderfully moving Aliyah of the Ethiopian Jews which you see in this video, is only a partial redemption at best. Only when there is a complete Jewish Sovereignty over all of Ertez Yisrael, will the Aliyah of these and all the Jews who have – and will return in the future – be complete. Then Jews will be returning to their full inheritance and the redemption that welcomes the Moshiach.

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Return O’ Israel supports the complete and full biblical Aliyah that only Jewish Sovereignty will accomplish. For more information, please visit our website at: www.returnoisrael.org

Iranian IRGC in Syria's Latakia? - Report

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 12 hours 25 min ago

According to a second source, Iran and Syria already signed a protocol for the training of naval forces in Syria.

America Doesn’t Have an Anti-Semitism Problem. American Politics Does

Breaking Israel News - 12 hours 30 min ago

If anti-Semitism is thriving among Americans, there’s no sign of it in any of the latest polls. Americans are the least anti-Semitic people in the world. A 2017 poll, taken at the height of a spike in anti-Semitism, showed that 14% of Americans held anti-Semitic attitudes. That was up from 10% in 2015 and 12% in 2013. That’s not a great trend, but it also shows just how narrow the scope of the problem is.

It’s also dramatically different than the numbers from similar polls conducted in Europe.

How then can we explain the rise in anti-Semitic violence? What about the increased harassment of Jews on campuses and in major cities? And why is there a rise in anti-Semitic discourse?

There’s no climate of hatred in America. The rising anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence are the work of small but highly active political groups who have become disproportionately influential in public life.

The rise in anti-Semitism isn’t happening among ordinary Americans, but among a narrow group of influencers. An anti-Semitic cartoon in the New York Times isn’t representative of the country. Neither is Rep. Ilhan Omar. Nor are Richard Spencer or the alt-righters who tweet their own anti-Semitic memes.

Anti-Semitic violence is rising. But the total number of incidents remains small. The perpetrators represent a small segment of the population. The violent doesn’t come from ‘anywhere’. On campuses and in synagogues, it comes from a small radical population of the alt-left and the alt-right. In urban areas, it originates with a slightly larger, but still fairly small population, of neighborhood bigots.

Anti-Semitism is marginal among Americans, but it’s increasingly mainstream in political activism.

Anti-Semitic incidents on campuses have doubled for several years in a row. Growing numbers of Jewish students report feeling intimidated and threatened. But the intimidation is the work of a small minority motivated by political ideology. The number of students engaging in campus harassment through hate groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine remains tiny. The real problem is the complicity of identity politics groups in supporting campus hate groups and administrators in turning a blind eye to it.

The harassment is most intense at a handful of top, but not truly elite schools, in a few states. The situation is not representative of the country or even its average campus. Even in the most problematic schools, only a small politically active minority plays any role in the harassment. But that minority dominates campuses and the campuses provide much of the future leadership of the country.

It’s the same problem nationwide.

Americans don’t have an anti-Semitism problem. American politics has an anti-Semitism problem because, just like on college campuses, small groups are driving an anti-Semitic agenda.

American politics isn’t anti-Semitic. But its leadership is becoming complicit in anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism is a function of political radicalism. And very few Americans are political radicals. But the radicals are driving national politics by constantly shattering political norms and normalizing extremism. Hatred of Jews is just one of the radical ideas heading from the political margins into the mainstream. The mainstream of politics though is a very different thing than the mainstream of American values.

Polls show that most Americans still view anti-Semitism as disgusting. But that’s no longer the case among political activists and elites as anti-Semitism becomes embedded within political movements.

The anti-Semitic cartoon in the New York Times was not a sign that anti-Semitism had become normalized among Americans, but it had become so normalized in the media that it did not notice when its language of covert anti-Semitism slurred and crossed the red line into overt anti-Semitism.

America’s anti-Semitism problem is worst, not in small rural towns, but in urban media operations.

National politics was radicalized by media operations that took the marginal agendas of fringe groups and mainstreamed them. Anti-Semitism is just another one of those many radical agendas.

The media mainstreamed and normalized radicals like Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour while glossing over their hateful agendas. It celebrates and defends Rep. Omar’s bigotry. Rep. Omar is one of hundreds of members of the House. She’s a freshman with no notable accomplishments. The only reason that everyone in the country knows her name is because the media chose to turn her into a celebrity.

Rep. Omar’s displays of anti-Semitism aren’t surprising. The same ADL poll that found that only 14% of Americans held anti-Semitic beliefs, also found that 34% of Muslims in Americans held those beliefs.

Muslims make up around 1% of the country.

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How did a woman who represents 34% of 1% of the country suddenly become the face of a political movement that claims to represent half the country?

And why did Democrats rally behind a bigot who represents a third of a percent of the country?

Most Democrats are not anti-Semitic. Even most of the radicals backing Rep. Omar are not explicitly anti-Semitic. But they’re willing to defend anti-Semitism as part of an alliance with that hateful third.

That’s also how the anti-Semitic cartoon showed up in the New York Times.

American politics isn’t anti-Semitic. But it’s full of politically active people who will defend anti-Semites against charges of anti-Semitism because they agree with them on the rest of their political agenda.

Anti-Semitism in American politics is a symptom of this mainstreaming of political radicals.

The media may not be trying to intentionally mainstream anti-Semitism. As in Omar’s case, it’s collateral damage from mainstreaming radicals. The New York Times editorial staff didn’t wake up one morning and decide on the best way to mainstream anti-Semitism by printing a cartoon of Trump in Jewish religious garb. The anti-Semitic cartoon was collateral damage from mainstreaming radicals like Rep. Omar and Linda Sarsour who blurred the line between hatred of Israel and hatred of Jews.

Once the media mainstreamed anti-Semitic radicals, it defended them against charges of anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism may not be growing, but tolerance for it is. And that can be just as dangerous. The things that you justify, whitewash and minimize, can become the things that you eventually get on board with.

Racial supremacism and obsessive hatred of Israel are radical views shared by few Americans. But they are the feverish obsessions of small, determined groups of activists who are defining national politics. As their activists gain traction, anti-Semitism leaks from the fringes and into movement organizations.

Radicals make up an even tinier percentage of the country than the campus. But anyone who reads, listens to and watches the media would think that a minority of radicals have become the majority.

This isn’t the Corbynization, but the ‘Campusization’ of American politics.

American politics have come to resemble the college campus with a small group of radicals calling the shot and a media that hardly anyone pays attention to defending them, while the majority doesn’t care.

Campus radicals are no longer just allotting student funds. They’re trying to run the country.

The lessons of the battle against anti-Semitism on campuses will need to be applied to national politics. Jewish groups failed to fight the problem on college campuses. The graduates from many of these institutions went on to bigger and better things. And now the problem has gone nationwide.

Anti-Semitism isn’t an American problem. It’s a radical problem.

The Campusization’ of American politics is the challenge of fighting to prevent a tiny minority of extremists from doing to the country what they have already done to the college campus.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

Burkina Faso: The New Land of Islamic Jihad and Christian Slaughter

Breaking Israel News - 13 hours 30 min ago

Last Sunday, May 12, in the small West African nation of Burkina Faso, as many as 30 armed Islamic terrorists stormed a Catholic church, slaughtered at least six Christian worshippers—including the officiating priest—and then burned the church to the ground.

Ousmane Zongo, the mayor of Dablo, where the attack occurred, recalled the incident:

Towards 9:00am, during mass, armed individuals burst into the Catholic Church…  They started firing as the congregation tried to flee….  They burned down the church, then shops and a small restaurant before going to the health centre where they searched the premises and set fire to the head nurse’s vehicle….  The city is filled with panic.  People are holed up at home. Shops and stores are closed. It’s practically a ghost town.

On the following day, Monday, May 13, Islamic terrorists attacked a Catholic procession in the village of Zimtenga. They slaughtered four Christians and “burned a statue of the Virgin Mary.”

Discussing the situation in Burkina Faso—which is 60 percent Muslim, 23 percent Christian, and 17 percent animist/other—the BBC reports that “Jihadist violence has flared in Burkina Faso since 2016….  Fighters affiliated to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group as well as the local Ansarul Islam [Champions of Islam] have been active in the region.”

However, whereas a total of 12 Islamic terror attacks were registered in 2016, nearly 160 were reported in just the first five months of 2019.

In fact, last Sunday’s is the third church attack in only five weeks:  On Sunday, April 28, in Silgadji, Islamic terrorists stormed a Protestant church towards the end of service and killed six Christian worshippers, including the pastor, 80-year-old Pierre Oult,  and his two sons.  According to a local Christian, “The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused. They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.”

On April 5, Islamic gunmen entered another Catholic church and murdered four more Christians.   The same report adds that “the fate of a Catholic priest kidnapped a month ago remains unclear.”

Considering the usual fate in store for Christians kidnapped in Burkina Faso, optimism is not warranted.  For example, in February, Muslim terrorists abducted and murdered Antonio Cesar Fernandez, a 72-year-old Christian who had served as a missionary in African since 1982.  Others—including Kirk Woodman, a Canadian—were also kidnapped and later found slaughtered.

The Islamic terrorists operating in Burkina Faso are similar in nature to other African jihadi groups, including Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Somalia’s Al Shabaab.   Like them, when not terrorizing churches and slaughtering Christians, they target anything else that might be associated with the West.  According to one report,

Much of the Islamic anger in Burkina Faso has to do with the teaching of so-called Western thoughts and ideals. Besides churches, schools are also a favorite target of the militants, who are pushing to make the country an Islamic state and impose Sharia Law… Of 2,869 schools in Burkina Faso, 1,111 have been closed in the last three years as a direct result of Islamic extremist violence.

“A lot of schools have been torched,” elaborated one head teacher whose own school was set ablaze in the town of Foubẽ.

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The jihadis have also targeted a hotel (20 killed) and a restaurant (18 killed) popular with Western people.

Also like other African Islamic terror groups, the motivating ideology fueling the terrorists of Burkina Faso is distinctly Islamic and jihadi in nature.  For example,  after eight Muslims were arrested for their role in terrorist attacks that killed 14,  their prosecutor said, “they all carried on their foreheads or had white bands on which were written in Arabic … ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.’”

Similarly, when they opened fire on the French embassy in Ouagadougou, the five assailants were heard to cry the jihad’s ancient war cry, “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is greater).

Needless to say, such clear indicators of motive have not caused the establishment to revise its narrative.   When interviewed on the growing lethal attacks on Christians and churches in Burkina Faso, Sten Hagberg, a Swedish professor of anthropology at Uppsala University, offered the usual fare: “To my mind,” he said, the attacks have “much more to do with politics and economics than religion.”

At any rate, the situation in Burkina Faso is a reminder that, if groups like the Islamic State are on the wane in Iraq and Syria, in more obscure and forgotten nations around the world, the jihad continues to spread like wildfire, consuming many nameless and faceless innocents.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Raymond Ibrahim

Rouhani: Resistance is our only choice

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 21:27

"Today's situation is not suitable for talks and our choice is resistance only"