Iraq says it will not partake in Bahrain summit

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 11:34

The news comes just one day after Jordan, Egypt and Morocco announced that they will join Saudi Arabia and Gulf States at the summit on June 25-26 aimed at supporting the Palestinian economy.

U.S. sanctions Iraq-based company, says it backs Iran's IRGC

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 11:16

Washington previously sanctioned Iran's elite IRGC in April, designating it a terrorist organization in an unprecedented move.

Voices from the Arab Press: Israel responsible for Palestinian refugees

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 10:37

It was only in recent years that the ‘Beyond Zionism’ Israeli academic movement began stripping the Israeli refugee narrative of its lies.

Yemeni minister warns against ignoring Iran’s death threats

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 10:15

In an exclusive sit-down, Moammar al-Eryani discusses Yemen’s ongoing civil war and insists Baghdad’s anti-US, Israel chants need to be taken seriously

Israeli War Veteran Finds His Savior After 46 Year Search

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 09:59

An Israeli soldier survives a deadly attack in the Yom Kippur War thanks to the efforts of a dedicated doctor. His search for his savior finally bears fruit after a nearly 50 year search.

Syrian Drone Enters Israeli Air-Space From Lebanon

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 09:31

Israeli air-force jets scrambled when a small drone entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon.

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“Moments ago, IDF troops spotted a drone from Lebanese territory that entered the airspace of the State of Israel and then returned to Lebanese territory. The drone was tracked by the troops,” the army said in a statement, adding that the drone was sent to monitor Israeli troop movements.

The drone incident took place just a few hours after Syrian state media reported that Israel fired several missiles toward the town of al-Harra just across the Golan Heights border. Syria’s official SANA news outlet also reported Israel had jammed Syrian air defense radars in the area in an act of electronic warfare.

Earlier this month, two rockets were fired from Syria toward Israel’s Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights.

In February 2018, an Israeli Apache helicopter shot down an Iranian drone launched from Syria that was allegedly armed. Two IAF pilots were injured after their F-16 was shot down during a retaliatory strike targeting the airfield from which the drone originated.

Israeli Researchers Show How Fatty Liver Disease Can Be Reversible

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 09:02

If your protruding belly is preventing you from seeing your toes, you may be a candidate for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is potentially very dangerous and may progress to scarring and irreversible damage to the vital organ – and even liver cancer.

That’s the bad news. But there is good news about fatty liver disease. With a proper diet, exercise, reducing the amount of fat in liver cells and weight loss, the condition can be reversible.

A team of researchers headed by Prof. Iris Shai of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba has used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to map body fat. The study, recently published in the Journal of Hepatology, mapped fat deposits in the bodies of hundreds of patients and measured the effects of a variety of diet regimes on their fat deposits over a long period of time. 

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The research team, which included scientists from Leipzig University in Germany and Harvard University in Massachusetts, collaborated with Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba and with the Nuclear Research Center – Negev (NRCN). They found that a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet had a greater effect on reducing fat in the liver, around the heart and in the pancreas, as compared to low-fat diets with similar calorie counts – despite the fact that the level of weight loss was similar. The team also found that moderate physical exercise reduced the stores of fat in the stomach that are called visceral fat.

The various fat deposits reacted differently to different interactions: Together with moderate weight loss, the amount of liver fat was cut by 30%, fat around the heart decreased by 11% (about 70 cc reduction in volume) and visceral fat was reduced by 25%. Pancreatic and muscle fat was reduced by only one to two percent.

The researchers reported that the dramatic 30% reduction in liver fat combined with moderate weight loss are a key element in reducing health risks associated with obesity over the long-term. They also proved that reduction in liver fat is a better predictor of long-term health than reduction of visceral fat, which was previously believed to be the main predictor.

As a group, obese people are at higher risk of a variety of diseases than thin people, particularly heart disease, cardiovascular complications and Type-2 diabetes. However, with the growth in obesity rates around the world – some 24% of Israeli and more than 40% of American adults are overweight – it turns out that the risk that accompanies obesity is more characteristic of certain sub-groups of obese individuals than others.

Therefore, one of the most important challenges researchers face today is identifying the sub-groups or “types” of obesity in the population, and developing treatments with a goal of improving their health.

For example, it turns out that when fat deposits are stored in the abdomen, there is a greater risk of “cardio-metabolic “disease than when the excess fat is stored under the skin. This understanding, alongside other characteristics of visceral fat, suggested that this type of fat is a central cause of obesity-related illness and that the effectiveness of a variety of treatments should be tested for their specific abilities to reduce visceral fat deposits. 

While fat accumulates in the abdomen region, the percentage of fat in the liver also rises in most obese people. The impact of this buildup is still a matter of debate (the classic ‘chicken-and-the-egg’ dilemma of which came first. There is still no agreement whether fatty liver disease is a disease of its own, and many experts believe that without further changes to the liver, like development of infections and/or fibrosis (development of proteins outside cells), there is no significant health risk). Therefore, there are currently no treatments specifically intended to treat fatty liver, other than general advice to lose weight.

The findings, said the researchers, significantly contribute to the emerging understanding that for many obese people, excess liver fat is not merely a sign of health risks associated with obesity, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but is likely also a cause.

The research team tested the significance of reducing liver fat (in contrast to abdominal fat) by comparing the results of some 300 overweight people who followed two reduced-calorie diet regimes – a Mediterranean diet of vegetables and fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains and fish, and a low-fat diet. Following the subjects for a period of 18 months, the team showed that changing their respective nutrition habits were consistent with the trial groups to which they were randomly assigned.  

In addition, each participant was subjected to a full-body MRI exam for analyzing the distribution of body fat before, during and after the trial period.

The “CENTRAL” study is believed to break significant ground towards developing personalized nutritional protocols to address a variety of specific fat deposits using MRI technology, the most precise method now available for mapping and quantifying fat deposits throughout the human body and for understanding their significance and the role they play.

The study, unprecedented in both its length and breadth, contributes a vast database, consisting of thousands of body images for finding and mapping fat deposits in the human body (it turns out that during a person’s lifetime, fat cells move among various body parts, and that fat plays a variety of health roles, from defense to neutral to poisonous). By following the extent and breadth of these changes over time the researchers, who have developed technologies to quantify specific types of fats, have now paved the way for deeper, more precise understanding of the dynamics of weight loss during a diet period.

“Healthful nutrition, while also maintaining consistent, moderate weight loss, has a much more dramatic impact on levels of body fat related to diabetes, heart disease and cardio-vascular disease than we previously thought,” noted Shai. “This study could help hone future medical protocols to make them more specifically appropriate for particular types of fat being treated and preferred strategies.”

Prof. Ilan Shelef, director of imaging at Soroka, added, “This study supports other recent studies that demonstrate the precision of MRI technology in measuring fat quantities in the liver. At the same time, the development of similar technologies that could one day present alternatives to taking liver biopsies from patients and will allow repeat measurements in order to adjudicate a particular obese patient’s level of health risk, as well as his/her response to treatment.”

Currently the group is completing an additional clinical trial that will consider the question of whether a green Mediterranean diet (a proposed improved version of the Mediterranean diet, rich in polyphenols derived from green plants) has an advantage in influencing liver fat and other body systems like the brain, genome, microbiome, heart and other fat deposits. This clinical trial will join an impressive list of nutrition trials led by Prof. Shai that are unprecedented in their scope, length of study and the use of groundbreaking technology to answer questions about basic nutrition. These trials have already played an important role in undermining conventions and transforming medical protocols around the world.

Yair Netanyahu: “Trump is a Rock Star!”

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 08:30

While on a visit to the U.S., Yair Netanyahu, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 27-year-old son, expressed high-praise for President Trump, saying Israelis considered the U.S. president to be “a rock star.”

In an interview with Blaze TV released on Tuesday and set to be aired on Wednesday, Yair was asked about the media’s portrayal of Trump as an antisemite.

“President [Donald] Trump is the best friend that Israel and the Jewish people have ever had in the White House and will be remembered in Jewish history forever,” Yair Netanyahu said.  “The Jewish people still remember King Cyrus the Great from Persia, who recognized Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. So we have a long-term memory.”

Cyrus, a non-Jewish king, gave his permission to the exiled Jews to return to Israel, ending the 70 years of Babylonian Exile. He also facilitated the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

“The vast majority of Israelis adore America and adore President Trump,” Yair said. “He’s a real rock star in Israel.”

The son of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, @YairNetanyahu, tells @MillerStream that @realDonaldTrump is a ROCK STAR in Israel.

The full interview airs TOMORROW only on BlazeTV:

— BlazeTV (@BlazeTV) June 10, 2019

Yair Netanyahu was, of course, referring to Trump’s order to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Trump displayed his strong alliance with Israel by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

David Rubin, former Mayor of Shiloh and the author of the new book Trump and the Jews responded to the comments.

“Yair was right,” Rubin told Breaking Israel News. “Israelis across the political spectrum appreciate the many ways that Trump has strengthened the US-Israel relationship.

The young Netanyahu was also asked to compare the wall on Israel’s border with Egypt to the border separating U.S. and Mexico. Yair explained that Israel had a serious problem with illegal immigration until a wall was built.

“Israel is only eight million people, so tens of thousands even hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants eventually would have (lead) to the destruction of Israel. So in 2011 we built a wall, coast to coast, on the border with Egypt and since the wall was completed the illegal immigration has completely stopped.”

“Since we built a wall, the illegal immigration has completely stopped,” Netanyahu said.

Iraqis remember ISIS massacres five years later

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 07:52

The shocking takeover of a large part of central and western Iraq by Islamic State in 2014 haunts people today across the country.


Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 07:33

This psalm contrasts the language of the wicked, who speak duplicitously with a forked tongue, with the pure unadulterated words of God. To express the level of purity of Hashem’s words, the verse uses the metaphor of metal mined from the earth, which goes through seven stages of refinement in order to arrive at a level of purity worthy of a precious metal. It is not surprising that the psalmist would be aware of the process of metallurgy. Archaeology at Timna Park in southern Israel reveals evidence of copper mining going back thousands of years. In 1959, an archeo-metallurgical expedition under the leadership of Dr. Beno Othenberg began, and ultimately revealed over 10,000 copper mines in the southern Arava region of Israel. More contemporary discoveries date some of the mines to the eleventh to ninth centuries BCE, which coincides with the period of the Israelite kingdom.

Expert: “No One Expected Iran to Honor the Agreement”

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 07:08

Dr. Martin Sherman, Founder & Executive Director of the  Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, said in an interview with ILTV, “I don’t think anyone with eyes in their head expected Iran to honor the agreement, even the people who signed the agreement in 2015. They knew Iran would violate the terms. They just hoped it wouldn’t be too blatant.”

Iran Increases Production of Low-Enriched Uranium, According to IAEA

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 06:37

Iran has increased its uranium enrichment since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, warned the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.

However, while IAEA chief Yukiya Amano informed reporters about this development, he noted, “I did not say Iran is implementing [the JCPOA], but I did not say Iran is not implementing either.”

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Newsweek reported that “Amano specifically said that the country had increased its production of low-enriched uranium, the type of uranium that is used for producing nuclear energy. Low-enriched uranium has between 3 and 4 percent concentration of the isotope U-235. Weapons-grade uranium, however, is around 90 percent enriched. Still, Iran shipped 98 percent of its enriched uranium out of the country as part of the nuclear deal, even the low-enriched uranium.”

Monday’s development echoed former IAEA deputy Olli Heinonen’s warning last week that Iran could enrich enough uranium for a nuclear bomb within six to eight months.

“Iran is actually weaponizing uranium enrichment without making a weapon,” he said on Israel’s Army Radio, adding that based on his “perhaps back-of-the-envelope” estimate, Iran could acquire an enriched nuclear weapon in six to eight months “if they put in their maximum effort.”

Meanwhile, the United States, as part of its maximum pressure campaign against Iran, is considering sanctions against the Special Trade and Finance Institute, the regime’s counterpart to the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, or Instex, a financial mechanism, created by the United Kingdom, France and Germany to evade U.S. economic penalties on Tehran, reported Bloomberg on Monday, citing a senior administration official.

The Special Trade and Finance Institute is an extension of Iran’s central bank, which is already under U.S. sanctions.

Barbara Slavin, who leads the Atlantic Council’s Future Iran Initiative, told JNS that these developments are “not surprising as it is exactly what Iran said it would do after the US announced a complete embargo on Iran’s sale of oil.”

“Iran has not yet breached the limits set in the Iran nuclear deal of 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium but will continue to increase its stockpile in part to pressure the European Union to operationalize a trading mechanism with Iran. The deadline Iran set is July 7. So the ball is now in Europe’s court,” she continued. “We also need to see if the Trump administration will sanction the Iranian entity created to trade with INSTEX, the E.U. vehicle.”

US Reps Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Purchase Iron Dome Air-Defense System

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 06:27

U.S. Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Representative Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) introduced on Monday the U.S.-Israel Indirect Fire Protection Act of 2019 to authorize the Secretary of the Army to procure for the U.S. military two Iron Dome short-range air-defense-system batteries.

“Iron Dome is a proven defense system that will provide increased protection for our troops in the field,” said Sherrill. “Access to this technology addresses critical gaps in our current capabilities. It is an important interim step as we invest in the future of our military, and I’m glad to join with Representative Wilson, my colleague on the Armed Services Committee, to introduce this bill.”

AIPAC told JNS on Tuesday that it supports the measure.

At an April 2 hearing by the House Armed Services Committee, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley said “the Iron Dome is a very capable system. It has basically a 100 percent track record in combat. We clearly need it to protect our formations.”

Iron Dome system is manufactured by Raytheon and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

The U.S. Marine Corps has expressed interest in acquiring the anti-missile defense system, which has an almost 90 percent success rate, reported Marine Corps Times.

Democrat Presidential Candidate Promises to Revive Iran Nuclear Deal, Cut Military Aid to Israel

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 06:17

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, criticized U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday for withdrawing from the 2015 Iran deal in May 2018, saying that it was “close to a true ‘art of the deal,’ ” a reference to one of the president’s books.

“Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons should remain a core tenet of our global leadership,” said Buttigieg, 37, in a speech focused on foreign policy and national security at the University of Indiana in Bloomington. “For this reason, I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal.”

“Whatever its imperfections, this was perhaps as close to a true ‘art of the deal’ as it gets,” he said. “As even this administration repeatedly certified it was preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It has helped constrain the military threat that Iran poses to Israel and Europe without leading up down a path to another Middle Eastern war. This agreement was concluded not to do Iran a favor, but because it is in our national security interest, just as a parallel policy of confronting Iran’s support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record reflects our values and security interests.”

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Beside Buttigieg, other candidates who said they would re-enter the United States into the Iran deal include Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii); former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson; and Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Fla.

Additionally, Buttigieg, who is running fourth in a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN poll, warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against fulfilling his campaign promise to annex parts of Judea and Samaria.

“If Prime Minister Netanyahu makes good on his threat to annex West Bank settlements, he should know that a President Buttigieg would take steps to ensure that American taxpayers won’t help foot the bill,” he declared.

Regarding the U.S.-Israel relationship, the candidate said, “The closer an ally, the more important it is that we speak truth to them. The security and survival of the democratic state of Israel has been and continues to be an essential tenet of U.S. foreign policy and is very much in our national interest, which is why neither American nor Israeli leaders should play personal politics with the security of Israel and its neighbors.

“Just as an American patriot may oppose the policies of the American president,” he continued, “a supporter of Israel may also oppose the policies of the Israeli right-wing government, especially when we see increasingly disturbing signs that the Netanyahu government is turning away from peace.”

Natan Sharansky: From Prisoner of Zion to Guardian of Zion

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 06:02

When Anatoly Shcharansky – a “Prisoner of Zion” who struggled for the freedom of Soviet Jews to go to Israel – was sentenced in 1978 by a Moscow to 13 years’ imprisonment on trumped-up charges of high treason, espionage and anti-government activity, he thought about what to say to the judges in his defense.

He was sure he would be jailed for many years, tortured and maybe even never to be heard of again. In fact, he was about to serve nine years in a Soviet forced-labor camp, including many years in solitary confinement and 405 days in punishment cells. His words of protest at his trial would be disseminated by friends – who stored in their memories for several days what he said because they could not record them – until they could make contact with the Western media.

“I knew I had to be very short, said Natan Sharansky (his Hebrew name for the last 33 years) in Jerusalem this week. “ I could have repeated famous words such ‘Let my people go!’ or ‘Never Again.’ But I said: “For 2,000 years, my people – spread all over the world – were saying: ‘Leshana haba’a Biyerushalayim, Next Year in Jerusalem. And today I say, ‘Next Year in Jerusalem.’ ”

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The longtime Prisoner of Zion has become a “Guardian of Zion,” the 23rd annual recipient of a distinguished prize from the Faculty of Jewish Studies and the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University.

Former Soviet refusenik and prisoner, Israeli politician, human rights activist and author Natan Sharansky with his wife Avital after his release from prison in the Soviet Union. He landed in Israel on February 11, 1986. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90.

Standing this week in Jerusalem’s dazzling King David Hotel overlooking the Old City among other former Prisoners of Zion, he looked with love and appreciation at his wife Avital. They had been married in a friend’s apartment in a religious ceremony not recognized by the government, as the USSR recognized only civil marriages. Avital had to leave the Soviet Union the night after their wedding in 1974, just before her exit visa expired.

In the 1970s and 1980s, she defied her shyness and led an extended public campaign to free him, meeting with prominent government leaders in the US and around the world. In 1979, she published a book on the couple’s struggle entitled Next Year in Jerusalem.

Former Soviet refusenik and prisoner, Israeli politician, human rights activist and author Natan Sharansky with Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon after his release from prison in the Soviet Union. He landed in Israel on February 11, 1986. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90

Sharansky was the first political prisoner released by Mikhail Gorbachev due to intense political pressure from Ronald Reagan, freed from Soviet incarceration as part of a prisoner exchange that took place in freezing winter weather on the Glienicke Bridge between East and West Berlin. Sharansky was reunited with his devoted wife in Jerusalem in 1986, and they became the parents of two girls, Rachel and Hannah, who have since bestowed upon them several grandchildren.

Also present at the dinner was Bar-Ilan University president Prof. Arie Zaban, former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Prisoner of Zion and now-Knesset Speaker Yoel (Yuli) Edelstein and other previous recipients of the Rennert award. Warm greetings were sent by Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin (who is in mourning for his wife Nechama, who died of a lung disease a day before her 74th birthday last week).

Sharansky, who spoke spontaneously in English, dedicated his words to Hillel Butman, the founder of the first Zionist youth movement in Leningrad in 1966 who had hoped to attend the dinner but died just two weeks ago in Israel; he was a pioneer, as it was only in 1967, as a result of the Six Day War, that Soviet Jews became aware of their heritage.

Butman, who was expelled from the Leningrad police force for associating with pro-Israeli Jews, joined in the formation in 1966 of an underground Zionist organization aimed at “awakening the consciousness of Soviet Jews.” With other members, he secretly taught Hebrew and circulated Jewish literature. The group also conceived a daring plan, code-named Operation Wedding, to hijack a plane to Israel to dramatize the desire of Soviet Jews to emigrate to the Jewish homeland. The jet heist was aborted in 1970, but Butman was arrested by the KGB, charged with treason and sentenced to 10 years in the Gulag forced-labor camp. After serving nine years, Butman was deported to Israel; his daughter Geula was born here and gave him grandchildren.

Sharansky and Butman were imprisoned for a time in adjacent cells but unable to speak to each other. They communicated by tapping Morse code on the pipes connected to their toilets and even managed to play virtual chess games without pieces by using the code.

“I want to express my awe, my feeling of humility,” said Sharansky in still-heavily-accented English at the dinner. “It is so difficult to speak about something so great as Jerusalem.” Born in the anti-religion and anti-Semitic Soviet Union in 1945, Sharansky had no circumcision and did not celebrate any of the Jewish holidays.

But his national feelings were aroused when he saw soldiers with tears in their eyes at the Western Wall after they recaptured it in 1967. “The Temple Mount is in our hands.” He heard on the radio the joyous words of Colonel Mordechai Gur, who commanded the brigade that penetrated the Old City of Jerusalem, The Temple Mount is in our hands.”

Other human rights activists asked him: “How did you Jews do it in only a few days?” He didn’t even know what the Temple Mount was, Sharansky recalled. “Then I started reading about my people. I discovered that we could be free and started to say publicly that we want to be part of the story of the Jewish People and get our freedom.

Once in Israel, he established a political party, Yisrael Ba’Aliya, with Edelstein, that would appeal to immigrants of former Soviet Jews and promote their absorption into Israeli society. The party won seven Knesset seats in 1996 and six seats in 1999. Sharansky served as a minister in Israeli governments three times, but he resigned in 2000 in response to suggestions that then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s negotiations with the Palestinians would result in a division of Jerusalem.

After Ariel Sharon won a special election for Prime Minister in 2001, the party joined his new government and was again given two ministerial posts. When, in the 2003 elections, his party was reduced to just two seats, Sharansky resigned from the Knesset, to be replaced by Edelstein. After his party merged with the Likud, he again became a minister but resigned in April 2005 to protest against plans to withdraw from Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. In June 2009, Sharansky was elected chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, where he served until his retirement last year.

“Today, our enemies who hate us as Jews or Israelis are very dangerous. The hate comes from both left and the right,” he noted at the Guardian of Zion dinner. “Jews must face the threat together or our disagreements will become so big that we are blind to antisemitism.”

Jewish intellectuals abroad “view Israel as problematic and are concerned with the Palestinians. They say they are not anti-Semites but only oppose Israeli policies. Jewish students on campuses in the West are under tremendous pressure. Those on the right include some great supporters of Israel but there are also anti-Semites.”

Sharansky concluded by urging pro-Israeli organizations and individuals on the right to speak out against antisemitism on that end of the political spectrum, and those on the left to speak out against hate on the other end.

Beit Hadassah: Women and Children Winning the War for Jewish Return to the City of the Patriarchs

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 05:33

A powerful ceremony took place in Beit Shalom in Hebron on Tuesday evening, commemorating how 40 years ago, a small group of women and children paved the way for the restoration of the Jewish community in Hebron. The event was well-attended but the story behind the gathering is truly remarkable.

Jews have lived in Hebron since Abraham purchased the Cave of the Patriarchs but in 1929, Arabs, driven by false rumors that Jews were planning to seize control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, perpetrated a violent pogrom, killing 67 Jews and wounding 70 more. Homes were pillaged and synagogues ransacked. Brtish mandate authorities evacuated the remaining 435 Jews soon after the Arab violence. any returned in 1931, but almost all were evacuated at the outbreak of the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine. In 1948, the city was occupied by Jordan and Jews were forbidden from entering their second holiest city.

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Even after Israel conquered the city in the 1967 Six-Day War, Jews were reluctant to settle in the largest Arab city in Judea and Samaria due to its history of Arab violence.  In Passover 1968, some Jews led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger rented the Arab-owned Park Hotel for Passover Seder. After the holiday, they remained in the hotel, eventually moving into the IDF military compound. This group established Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron.

There was still no real Jewish community of Hebron. Abraham Franco wanted to change this.  His grandfather, Chief Rabbi Haim Rahamim Yosef Franco, founded the Chesed L’Avraham Hospital in 1893. Despite serving both Arabs and Jews, the hospital had been the focus of some of the worst Arab violence in 1929. Abraham gave the deed to the property to a group of Jews who wanted to resettle Hebron but due to the hostile conditions and lukewarm support from the Israeli government, Hebron remained empty of Jews.

Finally, in June of 1979, a group of ten women and 40 children led by Rabbi Levinger’s wife, Miriam, entered the building in secret in the middle of the night. They camped out in Beit Hadassah. They remained in difficult conditions, surrounded by Arabs and isolated, for one year, essentially under siege. No one was allowed to enter the building and anyone who left the building was prevented by the IDF from returning. Food was smuggled in.

Government debates were held over whether a pregnant woman who left for treatment would be allowed to return. A teacher was refused access to her students inside the building.

Men from the yeshiva in Kiryat Arba would come to pray and sing outside Beit Hadassah on Friday nights to encourage the women. One Friday night in 1980, Palestinian terrorists attacked the praying men with guns and hand grenades, killing six. After the attack, the Israeli government issued zoning permits to make residency in Beit Hadassah permanent.

One of the terrorists, Tayseer Abu Sneineh, was arrested and convicted but later released in a prisoner exchange deal. He was elected mayor of the Palestinian Authority-controlled side of Hebron in 2017.

Eventually, their husbands joined them. In 1980 Beit Hadassah, along with the Hason and Castel family homes, were rebuilt and the new families were able to have a sense of normalcy.

The renovated Beit Hadassah was inaugurated in 1986 and an adjacent residential structure was completed in 1999, called Beit HaShisha, in memory of the six people killed in the ambush.

Today, about 30 Jewish families live in these buildings which now include a synagogue, museum, playground, and guesthouse areas. About 1,000 Israelis live in the Hebron’s old quarter. The Israeli military controls about 20percent of Hebron to protect the settlers, with the rest of the city under control of the Palestinian Authority.

About 7,500 Jews live in the suburb of Kiryat Arba. Another 7,000 Israelis live in the dozen communities that dot the Hebron Hills Regional Council.

Iran scrambles to lift petrochemical sales as sanctions hammer oil

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 02:10

Tehran has been selling increased volumes of petrochemical products at below market rates, in countries including Brazil, China and India, since the United States reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil.

A Movement of Professional Victims and Conspiracy Theories

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 02:00

Every movement has a mission statement. “Make America Great Again” is the conservative one. (It’s the “Again” part that makes it conservative.) The enemies of making America great have one too.

If the radicals had red hats, they would say, “They’re Out To Get You.”

TOTGY has been the leftist motto since before Marx learned to shave and then decided to stop doing it. The arc of history may bend toward many places, but the black rainbow serviced by a snarling leprechaun with a PhD and a cocaine problem always begins and ends in the same paranoid place.

They’re destroying the planet. They’re hoarding all the wealth. They start all the wars. They’re dividing the country. They’re killing kids in schools. They’re conspiring with the Russians. They killed JFK.

The Democrats crave inspirational leaders for the same reason that alcoholics need mouthwash. It covers up the ugly stench. Lefties love packaging their hateful ravings, paranoid delusions and plans for world domination with moving soliloquies about everyone coming together to make a difference.

So far coming together and making a difference has killed approximately 200 million people.

Between Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Jim Jones, more people have been killed by lefties coming together and making a difference than by AIDS and the Ebola virus combined. Every day the media warns about the threat of unvaccinated children in school spreading measles. There are far more American children infected with the disease that piled up skulls in Cambodia and filled the Russian tundra with mass graves, that starved Chinese peasants to death and served poisoned Kool-Aid to American children.

Schools spread the infection like wildfire and the only vaccine against it isn’t allowed on school grounds.

What killed all those people is a mental bacillus that can be examined under a microscope. It has cilia, no spine and whispered its sour nothings in the ears of commissars and soldiers, of peasants and workers, of Brother Number Three and a thousand frenzied schoolchildren beating their teachers to death.

The thing it whispered in their ears was, “They’re out to get you.”

Normal people do not murder their neighbors for wearing glasses. They do not sink them in boats weighed down with stones. They do not inform on their parents or poison their own children.

But they can be convinced to do these things once they’ve come together to make a difference.

Why do lefties keep coming together to make a difference? Because they’re fighting an unjust society. And what makes the society unjust and in need of fighting with protests, bombs and gulags?

They’re out to get you.

All leftist credos begin with the conviction of a powerful conspiracy against the groups of people they hope to recruit, a conspiracy that is as implausible as it is unsustainable, which can only end in genocide or social transformation. Somehow the Left usually manages to fit both into its busy schedule.

First, it was class. The capitalist pigs, the factory owners, like the Engels family, were maintaining a permanent underclass while reaping all the profits. Mankind was doomed to live in a Dickensian novel of starving orphans cowering beneath puffing smokestacks unless the proletariat rose up in a revolution. Then it was going to be a racial war and now, finally the capitalists are plotting to destroy the planet.

Like any good conspiracy theory, the “they” keep changing. So does the “You”.

One day, it’s the evil factory owners keeping the working class down. The next day it’s the racist working-class whites keeping black people down. And then it’s the homophobic blacks keeping gay people down. And then it’s the Islamophobic gays keeping Muslims down.

Finally, it’s everyone destroying the planet by driving cars without buying carbon credits from Al Gore.

Intersectionality means that everyone is a “You” and a “They”. Everyone has cause to hate and fear, and to be hated and feared. There is no such thing as being too paranoid about identity politics.

In identity politics, the only question is are you paranoid enough?

As with all murderous ideologies, the conspiracy theories begin with conscious actions and end with subconscious crimes. A list of specific charges concludes with one unforgivable offense. Existence.

The final verdict is death.

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What sort of monsters go around killing millions? The same sorts of little monsters who shout down professors, assault speakers, and expect an imminent apocalypse if they don’t get their way.


To believe that, “they are out to get you”, you need to be a victim.

To be a victim isn’t to experience suffering or to survive a horrifying act of violence. It is to be convinced that the world is an unfair place and it can only be made fair when those responsible are put down.

Or, as they call it, social justice.

Every genocide begins with a conspiracy theory. So does victimhood. The conspiracy theory claims that utopia would be possible, but the bad people insist on selfishly ruining it for everyone. In Rwanda, the bad people were the Tutsis. In Nazi Germany, they were the Jews. In America, they’re everyone.

Racism has its limits. After applying enough DNA tests, there’s someone a racist won’t kill. But when everyone is complicit in the intersectional crimes of everyone else, and, the destruction of the planet, who is really innocent? Killings in leftist societies don’t stop when they run out of people to kill. They only end when the machine runs out of executioners to shoot, beat, torture and mutilate them.

And human nature, being what it is in both evil and goodness, they eventually do.

There comes a point when killing people no longer makes anyone feel good. And that’s when the People’s Republic of Killingstan settles down to a steady decline into corruption and decay like an old gangster passing away his remaining years in a drunken haze to make the time go by more quickly.

The old gangsters died off in Russia and China, and, more recently in Cuba and Venezuela. They’re even showing signs of passing on in North Korea. Human evil is more finite than human good. And weaker.

America’s gangsters have yet to grow old and they haven’t tasted blood in a long time.

Their message, the one that gets neighbors to smash each other’s heads and sons to turn on fathers, is broadcast on every channel and taught in every school. It’s hummed in songs and made into movies.

“They’re out to get you.”

The conspiracy is all the more compelling for being nebulous, shapeless and formless. The villains are oil companies and the working class. At any moment, the progressive male college student can become a rapist. Bigotry is in our subconscious. Carbon is exhaled in our every breath. The enemy is everywhere.

Once upon a time, the conspiracies were simple. Now we live in a world haunted by our own demons.

The crime was never truly capitalism or bigotry. It was human nature. And human nature was also the motive. “They’re out to get you,” is the primal paranoid idea of politics. It taps into the part of our brain that ran from wolves or killed them. The wolves have become men. And sometimes we are them.

Leftist politics is another means of justifying the robbery and abuse of your neighbors. Its sense of oppression is just entitlement misspelled. Its targets are guilty because the perpetrators are greedy.

Cain was the first Communist. He killed Abel because he worked harder and believed in G-d.

When G-d tried to tell the first murderer that the evil was not in his brother, it was in him, he didn’t listen. Modern lefties refuse to listen to this central message of religion, that we fix the world by fixing ourselves, rather than fixing ourselves by remaking the world in our own broken image.

The mark of Cain is a red flag. Where you see it, socialism and spilled blood soon follow. A layer cake of academic theories and violent outrage are used as masks for the same old evils of envy and hate.

And so millions of leftists are coming together to make a difference in America by rioting, punching, deplatforming, firing, harassing, and suppressing, spying on their political opponents, murdering babies and reminding us that they’re a deadlier outbreak than any disease to hit this country in a century.

The cries of, “justice”, really mean power. And the cries of, “change”, really mean murder.

Utopia won’t build itself.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

Alumni of Elite Programs Launch Effort to Privatize Mideast Peace Process

Jerusalem Post - Middle East News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 01:59

Kellogg Executive MBA grads try T-Shirt Diplomacy to inject missing trust

Israelis Should Not Celebrate U.S. Ambassador’s Talk of West Bank Annexation

Breaking Israel News - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 01:00

In certain circumstances, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said last week, Washington would recognize the annexation of Palestinian territories by Israel.

As expected, Friedman’s comments led to fierce criticism. The Palestinians already call him the “settler spokesman.”

But in fact, instead of blaming the settlers, the Palestinians can only blame themselves. And given that we are in the era of “narratives,” namely, lies that pretend to be history, we should pay attention to the facts.

The Palestinians have rejected every proposal that would lead to them having a state. The Peel Commission of 1937 offered the Jews just four percent of the land designated for the Jewish National Home by the League of Nations’ 1922 Mandate for Palestine and 17 percent of the Land of Israel west of the Jordan River. The Arab side said no.

In 1947, the United Nations proposed a Jewish state on 55 percent of Western Palestine. The Arab side said no. The ensuing War of Independence ended with 78 percent of the Land of Israel in the hands of the Jews.

In 1967, immediately after the Six-Day War, the idea arose to offer the Arabs all the territories captured in the war in exchange for peace. The Arab side responded with the infamous “three nos” of Khartoum.

It seems therefore that the main factor in annexation – as far as the expansion of the Jewish entity can be called annexation – is Arab rejectionism. They have said no, over and over again, and as a result lost more and more territory.

Now the Palestinians are demanding the 1967 lines, which were so vehemently rejected in the past. But when you do give it to them – they don’t want to take it.

In the past two decades, there were further proposals that gave the Palestinians 95 percent of the territories – from President Bill Clinton in late 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama in 2014.

According to every peace proposal, the major settlement blocs – which comprise about five percent of the West Bank – will remain in Israeli hands. If this is the definition of annexation, then Friedman did not say anything new. The point is, it is not clear what Friedman did mean.

Is this annexation in the vein of the peace proposals, or annexation as imagined by the Yesha Council of Settlers? The former is completely legitimate, but only within the framework of an arrangement.

The second option would be a disaster that would lead to Israel’s destruction. I suspect that Friedman, however, did mean the latter.

Palestinian rejectionism is leading the slow march toward the common solution of the extreme right and the anti-Israel left – a single big country.

Donald Trump, at the beginning of his tenure, did not reject the idea of a single state, and now Friedman has poured oil on that fire. And the blame is placed on the Palestinians.

But the Palestinians are achieving their goal. True, they derided and rejected Friedman, but declarations of annexation both from Israel and the U.S. serve their purpose.

Senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ziyad said in response to Friedman that annexation should happen, but it should be annexation of all of the territories in order to create a bi-national state.

Friedman’s statement, therefore, is no cause for Israeli celebration; it is cause for concern.

Reprinted with author’s permission from YNet News