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What is a Refugee? The Jews From Morocco Vs. the Palestinians From Israel

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 02:00

A visit to Morocco shows that the claim of Palestinians to a “right of return” has little historic, moral or legal basis.

Jews lived in Morocco for centuries before Islam came to Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. The Jews, along with the Berbers, were the backbone of the economy and culture. Now their historic presence can be seen primarily in the hundreds of Jewish cemeteries and abandoned synagogues that are omnipresent in cities and towns throughout the Maghreb.

I visited Maimonides’s home, now a restaurant. The great Jewish philosopher and medical doctor taught at a university in Fez. Other Jewish intellectuals helped shape the culture of North Africa, from Morocco to Algeria to Tunisia to Egypt. In these countries, Jews were always a minority but their presence was felt in every area of life.

Now they are a remnant in Morocco and gone from the other counties.

Some left voluntarily to move to Israel after 1948. Many were forced to flee by threats, pogroms and legal decrees, leaving behind billions of dollars in property and the graves of their ancestors.

Today, Morocco’s Jewish population is less than 5,000, as contrasted with 250,000 at its peak. To his credit, King Mohammad VI has made a point of preserving the Jewish heritage of Morocco, especially its cemeteries.

He has better relations with Israel than other Muslim countries but still does not recognize Israel and have diplomatic relations with the nation-state of the Jewish people. It is a work in process. His relationship with his small Jewish community, most of whom are avid Zionists, is excellent. Many Moroccans realize that they lost a lot when the Jews of Morocco left. Some Israelis of Moroccan origin maintain close relations with their Moroccan heritage.

How does this all relate to the Palestinian claim of a right to return to their homes in what is now Israel? Quite directly. The Arab exodus from Israel in 1948 was the direct result of a genocidal war declared against the newly established Jewish state by all of its Arab neighbors, including the Arabs of Israel. If they had accepted the UN peace plan – two states for two people – there would be no Palestinian refugees. In the course of Israel’s fierce battle for its survival – a battle in which it lost one percent of its population, including many Holocaust survivors and civilians – approximately 700,000 local Arabs were displaced. Many left voluntarily, having been promised a glorious return after the inevitable Arab victory. Others were forced out. Some of these Arabs could trace their homes in what became Israel hundreds of years back. Others were relatively recent arrivals from Arab countries such as Syria, Egypt, and Jordan.

Approximately the same number of Jews were displaced from their Arab homelands during this period.

Nearly all of them could trace their heritage back thousands of years, well before the Muslims and Arabs became the dominant population.

Like the Palestinian Arabs, some left voluntarily, but many had no realistic choice. The similarities are striking, but so are the differences.

The most significant difference is between how Israel dealt with the Jews who were displaced and how the Arab and Muslim word dealt with the Palestinians who had been displaced by a war they started.

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Israel integrated its brothers and sisters from the Arab and Muslim world. The Arab world put its Palestinian brothers and sisters in refugee camps, treating them as political pawns – and festering sores – in its persistent war against the Jewish state.

It has now been 70 years since this exchange of populations occurred.

It is time to end the deadly charade of calling the displaced Palestinians “refugees.” Almost none of the nearly five million Arabs who now seek to claim the mantle of “Palestinian refugee” was ever actually in Israel. They are the descendants – some quite distant – of those who were actually displaced in 1948. The number of surviving Arabs who were personally forced out of Israel by the war started by their brethren is probably no more a few thousand, probably less. Perhaps they should be compensated, but not by Israel.

The compensation should come from Arab countries that illegally seized the assets of their erstwhile Jewish residents, whom they forced to leave. These few thousand Palestinians have no greater moral, historic or legal claim that the surviving Jewish individuals who were displaced during the same time period seven decades ago.

In life as in law, there are statutes of limitations that recognize that history changes the status quo. The time has come – indeed it is long overdue – for the world to stop treating these Palestinians as refugees.

That status ended decades ago. The Jews who came to Israel from Morocco many years ago are no longer refugees.

Neither are the relatives of the Palestinians who have lived outside of Israel for nearly three-quarters of a century.

Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post

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The Prime Minister’s Speech

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 01:00

The Arab press has evinced an inordinate interest in the future of Binyamin Netanyahu over the past few weeks, due to the various ongoing investigations against him and against several people who held key positions in his entourage. Arab interest is motivated by hopes for the prime minister’s downfall and a resulting disintegration of Israel’s Rightist camp, leading to the Left’s assuming the leadership of the Jewish State. The Left, after all, has proven time and time again that it is willing to pay a higher price than Netanyahu for a piece of paper on which the word “peace” appears.

Netanyahu’s speech at the AIPAC Conference last Tuesday awakened much interest in the Arab media, some of whose outlets actually sent photo teams to the event. It was clear to all of them even before the speech, that it would be mostly about the Iranian problem and Israel’s efforts to get the USA to assume more inflexible positions on the issue – including general sanctions, military action against the Iranian forces in Syria and most crucial of all, rewriting  the Iranian nuclear agreement.

The Arab spokespersons and commentators listened carefully to Netanyahu’s speech in an effort to discover three things:

1.  Is Netanyahu speaking with from a position of stable power or have the investigations affected his self-confidence?

2. How powerful is the relationship between Trump and Netanyahu, and how much support does the present US government have for the steps Israel is taking?

3. When and how will Netanyahu relate to the Palestinian Arab issue?

The answer to the first question is clear. All through the speech, Netanyahu radiated stability, speaking as if there were no investigations, not of him nor of his close associates.  In the first of the three parts of his speech, he spoke of Israel’s accomplishments in hi-tech, agriculture, water conservation, diplomacy and military power. He spoke of Israel’s contributions to world security, on tens of intended terror incidents around the world that  Israel helped thwart due to its superior Intelligence system and its willingness to share the fruits of that superiority with other countries. It was clear to everyone that Netanyahu was referring to Islamic terror, and placing Israel in the forefront of the fight against the Islamic terror causing concern to so many people all over the world.

The Arab media pundits, however, see Netanyahu’s effusive self-confidence as chutzpah, insolence, arrogance, and boastfulness.  They are incapable of accepting Jews in a way that differs from that of Islamic tradition in which Jews must be at the mercy of Islam as “dhimmis”, humiliated and in possession of only partial rights – while Netanyahu comes across as a person whose freedom they will be unable to subjugate to their will.

Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Palestinian Initiative Movement, told the media that Netanyahu’s speech was filled with hubris and chutzpah, sounding as though the Israeli Prime Minister thinks he runs the world.  In their view, Netanyahu spreads lies about the Palestinian Authority leadership and Palestinian Arab “militants” (read that “terrorists”), governs over an occupying racist Apartheid state, while the only thing behind his actions is the personal fear of the criminal mess and acts of corruption of which he is accused.

Another Palestinian Arab spokesperson and member of the PLO Directorate, Dimitri Diliani, fumed at Netanyahu’s attempt to divert the world’s attention from “the biggest problem of  the Arab world” which is, of course, Israel, to the Iranian issue, which Diliani sees as being of marginal, minimal and negligible interest. His response stems from the fact that Netanyahu expended little time on the Palestinian Arab question, while he spoke about Iran for close to half the length of his speech.

Egypt’s Al Ghad Al Arabi Channel representative at the Conference reported that “AIPAC  is  the most powerful organization in the United States, and  that Netanyahu wished to present himself as Israel’s savior so as to cleanse his name in the eyes of the Israeli public by means of his demonstrative thank you to Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the embassy to that city. ”  The reporter interviewed Dr. Ahmad Abed Alhadi on the streets of Washington, calling him an “expert on American issues” and  Amad said that  “the speech was in the main propaganda and rhetoric. He praised a good many people, including the former Canadian Prime Minister who was in the audience at the time and is one of Israel’s greatest supporters.”

Dr. Ahmad revealed that “the speech was aimed at the ears of listeners as well as to the Israeli public, and that Netanyahu recorded a speech in Hebrew afterward in which he said: ” I have discussed the Iran, Iran, Iran issue with Trump, just as I did in the AIPAC speech.”

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It is worthwhile noting that Netanyahu did not talk about the “deal of the century” that the Trump administration is preparing for the Palestinian issue, the reason being that Netanyahu apparently is not familiar with all its details since Trump is keeping them close to his chest.

The most important question interesting the Arab world is one Netanyahu did not address in his speech either – that is, how much leeway Trump is willing to give Netanyahu on both the Iranian and Palestinian issues.

Concerning the Palestinian Arab issue, everyone is aware of the fact that the Mahmoud Abbas era is rapidly drawing to an end and that the chairman still has no agreed-upon successor to lead the shaky and divided  PLO  and Palestinian Authority after he is gone.

What will Israel, if it remains under Netanyahu’s leadership, do the day after Abbas? Will it continue to deal with the PA or bury that Oslo-created entity into a freshly dug grave and re-assume the administration of Judea and Samaria, as was the case before the 1993 Oslo Accords?  Who will follow Netanyahu and how will he relate to the Palestinians?  Is Israel going to have elections which put everything else on hold for at least a year?

Will Trump, busy with more significant and weighty problems than the Palestinian one — North Korea, Iran and internal American issues – allow Netanyahu to turn the wheel of history back, cancel the Oslo Agreements and the others that brought the Palestinian Arabs to the threshold of their hoped-for state, or will he force Israel to continue to resuscitate the ailing Palestinian political entity even if its chances of independent  survival are doubtful at best?

In his speech, Netanyahu repeated twice that “we must stop Iran and we WILL stop Iran!” This sentence appeared in the Arab media reports as well, raising the question of just who the “we” refers to – Is it Israel on its own, Israel and the US, Israel, and the US and the Europeans? An equally important question is whether this phrase was coordinated with Trump before the speech.  If “we” refers to Israel, would Trump agree, after the fact or even a priori, to an Israeli attack on Iran – or is the “we” America and Israel, with Trump having already given his tacit agreement to American involvement in an active operation against Iran.

Another question connected to the Iranian issue is the intention of Netanyahu’s statement that “Iran is building an Iranian Empire incorporating Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.” Does Netanyahu’s phrase “we will stop Iran” mean actively operating against Iranian forces in Syria? An Israel-only operation?  Or perhaps a joint US-Israel operation?

How will America react if Israel attacks Hezbollah, the Lebanese arm of the Iranian octopus? In this context, the Arab world well remembers the  Second Lebanon War of 2006, when President Bush allowed Israel to wage war against Hezbollah for 33 days while standing up for  Israel and its right to defend itself at the UN Security Council.

All these questions are derivatives of the unclear “we will stop Iran” statement made by Netanyahu, and the interest the Arab world much more than the Palestinian Arab problem. This fact infuriates the Palestinian Arabs, especially since they are accustomed to believing and repeating ad infinitum that a solution to the Palestinian problem is the key to solving the problems of the entire Middle East. To their astonished surprise and sorrow, they are beginning to discover that the Iranian problem is much more significant and worrying about Israel and the entire world than theirs. And Trump expressed his disappointment with them when he said, offhandedly: “So there won’t be peace. That, too, is a possibility.”

Suddenly peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs has become just  one “possibility”  which will or will not come about, while the entire Arab world is witness  to how Israel achieves US recognition of its capital, the US Embassy is on its way to Jerusalem, the Palestinian “refugee problem’ is on the rocks, and all the Palestinian Arab expectations of a state have turned to nothing more than a “possibility.”

This is the picture the Arab world sees at the end of the past few months leading to Netanyahu’s AIPAC Conference speech. Their only remaining resort is to hang their hopes on the police, state’s witnesses, Attorney General Mandeblit, the state prosecutors and Minister Litzman (let us not forget  the Draft Law)  – this, in order to save the Palestinian Arab problem from remaining no more than  a “possibility” in the hands of that  racist, haughty and chutzpah-filled Netanyahu.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News

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Israel Sends Generators to Papua New Guinea After Deadly Earthquake

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 01:00

In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Papua New Guinea, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs  Agency for International Development Cooperation has delivered 40 electricity generators to affected communities there.

The generators were delivered on March 8 by Yaron Sultan-Dadon, Pacific Islands adviser at the Israeli Embassy in Australia.

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 26 left 100 people dead and cut off electricity to 150,000 residents. Israel was one of the first countries to send aid.

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Then on March 8, the country was rocked by a 6.8 magnitude aftershock.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neall thanked Israel for its friendship and support.

“Relations between Papua New Guinea and the State of Israel are strong, and our government and the people of PNG appreciate the support and friendship of Israel during these challenging times,” he said.  “We look forward to further cooperation and the enhancement of the close ties between our countries and our peoples.”

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The Days of ‘Israel Bashing’ at UN Are Over: Israeli Ambassador Danon

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 00:00

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon said on Fox News that the days of “Israel bashing” at the UN are over under the Trump administration and his US counterpart, Nikki Haley.

The post The Days of ‘Israel Bashing’ at UN Are Over: Israeli Ambassador Danon appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Third Temple Calendar Launches This Saturday, On The ‘New Year Of Kings’

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:00

This Saturday will be the first day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, which according to the Bible is the first day of the year. This fact is only noted on the “King’s Calendar,” a new calendar specifically designed for use in the Third Temple.

The calendar was created by Reuven Prager, a tailor who makes Biblically styled clothes in Jerusalem. Prager is a Levite and takes his Biblical identity seriously, using his skills as a tailor to create the banner of the tribe of Levi. Prager based the design on a description of the banner in Midrash Rabbah, an ancient collection of homiletic teachings. For 20 years, Prager has minted silver half-shekel coins, a Biblical donation that was used for Temple expenses.

As part of his passion for the Temple, Prager decided 36 years ago that he wanted to create a calendar for the Third Temple. But the project was so complicated and requires so much research that the first calendar is only coming out now.

“It’s a mind-blowing calendar for the Third Temple Era,” Prager told Breaking Israel News. “It’s the first of its kind and will be followed by calendar makers in future generations.”

The calendar is aesthetically pleasing, beautifully printed with images relevant to each month, but the calendar may not make sense at first glance to those unfamiliar with the Biblical system of dates. A Gregorian calendar goes from January to December. A Hebrew calendar usually begins in Tishrei, the seventh month in the Bible, which generally falls around September, and ends in the month of Elul. The “King’s Calendar” begins in Nissan, referred to in the Bible as “the first month” since it is the month of the Children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt.

This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you. Exodus 12:2

The upcoming new year begins this Saturday and is listed in the calendar as “New year for Kings Shekalim, Festivals, and Vows.” This title for the date is a reference to the description of the beginning of the month of Nissan in the Mishnah (oral law), which lists the first of Nissan as one of the four new years in the Jewish calendar.

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The King’s Calendar tracks all the activities that took place in the First and Second Temples and which will be performed again when the Third Temple is built. This includes the Biblical feasts that are observed today, but the calendar also has many surprises, holidays and events that are only observed when a Temple stands in Jerusalem.

As the first month of the year, Nissan is particularly packed. The Korban Pesach (Pascal offering) is supposed to be performed on the 14th of the month, along with the Fast of the First Born, which is still observed today on the day before Passover. The calendar also notes that the barley for the Omer offering is reaped on the evening of the last night of Passover.

The first day of the month Sivan, the third month in the King’s Calendar, is noted for Trumat Halishka, the bringing of the silver half shekels to the Temple. The 15th of Av, the fifth month in the Temple calendar, is noted for being the last day of cutting wood for the Temple,  and two weeks later, the first day of Elul marks the new year for the tithes of the cattle.

Since this is a calendar intended for the Third Temple, not all of the holidays are biblical in origin. The holidays pertaining to the modern state of Israel such as Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) and Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) appear on the calendar, as does Jerusalem Day.

One unexpected date Prager included was Sigd, a holiday unique to the Jewish Ethiopians celebrated on the 29th of Cheshvan, the eighth month of the calendar. Its origins are unclear, but it is a fast day that symbolizes the acceptance of the Torah. It is now officially recognized as a holiday by the Israeli government.

The calendar can be ordered directly from Prager via email:

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Mon, 03/12/2018 - 08:10

In illustrating the difference between trusting in Hashem (God) and in man, Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) contrasts two vivid images: one who trusts in man is compared to a small shrub in the barren desert such as the desert shrub pictured above in the Dead Sea region, whereas one who relies on Hashem is likened to a tall, strong, majestic tree with deep roots flourishing beside a flowing river. Israel must choose between trusting in Hashem and flourishing like the tree that Yirmiyahu described, or cutting themselves off from the Divine presence and be exiled into the desolate wilderness.

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Paraguay And Honduras Reportedly Prepapred ‘In Principle’ To Move Embassies To Jerusalem

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 08:00

Following on the heels of the United States and Guatemala, Paraguay and Honduras have announced that they are ready “in principle” to relocate their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Israel’s Army Radio.

The countries have conditioned their moves on an official visit to their countries by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Netanyahu visited Latin America in September, but did not stop in Paraguay. During Netanyahu’s trip, Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes traveled to Buenos Aires to meet with Netanyahu.

At the recent AIPAC Policy Conference, President Jimmy Morales announced that Guatemala would move its embassy to Jerusalem “two days after the United States moves its embassy,” tentatively scheduled for May 14.

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In December, following the announcement that the United States would move its embassy and officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the U.N. General Assembly voted to condemn America’s announcement.

The nine countries to vote against were Israel, the United States, Honduras, Guatemala, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo. Paraguay was one of 35 countries to abstain, while another 21 countries did not participate in the vote.

President Milos Zeman has also expressed his desire to move the Czech Republic’s embassy to Jerusalem.

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Fighting BDS Through Legal Network Initiative

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 07:30

One of the many ways Israel is fighting back against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is through the Legal Network Initiative Conference in which prominent legal experts plan out a course to battle back against the campaign to delegitimize Israel.

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Will Turkey Lead An End-of-Days Global Islamic Jihad Against Israel And The US?

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 06:00

A recent study by a Middle East analysis organization based in Washington DC revealed that the Turkish president’s call for 57 nations to join together to form an anti-Israel army of Islam could create the most formidable military force on the planet. One Israeli expert on Islam stated emphatically, “make no mistake; this is war,” and lest the message is missed, he also emphasized that this call for jihad includes a direct threat against the US.

A report on Wednesday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) investigated an article that was published in December in the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, a media outlet which is closely affiliated with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP party. The article titled, “A Call for Urgent Action,” which also appeared on the paper’s website under the title, “What If an Army of Islam Was Formed against Israel?” called on the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to form a joint “Army of Islam” to besiege and attack the state of Israel. The article went into specifics, describing in detail how such an army would overwhelm the Jewish State.

Once warm, relations between Turkey and Israel have been shaky in the last decade. But this call for a religious war against Israel is a relatively new development. The political differences between the two countries took on global religious overtones last May when Erdogan called for Muslims to flood the Temple Mount.

“Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us,” Erdogan had said from the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf in Istanbul.

The article in Yeni Şafak explained how Erdogan’s Islamic military campaign against Israel would play out, citing logistical details that portrayed this theoretical Army of Islam as being formidable.

“If the OIC member states unite and form a joint military force, it will be the largest army in the world,” the article said. “These countries’ total population is 1,674,526,931. The number of soldiers in active service in these countries is at least 5,206,100. Their [overall] military defense budget, of $174,728,420, is also worthy of emphasis.”

“As for Israel, it is significantly inferior,” the article continued. “The population of this country, which attempted to occupy Jerusalem while surrounded by Muslim states, is 8,049,314. Note that the population of Istanbul alone exceeds 14 million. The number of soldiers in active service in the [Israeli] occupation forces is 160,000, and [Israel’s] defense budget is approximately $15, 600,000,000.

In comparison, the US military has 1,281,900 active soldiers, less than one quarter of the proposed Army of Islam. The US military budget, which is the largest of any single country in the world, is approximately $580 billion and over 30 times that of the proposed Army of Islam.

The article also described the details of the battle plans, with Turkey being the headquarters, and emphasized that Turkey’s army is the seventh largest in the world and the second largest in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, said that according to Jewish mystical sources, Erdogan’s Islamic alliance is more of an immediate threat to the US.

“The Zohar states that the end-of-days conflict will begin with a confrontation between Ishmael, represented today by the world of Islam, and Esav (Esau), represented today by aspects of America and parts of Europe.” Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News.

“Unfortunately, the Zohar states that Esav will lose this war, which will then become a war between Ishmael and Yaakov, represented by Israel.”

As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkey is technically a US ally, but recent developments in Syria have made a US-Turkish confrontation seem more likely. In January, Turkey launched an incursion into Syria, which Istanbul claimed was targeting the anti-Turkish Kurdish forces on the Syrian border. This offensive pushed eastward, putting Turkish forces in uncomfortable proximity with US forces in Manjib.

The very real risk of an armed confrontation between these two NATO armies is being handled in a noticeably aggressive fashion that is not normally seen in a relationship between allies. The situation is further complicated by the US military’s support for Kurds militias in the past.

Two weeks ago, the White House warned Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that should US troops in Syria be threatened, they would return fire. Erdogan responded, ““those who say that they would respond if they are hit have never tasted an Ottoman slap.”

The “Ottoman slap” is a legendary Turkish fighting technique involving an open handed blow that if properly executed, is claimed to be fatal.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, believes that Erdogan’s threats should be taken seriously.

“In the language of Islam, the message is embedded in codes,” Dr. Kedar told Breaking Israel News.

“Right now, there is no such thing as the Army of Islam. But a call to form an army was a call for Jihad against anyone who opposes their views, which, for now, are focused on Jerusalem. This includes a call against America. He didn’t call explicitly for war against America because that would open the Gates of Hell on his head.”

Nonetheless, Dr. Kedar said the message to the world of Islam was clear.

“It doesn’t matter what he says,” Dr. Kedar said. “The Muslims heard the message that they are at war with America,  and he was very clear on how this threat should be handled.

“If anyone succumbs to the threats of Islam, they are doomed,” he continued. “They take you seriously only if you are too dangerous to mess with. And they know that Trump is dangerous.”

The plans described in the Turkish article for an Army of Islam are already progress.

“In a statement, Malaysian Defense Minister [Hishammuddin] Hussein described Trump’s recognition [of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital] as a blow to Muslims,” the article stated, adding, ‘”the Malaysian armed forces are ready to fulfill their duty regarding Jerusalem.”

“In recent years, Turkey has launched a series of collaborations with [OIC] member states. The joint military drill with our Iraqi neighbors conveyed a clear message to the terrorists, and Turkey is [also] engaging in new collaborations with Qatar, Somalia and other Gulf and African countries. In this context it should be underlined that Turkey is taking steps to realize the model of the ‘Army of Islam,’ forging alliances with many Muslim countries to increase its military mobility.”

Dr Efrat Aviv, a specialist in Turkey and lecturer in the department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar Ilan University, sees Turkey’s conflict with the US as being separate from its conflict with Israel.

“As a Muslim leader, Erdogan supports the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem, but the problem Turkey has with America goes much deeper than Trump’s support of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Dr. Aviv said. She referred to a case in 2014 in which US servicemen who were visiting Turkey were beaten by crowds in the streets of Istanbul. “Anti-American sentiment goes as deep as anti-Israel sentiment.”

“Today, there is also the difficulty of US support for Kurdistan, which is entirely disconnected from Israel,” she added.

Dr. Aviv also noted that the US has resisted Turkish requests to extradite Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Muslim preacher living in exile in Pennsylvania. Formerly a close ally of Erdogan, Gülen is now on Turkey’s most-wanted list for terrorism, a claim which the US government rejects.

“Israel and Turkey have managed to overcome their religious differences in the past,” Dr. Aviv said. “But the differences between the US and Turkey, and the resulting anti-American sentiment in Turkey, no one knows how to move past that. And it is in danger of just getting bigger.”


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Trump Committed To Show No Flexibility On Demand to Fix Iran Nuclear Deal: Report

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 04:00

During a meeting last week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump committed himself to not showing any flexibility on his demand that there be significant fixes to the international nuclear agreement with Iran, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

“I am demanding significant changes in the text of the nuclear agreement itself and not only by adding an addendum to the agreement,” Trump said according to two anonymous Israeli officials mentioned in the report.

“If that does not happen, the United States will withdraw from the agreement.”

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Back in January, Trump set May 12 as a deadline for the necessary changes to be made to the nuclear agreement. In the meantime, the US has engaged in a diplomatic effort with its “E3” European allies (the United Kingdom, France and Germany) to “improve” the nuclear deal.

According to Channel 10’s report, Trump has not been impressed with what the E3 countries have offered.

“It’s not enough,” Trump said, contending that the E3 allies were only proposing “cosmetic changes.”

Channel 10 reported last week that Netanyahu requested of Trump not to advance a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia nor to allow the Persian Gulf country to enrich in uranium. The prime minister’s reported concerns in this regard were somewhat expressed during a weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday in which he warned about the nuclearization of the Middle East.

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You Cannot Whitewash Away Polish Anti-Semitism

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 03:00

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was forced last week to deny being a Holocaust revisionist, after suggesting that Jews were complicit in their own genocide.

Referring to a new Polish law making it illegal to say the country has responsibility for the Holocaust, an Israeli journalist, and son of Polish survivors asked Morawiecki if he could face prison for recounting how his mother was betrayed by her Polish neighbors.

The Prime Minister replied: “Of course it’s not going to be punishable … to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian, not only German perpetrators.”

Morawiecki’s remarks were a shameful adulteration of history. There were no “Jewish perpetrators” of the Holocaust. They were victims. The Jewish prisoners who participated in the extermination machinery did so under the immediate threat of death.

The new law, which Polish lawmakers chose to push — on the eve of holocaust remembrance day, no less — cannot be understood without an appreciation of the context from which it emerged, nurtured by the rise of nationalism in Poland and the tactic support of the populist government, which views itself as the guardian of Polish historical honor.

A dark trend is once again sweeping across the European continent. In Macerata, a small town in Italy, a neo-fascist admirer of Mussolini recently went on a shooting rampage, wounding five men and one woman of African origin. In Austria, a party with neo-Nazi roots now sits in the coalition government. And from Hungary to the Czech Republic, France, and Britain, political parties and their supporters are reviving the old blood libel against Jews. Europe’s grip on its bloody past is far from assured.

Of course, Poland’s history with the Third Reich is complex. If the new law were to clarify that the Polish government had no official role in the Holocaust, it would be an accurate reflection of events. Likewise, Poland is right to object to the flippant use of “Polish death camps” to describe Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, Majdanek and Chelmno rather than “Nazi death camps inside Poland.”

But in every country under Nazi occupation — Poland is no exception — most of the local population were either silent witnesses to the slaughter or willing participants in the annihilation of Jews.

Take, for example, the role of Polish collaborators. In July of 1941, 1,600 Jews, nearly the entire Jewish population in the village of Jedwabne, were murdered by their Polish neighbors. Some were hunted down and killed with clubs, knives, and axes. Most were forced into a barn and burned alive.

The Polish police collaborated with the Germans on many occasions such as in Warsaw, where they remained on duty to control the 50,000 Jews still alive in the ghetto after the liquidation in the summer of 1942.

This is only part of the story. In Poland, complicity and heroism coexist. An important aspect of history that must not be forgotten or minimized is the sacrifice of the Polish Underground State. The organization, which came to the rescue of Polish Jewry, operated from 1939 to 1945 and was subordinated to the Polish government-in-exile.

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The Council to Aid Jews codenamed “Zegota,” a unique organization one on a global scale, provided structural and monetary assistance to Jews hiding among the Polish population and those living in ghettos, saving the lives of tens of thousands. Thousands of other Poles sheltered Jews despite the fact they and their entire families faced execution by the Nazis if they had been caught.

But the selfless act of humanity by a selective group of Poles cannot whitewash the more sinister chapters of Polish history. In Poland and many other parts of Eastern Europe, historical revisionism is far from a new phenomenon.

The widespread hostility that Jews faced did not die with the defeat of the Nazis. After the closure of World War II, Jewish survivors that returned home were confronted with an anti-Semitism that was terrible in its fury and brutality.

The new communist government in Poland made no mention of the crimes committed against Jews by the Nazis. They, too, were Antisemites. In July 1946, a pogrom occurred in the Polish town of Kielce, resulting in 42 Jews being massacred, an event that Poland’s foreign minister would recognize fifty years later as an “act of Polish anti-Semitism.”

In recent years, things have regressed again. A rise in nationalism has always been bad for the Jews.

Matters were not helped when Poland, over the last decade, have lost important public intellectuals who reminded their country of the horrors of the Holocaust with first-hand accounts. Among them Marek Edelman, a Jewish leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, a leading figure in the Zegota underground organization.

The so-called “Holocaust Bill”, the new Polish law, promotes the avoidance of historical responsibility and deflects blame, in an attempt to rewrite history in the name of blind nationalism. But the Holocaust cannot be denied, avoided or played down. We are here to remember, educate and speak truth to power.

Reprinted with author’s permission from EMET Online

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UN, EU Plan Summit To Save Agency For Palestinian ‘Refugees’

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 03:00

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will attend a summit in Rome on saving the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) from its financial woes. The foreign ministers of Jordan, Sweden and Egypt will chair the conference.

UNRWA, created in 1949 to care for a few hundred thousand Arab refugees who fled Israel during its War of Independence, is now caring for some five million people, only an estimated 20,000 of whom were included in its original mandate. No other agency that cares for refugees in history has experienced a steep growth in clientele over the years – the rest of them work to turn refugees under their care to permanent residents enjoying new lives in their new countries.

But rather than to reprimand UNRWA for its abysmal record, which actually invents new refugees every year (how can one be a refugee in the place where one was born is secret UNRWA never reveals), the aim of the Rome conference, to take place at UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters, is “to actively support a collective response by the international community to protect the rights and dignity of Palestinian Refugees and ensure UNRWA’s unprecedented funding crisis of $446 million is urgently resolved.”

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The missing funds were supposed to be provided by the world’s rich uncle, Sam, who in 2016 donated $368 million to UNRWA, and then gave $350 million in 2017, but decided to cut a third of his contributions for 2018. In January 2018, the United States withheld $65 million, roughly half the amount due that month.

Since President Donald Trump took office, the US has also demanded a review of UNRWA’s work and funding, calling for an increase in contributions from other countries. Trump does not wish to continue to bear 30% of the agency’s financial burden.

The Netanyahu government is not crazy about the idea of UNRWA going bankrupt, because for the moment, with all its illogical framework and long-term negative effect on the rehabilitation of millions of downtrodden offspring of the Arab refugees, the agency is a stabilizing force in the camps of the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria. But Netanyahu has recommended to Guterres that the Jordanian government should receive the funds currently going to UNRWA, because Jordan already hosts an estimated three million children of Arab refugees from Israel who have a Jordanian citizenship.

In his talks in NY with US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, Netanyahu recommended that the administration not cut its help to the population under UNRWA’s care. But should Jordan be handed the job and the funds to care for them, it could be a step in the direction of dismantling the provisional government in Ramallah. Netanyahu is on the record claiming that UNRWA’s services are prolonging the “refugees” problem. Keeping the aid coming but diminishing to role of UNRWA in the process would be Israel’s and the US’ aim at this point.

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Jews Living in Judea, Samaria and ‘East Jerusalem’ Constitutes ‘War Crime,’ UN Official Claims

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 02:00

According to a report issued by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the growth of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem constitutes a war crime.

“The establishment and expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory by Israel, including the legal and administrative measures that it has taken to provide socioeconomic incentives, security, infrastructure and social services to citizens of Israel residing in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, amount to the transfer by Israel of its population into the occupied Palestinian Territory,” Al-Hussein said.

“The transfer of the population by an occupying State into an occupied territory is a grave breach of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and therefore a war crime.”

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The report is one of five charging Israel of human rights abuses that will be presented to the council on March 19.  The Human Rights Council has been criticized for issuing a significantly disproportionate number of reports against Israel.  Syria and Iran by contrast only have single reports issued against them.

Al-Hussein, a member of the Jordanian royal family, is the first Muslim to hold the position of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Achieving AIPAC’s Mission

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 02:00

IPAC’s mission to cultivate and maintain bipartisan support for Israel in the United States is an important mission. Unfortunately, the messages AIPAC’s leaders delivered during the organization’s annual policy convention this week in Washington indicate that they are at a loss for how to achieve their mission in the contentious political environment now prevalent in the post- Obama America.

Their befuddlement is not surprising. For the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, AIPAC’s leaders showed a consistent inability to understand the challenges they faced. And since they were unable to understand how or why the Obama administration was undermining AIPAC, they couldn’t protect AIPAC or advance its mission during his tenure in office.

At this week’s AIPAC convention, the message emanating from the speeches AIPAC’s senior leadership delivered was that they still don’t get what happened.

And largely as a consequence, they do not understand the challenges they face as an organization moving forward. And again, since they don’t understand what happened, or what is happening, they are incapable of meeting today’s challenges to AIPAC’s mission in a constructive way.

In a 2014 article in Tablet online magazine, Lee Smith set out precisely what Obama was doing to AIPAC and what his motivations were. Smith’s article was published shortly after Obama brutally scuttled AIPAC’s attempt to lobby Democrats to support additional sanctions against Iran for its illicit nuclear program. In the course of the Obama’s White House’s onslaught against AIPAC, administration officials were quoted referring to AIPAC lobbyists as “warmongers” for seeking additional sanctions against Iran – sanctions that enjoyed the support of huge majorities of lawmakers in both parties and houses.

In the end, Obama strong-armed Democrats to oppose the sanctions bill. Republicans were willing to pass the sanctions without Democratic support, but AIPAC – in the name of bipartisanship – told the Republicans to lay off. In other words, AIPAC sacrificed its central goal and its credibility with Republican lawmakers to placate the White House, which had just used a veiled antisemitic slur to delegitimize AIPAC.

Moreover, as Smith noted, AIPAC’s refusal to strike out against the Democrats who abandoned their support for the sanctions bill exposed the lobby as a paper tiger. It was willing to sacrifice its credibility, its policy goals and its reputation as a powerful power broker to maintain the myth that there was no distinction between Republican and Democratic support for its signature initiative.

Smith argued that Obama didn’t attack AIPAC because he hated Israel per se. Rather, he did it because he opposed the foundational assumption of AIPAC’s entire existence.

Obama didn’t support the US alliance with Israel.

Obama supported a rapprochement with Iran, even if it came at Israel’s expense. Obama wasn’t pursuing his nuclear deal with Iran because he wanted to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

He was pursuing his nuclear deal with Iran because he wanted to develop an alliance with the Iranian regime even at the cost of harming Israel and the US’s Sunni allies and even at the cost of Iranian nuclear empowerment.

As Smith put it, Obama opposed the AIPAC-backed sanctions “because he agrees with academics like Stephen Walt and US policy-makers like his former secretary of defense Robert Gates and his current one Chuck Hagel that the pro-Israel lobby often prevents the United States from pursuing its national interests.”

Obama never admitted that his goal was the rapprochement with Iran regardless of its implications for Israel, for the Sunni Arab states and for Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. He couldn’t. The vast majority of Americans – including Democrats – opposed Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Indeed, at the time, a Pew survey showed 58% of Americans supported bombing Iran’s nuclear sites.

But the fact that Obama’s goal was rapprochement, not nuclear nonproliferation, was exposed by his opposition to the AIPAC-backed sanctions.

As AIPAC’s leaders argued at the time, if passed, the sanctions would have strengthened the US’s negotiating position. They were only supposed to be imposed if negotiations failed. Knowing that it faced the certain destruction of its economy if it failed to make the requisite concessions on uranium enrichment, nuclear inspections, and ballistic missile development would surely concentrate the minds of the Iranian negotiators, AIPAC argued, rationally.

Obama went to war against AIPAC to defeat the sanctions precisely because his goal wasn’t nuclear nonproliferation. Obama didn’t care what the agreement said. The purpose of the negotiations was to develop an alliance with the Iranians, not to keep them away from nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles.

But AIPAC refused to see what was happening and folded rather than confront Obama, betraying its Republican backers – in the interests of bipartisanship.

And then, in the summer of 2015, as the Senate debated his nuclear deal which ensured Iran would acquire nuclear weapons within 15 years while receiving the financial means to implement its hegemonic ambitions throughout the Middle East, Obama declared open war on AIPAC. He used National Security Agency wiretaps to spy on AIPAC lobbyists. Administration officials attacked Democratic lawmakers who opposed the nuclear deal, intimating that they were Israeli agents.

In a thuggish campaign laced with antisemitism, Obama made clear that there were two goals to his campaign: To secure Senate approval of his nuclear deal and to render AIPAC toxic for his partisan and ideological supporters.

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And to a significant degree, he succeeded. The post-Obama Democratic Party is more anti-Israel than it has ever been. Whereas in the past, presidential hopefuls from both parties courted AIPAC’s support while eagerly parading their pro-Israel bonafides, today’s Democratic presidential hopefuls are courting the anti-Israel factions in the party. Sens.

Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-New York) were once outspoken in their support for Israel. Last year, both announced their opposition to key pro-Israel bills.

Which brings us to this week’s AIPAC conference.

In his address, AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr placed AIPAC in opposition to both the Trump administration and the Israeli government on the issue of Palestinian statehood. The White House and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have refused to endorse Palestinians statehood as the preordained outcome of an eventual peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Most Israeli government ministers openly oppose Palestinian statehood.

But Kohr ignored them all.

“We must all work toward that future: two states for two peoples. One Jewish with secure and defensible borders, and one Palestinian with its own flag and its own future,” he said.

Netanyahu has explained repeatedly, and explained this week in Washington to the US media, that Israel cannot secure its territory without permanent security control over Judea and Samaria.

Kohr rejected Israel’s position.

“Israel’s security cannot be fully assured and her promise cannot be fully realized until she is at peace with all her neighbors,” he insisted.

Then Kohr said AIPAC’s position on Palestinian statehood is as central to AIPAC’s identity as its commitment to the enhancement of Israel’s military capabilities.

“Preparing for conflict may require forever vigilance. But working for peace demands forever faith – a faith that there is a future beyond bloodshed and war,” he said.

Why did AIPAC’s CEO use his speech before 18,000 pro-Israel activists to advocate a policy that neither the US government nor the Israeli government support? The answer is that Kohr’s statement wasn’t addressed to either Israel or the White House. It was directed to an audience that wasn’t in the room.

As a former senior official at AIPAC explained, Kohr undercut both the Israeli government and the Trump administration to court J Street supporters.

Kohr and AIPAC were telling J Street supporters that AIPAC is just as the pro-Palestinian state as J Street.

This is a counterproductive policy for two reasons.

First, J Street doesn’t have a lot of followers. J Street wasn’t formed, and it has never operated, as a means to convince pro-Israel lawmakers not to support Israel or pro-Israel activists not to support Israel.

J Street’s mission is to serve as a Jewish fig leaf for anti-Israel politicians and activists. It flourishes because of the radicalization of the Left and of factions of the Democratic Party. That radicalization has nothing to do with anything AIPAC did or anything AIPAC stands for.

AIPAC has no way of reaching forces that have embraced J Street as a fig leaf. They were never in the AIPAC tent, to begin with. If J Street hadn’t been created, then another Jewish fig leaf like Jewish Voices for Peace or Peace Now would have sufficed.

True, J Street presents itself as a left-wing alternative to AIPAC. But no one believes it is a pro-Israel organization. Everyone understands what this game is about.

And this brings us to the second reason AIPAC’s outreach to J Street supporters makes no sense. The radical Left is certainly the rising force in the Democratic Party. It may even have captured or been about to capture the majority of party members and party lawmakers.

But it isn’t the only force in the party. There are plenty of Democratic lawmakers who support Israel and don’t want to join the Keith Ellison faction of the party.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer spoke up for that pro-Israel faction of the party at the AIPAC convention this week. Schumer rejected one of the main articles of faith of Obama and the far Left – that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are the obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. “It’s sure not the settlements that are the blockage to peace,” he insisted.

AIPAC has a substantive case to make to Democrats.

And a lot of them will listen because they care about the issues and aren’t interested in becoming servants to the radical agenda being pushed by powerful elements in their party. They are willing to listen to AIPAC and support the US-Israel alliance because Israel’s case is stronger than the Palestinians’ case. And they would be happy if their faction of the party grew.

By aping J Street, AIPAC is making the same mistake it made with Obama. It is trying to win over those who will never join it, by abandoning its mission and its substantive goals. It does so while ignoring, and so weakening, the many Democrats who support its mission and goals, in the hopes of winning over Democrats who are hostile to its mission and its goals. AIPAC does this because it either doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to admit that this hostility from the far Left is not the result of a misunderstanding. Ellison, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and their supporters oppose AIPAC because they do understand AIPAC’s mission. And they oppose it.

AIPAC was always strong because most Americans always supported Israel. Most Americans – including many Democrats – still support Israel. For AIPAC to become relevant and respected again, its leaders need to cultivate its ties with those Americans – Republicans and Democrats alike – and not waste its energies and passions and national convention begging the minority of Americans who oppose Israel to love it.

Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post

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AIPAC Throws Israel Under the Bus

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 01:00

Each year, thousands of pro-Israel activists gather in Washington for the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference. Like a mini-Zionist amusement park, it offers attendees lots of thrills, hustle, and bustle as well as the opportunity to have an immersive and enjoyable experience.

But this week, at AIPAC’s most recent confab, Howard Kohr, the leader of the vaunted pro-Israel group, delivered remarks that were akin to a bolt of lightning striking the main roller coaster and setting it aflame.

In a speech that was otherwise passionate and persuasive in its defense of Israel and the strong bilateral relationship with the United States, Kohr said the following: “We must work toward that future, two states for two peoples – one Jewish with secure and defensible borders and one Palestinian with its own flag and its own future.”

So there you have it. On the eve of a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, the head of the most powerful Jewish organization in Washington threw Israel under the bus, declaring his support for dividing the Land of Israel, turning our backs on Jewish history and destiny, and enabling our foes to establish a hostile entity along the Jewish state’s borders.

While this is hardly the first time that AIPAC has publicly embraced Palestinian nationalism, what makes Kohr’s statement so shocking is just how detached it is from reality.

For as even he himself admitted in his speech, there has been “no Palestinian willingness to talk face-to-face” with Israel for the past eight years.

If the Palestinian leadership is not prepared to negotiate for statehood, then why on earth is AIPAC’s executive director insisting that Jews continue to work for the sake of a hopeless pipe dream? Furthermore, a recent survey conducted jointly by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians do not support the “two-state solution.” The poll, which was published in January, showed that just 26% of Palestinians think a peace agreement should be forged now, while 38% are in favor of the “armed struggle” against Israel.

In other words, more Palestinians prefer terrorism to peace talks.

These are simple, solid facts and they trump the airy wishful thinking of AIPAC’s executives, who need to come to terms with reality and accept that a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, like the return of Elvis or the discovery of Atlantis, is nothing more than fantasy.

Instead of continuing to parrot the same mantra, AIPAC should stop pushing for something that neither side wants and that has no chance of success, and focus its efforts on more pressing matters, of which there are many. These range from Iran’s nuclear program to Syria’s ongoing use of chemical weapons against its citizens to Lebanon’s continuing embrace of Hezbollah and its lethal arsenal.

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It is also worth noting that US Vice President Mike Pence and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley both spoke at the AIPAC conference, and neither of them endorsed the two-state solution.

So AIPAC is effectively pushing a policy that doesn’t represent the will of either Israelis or Palestinians nor even that of the administration in Washington.

This is particularly ironic because on AIPAC’s home page it declares, “support direct negotiations, not imposed solutions,” yet that doesn’t seem to stop the group from trying to impose its will on the Israeli public.

Some 30 years ago, as an undergraduate at Princeton University, I co-founded PIPAC, the AIPAC campus affiliate. I have great respect for much of the organization’s work as well as lots of criticism, which is precisely why I think it is so important for AIPAC to get with the program and stop promoting the failed ideas of the past.

The bottom line is that a number of AIPAC leaders reside in northern Virginia, which is over 6,000 miles away and beyond the reach of even the most advanced Palestinian rockets. As long as that is the case, they have no right to tell Israelis to withdraw from Judea and Samaria and ensconce the Palestinian threat even more firmly at our doorstep.

Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post

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Israel Considers Withdrawing Bid For UN Security Council Seat

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 01:00

Israel is considering whether to withdraw its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council that it had hoped to secure for the first time this June, with chances of winning considered slim.

To win the seat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel’s foreign minister, and Israel’s entire diplomatic establishment, would have to launch an aggressive campaign and meet with foreign dignitaries. Such a campaign has yet to be launched and sources in the Foreign Ministry say the chances of being selected have significantly decreased because the process will have begun so late.

The Security Council is comprised of five permanent members – U.S., Russia, China, France and the U.K. – and 10 nonpermanent members that are selected for two-year terms. Two nonpermanent members are selected from each one of the five regional blocs. Israel currently belongs to the 28-country Western Europe and Other Group, which is represented by Sweden and the Netherlands until the end of 2018.

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Previously, between 1949 and 2000, Israel belonged to the Asia-Pacific Group, where an Arab majority automatically opposed any effort on Israel’s behalf to serving on the council. In 2000, the U.N. agreed to shift Israel into the Western Europe and Other Group, allowing it to vie for one of the two spots reserved on the council for the bloc.

Germany and Belgium are currently vying for a seat against Israel. These countries rejected diplomatic efforts by Israeli representatives asking that they withdraw their candidacy. To win a seat, a country must receive at least two-thirds of the votes in the U.N. General Assembly, an unlikely prospect considering the assembly suffers a known anti-Israel bias spearheaded by the Palestinians and backed by the Arab League.

Israel has not officially announced its withdrawal and according to a senior official familiar with the matter, Netanyahu has not yet finalized his decision on the matter. But the Foreign Ministry has expressed a wish to quit the race because of the improbability of a win.

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Netanyahu Discusses Life in America as a Youth

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 00:00

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared details about living in the United States during his youth, in an interview with Fox News’ Mark Levin.

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After US Visit, Netanyahu Warns of Nuclearization in Middle East

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 11:00

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of potential nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, while addressing a weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“Many countries in the Middle East are saying that they are also allowed to enrich uranium if Iran is allowed to do so,” Netanyahu said.

“Therefore, the way to prevent this danger, the nuclearization of the Middle East, is to either thoroughly correct the agreement or abrogate it.”

Netanyahu said that he touched upon such issues in discussions with senior American officials during his trip to the United States last week.

“The diplomatic talks focused mainly on Iran,” Netanyahu noted. “I said that the nuclear agreement with Iran contains within it many dangers for the world, including the special danger of the nuclearization of the Middle East.”

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US President Donald Trump, who met with Netanyahu on Monday, has threatened to withdraw from the international nuclear agreement with Iran if the flaws in the deal do not get fixed. In the meantime, the US has reportedly embarked on a diplomatic effort to convince its European allies to help “improve” the agreement.

On Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to prevent the Iranian regime from ever acquiring the ability to destroy the Jewish state.

“Moreover, I remind you that Iran declares, on an almost daily basis – including recently, its intention to wipe out the State of Israel,” he said. “It is hardly worth saying that we will not allow this, to put it mildly.”

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IDF Catches Terrorists With Thermal Drone

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 09:00

A terrorist cell from the village of al-Khader on Monday threw Molotov cocktails at a road where tens of thousands of Israelis travel. Fighters from the Netz Company of the Nitzan Battalion of the Combat Gathering Corps identified the cell using a thermal hovercraft and captured them following a short chase.

In the documentation published by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, a terrorist is seen arriving with a squad from the village of al-Khader, north of the Efrat settlement, and throwing Molotov cocktails at Route 60, a major traffic artery.

The fighters ambushed the terrorists and identified them in real-time using a Matrice 100 drone carrying a thermal camera, while the terrorists were throwing Molotov cocktails. The fighters also used special helmet cameras that helped them locate the terrorists from the point of the ambush.

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Observers from the Etzion Regional Brigade directed the fighters who began chasing the terror cell on foot, and after only a few minutes managed to catch one terrorist and transfer him to the Shabak for interrogation.

IDF sources said that over the past year, the Nitzan Battalion’s soldiers have carried out about 90 successful ambushes, during which they foiled efforts to throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles.

The residents of Efrat, Beitar Ilit and nearby communities endure nightly attacks with stones and Molotov cocktails by the residents of the Husan and al-‘Arub villages, most of which end without casualties on the Israeli side. IDF sources noted that successful captures of stone throwers and Molotov cocktails have been carried out recently.

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Eating Less and Healthier with ‘Zen Eating’

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 07:30

Founder of Zen Eating, Scott Hirsch explains how his company is helping people to eat less and healthier.

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