Stabbed Afula Teen: 'Pray For Me'

Breaking Israel News - 6 hours 11 min ago

Shuva Malka, the 18-year-old girl who was stabbed in an attack last Monday, attributed her recovery to God while her parents decried police refusal to classify the incident as terrorism.

Nour al-Din Shinawi, a Palestinian in his 20s from Jenin had entered Israel without a permit. On June 21, he attacked Malka in the city of Afula in central Israel, stabbing her multiple times in the upper body. Malka was severely wounded.

Shinawi fled the scene but police found him in the city about an hour later, shooting him in the leg before arresting him. A knife was found in his possession. He was taken to hospital and after being released into police custody Thursday, he confessed to the attack.

“Thank you to the master of the world who really did give us a huge miracle,” Malka, an Orthodox Jew, said at a press conference she gave from her hospital bed on Sunday. “Every second in which I am alive and strong, thank God, is not to be taken for granted at all. And thank you to the security forces. We have no anger. We are sure that the security forces are capable and that the people are doing all that they can.”

“I feel like this stabbing was not something that is personal to me. It is against the entire people of Israel. It is a reminder that we must move forward, grow from this, work harder and move up a gear. Pray,” she said. “The nation of Israel is strong and we have huge strength and that is what will really strengthen me. Thank you to everybody who has supported us, to the medical staff, to my friends and to the entire people of Israel. What a wonderful people,” she added.

Professor Doron Kopelman manages the surgical ward where Malka is recovering. He described her current medical state and progress in an interview with YNet News.

“Shuva needs to recover from extremely dramatic and critical wounds. There is no threat to life greater than this,” he explained. “Fortunately for us, she is getting stronger and will be with us for a few more days. I hope that she will be able to return to her regular life shortly.”

On Tuesday, Malka’s parents expressed anger that the Israeli police refused to categorize the attack after the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, classified it as such.

“Any other reference to downplays and belittles the incident,” Malka’s mother said at the hospital.

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New Fashion Trend: ‘Pregnant’ Male Models

Breaking Israel News - 7 hours 19 min ago

The fashion industry goes to unnatural lengths to challenge convention as was seen at the recent London Fashion Week, when male models strutted down the runway proudly exhibiting pregnant bellies.

Chinese designer Xander Zhou sent the male models out in a manner that emphasized their pregnant bellies at least as much as the fashion with several of the models rolling up their shirts to expose the incongruous bulges. If that was not unsubtle-enough, one T-shirt read “New World Baby.”

Though transgenderism is becoming a fashionable cause among Liberals, male pregnancy remains a yet-to-be realized medical reality. As a result, the designer had to settle for plastic prosthetic bellies.

In Zhou’s vision of the future, male pregnancy plays a prominent role.The designer named his 2019 Spring line “New World Baby,” explaining on his Instagram page, “At Supernatural, Extraterrestrial & Co., we’re prepared to welcome a future of male pregnancy.”

This presentation is consistent with the designers general approach to fashion which he has dubbed”techno-orientalism”, in which he sees himself “sketching a map of future humanity.”

“In this universe, new boundaries of diversity can be explored,” he claims on his London Fashion Week bio. “This ‘new diversity’, beyond ethnic, racial, cultural, sexual and gender identities, is the Milky Way of imagination, absurdity and romanticism, where the old standards to examine human society and its individuals have been completely abandoned.”

Unnatural seemed to be Zhou’s specialty as one model sported a trench coat with six arms.

This is not the first time the London Fashion Show has showcased concepts of questionable taste. In September 2017, the fashion week featured a Satan-themed line of clothing presented in a church bedecked in occult symbols.

High fashion's latest trend? Male models wearing fake pregnant stomachs

— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 12, 2018

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Former Israeli MK Gonen Segev Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for Iran

Breaking Israel News - 8 hours 57 min ago

In a potentially embarrassing revelation, it has been widely reported that last month the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) arrested former Energy and Infrastructure Minister and MK, Gonen Segev – who served in the role from 1995-1996 as a member of the secular right-wing Tzomet Party – on charges of aiding the enemy in time of war and espionage against the State of Israel.

According to the Shin Bet, Segev is accused of providing Tehran with sensitive information about locations of security centers, Israel’s energy industry and about diplomatic and security officials. Israelis are used to the Mossad and other intelligence services pulling off extraordinary feats of espionage, whether in the shape of targeted assassinations on foreign soil or the theft of thousands of documents relating to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, so although these allegations are not the first of their kind, they are also not that common.

If Segev is convicted of the charges laid against him, there is some speculation among lawyers that he could either potentially face the death penalty or life imprisonment. To-date, Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann – who was convicted of crimes against humanity – is the only individual whom the state of Israel has executed.

It was at the Iranian embassy in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, that Iranian intelligence officers first contacted Segev and he reportedly traveled to Iran to meet with his handlers, in addition to other rendezvous in safe houses and hotels, where he received encryption equipment to communicate with Iranian agents. He also stands accused of trying to inveigle Israeli security, defense and diplomacy individuals into meeting Iranian agents, whom he claimed were businessmen.

“In order to perform the missions that he had been assigned by his handlers, Segev maintained contacts with Israeli citizens in the foreign affairs and security fields. Segev worked to put some of these Israeli citizens in contact with Iranian intelligence agents by misleading the former and presenting the latter as innocent Iranian businessmen,” the Shin Bet said.

The Shin Bet arrested the disgraced former minister – who was jailed for five years in 2004 for attempting to smuggle thousands of ecstasy tablets into Israel – when he was extradited from Equatorial Guinea, after the central African country refused him entry due to his criminal record.

Segev, through his lawyers, has denied the presence of either ideological or financial motives in helping Iran amid claims that he did not hand over any classified information. He is also said to have suggested that his alleged espionage did not help the Islamic Republic of Iran, but in fact, was an effort to help Israel – which the Shin Bet dismissed.

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Breaking Israel News - 11 hours 13 min ago

This is the only time the Bible tells us how Hashem (God) “spends His time.” From the beginning of the year until the end, it says, the Creator of the universe focuses “His eyes” and attention on Israel. If we combine this idea with that mentioned in verse 22 instructing us to walk in Hashem’s ways and hold fast to Him, we must likewise keep our eyes focused on Eretz Yisrael (The Land of Israel) “from year’s beginning to year’s end.” This verse inspired Rabbi Tuly Weisz to publish The Israel Bible which highlights the unique connection between the Land, the People, and the God of Israel. The Israel Bible enables hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to connect with Israel each and every day of the year.

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IDF Retaliates Against Gaza Rocket Fire

Breaking Israel News - 11 hours 30 min ago

In addition to the incendiary kites being flown over the Gaza Strip, terrorists launched three missiles in the direction of Israel’s southern border communities. In response, the IDF launched air strikes against limited targets within the Hamas-run enclave.


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Netanyahu, Abdallah Rare Meeting in Amman

Breaking Israel News - 12 hours 48 min ago

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan met Monday in the Jordanian capital, Amman, for talks on regional developments and bilateral ties.

In a brief statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said Israel was committed to the status quo in the holy places in Jerusalem where the Hashemite Kingdom is custodian of the Muslim shrines.

Jordan’s Petra News Agency said King Hussein had stressed the need for progress on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative, leading to a Palestinian state on the June , 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.

According to the report, a number of bilateral issues were discussed including the Red Sea-Dead Sea water conveyance project and the lifting of restrictions on trade exports with the West Bank.

Ties with Jordan have been strained recently on a number of issues including tensions in Jerusalem, progress on the Red-Dead project and the death last year of two Jordanians killed by an Israeli security guard after one of them attacked him.

Israel’s embassy in Jordan was shuttered from July 2017 until April this year, when Amir Weissbrod arrived in Amman to end a nine-month period during which Israel had no diplomatic representation in the kingdom. The embassy was closed after a Jordanian man attacked embassy guard Ziv Moyal with a screwdriver while delivering furniture to his apartment. In response, Moyal shot and killed the attacker and the apartment’s landlord, setting off a diplomatic firestorm and a hail of criticism inside the Kingdom, where the 1994 peace treaty with Israel is deeply unpopular.

The talks also came amid rising political and economic tensions in Jordan, which witnessed well-attended anti-government protests in response to IMF-backed price increases and a new tax reform law. One of the law’s proposed stipulations is an increase in the number of people who would be taxed – from 4.5% to 10%.

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Saudi-led coalition storms Yemen's Hodeidah airport compound

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - 13 hours 19 sec ago

The capture of the airport would be an important gain for the Western-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

US Official: “Israel Struck Iranian-backed Iraqi Militia in Syria”

Breaking Israel News - 13 hours 4 min ago

Tehran must re-adjust its policy in Syria a day after an airstrike killed and wounded dozens of Iranian-backed Shi’ite Kata’ib Hezbollah members in Syria near the Iraqi border.

The first of its kind strike, targeting Iraqi militias who have been crossing into Syria to aid the Assad regime since last year, sought to cut off Iran’s “road to the sea” by striking at a strategic area near the border town of Albu Kamal.

A US official told CNN Monday that the airstrike targeting Kata’ib Hezbollah members was carried out by Israel. This came eighteen hours after the Syrian regime had blamed the US-led coalition for the airstrike that hit near Syrian regime soldiers and their foreign militia allies.

In the background of the strike stands Iran’s attempt to construct a network of friendly forces stretching from Iraq through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. In 2016, pro-western sources in Iraq warned that Iran was building just such a conduit. In December 2017, The New Arab reported that convoys of unmarked vehicle had passed into Syria from Iraq through checkpoints manned by the Hashd al-Shaabi, the mostly Shi’ite militias that are known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

These militias play a complex role, forming one of a patchwork of similar groups that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has enlisted to support, train and seed throughout the region. Along with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran also helped train PMU fighters in Syria.Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in April that Iran had trained 80,000 militia members in Syria.

There are thought to be some 100,000 Iraqi members of the PMU, which include groups such as the Badr Brigade and Kata’ib Hezbollah. Kata’ib Hezbollah’s leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis is a close ally of IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, and in 2017 he even bragged that his units in Iraq were working with Lebanese Hezbollah.

Since 2017, units like Kata’ib Hezbollah, under the umbrella of the PMU, have been incorporated into the official paramilitary forces of Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi praised the militias as the “hope of Iraq and the region” in October 2017, when then-US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the militias to “go home” after the war with ISIS was complete. Instead of going home, the militias formed their own political party, called the Fatah Coalition, led by Badr’s Hadi al-Amiri. Fatah came in second place in Iraq’s elections, and has partnered with Muqtada al-Sadr in his attempt to form a coalition government. Kata’ib Hezbollah has called for the US to exit Iraq, which can serve as a reminder that the group fought against American troops after 2003 and was designated a terrorist organization in 2009.

Until the June 18 airstrike, Kata’ib Hezbollah’s 45th brigade of the PMU was operating in Iraq and Syria, ostensibly carrying out anti-ISIS operations near the border. After the air strike, the Iraqi government Joint Operations Command sought to distance itself from its own units that had crossed the border, saying that those members who crossed were not “regular” units, according to Al-Sumaria TV.

Iraq, an ally of the United States and a partner in the US-led coalition, recognizes that the presence of its militias are now more controversial following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s May speech excoriating Iran’s nefarious role in Iraq. “In Iraq, Iran sponsored Shia militia groups and terrorists to infiltrate and undermine the Iraqi Security Forces,” Pompeo said. Kata’ib Hezbollah forces have even flown their flags on US M1A1 Abrams tanks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he had spoken to Pompeo over the weekend. On June 17 Netanyahu tweeted in Arabic that “Iran must walk away from all Syrian territory…we will work against [Iranian] posturing throughout Syrian territory.”

Taken together with the CNN report that Israel carried out the airstrike, the picture painted for Iran and its allies in Iraq is that its path to the sea may be closing.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post

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Attorney General: Incendiary Kite Flyers Are ‘Legitimate Military Target’

Breaking Israel News - 13 hours 24 min ago

Gazan terror cells launching incendiary kites over the border into Israel are legitimate military targets, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said Monday.

“Kites can be innocent and nice, but if we know that they may be used as a weapon of war, they become a legitimate military target,” Mandelblit said.

The Attorney General’s comments came after a report by the Kan public broadcaster claiming that a senior IDF officer had told lawmakers that army’s hands are tied by legal constraints in the battle against arson attacks launched from Gaza against communities in Israel’s south.

According to the report,  OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Ofer Levi said the army should shoot Gazans launching incendiary kites and balloons over the border, but cannot do so due to legal constraints. The report quoted Knesset lawmakers as saying Levi had told members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee during a tour of the area last week that opening fire on persons launching incendiary kites toward Israel would significantly cut the number of attacks.

Over the past few weeks hundreds of kites and balloons have been launched toward Israel, setting thousands of acres of farmland on fire and causing millions of shekels worth of damage.

The lawmakers reportedly told Kan that Levi had hinted that the Military Advocate General was tying the army’s hands by not allowing it to open fire against the arson cells.

An IDF spokesperson said in response to the report that it “did not faithfully represent the IDF’s position” and that the IDF “would not discuss the content of internal operational discussions.”

Meanwhile, the IDF struck a Hamas position in the southern Gaza Strip Monday evening after a cell launched incendiary balloons into Israel from nearby the post. Earlier, Several Palestinians were wounded and one was killed during two attempts to  attack security infrastructure along the border fence Monday.

Overnight, the IDF attacked nine Hamas terror targets in the northern Gaza Strip, in response to cross border arson attacks. The targets included two military compounds and a munitions manufacturing site belonging to Hamas.

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Between Kim and Qom: Iran and North Korea

Breaking Israel News - 13 hours 55 min ago

This week’s much-publicized meeting in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean despot Kim Jong Un, held the entire world’s attention for days, in no small part because of the important, multi-leveled questions on regional, international and internal fronts that it raises.

Regionally and internationally, the entire world would like to know whether Trump can succeed in convincing Kim to give up his nuclear arsenal. Will Kim agree to the establishment of a supervisory body with teeth that ensures that the agreement is fully and strictly carried out?  Will Trump grant Kim guarantees to ensure that if he gives up nuclear arms he does not suffer the fate of Qaddafi after that despot did the same? Will North Korea be allowed to come out of its international isolation and will the economic sanctions upon that country be removed? Will countries interested in investing in North Korean economic projects be able to do so?

Regarding internal matters, the questions continue. Will Kim liberate his citizens from their current strangulation? Will he close the “reeducation” camps in which thousands of North Koreans are incarcerated? Will the public executions for sullying Kim’s honor be stopped? Will the man in the street enjoy the economic agreements expected to be signed with foreign countries, or will the royal family and its cronies concentrate all the profits in their pockets?

In the end, the most important question of all for North Koreans is whether Trump intends to create a linkage between the international questions and the internal ones. That is, will Trump condition the lightening of political and economic sanctions on a change in Kim’s attitude to human rights and political liberty for North Korea’s citizens, including the shutting down of torture and death camps in addition to the nuclear issues?

Most pundits doubt that this will occur, because in the long run, a change in nuclear arming is a political one, while a change in the human rights situation means a change in the form of government.  Changing government policy is unquestionably easier than changing the way the government functions. It is to be hoped that changes in the country’s regime do occur, but in a measured fashion, step by step, not with undue haste and not as a result of pressure or upheaval.

This week Kim fired three Army generals, perhaps a sign to Trump that he is willing to change his policies. We will all have to wait to see if Kim actually does replace the cadre surrounding him as well as his policies, both on the internal, regional and international planes.

The answers to these questions seem to depend most on the “interpersonal chemistry” and personal relations that Trump and Kim succeed in forming between them, as America’s political stance has, over the last year and a half, become dependent almost entirely on Trump’s personal approach.

There are those in the US and the world who see this as a good sign, but there are many who look at it askance and many who strongly disapprove. Many of the commentators discuss Trump and Kim’s body language and small gestures, their tones of voice, the number of seconds their handshakes took, the invitation Trump extended to Kim to visit the US and the White House and whether their meeting went on longer than planned.

The Europeans, for their part, see Trump’s personal approach in a negative light, because running economic and political policy with a US businessman’s approach to things is totally unacceptable to Europe. The Europeans are accustomed to the past in which the US never worried about its own interests in such an obvious manner.

The discordant way in which last week’s G7 conference in Canada ended proved once again to the Europeans that Trump’s first interest on every issue is what America stands to gain, and that he acts in unpredictable ways that ordinary political predictions cannot foresee.

Two years ago, did anyone expect that any US president would meet with the head of North Korea?  I sense that the Europeans are deathly afraid that the US will opt for the lion’s share of the contracts for rehabilitating North Korea. The US Stock Exchange is already reacting to this possibility positively – and Trump keeps tweeting how proud he is of that outcome.

As far as we in the Middle East are concerned, the meeting between Trump and Kim is probably more significant to us than to any other region, because a very short, strong chain connects what Trump and Kim decide with what happens between the US  and Iran.

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Trump threatens both of them in the same fashion:  He tweeted threats of a nuclear attack on North Korea, withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and slapped economic sanctions over Iran and any country that maintains economic ties with it.

The Arab world is following the progress of the Trump-Kim summit closely, because the Arabs see it as a promo for what is going to happen to US-Iran relations. Clearly, if Trump manages to persuade or force Kim to really give up his nuclear project, there is going to be a tweet one minute later declaring his intention to do the same to Iran regarding its nuclear and missile-rich aspirations.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has already announced, to Iran’s chagrin, that the goal of the Trump-Kim summit must be convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear project.

In our region, the Middle East, people keep asking: Does Trump want to meet with Khamenei?  What will they talk about?  Do they have anything at all in common? Even if they reach an agreement on the issues over which they disagree, can they possibly develop any interpersonal chemistry?  Would there be enough mutual trust between them to believe that any agreements they reach are based on both sides’ genuine intentions?  Or will Trump and Khamenei’s natural distrust prevent their achieving any understandings or agreements? Does the Ayatollahs’ feeling of superiority at being “true believers” allow them to accept Trump, the Christian whose daughter converted to Judaism, who recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people and moved his embassy there – as a legitimate negotiating partner?

Above all, the most important questions are: If Trump and Kim reach a real agreement on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles, how much will this strengthen Trump’s determination to force a similar agreement on the Iranians? How much influence will any kind of agreement signed between Trump and Kim have on Iranian intransigence? How much success will Trump have in forcing the Iranians to cease interfering in the affairs of other countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates?   Can Trump significantly lower the level of Iranian anti-Israel rhetoric? Will Trump attempt to forge a connection between regional and international issues and those dealing with human rights and political liberty in Iran? And if he does try, will he succeed?

It seems too early to answer these questions after one summit meeting. We have no idea what is going to happen between the US and North Korea during the period following the historic meeting of the two leaders. The coming weeks will see various advisors and officials of both sides spending long hours trying to formulate a statement committing both sides to the agreements and understandings their leaders reached in Singapore. As we all know, “the devil is in the details,” and writing down oral understanding in an agreement in which every word is significant, can turn out to be a very difficult, lengthy and exhausting process, one that may very well make both sides realize that a clear and binding agreement is beyond their reach at  this point.

The Iranians are awaiting future developments with bated breath. They know that what happens between Trump and Kim will have discernible influence on what happens between Washington and Qom.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News

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The Future of American Zionism

Breaking Israel News - 14 hours 55 min ago

President Trump boldly moved the embassy to Jerusalem. And a poll shows a nearly even split among American Jews opposing and supporting it, while 85% of Israeli Jews back the courageous decision.

77% of Israelis back Trump’s handling of US-Israel relations while 57% of American Jews disapprove.

How can the vast majority of Israelis be happy with the relationship while the majority of American Jews aren’t? The answer gets at the heart of the split between what American and Israeli Jews want from Israel. And also to the root of a deeper split within the Zionist tree.

Modern Zionism is split between positive aspirational Zionism and negative respectability Zionism.

Positive Zionism was the movement of a cultural, religious and national minority to reclaim an independent identity and unleash the potential of the Jewish people. Negative Zionism was a reaction to anti-Semitism. And then, when Zionism became safe, it became a trophy of communal respectability.

Now that Zionism is no longer safe or respectable, the trophy is in the communal dumpster.

Positive Zionists are self-directed, but negative Zionists are other-oriented. Their Zionism is only another bid for approval from the same people and political movements whose rejection made them Zionists.

The Israeli left began as a series of movements that embraced Zionism because the Communists (and other Socialists) had made it painfully clear that there was no room for an independent Jewish socialist movement in what would become the USSR. So they launched their Socialist experiments in Israel while slavishly worshiping Stalin. Some were even willing to launch a revolution in Israel for Uncle Joe.

And that’s why the Israeli left has been going electorally extinct for a generation.

Most Israelis don’t care what the Socialist International thinks of them. The most other-directed Israelis are usually the ones who already spend more time in Paris, London and Los Angeles than in Jerusalem. The average Israeli is a positive Zionist who doesn’t even think about it. He just lives a Zionist reality.

Negative Zionists dominate diaspora organizations. But those organizations value respectability more than Israel. They want to be proud of Israel because they’re ashamed of being Jewish. And they are pathetically vulnerable to the anti-Israel lobby’s weaponization of Jewish shame. Air strikes on Gaza, New York Times editorials and protests by anti-Israel hate groups deprive them of their respectability.

Modern Zionism began as the battle cry of an oppressed minority. But then it became respectable. The communal leaders and organizations that once despised it used its bright gleam to add a little luster to their wardrobe. And then toss it overboard the moment that it detracts from their respectability.

That is who tends to speak for American Jews. These are the unelected leaders who deliver ultimatums to the Prime Minister of Israel. They wring their hands over Gaza and assent to the Iran nuke sellout.

When push comes to shove, they will always do the respectable thing. Not the Zionist thing.

The Zionism of respectability is about being able to read the New York Times and feeling good instead of feeling ashamed. Many American Jews are easily shamed. But Israeli Jews are almost impossible to shame. Unlike Jews abroad, they’re not a minority group constantly looking around for approval.

Zionism without chutzpah is unsustainable.

The future of American Zionism is to be found among Jews who don’t care about respectability. They’re either from insular religious communities or have the same tough Queens attitude as Trump.

Those are also the Jews most likely to support Trump.

The anti-Israel lobby weaponizes Jewish insecurity. Its activists and reporters exploit Jewish shame. Its politicians openly employ dual loyalty language and dog whistles. And its spinmeisters package appeasement as respectability. Even if that respectability comes at the cost of the destruction of Israel.

The peace process, which has killed and crippled thousands of Israelis, created two terror states inside Israel, and put Jerusalem and Tel Aviv under fire for the first time in a generation, is respectable. The Iran deal was respectable. Suspending it wasn’t. Blockading Hamas is shameful. Opening the border with Gaza is respectable. No matter how many Jews die. Being critical of Israel is respectable. Supporting it is tribal, narrow-minded and disreputable. And they don’t want to be seen as any of those three.

Those American Jews who continue to support Israel will be immune to media shaming. They won’t look for mainstream respectability. Instead they will become more Zionist because it is disreputable.

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Trump’s support for Israel is bad for its respectability. Respectable Jews would rather not have the embassy moved at all if Trump had to be the one to do it. They are critical of everything that Trump does because that’s the respectable thing to do. When they worry about being suspected of dual loyalty, they don’t mean to America and Israel, but to the progressive cause and to the Zionist reality.

As long as the left controls the cultural high ground, it gets to define respectability. And so respectability invariably becomes an echo of its views. Only those who defy that echo chamber will remain pro-Israel.

Many pro-Israel groups claim to be working very hard to escape this trap. But there is no escape.

The left’s anti-Zionism is over a century old. Within the left, pro-Israel positions are usually found among moderates. The uncontrolled leftward turn of what used to be liberalism makes its anti-Zionism inevitable. Any correction would require reversing that leftward turn, not attempting to befriend it as the ADL and other groups have been futilely trying to do. And such a correction is not currently realistic.

Negative Zionists will have to experience anti-Semitism personally before they’re likely to turn. And they won’t make that adjustment over Israel. But the day will come when the left takes away their respectability even if they denounce Israel and subscribe to the New York Times. As Corbyn and the UK Labour Party show, anti-Zionism as a movement is just anti-Semitism wearing a funny hat. The two are joined at the hip. Where you’ll find one, you’ll soon find the other dooming Jewish respectability politics.

Israeli Jews have a more uncomplicated view of reality. Anyone who hates them, hates them. It’s American Jewish groups who wonder whether they are hated abstractly, personally, politically, religiously, nationally or culturally. And then they figure out that it’s usually all the above.

Defying bigotry in any age requires courage. That’s how Zionism was born.

Zionism was never a solution for those too timid to defy convention. It is not the pathway to respectability. That brief moment passed decades ago. It probably won’t come back.

In the decades to come, Israel will have to make some hard decisions. And the American Jewish organizations trying to balance the impossible demands of respectability and Zionism won’t like them. But as the moderate Democrat goes extinct, the constituency for negative Zionism will fade away.

Positive Zionism however will remain.

American Jews remain split between respectability politics and aspirational politics. But the future belongs to those American Jews for whom Zionism is not a source of social approval, but defiant pride. In the near future, American Zionism will cease to mean rubber chicken dinners and mindless clichés. Instead, as it already has in France, it will once again become the battle cry of an oppressed minority.

Those American Jews who have the courage to be Zionists will also be bold enough to stop being Democrats, to turn off NPR, unsubscribe from the New York Times and thumb their noses at society.

Negative Zionism thrived when it was safe to be a Zionist. It will soon be as unsafe to be a Zionist anywhere as it already is on college campuses. And then Zionism will mean something again.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

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The Donald Trump Negotiations Academy

Breaking Israel News - 15 hours 55 min ago

We didn’t learn this week whether North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons. Only time will tell.

But we did learn that US President Donald Trump knows how to negotiate.

All of the negotiations experts insist the opposite is true. “How could they agree to a presidential summit without first guaranteeing its end product?” they sigh, knowingly.

“Trump’s showmanship is dangerous and counterproductive,” they sneer.

“At the end of the day, for this to work, Trump will have to copy Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran,” they insist.

Dennis Ross, who mediated the negotiations between Israel and the PLO that led directly to the largest Palestinian terrorism campaign against Israel in history, and Wendy Sherman, who negotiated Bill Clinton’s horrible nuclear deal with North Korea in 1994 and Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, as well as all their esteemed colleagues have taken up their pens and stood before the cameras and clucked about how Trump’s Singapore show is amateur hour.

But what we actually saw in Singapore, for the first time since Ronald Reagan went to Reykjavik, was a US president who actually knew how to negotiate with America’s enemies.

Indeed, Singapore was the first time a Western leader from any nation has gotten the better of his opponent at the negotiating table.

There are three dangers inherent to the process of negotiating with enemies. And to understand how Trump succeeded where everyone since Reagan has failed, it is important to keep them in mind.

First, you have no guarantee that the other side will agree to a deal.

Trump can make the case for denuclearization to Kim. But he can’t make Kim agree to denuclearize.

Since the US has not defeated North Korea militarily, only Kim can decide whether to go along with Trump or not.

The first inherent danger of negotiating then, is that the other side walks away and – as PLO chief Yasser Arafat did in 2000 – chooses to make war instead of peace. Negotiations give credibility to the other side and may, as a consequence, make war a more attractive option for your opponent after a period of negotiations than it was when the talks began.

The last two dangers inherent to negotiations have to do with the actions of Western negotiators and leaders.

Democratically elected leaders have a greater tendency than dictators to become convinced that their political survival is dependent on their ability to deliver a deal. Once that happens, once a leader believes that the risk of failure is too great to accept, he becomes a hostage of the other side.

In 2000, then-prime minister Ehud Barak believed that his only chance of political survival was to convince Arafat to accept a peace deal with Israel. As a consequence, Barak stayed in the negotiations even after Arafat rejected his offer and tanked the Camp David summit in July. He remained in talks with Arafat and his deputies even after they launched the most murderous terror war Israel had ever seen.

The third danger inherent to negotiating with your enemy is related to the second danger. If a leader believes his future depends on getting a deal, the likelihood that he will accept a terrible deal skyrockets.

Obama made reaching a nuclear deal with Iran the chief aim of his second term. To achieve this goal, Obama abandoned every redline he set for himself. He let Iran continue enriching uranium.

He made no demand that Tehran curtail its ballistic missile development. He agreed to gut the inspections regime to the point of meaninglessness. And so on down the line.

Obama was so averse to coming home empty- handed that he agreed to a deal that far from blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal, paved Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal. And he threw in $150 billion in sanctions relief to pay for Iran’s efforts to achieve regional hegemony as a sweetener.

With these risks in mind, we turn to the Singapore Summit. Trump’s playbook involves doing essentially the opposite of what American and Israeli negotiators have been doing for the past 30 years.

Five lessons stand out.

1. Don’t make light of your counterpart’s failings, play them up.

For decades, Israeli negotiators praised Arafat as a man of courage and Abbas as a moderate. Obama and his team praised Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a moderate. By praising their opponents, the Israelis and Americans justified making concessions to their counterparts, without requiring them to reciprocate. In other words, Israeli and US negotiators put the burden to prove good intentions on themselves, rather than their opponents, who actually had no credibility at all.

Trump took the opposite approach. After North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last July, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man” and a “madman.”

By polarizing Kim and blaming him for the growing danger to US national security, Trump made the case that Kim had to prove his good intentions to Trump, not the other way around, as a precondition for negotiations. Kim was required to release three American hostages and blow up his nuclear test site.

He was the one who needed to prove his credibility. Not Trump.

2. Intimidate, don’t woo, your opponent’s friends.

Trump’s three predecessors all begged the Chinese to rein in the North Koreans. In doing so, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama handed all the leverage to Beijing. To curb North Korea even temporarily, the Chinese demanded continuous US concessions, and they received them.

Trump on the other hand, threatened China. He linked US-China trade deals to Chinese assistance in curtailing North Korean threats and aggression and agreeing to a US goal of denuclearizing China’s client state.

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To prove his seriousness, Trump managed to lob 58 missiles at Syrian targets in retaliation for Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons while he was eating dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his golf club in Florida.

Trump’s linkage of US-China trade to North Korean denuclearization has paid off. Xi cut off North Korean coal exports to China and limited fuel shipments from China to North Korea. A month later, Kim announced he wanted to meet with his South Korean counterpart.

3. Make it easy for your side to walk away from the table and hard for the other side to jump ship.

Trump accomplished this goal through a series of moves. First, he and Defense Secretary James Mattis threatened to destroy North Korea. Second, Trump coupled the threats with the largest increase in defense spending in memory. Third, Trump has repeated, endlessly, that he has no idea whether talks with Kim will lead to an agreement, but he figures it’s worth a shot. Finally, after Kim insulted National Security Adviser John Bolton, Trump canceled the summit.

Not only did Trump’s polling numbers not suffer from canceling the summit, they improved. As for Kim, Trump’s nixing the summit taught him two lessons. First, he learned the price of failure.

Second, Kim learned that unlike his predecessors, Trump doesn’t fear walking away. Indeed, he’ll walk away over something that none of his counterparts would ever dream of jumping ship for. If Kim wants to negotiate with Trump, he will respect Trump’s choices.

4. Appoint hard-line negotiators.

Kim’s attack on Bolton was reasonable from his perspective. Ever since Clinton signed his failed nuclear deal with Kim’s father in 1994, Bolton has been the most outspoken critic of nuclear diplomacy with North Korea in Washington. Bolton opposed – rightly – every diplomatic initiative and agreement every administration adopted with Pyongyang. There is literally no one in Washington more skeptical of the chances that an agreement with North Korea will succeed than Bolton.

And there he was on Tuesday, sitting at the negotiating table in Singapore.

For the past generation, American and Israeli leaders engaging in negotiations with their enemies have given their opponents a say – indeed, they have routinely given them veto power – over the members of their negotiating teams. US and Israeli leaders used their team roster as yet another tool to appease the other side. This, while ignoring the concerns of their domestic constituencies.

Trump took the opposite approach. After setting up the talks in a manner that minimizes the cost of walking away from the table for him and maximizes the cost for Kim, he chose negotiators that would both minimize the chance of reaching a bad deal and assuage and encourage his constituents that he can be trusted. Both Trump’s supporters and detractors know that so long as Bolton is at the table, the chance of the US agreeing to a bad deal is fairly close to zero. Trump’s rising poll numbers and the fact that the majority of Americans support his negotiations with Kim show that his efforts have paid off politically.

5. Take control of the clock.

Reporters in Singapore were shocked when Trump informed them Tuesday afternoon that he and Kim were about to sign an “agreement.” But sure enough, shortly thereafter, they were shepherded into a grand hall for a formal signing ceremony.

A quick look at the “agreement” showed that there was really nothing there beyond platitudes.

Trump’s many critics were quick to take him to task for his “deal” because it was purely aspirational.

But they missed the point. The point wasn’t to reach a serious agreement. The point was to sign a piece of paper that said “Agreement” on it.

By signing the piece of paper, Trump took all time pressure off of himself and his team. They have their deal. He signed it. In a ceremony with a fancy fountain pen. They have all the time they need now to do what it takes to get Kim to cough up all of his nukes.

On the other hand, time is working against Kim.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the economic sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until after North Korea has denuclearized in a verifiable manner. In other words, assuming Kim cares about his economy and is in this for the money, Kim will want to reach a deal and implement it as quickly as possible.

Trump’s critics in the US ratcheted up their attacks against his summitry with Kim on Wednesday and Thursday. But everything they say just discredits them. Trump is only dealing with a nuclear armed North Korea because all of his predecessors enabled Pyongyang’s nuclear armament through feckless diplomacy. He’s only there to try a new approach because their old approach gave Kim the theoretical ability to nuke New York.

And now that he’s actually negotiating, it is clear that what they really fear is not that he will fail like they did. They fear that he will succeed, like only he – a loudmouthed real estate mogul and reality show star from Queens who couldn’t care less what they think of him and happened to write a book called The Art of the Deal – can do.

Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post

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On Twitter, Iranians condemn, support arrest of alleged spy Gonen Segev

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:54

"Perhaps it will be difficult for you to believe, but Netanyahu is also our spy," one tweet reads. "Didn't you see that he wanted to solve our water crisis?"

Cutting off Iran’s 'road to the sea' in Syria

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 20:23

A US official claims Israel struck Iranian-backed Iraqi militia in Syria, and now Tehran must think twice about moving fighters across the porous border.

Danish Ban on Circumcision: Amalek Reloaded?

Breaking Israel News - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 10:28

Jews in several of the Nordic nations (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland) are increasingly fearing for their religious futures after Denmark moved a step closer to passing a law banning infant circumcision. One rabbi sees this as a reenactment of a macabre story told in the bible symbolizing an attempt to cut off the thin connection binding heaven and earth.

The petition to ban infant circumcision in Denmark recently garnered the necessary 50,000 signatures for it to be brought before the parliament.The debate among Danish lawmakers will probably begin in the fall and if the proposal becomes law, Denmark will become the first European Union member state to vote on such a ban.

“The introduction of an 18-year minimum age for circumcision puts children’s interests and rights at the forefront,” the text states. The bill calls for a jail term of up to six years for anyone who performs a circumcision, and holds parents and guardians responsible whether the act happened in Denmark or not. The wording compares male circumcision to female genital mutilation.

Though Denmark may be the first, it is already not alone. A similar bill has passed an initial parliamentary vote in Iceland, and both Norway and Sweden are known to be similarly intolerant of ritual circumcision.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, Rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, was unperturbed when he heard the news, noting that this Danish resolution had already been described in Psalms.

Why do nations assemble, and peoples plot vain things;kings of the earth take their stand, and regents intrigue together against Hashem and against His anointed? Psalms 2:1-2

“They claim to care about the children but their real intent is written in the next verse,” Rabbi Berger said.

“Let us break the cords of their yoke, shake off their ropes from us!” Psalms 2:3

“They want to be free of all the rules of heaven,” Rabbi Berger said. “Midrash (homiletic traditions) teaches us that this verse in Psalms is a prophecy of what will happen in the end of days. People will rise up en masse against any rules of decency that limit what they can do. They will fight against anything that reminds them that there is a God in Heaven.”

“These revolts against morality are coming now because very soon, when the Moshiach comes, they will have no choice,” the rabbi said. “God’s presence in the world will be right there in front of them in every way.”

Rabbi Berger noted that rejecting circumcision has a biblical precedent.

“The Midrash teaches that after killing the Jews, the Amalekites, Israel’s archetypal and eternal enemy, cut off the male organ and threw it up towards heaven,” Rabbi Berger said. “Brit Milah (circumcision) literally means a covenant. It connects heaven and earth. It is a sign that a Jew, no matter where he is, carries the connection between heaven and earth on his body. The Jew acts as this connection. Rejecting this specific mitzvah (commandment) is an attempt to sever this connection, cutting off the entire world from God.”

It is already difficult for Denmark’s 9,000 Jews to observe the basic tenets of their religion. In 2014, Denmark outlawed the slaughter of animals without stunning them first, making Jewish ritual slaughter illegal.

“This spring has been nightmarish for the Jewish community,” Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, chairman of The Jewish Community in Denmark, told the NY Times. “The proposal takes as a starting point that Jews are child molesters.”

A ban would “make it difficult for the next generation of Jews to maintain a religious life in Denmark,” he added.

Rabbi Berger noted that this week Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent rabbis of this generation, made a declaration concerning a law in England that will require Jewish school to teach Christianity and Islam.

“Rabbi Kanievsky said that these are signs from heaven for the Jews outside of Israel to come home to Israel,” Rabbi Berger related. “For now, the signs are gentle but Rabbi Kanievsky warned this may not always be the case.”

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PSALMS 126:1

Breaking Israel News - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:21

Psalm 126 speaks of Tzion (Zion), one of the Bible’s names for Yerushalayim. This name is related to the word m’tzuyan, special. Hashem’s (God) holy city is more than a location. Hashem created a special place on earth which is primed for spiritual growth. The word Tzion describes not only where we live, but how we must life. Psalm 126 describes the Jewish People’s eternal longing for physical redemption and spiritual greatness in Tzion. When Hashem finally returns His people to Israel, they will be “as in a dream” as the redemption will be even greater than one can even imagine. Today is Israel’s 70 birthday! Hashem has returned His people to their land, and Tzion is once again the spiritual and physical capital of the Jewish People. This amazing day is celebrated across the country with fireworks (pictured above over the Knesset), family celebrations, and independence day parties.

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Newly-Released Animated Short Films Re-imagines Holocaust Documentary Genre

Breaking Israel News - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 07:40

On June 7, New York based producer Sarah Kamaras released to the public a Holocaust-related short film series, “The Podkamieners.”

Kamaras, whose previous work in production included award-winning news videos at NowThis, teamed up with documentary editors, sound masters, composers and an animation company to produce the five short films, covering the stories of different Holocaust survivors in her family from the town of Podkamien, Poland.

The short film series re-imagines the Holocaust documentary genre by mixing the use of animation and moving personal accounts. The animation brings the stories to life for a current generation whose Holocaust memory is fading—and for a future generation without survivors.

“When I made the films, I was thinking of my cousins who are 10-15 years younger than me. While I met my grandparents, they never did. So I sought to create something to move a generation forward in Holocaust memory, as they won’t have the same opportunities to hear first hand accounts,” said Kamaras, who also hopes that these films could help combat the rise of hate and anti-Semitism in the U.S. today.

While viewers of other Holocaust films are mostly used to concentration camp footage or interviews with experts and scholars, “The Podkamieners” pioneers a new artistic form of Holocaust storytelling through its use of animation, notes a press release.

The five films in the series tell the stories of a group of Holocaust survivors from the same family who were forced to flee their small town of Podkamien, Poland, and hide in the woods at the peak of World World II. Animation, along with first and second-hand accounts, unfolds on parallel tracks throughout the films, creating a vivid spectrum of the Holocaust from the eyes and minds of survivors and their descendants.

Each film in “The Podkamieners” illustrates stories of survival that words alone could not do justice, from a family of 30 finding refuge in the basement of a monastery, to a mother and son hiding in a coffin-sized bale of hay for more than 16 months.

Notes the press release, “Beneath those extraordinary stories lies the subtext of the lingering aftermath of the Holocaust, and its effects on survivors and their children alike. The films are punctuated by the complex nuances of surviving genocide, highlighting the contrast between those survivors who choose to remember their experiences and those who’d prefer to forget.”

The series contains the stories of five families and survivors: the Sarid family, whose four siblings share how their late father turned being a sole survivor into the essence of his family’s foundation; Mark, who describes in powerful detail some of the near-death experiences of the war that left him with haunting memories; Fay and Josh, siblings who exchange personal recollections of their survival as young children during World War II; Isidore, who reveals how he and his mother hid buried in a bundle of hay for nearly a year and a half, with nothing but the clothes they had on; and Benny, who recounts a childhood filled with war-torn memories in what became a real life game of hide and seek.

“When I thought of what I wanted to create, I wondered how I could really bring these powerful stories to life,” Kamars told Breaking Israel News. “I found the juxtaposition of animation throughout personal accounts perfect to encapsulate that to appeal and present it to a new generation.”

Kamaras’ grandparents, who are both from Podkamien, died more than 20 years now, so she related that she had often wondered how to unearth their story while creating something educational. “I interviewed relatives about what happened with them and developed an idea of what it was like to be from this small town, what they endured during the war and a different side of survival than we often hear growing up.”

Kamaras explained, “Growing up as a Jewish American, I was exposed to certain things through media, Jewish school and programming, which always centered around concentration camps – but my grandparents didn’t represent that kind of survivor, as they were in a ghetto and hid in the forest for 16 months.”

All of the survivors featured in the short films are either relatives or had a very close connection to Kamaras’s grandparents. “It was a town of 2,000 people, half of them were Jewish, and only 60-70 Jews survived the Holocaust, so everyone became family after the war,” she said.

Interviewing about such a difficult topic had its challenges, Kamaras maintained. “Not every survivor wants to talk about their experiences – some would prefer to move forward with their lives and it’s important that for those who don’t want to speak, we listen through their silence.”

In one of the short films, Mark Gellar says that after the Holocaust, “I made up my mind that anything happening in the past I wiped it off of [my mind]. I decided to take it away and I don’t even think about the past. The past is gone and my kids don’t know anything about me. They asked me a few times, and I said, “Forget it.””

“Hearing that made me feel uncomfortable, because we are so used to hearing ‘never forget.’ But I didn’t want to change Mark’s film, because it would take away his meaning. Having that sensitivity to let them speak their truth, even when it was not as pleasant for us to hear, really opened up a dialogue that we are not used to seeing in other Holocaust films,” said Kamaras.

Kamaras is currently looking for partnerships with museums and schools to add the films into curriculum about the Holocaust and WWII.

“Kids never make it through stacks and stacks of curriculum, and it’s also important to make things more palatable and relatable as we get farther away from knowing survivors,” she said.  “Many don’t want to sit through an hour of a heavy topic – it’s too much to bear. With short (10 minutes on average) animations and the ability to watch just one film, it can be really beneficial for a younger generation.”

She added, “Often it’s hard to even watch stock footage growing up, which often include things that might be too emotionally and physically graphic to bear. Because we are oversaturated with media and get desensitized to it, it also doesn’t have the same impact anymore.”

To Kamaras, educating about the Holocaust will have far-reaching consequences for the future of humanity. “History repeats itself and we are still experiencing plenty of genocide in the world and wondering when it will stop. To look forward and learn, we need to remember what happened in the past. Part of moving forward is looking back and learning how to grow from that,” she maintained.

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