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Sanders, Warren, other Democrat Senators call on US to give Palestinian Authority and Hamas $75 million

As the economic crisis created by the coronavirus deepens, it is astounding that these Senators think this is a good use of the taxpayers’ money. Once this money arrived in the PA and Gaza, it would be used almost exclusively to line the pockets of various officials and to pay expenses related to the ongoing jihad against Israel.

“As Americans go Broke, Sanders Demands Taxpayers Give Hamas $75 Million,” by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News, March 29, 2020 (thanks to the Geller Report):

A group of Democratic senators called for the U.S. State Department to reverse its policy and give funding to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that the government reverse its policy and resume giving monetary aid to the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas-led government in Gaza.

“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” the letter read.

The Democratic politicians seek to squeeze $75 million in aid to the Hamas-led government in Gaza and the PA in Judea and Samaria under the guise of the FY 2020 Appropriations Act.

It should be noted that President Trump slashed funding to the PA in 2018 as per the Taylor Force Act, also known as the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), that cuts some aid to the Palestinians until they end stipends to terrorists and the families of slain attackers.

In 2016, the PA paid out about $303 million in stipends and other benefits to the families of so-called “martyrs”. The funds are disbursed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO/Fatah). The families of convicted Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons receive $3,000 or higher per month, higher than the average Palestinian wage.

Any monies that go to Gaza must necessarily go through the government which is run by Hamas. Hamas, recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, was elected as the ruling party in Gaza in 2006. Gaza receives billions of dollars of humanitarian aid, much of which is usurped by the Hamas government for use in terrorist infrastructures….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Elizabeth Warren: Those Settlements ‘Violate International Law and Make Peace Harder to Achieve’ by Hugh Fitzgerald

Elizabeth Warren reacted to Secretary Pompeo’s statement that in the view of the Administration, Israel’s settlements did not violate international law with characteristic swift certainty:

Another blatantly ideological attempt by the Trump administration to distract from its failures in the region. Not only do these settlements violate international law — they make peace harder to achieve. As president, I will reverse this policy and pursue a two-state solution,” Warren said.

Was Pompeo’s announcement merely a cynical attempt to “distract” the public “from its failures in the region”? Surely such an announcement was certain to have exactly the opposite effect – it would focus the media’s attention on the Israelis and Palestinians as it had not been so focussed since the Great March of Return began on March 30, 2018. Every major media outlet – CNN, AP, BBC, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post – covered Pompeo’s remarks in detail. Those remarks were hardly designed to “distract” from supposed “failures in the region.” And as for those “failures,” what does Warren have in mind? Was the defeat, by the Americans and the Kurds, of ISIS in Syria a “failure”? Was the collapse of ISIS in Iraq, to which American military assistance contributed, a “failure”? Was the body-blow to Iran’s economy, that the Administration brought about by reimposing sanctions, that in turn led to the streets of Iran now being filled with Iranians shouting against the regime, a “failure”? Was cutting off aid to the massively corrupt UNRWA a “failure”? Was cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority, because of its Pay-for-Slay program, a “failure”?

Warren then blithely noted that the settlements “violate international law.” This was not always her understanding. At a Town Hall in August 2014, Warren called into question the notion that future US aid to Israel should be contingent on the halting of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Clearly she did not then regard the settlements as being “illegal.”

And two years later, in September 2016, ahead of a U.N vote on a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, Warren was one of 88 senators who signed a letter to President Obama sponsored by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, urging him to “veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months”: the resolution was approved by the Security Council 14-1-0, with the United States shamefully abstaining.

Again, Warren was still willing to urge the government to veto a Security Council resolution that treated the West Bank settlements as “illegal.”

What changed her mind? Perhaps, after Bernie Sanders’s claim that he would take some aid money away from Israel and give it to the Palestinians in Gaza, Warren felt she needed to establish her bona-fides among the “progressives” in the Democratic Party, who have become increasingly anti-Israel. And what better way to do it than to instantly attack Pompeo on the “legality” of Israel’s West Bank settlements?

A law professor for many years, Warren is well-versed in reading statutes and codes. As a professor of bankruptcy law, she can comprehend the Bankruptcy Code, so he Mandate for Palestine ought to be child’s play. If she reads that Mandate, she will understand that the League of Nations established, on a sliver of land that had been identified with the Jewish people for two thousand years, and that had formerly been part of the Ottoman Empire, the Mandate for Palestine. That Palestine Mandate was entrusted to Great Britain, whose task it was to prepare that territory for independence as the Jewish National Home. There were other Mandates that were intended to create Arab states – Syria, Lebanon, Iraq – but the Mandate for Palestine was intended solely for the Jews. Warren would then want to know, as the thorough policy wonk she is, precisely what territory was to be included in that Mandate. Upon investigation, she would discover that the Mandate for Palestine applied to all the territory from Dan in the north to Beersheva in the south, and from the river Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the West. In other words, all of what is present day Israel, and the entire West Bank, was included in the Mandate. Israel cannot be called the “occupier” of land that was assigned by the League of Nations to be part of the Jewish National Home, which would then become the State of Israel. When the League of Nations shut down, its successor organization, the United Nations, implicitly recognized in Article 80 of its Charter (the so-called Jewish People’s article) the continuing in force of the Mandate for Palestine. The only thing that prevented the West Bank from becoming, as it legally should have, part of the state of Israel in 1949, was that Jordan managed to hold onto the West Bank, and remained its “occupier” until 1967.

Elizabeth Warren never mentions the Mandate for Palestine, which is the indispensable document in judging the legality of the Israeli settlements. Nor does she mention, in any of her statements online, U.N. Resolution 242 and its significance in giving Israel the right to “secure and recognizable boundaries.” She has a duty to study both the Mandate, and Resolution 242, before making her self-assured and dismissive pronouncements about how those settlements “violate international law.” And she might also explain why those same settlements did not “violate international law” back in 2014, when she opposed making aid to Israel contingent on its halting of settlement building. Did she know something in 2014 about the settlements’ legality that she then forgot, or did she learn something since about their supposed illegality?

Then there is Warren’s remark that the settlements are not only “illegal,” but that they “make peace harder to achieve.” How does she, and the many others who mindlessly repeat this mantra – “settlements make peace harder to achieve” – know this? Because the Arabs – the Palestinians – keep telling them so.

What kind of “peace” is possible between Israel and the Palestinians? Some may insist that by squeezing itself back within the 1949 armistice lines, what Ambassador Abba Eban called “the lines of Auschwitz,” Israel makes peace more likely. But those who recognize that the war being waged, by all possible means, including terrorism, combat (qitaal), economic and diplomatic warfare, and demographic jihad, against Israel has no end, for Muslims, until the complete disappearance of the Jewish state, will not be so quick to put their trust in treaties. That is especially true because the Muslim model for all treaty-making with non-Muslims is the agreement that Muhammad reached with the Meccans at al-Hudaibiyya in 628 A.D., a treaty that was to last for ten years, but which he broke after 18 months, attacking the Meccans as soon as he felt his forces were strong enough to win. Given that Muhammad is the Model of Conduct for all Muslims, Israel cannot rely on a peace treaty with Muslim Arabs to be kept indefinitely.

Instead, there is another and better way to maintain the peace between Israel and its neighbors. That is deterrence: the enemy’s understanding that if Israel is attacked, it will respond, and much more devastatingly. Egypt and Syria now know what they did not know in October 1973, when they launched a surprise attack on Israel. Despite early losses, Israel delivered punishing blows in response. No Arab state since has tried to attack Israel; terror groups are a different matter, for their members are ready to be “martyrs.” For rational actors – fanatic Muslim groups and groupuscules are not among them – deterrence works. It kept the peace between the United States and the Soviet Union for more than four decades after World War II. Israel must remain overwhelmingly, and obviously, stronger than its enemies for deterrence to be effective.

That is where the West Bank settlements come in. The 400,000 Jews who live in the West Bank, with all of the adults having undergone military training when fulfilling their mandatory service in the IDF, are an indispensable part of that deterrence. Those settlements throughout the West Bank, especially those strategically placed on the Judean hills, and overlooking, the Jordan Valley, are a powerful obstacle to invasion from the east. The settlements significantly improve Israel’s deterrence, and a credible deterrence is the only guarantee that peace between Israel and the Arabs will be kept.

Warren claims the settlements will make peace “harder to achieve.” She has things backwards. The settlements may make a “peace treaty” harder to achieve, but they will make the only peace that really matters, a peace based on deterrence, easier to achieve.

In addition to the Mandate for Palestine (especially the Preamble and Articles 4 and 6), and U.N. Resolution 242, Elizabeth Warren should read about the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya and its continuing significance, in Majid Khadduri’s magisterial War and Peace in the Law of Islam. That’s all the studying she need devote to the matter for now. The exam will be take-home. We’re all hoping that Professor Warren earns an A.

COLUMN BY

Hugh Fitzgerald

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

INTO THE FRAY: The imperative for incentivized Arab migration & the emerging inevitability of the Humanitarian Paradigm

Once inconceivable, the dismantling of UNRWA; the naturalization of stateless Palestinian residents in Arab countries; and the emigration of Palestinians from Judea-Samaria & Gaza are slowly emerging as realistic outcomes

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth – Sherlock Holmes, in “The Sign of the Four”.

Over a quarter-century ago (in 1992) , I warned of the consequences—for both Jew and Arab—if Israel were to evacuate Gaza.

I cautioned: “…the inevitable implications of Israeli withdrawal can be ignored only at great peril to Israelis and Arabs alike”, observing:“…no measure whether the total [Israeli] annexation or total [Israeli] withdrawal can be reconciled with either Israel’s security needs or the welfare of the Arab population there.” Accordingly, I concluded that the only viable and durable policy was the resettlement and rehabilitation of the non-belligerent Gazans elsewhere—and I underscored: “this was not a call for a forcibly imposed racist “transfer” by Israel, but rather…a humane and historically imperative enterprise”.

Confusing economic enhancement with “ethnic cleansing”

Today, after a more than a decade-and-a-half of bloody confrontations, including three large scale military engagements—imposed on Israel to protect its civilian population from predicted assaults—and a fourth appearing increasingly inevitable; with the Gazans awash in untreated sewage, with their sources of drinking water polluted, and with perennial power outages, my predictions appear to have turned out to be lamentably precise.

Perversely, earlier this month I was excoriated for…being proven right—and my fact-based professional assessment as a political scientist that, because of the overtly unremitting enmity of the Gazans towards the Jewish state: “Eventually there will either be Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev. In the long run, there will not be both”, was denounced as a call for ethnic cleansing.

Of course, my detractors conveniently ignore that, time and time again, I have called for providing generous relocation grants to help the hapless non-belligerent Gazans find more prosperous and secure lives for themselves elsewhere, in third party countries, outside the “circle of violence”; and to extricate themselves from the stranglehold of the cruel, corrupt cliques who have led them astray from debacle to disaster for decades.

Confusing an unequivocal call for economic enhancement with one for “ethnic cleansing”, they apparently believe—in their “infinite benevolence and wisdom”—that compelling the Gazans to languish in their current conditions is somehow more humane.

But, more on these wildly unfounded recriminations against me perhaps in a future column.

A tripartite plan

Several years after my 1992 article, I extended the idea of incentivized emigration to the Arab population in Judea-Samaria (a.k.a. the “West Bank”) and in 2004 I formulated a tripartite plan (The Humanitarian Paradigm) for the comprehensive resolution—or rather the dissolution of the “Palestinian problem”, which include the following components:

The first was the dismantling of UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency), an anomalous UN entity, charged with dealing exclusively with the Palestinian-Arab diaspora (a.k.a. Palestinian “refugees”), displaced by the 1948 and 1967 wars with Israel. As I pointed out back then, because of its anomalous definition of who is considered a “refugee” (which extends to the descendants of those originally displaced), and its anomalous mandate (which precludes resettling them anywhere but in the country from which they were displaced), UNRWA is an organization which (a) perpetuates (rather than resolves) the predicament of the stateless Palestinian “refugees”; (b) perpetuates (rather than dissipates) the Palestinian-Arab narrative of “return” to pre-1948 Israel. Accordingly, the continued existence of UNRWA is an insurmountable obstacle to any resolution of the “Palestinian problem”—and hence its dismantling—or at least, radical restructuring—is an imperative precondition for progress toward any such resolution.

The second component was the launch of an international campaign to induce the Arab countries to desist from what is essentially a policy of ethnic discrimination against the Palestinian diaspora, resident in them for decades, and to grant its members citizenship—rather than keeping them in a perpetual state of stateless “refugees”, as a political weapon with which to bludgeon Israel. To date, any such move is prohibited by the mandate of the Arab League.

A tripartite plan (cont.)

The reasoning behind this prohibition was made clear in a 2004 LA Times interview with Hisham Youssef, then-spokesman for the 22-nation Arab League, who admitted that Palestinians live “in very bad conditions,” but maintained that the official policy on denying Palestinians citizenship in the counties of decades-long residence is meant “to preserve their Palestinian identity.” According to Youssef: “If every Palestinian who sought refuge in a certain country was integrated and accommodated into that country, there won’t be any reason for them to return to Palestine.”

The significance of this is clear.

The nations comprising the Arab League are prepared to subordinate the improvement of the dire humanitarian conditions of the Palestinians, resident throughout the Arab world, to the political goal of preserving the “Right of Return” — i.e. using them as a pawn to effect the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.

It is to the annulment of this pernicious policy that international pressure must be directed.

The thirdand arguably the most controversial—element was to offer the non-belligerent Arab residents in Judea-Samaria generous relocation grants to provide them and their families an opportunity to seek a better and safer future in third-party host-nations, than that which almost inevitably awaits them—if they stay where they are.

Atomization & de-politicization

To overcome potential resistance to accepting the relocation/rehabilitation grants, I stipulated two elements regarding the manner in which the funding activity is to be carried out: (a) the atomization of implementation of the grant payments; (b) the de-politicization of the context in which they are made.

(a) Atomization: This implies that the envisaged compensation will be offered directly to individual family heads/breadwinners—not through any Arab collective (whether state or sub-state organization), who may have a vested interest in impeding its payment. Accordingly, no agreement with any Arab collective is required for the implementation of payment to the recipients—merely the accumulated consent of fate-stricken individuals, striving to improve their lot.

(b) De-politicization: The incentivized emigration initiative is not cast as a political endeavor but rather a humanitarian one. This reflects a sober recognition that, after decades of effort, involving the expenditure of huge political capital and economic resources, there is no political formula for the resolution of the conflict. Accordingly, efforts should be channeled into dissipating the humanitarian predicament of the Palestinian-Arabs, which the insoluble political impasse has precipitated.

These two elements–direct payments to individuals and the downplaying of the political nature of the relocation/rehabilitation grants and the emphasis on the humanitarian component are designed to circumvent—or at least attenuate—any claims that acceptance of the funds would in some way entail an affront to—real or imagined—national sentiments.

Once inconceivable, now slowly materializing

For many years, advocating these three elements—the dismantling (or at least the radical restructuring) of UNRWA; the naturalization of the Palestinian diaspora resident in Arab countries as citizens; and the emigration of Palestinian-Arabs from Judea-Samaria and Gaza—seemed hopelessly unrealistic.

However today, all three are slowly but inexorably materializing before our eyes in a manner that would have appeared inconceivable only a few years ago.

Of course, a major catalyst for this nascent metamorphosis has been the Trump administration.

The US administration has—despite hitherto unexplained and inexplicable Israeli reluctance—exposed the fraudulent fiasco of UNRWA. As its erstwhile biggest benefactor, the US has retracted all funding from the organization. But more importantly, it has focused a glaring spotlight on the myth of the “Palestinian refugees” and the spectacularly inflated number of such alleged “refugees”—which even include those who have long acquired citizenship of some other country!

This salutary US initiative has the potential to rescind the recognition of the bulk of the Palestinian diaspora as “refugees”. Thus, even if they continue to receive international aid to help ameliorate their humanitarian situation, this will not be as potential returnees to their alleged homeland in Israel.

Once the Palestinian diaspora is stripped of its fraudulent refugee status, the door is then open to settling them in third party countries other than their claimed homeland,  and to their naturalization as citizens of these counties.

Naturalization of Palestinian diaspora in countries of residence

In this regard, the Trump administration has reportedly undertaken an important initiative–see here; here; and here. According to these reports, President Trump has informed several Arab countries that, at the start of 2019, he will disclose a citizenship plan for Palestinian refugees living in those countries. 

Significantly, Palestinian sources told the news outlet: “Trump informed several Arab countries that the plan will include Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.” According to these sources: “the big surprise will be that these countries have already agreed to naturalize Palestinian refugees.” Moreover, it was reported that senior US officials are expected to seriously raise an American initiative with several Arab countries—including stipulation of the tools to implement it, the number of refugees, the required expenses, and the logistics demanded from hosting countries for supervising the process of “naturalization of refugees”.

It is difficult to overstate the significance of such an initiative, which coincides precisely with the second element in the foregoing tripartite plan. For, it has the potential to remove the ominous overhang of a five million strong (and counting) Palestinian diaspora that threatens to inundate the Jewish state and nullify its ability to function as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

As such, the Israeli government and all pro-Zionist entities should strive to ensure its implementation.

Emigration: The preferred option of the Palestinians?

As for the third element of the tripartite plan, emigration of the Palestinian population to third-party countries, there is rapidly accumulating evidence that emigration is emerging as an increasingly sought-after option. Indeed, earlier this month, Israeli mainstream media highlighted the desire to leave Gaza in order to seek a better life elsewhere. For example, the popular website, YNetnews, ran a piece entitled, Gaza suffers from brain drain as young professionals look for better life, with the Hebrew version appearing a few days previously, headlined The flight from Gaza: What Hamas is trying to conceal from the media. Likewise, the KAN Channel ran a program reporting very similar realities (January 13).

These items come on the heels of a spate of previous articles that describe the widespread clamor among Gazans to find alternative places of abode—see for example For Young Palestinians, There’s Only One Way Out of Gaza (Haaretz) ; Thousands Abandon Blockaded Strip as Egypt Opens Crossing  (Alaraby); As Egypt Opens Gaza Border, A Harsh Reality is Laid Bare (Haaretz); and How Turkey Has Become the Palestinian Promised Land (Haaretz).

The Ynetnews piece describes the fervor to leave: “Leaving Gaza is expensive, particularly for the residents of the impoverished coastal enclave…The demand is high, and the waiting list to leave is long…Those wishing to cut short their wait must pay for a place on a special list, which is run by a private firm in Gaza…The price for a place on this special list is $1,500—a fortune for the average resident of Gaza…”

It would appear then, that the only thing preventing a mass exodus from Gaza is…money. Which is precisely what the tripartite plan proposes providing.

Let their people go: A slogan for April’s elections?

There is, of course, little reason to believe that, if Israel were to leave Judea-Samaria, what happened in Gaza would not happen there. After all, the preponderance of professional opinion appears to hold that, if the IDF were to evacuate Judea-Samaria, it would likely fall to elements very similar to those that seized power in Gaza—and the area would quickly be transformed into a mega-Gaza-like entity, on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv—with all the attendant perils that would entail.

Sadly however, despite its clear strategic and ethical advantages over other policy proposals, few in the Israeli political system have dared to adopt incentivized emigration as part of their platform. The notable exception is Moshe Feiglin and his Zehut party –and, to certain extent, Bezalel Smotrich, the newly elected head of the National Union faction in the Jewish Home Party, previously headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

It is, however, time for the idea of incentivized emigration to be embraced by the mainstream parties as the only viable policy paradigm that can ensure the continued survival of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. It is time for the mainstream to adopt an election slogan that sounds a clarion call to “Let their people go”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Cole Keister on Unsplash.

VIDEO: Kindergarten graduation in Gaza – growing soldiers of Allah

A kindergarten graduation ceremony in the Gaza was professionally filmed and placed on the internet.

tip2You will watch 5-year olds role play what they have been taught, and you will notice how well these children are trained and indoctrinated to become soldiers of Allah (Jihadists).

Film does not lie unlike adults who know how to spin a story.  You will notice near the end how you are told what you just observed is for peace purposes.  This statement would be laughable if it were not so pathetically false and damning with sobering repercussions the west is just now awakening to.

Click on the link provided and see indoctrination of children, and you get a glimpse of what Americans cannot bring themselves to believe, much less prepare for in our country as Jihad now turns its’ force in our direction.

The following video is a translated report by Israel’s Channel 1 News of a kindergarten graduation party held in Gaza, courtesy of the Islamic Jihad movement. This is but one of many examples showing the anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination prominent in various sections of the Palestinian public.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of children are trained in the settlement – based jihadists Turks originating from China and Central Asia near the town Tzisr Al Sagkoursti Syria, which recently got the jihadists by government forces.

VIDEO: Life on the Gaza Border — Kibbutz Sa’ad

Join The United West (TUW) and Captain Dan Gordon as we give you a brief glimpse into what life is like living on a Israeli Kibbutz very close to the Gaza Strip and the HAMAS Jihad fighters.

In addition to the thousands of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza over the last two years, the residents of Saad have a new and equally deadly threat.

That threat is from the Hamas tunnels built from Gaza into Israel and recently found 1500 yards from Kibbutz Saad. Captain Dan Gordon informed us that not only were the Hamas terrorists discovered heavily armed but also had zip tie handcuffs with them. The significance of the handcuffs are these Hamas terrorists intended on taking Israeli hostages, which is a relatively new tactic of war used in conjunction with the tunnels.

When Hamas fires a rocket or mortar it takes only 7 seconds to reach Kibbutz Saad. Hamas has fired so many rockets and mortars towards Saad the children instinctively know to run to the nearest bomb shelter along with the adults – this is their normal.

Founded in 1947, Saad is a religious kibbutz in the Negev desert in southern Israel. Located near the Gaza Strip, and the cities of Sderot and Netivot, it falls under the jurisdiction of Sdot Negev Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 599.

We at The United West love Israel and work tirelessly educating elected officials, law enforcement, and counter terrorism officials on the nature of Israel’s existential threats. We do this because the Global Jihad Movement which seeks the destruction of Israel also vows to destroy America.

EDITORS NOTE: To learn more visit TUW’s website at TheUnitedWest.org or email me at Tom@TheUnitedWest.org. Please help us to continue our vital work educating America on the threat.

PODCAST: The Panama Papers and the Crisis in the Middle East

This week, world elites were rocked by the release of the Panama Papers, demonstrating that world leaders, their friends and family, and the super wealthy routinely use offshore companies for tax avoidance.

panamapapersMeanwhile, reports out of the Middle East indicate a growing concern of Iran’s activity. From Yemen to Iraq to Gaza, Iran continues to fund and arm terrorist insurgencies that are reshaping the region. Not only Israel, but the Gulf states and their Sunni allies are preparing for potential confrontation. Barack Hussein Obama’s “nuclear deal” has only emboldened Iranian ambitions, and caused tradition U.S. allies to lose faith in the United States dedication to peace and stability in the M.E.

Topics of Discussion:

  • The Panama Papers
  • Report: U.S. considering withdrawal from Sinai
  • Paul Ryan’s Delegation to Middle East – In prep for Republican nomination?
  • Saudi-led Coalition Prepares for Head-on Collision with Iran

& more…

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may listen to USA Transnational Report live on JJ McCartney’s Nightside Radio Studios and on Red State Talk Radio. You may subscribe to USA Transnational Report podcast on iTunes here, subscribe to their podcast with Podbean, here. All previously recorded shows are available here, at the links above, or through Spreaker.

American Jewish Committee to Sanders: Clarify Your Remarks on Israel and Gaza!

NEW YORK, NY /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Jewish Committee (AJC) today acknowledged the correction by Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, D-VT, of his statement that “over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza” in 2014. At the same time, it called on the Senator to clarify his charge that Israel’s self-defensive response to deadly Hamas rocket fire and tunnel attacks that summer was “indiscriminate.”

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that 2,104 Palestinians were killed in the 2014 war; Israeli authorities estimate that some 1,000 of those killed in its defensive operations were terrorists, while the UN figure is 642. The candidate offered his correction in a phone conversation with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the organization reported.

Senator Sanders made his comments about Israel in an April 1 interview with the editorial board of The New York Daily News.

“Senator Sanders, in repeatedly calling Israel’s actions in Gaza ‘indiscriminate,’ has leveled a serious charge against Israel,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “This accusation flies in the face of everything we know – and military leaders around the world have testified – about Israel’s extraordinary care in fighting terrorists embedded in civilian populations.

“In Gaza in the summer of 2014, the use by Hamas of residential areas, schools, mosques and hospitals to store and deploy weapons, and launch thousands of terrorist attacks against Israel – wave after wave of rockets and mortars fired against Israeli civilians – made Israel’s response excruciatingly challenging. Indeed, the harsh reality is that, because of the terrorists’ use of the Palestinian population as human shields, innocent lives were lost.

“But Israel’s response was anything but indiscriminate. It repeatedly warned the Palestinian population about imminent strikes. It incurred casualties among its own forces in exercising care to avoid harming civilians. Time and again, it called off strikes when civilians came into view. And, in the fog of war, when soldiers and officers made tragic misjudgments, the IDF command responded appropriately.

“We look forward to Senator Sanders’ clarification of this stinging and unjust accusation against Israel.”

ABOUT THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE

AJC is a 501(c)(3) organization that neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bernie Sanders campaign hires anti-Israel campaigner as new Jewish liaison

VIDEO: Iranian-Backed Harakat al-Sabireen Terror Group in West Bank and Gaza

 reports:

A new Iranian-backed terror group is making inroads in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, where it operates underground with the potential capacity to deliver devastating attacks to Israel, according to regional experts who have been investigating the organization’s rise.

The group, which goes by the name Harakat al-Sabireen, was established around May 2014 but has begun in recent months to boost its public profile on social media and brag about its plots to wage jihad against Israel, according to information gathered by regional analysts and provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

Al-Sabireen is believed to receive $10 million a year from Iran via funds that are smuggled through a large network of tunnels built by terrorists to facilitate illicit travel beneath the Gaza Strip, according to estimates disseminated in the Arab language press.

Read more.

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PODCAST: The War against the Infidels

LISTEN to this podcast of the January 10, 2016 Lisa Benson Show on KKNT 960 The Patriot.  Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon co-hosted this show with the assistance of Board of Advisors member, Richard Cutting.

Col. Richard Kemp, (ret.) CBE, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and noted commentator on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, discussed why Israel is the outpost of civilization in the Middle east. He urged Queen Elizabeth to visit Israel in 2017, the 100th Anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem from the Turks to honor ANZAC fallen.  He drew attention to British Prime Minister Cameron who has spoken before Israel’s Knesset and his designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.  He suggested that perhaps the Administration might follow suit.

He considers the Muslim Brotherhood as an evil organization seeking to spread Islamist hatred of Israel Europe and the West. Hamas he pointed out had links to the Muslim Brotherhood with objectives similar to that of ISIS.   An ISIS he said was spreading its barbaric Islamic doctrine across the Muslim Ummah from Syria and Iraq to North and sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia.

With regard to the resurgence of the Taliban in a 14 year war in Afghanistan with NATO forces, he said that some of it was attributable to the role of Pakistan intelligence service.  The Pakistanis and Afghans he noted are enemies.  He called attention to the internecine war between the Taliban and ISIS endeavoring to gain power as enemies of the democratic government in Afghanistan. A government plagued with corruption hobbling the country’s security forces.  He called attention to a generational long struggle against Islamist Jihadism in which the West cannot relax. It must stand up and fight.   He noted in passing that the US Administration has taken its eye off the ball with outreach to an enemy, Iran. He attributed some of the present difficulties in the Middle east and South Asia to both the pullout of US forces in Iraq and pull down of ISAF troops in Afghanistan.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka addressed the number one issue in polls taken of Americans, national security and domestic Islamic terrorism.  He suggested that the Administration had to jettison the canard of lone wolf terror acts. The Boston Marathon Bombers, the shooting in Chattanooga, the massacre in San Bernardino and the recent attempted murder of a police officer by a convicted felon and convert to Islam in Philadelphia he said was reflective of the connective tissue of Global Jihad doctrine. That doctrine viewed America and the West as antithetical to Jihadist aims.

He viewed the ability of the US and the EU to vett the millions of migrants and refugees flooding the west as well nigh impossible.  While referencing the intense scrutiny of his parents, refugees from the 1956 Hungarian rebellion against Soviet Communism, he suggested that could only be done under intense and repeated questioning by counterterrorism security echelons using a data base to check documents and bona fides.  He suggested that the US is hobbled by the lack of manpower and a data base to vett, for example, the stream of Syrian Refugees.

Having visited a Syrian refugee camp during the recent Christmas New Year’s holiday, he was struck with two takeaways. He commended the Kingdom of Jordan, without the resources of oil revenues of an incredible job of s country of 6 million handling an influx of 1.5 million Syrian refugees. He tasked the oil rich Gulf States and Saudi Arabia to offer financial and resettlement assistance.  He said there was no sense to send Syrians to the EU or the US. Rather it was incumbent on the contending powers, especially the US, to resolve the conflict, hereby enabling the Syrians in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon to return home.

Regarding the recent settlement between New York City and Muslim and civil liberties advocacy groups ending  the NYPD Muslim community profiling program, Gorka  said in a recent House Armed  Services Committee testimony  that after 9/11, the NYPD had been let down by Federal law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies. The NYPD he noted undertook to build perhaps the best counterterrorism intelligence and surveillance program to monitor and protect the Muslim community in New York against Islamist inroads. Effectively he commented to the House Committee that politics continued to get in the way of national security.

When asked about the current rising Sunni Shiite divide between Saudi Arabia and Iran, he referred to a comment from Israeli PM Netanyahu, who said it was a Game of Thrones pitting the Saudi Wahabbist Sunni Caliphate against the Mullahs of the Shia Mahdist Caliphate in Nuclear Iran.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

The Growing Islamic State threat to Israel: A Clear and Present Danger

Attention has been  brought to bear by recent activities on Israel’s northern and southern frontier by ISIS in Syria and the Salafist affiliate in the Sinai, Ansar Beit al-Makdas (ABAM).  That is independent of the alleged ABAM involvement in the downing of the Russian Metrojet Airbus 321 on October 31, 2015 with a bomb secreted aboard the aircraft that killed 224 passengers and crew in the Sinai.

While ISIS allegedly fears only the Israeli Defense Force, at issue is Israel prepared to deal with these threats on both its Northern and Southern Frontiers.

Moreover, what the U.S. can do given its virtual abandonment of an alliance with Egypt, Israel and neighboring Jordan that collectively face the emboldened  self-declared Islamic State (IS). An Islamic state that has demonstrated its long arm reach planning and fomenting barbarous  terrorism in the Middle East, Europe and even here in the U.S. In the final days of 2015.

Note this Fox/Nation/Townhall  report by a former German Parliament member, now intrepid journalist,  Jürgen Todenhöfer, who with his son spent 10 days in the occupied  Syrian and Iraqi  precincts of the self-declared Caliphate, the Islamic State (ISIS), “Israel Defense Force only Army ISIS Fears”:

German reporter Jurgen Todenhofer went behind enemy lines to spend ten days with the Islamic State. He went with his son, Frederic, but not after spending nearly half a year ensuring that his safety would be guaranteed before venturing into this perilous region of the world. He plans on never going back (good idea), but noted that the only army these Islamic fanatics truly fear is the Israel Defense Forces.

They are confident that they can defeat soldiers from the West, namely British and American troops, but noted that the Israelis might be too tough for them. An aspect of their strategy is to lure Western troops into their territory in order to capture them. Oh, and they plan on killing every Shiite Muslim they can find, and view Muslims living in Western countries who vote as “top-priority enemies…as they give people rather than God the right to make laws.”

The claim from German reporter Jürgen Todenhöfer, a former member of the German Parliament, came after he spent 10 extraordinary days behind enemy lines in Iraq and Syria, accompanied by his son Frederic. He returned saying the group behind the Paris attacks was “preparing the largest religious cleansing in history” and with a “pessimistic” view on what can be done to combat it.

But the author of My 10 Days in the Islamic State told Jewish News: “The only country ISIS fears is Israel. They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot

From left: Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, Galilee Division Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Baram, and GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi on the northern border, Wednesday  Source: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Today’s Israel Hayom edition had a follow up story about IDF preparing for possible ISUS attacks on the Golan Frontier, “IDF braces for Islamic State attack on northern border:”

Army on high alert for possible terrorist attacks by Shuhada al-Yarmouk Brigades, affiliated with Islamic State, or other jihadist groups such as Nusra Front, affiliated with al-Qaida.

[…]

Based on the modus operandi of the Nusra Front and Islamic State, the Israel Defense Forces examined several possible ways these groups could act against Israel. One scenario for an attack, according to the assessments, is smuggling explosives-laden vehicles into Israel. Additionally, officials were not negating the possibility of a terrorist ground force infiltrating Israel, firing anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets, planting explosive devices and launching rockets.

The Shuhada al-Yarmouk Brigades controls the border area shared by Jordan, Israel and Syria, extending over around 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). According to estimates, the organization comprises some 600 fighters who impose their will on some 40,000 locals. The organization itself is surrounded by numerous other rebel groups with which it is fighting, including the Nusra Front, and is “besieged” in a type of enclave in the southern Syrian Golan Heights.

ABAM  ISIS affiliates beheading “Israeli spies” in Sinai

ABAM  ISIS affiliates beheading “Israeli spies” in Sinai.

However, Israel’s  Northern Frontier is not the only threat from ISIS.  Dr. Ronen Bergman, intelligence columnist for Israeli daily Yediot Ahranoth  had an extensive investigative article on the ISIS  affiliate, threat on the Southern Sinai frontier with Egypt, Ansar Beit al-Makdas (ABAM), “The Battle Over Sinai: ISIS’s Next Strong Force:

As the world’s eyes are focused on the Islamic State in Syria and its activity in Europe, the organization’s branch in Sinai – Ansar Bait al-Maqdis – is gaining strength, and the Russian plane bombing may be just the beginning of its integration into ISIS’s international war. Bergman outlines the profile of one of the most threatening and intriguing challenges faced by the Israeli and international security community, only a few kilometers south of Eilat.

[…]

The Russian plane crash in Sinai on October 31st, which left 224 people dead, is still preoccupying intelligence organizations around the world. Updated intelligence received by Western intelligence agencies reveals that the few days before the attack saw a significant increase in the volume of written and spoken communication between senior members of the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABAM – “Supporters of the Holy House”) terror organization, which has been calling itself Sinai Province in the past year after swearing allegiance to the Islamic State, who are active in the Sheikh Zuweid area in the northern part of the peninsula.

In addition, there has been a sharp increase in volume of communication between these activists and elements affiliated with ISIS’s Security and Intelligence Council in Iraq and Syria. This body is responsible for ISIS’s most important secret activities, including special operations and aiding organizations outside Syria and Iraq, where the organization’s power base is, including al-Maqdis.

Key Players in ABAM  Hamas origins and ISIS support:

The names of several key activists in this organization is repeatedly raised in the investigations into the matter: The widely mentioned name is Abdullah Mohammed Sayyid Kishta, a main force in improving ABAM’s abilities in the past two years, who served in the past as an operations officer in Hamas’ military wing. Kishta then left for Sinai, through one of the tunnels under the Philadelphi Route (which separates between Egypt and the Gaza Strip), and became head of instructions at ABAM in regards to the operation of antitank missiles and advanced explosive devices.

He is considered one of the senior antitank warfare experts in the region. Since he began his work in the organization, there appears to be an extremely significant increase in al-Maqdis’ use of antitank missiles and in their improvement. Up to two years ago, they mainly used RPGs, moving on to more advanced missiles like the Kornet.

Kishta is helping the organization improve its terror abilities in developing and assembling advanced bombs, including armor-piercing antitank explosives and explosive devices against roads and armored bunkers of the Egyptian army.

Intelligence groups in the West received information in March and April this year about ties between senior ISIS members in Iraq and members of al-Maqdis’ bomb units, including Kishta. A decoding of these messages revealed that ISIS’s R&D experts in Iraq are convinced that they have managed to develop a certain formula for putting together explosives with relatively low effectiveness, but which cannot be detected through regular means.

Israeli Intelligence on the origins of ABAM :

Israeli intelligence first heard the name Ansar Bair al-Maqdis in Gaza.

“In the early 2000s,” Haim Tomer recalls, “we heard there were radical Salafi cells in Gaza which go by that name. At the time, it was a local organization which attracted former activists from all kinds of other organizations who were discharged from them or found Hamas’ policy to be too moderate after different agreements signed with Israel.

ABAM was first comprised of a mixture of fragments of organizations and people and did not appear to be a big success. Israel’s security control and Hamas’ dominance made it impossible for the organization to really thrive and it didn’t leave a significant mark. But in 2002, its name emerged again in organizations of Bedouin in northern Sinai, and then in all of Sinai.

“We were confused for a moment,” says a senior source in the AMAN (Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate) research division. “We didn’t know if these were the same people we knew from Gaza or that they were just using the same name.”

But an examination conducted in Israel at the time revealed that global jihadist elements – mainly Egyptian, Libyan and Saudi – arrived in Sinai in order to take advantage of al-Qaeda’s international success at the time, after the September 11 attacks and the wave of attacks which washed through the world afterwards, and establish a terror organization there. These activists used a local infrastructure of Bedouins and Salafi Sunni activists who had escaped from Gaza.

The Sinai has seen significant attacks  by ISIS affiliate  – Ansar Bait al-Maqdis on Egyptian security forces, despite Egyptian forces  engaged in destruction and flooding smuggling tunnels along the frontier with Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israel has built a 200 mile security fence and positioned IDF combat battalions.  Along its southern frontier.  Notwithstanding, the Eilat port and resort complex is still vulnerable to possible ISIS attack.  The Multilateral Force and Observers, set up to monitor the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, have been hit with IED attacks, prompting the US Army to send additional troops. This begs the question of why the MFO is not engaged in coordinating ISIS counterterrorism threats in the Sinai with both Israel and Egypt.  Moreover, ISIS presents a possible threat along the Israeli Jordanian border above the neighboring port of Aqaba where sympathetic groups have arisen and are allegedly under surveillance of Jordanian security forces.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

What’s behind the Arab Days of Rage in Israel?

October 13, 2015 witnessed  the worst attacks by enraged Palestinians in Jerusalem, Central  Israel and on the Gaza frontier.Three Israelis were murdered in bus shootings, car ramming  and knifing attacks that occurred in Jerusalem, northern Israel and Ra’anana near Tel Aviv. On Wednesday evening October 14, 2015, a 65 year old woman was attacked by an assailant receiving knife wounds at  the Jerusalem central bus station. The assailant was shot dead by Border police while attempting to board an Egged bus. Ynet news reported the terrorist background of the dead assailant:

The attacker was identified as Ahmad Shaaban, 23, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood. He was imprisoned between 2012 and 2015 for terrorist activities.

The prior weekend scores of Palestinians in Gaza attempted to cross into Israel’s southern frontier only to be thwarted by IDF soldiers.  A crowd of 200 penetrated the fence near an Israeli kibbutz with resulting causalities, 11 deaths occurred from IDF gunfire when the mob refused to stop. Earlier, rockets had slammed into Southern Israel from Gaza prompting IAF retaliation.

Reuters reported “seven Israelis and 32 Palestinians, including 13 alleged attackers and eight children, have died in the surge of violence.” Reuters further noted what happened on October 13th, “the Day of Rage:”

Palestinian men armed with knives and a gun killed at least three people and wounded several others in a string of attacks in Jerusalem and near Tel Aviv, police said, in a “Day of Rage” declared by Palestinian groups.

With the worst unrest in years in Israel and the Palestinian territories showing no sign of abating, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of his security cabinet to discuss what police said would be new operational plans.

Officials said Israel was considering whether to seal off Palestinian districts in East Jerusalem – home of many of the assailants.

In Jerusalem, two Palestinians shot and stabbed passengers on a bus, killing two and injuring four, police said. One of the assailants was killed and the other captured.

Minutes later, a Palestinian rammed his car into a bus stop in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in the city, police said. A surveillance video showed him then hacking pedestrians with a cleaver until he was shot dead by a passer-by. One of the Israelis he attacked died and six others were hurt, police said.

In clashes near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the Israeli army shot dead a Palestinian, medics said. The army said its troops fired on a man who tried to throw a petrol bomb at them.

1929headline_montage

News Montage on Jerusalem  and Hebron Arab Riots,  Palestine 1929. Source: CAMERA

Arab terrorism connects one Israeli family

As Israeli blogger, Yisrael Medad , posted in  My Right Word , “One Family’s Story of Arab Terror.” The current outburst of Arab Muslim violence has intergenerational connections with history from the pre-state Yishuv period:

On Friday, August 17, 1929, Yisrael Lev, a student at the Slobodka Yeshiva in Hebron did not feel well and left for Jerusalem to seek medical assistance. That day, one of his fellow students was hacked to death and the following day, many more including dozens of Hebron’s Jewish community were similarly slaughtered. He remained Haredi but an Israeli flag flew on his balcony every Independence Day. His two daughters served in the IDF. One, Tzippora, married Zev Roich. The new couple had four children. Tzipora’s granddaughter, Naama nee Armoni, was murdered by Arab terrorists during the [2015] Succoth holiday as was her husband, Rabbi Eitam Henkin.

Naama and Rabbi Eitam Henkin(1)

Naama and Rabbi Eitam Henkin z”l

U.S. and International Concerns

The Israeli  Security Cabinet launched  new security arrangements that include IDF troops guarding buses, destruction of attackers’ homes and cordoning off sections of Arab East Jerusalem. The mainstream media like The New York Times attributes the violence in Israel to unemployed desperate “leaderless Palestinian youths  driven by  social media.” Secretary of State Kerry, speaking at a Harvard’s Belfer Center news conference, condemned the Palestinian violence saying, “the situation in Israel is too volatile.” He stressed the importance for all people to avoid what he called provocative statements that can inflame tensions further. “This violence and any incitement to violence have got to stop.” However, he suggested  that the “tit for tat” violence was driven by continuing Israeli ‘settlement building’ and Israeli “excessive force.” The fact is that settlement activity has been contained near zero. Kerry subsequently ‘clarified’ saying there was no connection between Arab violence and settlements. The Mideast Quartet led by EU Foreign Relations Commissioner Mogherini of Italy cancelled a trip to Jerusalem and Ramallah because of security concerns.

Israeli Arab Sheikh Raed Salah of the Islamic Movement    Released from Ramla Jail, 2010.

The Palestinian and Israel Arabs inciting the violence

The reality is that PA President Abbas, other members of the PA government and the Israeli Arab radical Islamist leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement ,Sheik Saed Salah, have incited and recruited Arabs  They  have fomented what Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, has called the Jerusalem or al Quds, Intifada, a reference to the 100 year old blood libel that “the Al Aksa Mosque is in danger” from Jews.. Add to that the evident disloyalty of Arab Joint list Knesset Members who held massive rallies of Israeli Arab Muslims urging them to rise up along with their Palestinian brothers. Note this Jerusalem Post report on the disruption of an Israeli Channel 2 interview by Arab Joint List leader Ayman Odeh by Nazareth Mayor, Ali Salam:

Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam shouted at Joint List head Ayman Odeh [of Hadash] to leave his city as the MK was about to be interviewed live on Channel 2 there on October 11th.

“Ayman, you need to go elsewhere, you’ve destroyed our city!” yelled Salam at Odeh from his car, which pulled up next to [ to him while he was} standing on the sidewalk in front of the television camera.

“Get out of here. Enough with the interviews!” shouted Salam. “You all have destroyed everything! Go back to Haifa!…What are you being interviewed about? What are you doing to us? You are doing nothing!” shouted Salam.

Odeh, for his part, remained quiet, but appeared to be greatly irritated.

The sharp confrontation followed accusations by Salam earlier in the day in an interview on Army Radio in which he said Joint List MKs were “ruining coexistence.”

Joint List MKs have been organizing and leading protests  riling up the Arab public to violence, which Salam said has led to a sharp drop in Jewish customers and complaints from local business owners.

Stabbing victim Liat Naor  Source Channel 2

Stabbing victim Liat Naor, Source: Israeli Channel 2

Evidence of Israeli  Concerns over Arab attacks across the country

My colleague Lisa Benson of the eponymous National Security Radio Show reminded me of an interview she did with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat  just after an another incident involving the death of a baby at a light rail station in Jerusalem. That  was prior to the onset of last summer’s Operation Defensive Edge, the 51 day Gaza rocket war. At the time, Mayor Barkat suggested that the matter of the violent East Jerusalem Arab incident not be mentioned during the interview. Barkat subsequently foiled an Arab knifing attack on an Orthodox Jew during an episode in February 2015. Now, during the current upsurge in jihadist attacks against Israeli Jews in Jerusalem, he is urging the Netanyahu government to combat it. This is reflected in a Jerusalem Post report:

In the wake of the {October 12th attacks in Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to heighten the state’s response against terror and to act more firmly against those who incite and encourage it.  “To our regret there is no limit to the cruelty of these  murderers who choose to the attack children and innocent citizens who return from their studies to encounter the satanic evil that is shocking us all.”

The plague of auto ramming and knifing incidents was exemplified by what occurred in northern Israel reflected in this Israel Hayom report:

“I didn’t do anything, what do they want from me?” Alaa Raed Ahmad Ziwad, 20, says in court after ramming his car into a soldier and then stabbing bystanders.  Ramming victim, 19-year-old Orel Azuri, remains in critical condition.

Liat Naor, 15, was still wearing a wreath of flowers in her hair and holding her own birthday cake when she was attacked by a terrorist with a knife outside a shopping center in Gan Shmuel in northern Israel on Sunday.

She was saved when a bystander, Adi Eshet, helped subdue the terrorist, who had begun the attack by ramming his car into a female soldier, 19-year-old Orel Azuri, before jumping out and stabbing people nearby.

“I was sure I was going to die,” Naor said, speaking in the hospital room where she is recovering from her stab wounds. She thanked Eshet “for the amazing birthday present.”

The shock of the new normal in Central Israel was reflected in the aftermath of two knifing incidents October 13th in Ra’anana, a community of 80,000 near Tel Aviv that has a large of community of Anglo American residents who made aliyah to Israel. During  Operation Defense Edge in the summer of 2014, Ra’anana was spared the rocket on-slaught. The Algemeiner reported:

“Due to the security situation, the shop will be closed today,” was among the signs that could be seen this afternoon in Ra’anana, the Israeli news site Walla reported.

Ra’anana, a city of 80,000 in Israel’s central Sharon region known for its clean streets, quality education system and large English-speaking community, experienced two Palestinian terrorist attacks on the  morning of October 13th. And its citizens are responding with trepidation.

The closing of some stores on the city’s main street, Ahuza, was one reaction to the stabbing attacks, one of which occurred at around 8:50 a.m., and the other at 10:30. Parents of pre-schoolers, too, became concerned and ran to kindergartens to take their children home.

“We are aware of the reality [in the country],” a shop-owner who witnessed the first attack, at a nearby bus stop told Walla. “But when it comes close to you, it’s unpleasant and scary. We always thought that this would only happen in Jerusalem; we didn’t believe Ra’anana would become a terror-struck city.”

[…]

A restaurant owner in the area of the second attack in Ra’anana, which took place across from the Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, said it’s the first time his establishment has been so empty. He also claimed his fellow restaurateurs are experiencing the same phenomenon, because “people are afraid to leave their houses.”

“Even during Operation Protective Edge [last summer’s war in Gaza, when Hamas rockets were launched into the center of Israel on a daily basis] it wasn’t this deserted,” he said.

Evidence of Palestinian and Israeli Arab Incitement

The violence by Palestinians in East Jerusalem  and the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria  was stoked by PA President Abbas, whose UN  General Assembly  address abandoned the Oslo Accords. It is pure Jew hatred with episodes of knife attacks, shootings, car rammings and attempted suicide bombings against Israeli Jews. Standwith U.S. developed an interactive map spotlighting where  instances of attacks have occurred: Interactive Map Shows the Where, When, and What of Terror Attacks.

This uprising is different because Israeli Arabs has also been encouraged to engage in these attacks by Joint Arab list Knesset members and the radical Islamist Sheik Saed Salah from his bastion of the um al-Fahm, an Arab town in the triangle area of Israel in the Galilee. Salah is head of the northern branch of the Islamic movement affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the equivalent of Hamas inside Israel. The Netanyahu government has often sought to ban the group. In a November 2014 NER/Iconoclast blog  post on “Israel Plagued by Spreading Islamikaze Violence,“ we noted:

Then there is  the fiery Salafist preacher, Sheik Raed Salah  from the Arab town of Umm al Fahm. Just released from prison for serving another term for incitement, Salah boasts that Jerusalem will become a “global Caliphate.”

As Israeli commentator Barry Shaw observed on the Lisa Benson Show of October 11, 2015, Sheik Raed Salah may have supplied the foot soldiers who barricaded the al Aksa Mosque and kick started the Jerusalem violence at the start of the Jewish New Years. He contends that Salah, whose objective is the establishment of a Caliphate to rule Israel from the Temple Mount, had planned this wave of violence. Shaw suspects that the Jordanian–appointed religious leaders of the Waqf may have been complicit in fomenting the Temple Mount violence. They allowed truck loads to enter the Mosque complex through the underground excavations supplying the rocks, cinder blocks, and materials for making Molotov cocktails. Avi Ischaroff in a Times of Israel report on often jailed Sheik Salah observed:

Salah has tried to utilize the Temple Mount to inflame the Arab Palestinian street. Now he’s finally managed to do so. “The defender of Al-Aqsa,” as Salah is known, continues to warn against the ostensible plans of the Jews to harm the mosque, vowing that he is prepared to do anything to “protect it.” His activists are everywhere in Arab towns and villages, successfully fomenting friction against Israel.

The incitement to Jew hatred and murder are reflected in the provocative statements of PA President Abbas. Jews have observed restraint while on the Temple mount. They are even been barred from saying prayers there. Abbas cited in Bret Stephens’ Wall Street Journal Global View column, “Palestinians: the Psychotic Stage,” wrote:

“Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”

Then there was the Imam in Gaza invoking the Qur’anic imperative to kill Jews:

“Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” one Gaza imam said [October 9]  in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”

Josh Hasten Israeli American Journalists 10-7-15

Joshua Hasten, Israel American Journalist, October 7, 2015. Screen Shot, You Tube video.

The shahids perpetrating the days of rage in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel are being ‘honored’ for their murderous jihad sacrifices of their Jewish victims according to translations by Palestinian Media Watch:

Fatah brought soil from Al-Aqsa to grave of murderer who stabbed 2 to death in Jerusalem “so that the dead body…can hug the soil for which he died a Martyr”. PA Ministry of Education plants trees in honor of terrorists- the “Martyrs” of “the ongoing popular uprising”. Ministry: “Event meant to illustrate the devotion of the ministry… to honoring the Martyrs…[It] instills national and humanitarian values in the minds of the young”.

Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added: “My brothers in the West Bank: Stab!”

The story of one Israeli’s encounter with Palestinian terror

How do Jews in Israel feel confronting this murderous wave of Palestinian and Israeli Arab terrorism? Josh Hasten, a Jerusalem Post contributor was interviewed on the October 11, 2015  Lisa Benson Show.  He spoke of taking a shortcut only to be confronted on the Tekoa Road by a mob of 40 to 50 masked men from the Arab village of Beit Sahour .They were armed with rocks and cinder blocks blocking his way. He alighted from his car, showed them his licensed hand gun and when that didn’t stop them fired off a round that scattered them. Clearly, as you will see in this YouTube video, Hasten thought that spared him. However, that didn’t spare a Jewish woman he encountered who had been brutally set upon and beaten presumably by the same group. Frightening, but rarely reported in the mainstream media that tends to concentrate on Palestinians being killed, perpetrating murder and mayhem against Israeli Jews.

Watch this You Tube video of Josh Hasten’s encounter with Palestinians out to kill “their Jew.” The media may call this “violence.” Sorry, it is jihad.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Iranian official: “Israel should be annihilated”

“We reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth.” More genocide dreams from our new pals in the Islamic Republic of Iran. “‘Israel should be annihilated,’ senior Iran aide says,” Times of Israel, August 25, 2015:

A senior Iranian official on Tuesday said Israel “should be annihilated,” and that the thawing relations with the West would not translate into a shift in Tehran’s position concerning the Jewish state.

Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”

Hammond was in Iran on Monday for the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran, and said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel’s existence. Hammond said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “revolutionary sloganizing” should be distinguished from “what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy.”

“We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy,” the Guardian quoted Hammond saying.

Sheikholeslam told a Hamas news outlet earlier this month that Iran has resisted pressure exerted by the P5+1 world powers during the nuclear negotiations to halt its political involvement in Gaza, Syria and Yemen.

“These powers admitted that the reason for their pressure on us is our position on Israel,” he said. “We told them that we reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth.”

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White House Officials meet with Anti-IDF Israeli Leftists

Why did  Obama National Security  and State Department officials meet  with Israeli leftist NGO Breaking the Silence to provide maligned ‘testimonies’ of IDF reservists about allegations of “revenge firing” on Palestinians during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge?  Especially, since testimonies of fellow serving IDF reservists who appeared on IsraelChannel 2 in early May 2015 said the ‘testimonies” were a pack of lies.  Earlier this week Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called out the Swiss Foreign Ministry for funding a photographic exhibit mounted by Breaking the Silence.  This is not the first time for an Israeli objection to foreign programs funding  programs of  the leftist group.  A prior episode occurred following  the 2009 Operation Cast Lead when groups in The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK launching similar disinformation efforts maligning IDF self-defense operations against the rocket wars in Gaza perpetrated by Hamas.

Breaking the Silence was formed in 2004 during the Second Intifada.  NGO Monitor reported the following sources of the group’s funds:

2013/4 donors include the European UnionMisereor (Germany), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), NorwayAECID (Spain), Dan Church Aid (Denmark), ICCO (Netherlands), CCFD (France), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), SIVMO (Netherlands), Rockefeller Brothers FundOpen Society InstituteNew Israel Fund, and others

Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, BtS received 992,901 NIS from foreign governmental bodies in 2014 and 1,271,368 NIS in 2013 (accessed March 15, 2014).

In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $560,428 to Breaking the Silence (200820092010201120122013).

Received two grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund totaling $145,000 (2012-2015).

Matt Duss, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, known for its agitation against Israeli settlement policies in the disputed territories, escorted the Breaking the Silence representatives to both Obama NSC and State Department Human Rights meetings.  This is another instance of Israeli leftists being given entre by the Obama Administration seeking to delegitimize the conduct of IDF front line soldiers during combat in Gaza against the rocket and terror tunnel wars of Hamas.  This has infuriated Ministry of Defense and IDF commanders from the platoon level on up to the Chief of Staff.

Here are excerpts from a Ha’aretz report about yesterday’s Breaking the Silence meetings in Washington:

Senior White House officials met this week with members of the left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence. The meeting, the first of its kind, dealt with testimonies that the organization had collected on alleged human-rights violations by the Israel Defense Forces during last summer’s war in Gaza. The meetings were held a few days after Israel’s Foreign Ministry tried to get a Breaking the Silence exhibition to be held in Switzerland canceled.

Matt Duss, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, organized the meeting between Breaking the Silence representatives and members of the White House National Security Council.

The meeting did not take place at the White House but at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital.

A Breaking the Silence representative also held a separate meeting at the State Department with senior officials in its human rights bureau.

Duss told Ha’aretz that during the meetings, Breaking the Silence presented its recent report last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. Obama administration officials reacted with a great deal of interest, Duss said, asking “many questions about the vetting process of the witnesses, the testimonies and the fact-checking.”

According to Duss, the fact that both White House staff and the State Department held meetings with Breaking the Silence shows that the organization has an open door to the administration.

“It is in line with what Obama said recently. These are the shared values between Israel and the United States – wanting to improve our society,” said Duss. This is Washington recognizing “they are young Israeli patriots who are trying to improve their society,” he added.

An Obama Administration official said: “U.S. Government officials met with Breaking the Silence, as we routinely meet with a range of actors from official and non-official international groups, including from civil society.”

The State Department also responded, “Officers from the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor met with a representative from the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. The State Department regularly meets with a broad array of political and civil society organizations from various countries worldwide.”

[…]

Israel’s ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, lodged a protest with the Swiss Foreign Ministry over it, and asked that donations and support for a group that deals with the “defamation of Israel” be halted.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who this week called for action against the Breaking the Silence exhibition, said the organization “is working against Israel from within,” adding, “We will not ignore it when an organization whose whole purpose is to defame IDF soldiers works in the international arena to seriously damage Israel’s image.”

In early May 2015 several soldiers and officers who served in a tank unit appeared on Israeli Channel 2.  The Algemeiner reported their contrasting comments disputing testimonies acquired by Breaking the Silence.  The soldiers spoke on Israel’s Channel 2 to give their side of the story to counter the testimonies compiled by Breaking the Silence.

One soldier called the report “a wicked story” and a “stab in the back.”

Another soldier, Lt. Oren (a pseudonym), was a platoon commander in the 7th Brigade during the previous Operation Cast Lead, which began in late 2008. The Breaking the Silence report claimed that one of the tank commanders in Oren’s platoon carried out a “revenge attack” by targeting civilian houses in Gaza.

Oren refuted the claim, saying “this nonsense about ‘fire on the house that you want for revenge’ is simply a total lie.”

He said “it is very hard for me to believe that one of ours said something like that, definitely not someone who was there.”

Oren, who was personally involved in the operation, told a different story.

He said that any “revenge” incident might have occurred after Armored Core Capt. Dmitri Levitas (26) was killed in battle, but that the Breaking the Silence testimony “simply is not true.”

He said despite the fact that he and his fellow soldiers were severely affected by the death of Levitas, “we maintained combat ethics.”

“While it’s true there was heavy [IDF] fire, this fire was directed at positions from which we were being fired upon, or suspicious locations,” he recalled.

IDF tanks only fired “in accordance with procedure, and after a very strict identification process,” he said.

Oren emphasized that despite “losing a great commander and friend … we still abided by shooting procedure.”

A decade ago I attended a presentation at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut by an IDF Sgt, a refusenik reservist. Anti-Israel and BDS leftist group Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) sponsored the event at Wesleyan. The IDF reservist had served a term in a military jail for refusing to serve with his unit in the disputed territories during the Second Intifada.  The packed amphitheater lecture hall was filled with attentive students and some faculty listening to the reservist rationale about why he refused to serve because of alleged human rights problems occasioned by Israeli occupation.  When it came time for Q&A I raised my hand, was recognized by the moderator.  I asked the refuseniks IDF Sgt. if he knew anything about the group he was marching with at his next stop in San Francisco. He said, “no”.  I told both he and the audience that ANSWER, the sponsoring group was rabidly anti-Semitic.  I explained that the ADL considered A.N.S.W.E.R one of the leading anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic groups in the US.  A.N.S.W.E.R stands for Act Now to Stop War and Racism.  The ADL also considered  the JVP on the leading anti-Zionist groups in the U.S. The refusenik sheepishly smiled and scurried off in a clutch of admiring students and faculty for refreshments shepherded by his JVP minders.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

VIDEO: Analysis of the Hamas Mortar Attack on Kibbutz Nirim

In June of 2014 Kibbutz Nirim was hit by a multiple Hamas Mortar attack that killed 2 and seriously injured 4 others. Join Tom Trento and Roni Wexler as we tour Kibbutz Nirim. Adele Raemer a resident of Kibbutz Nirim will deconstruct what happened before, during, and after this deadly mortar attack by Hamas terrorists.

You will get a sense of what life is like living on an Israeli Kibbutz (community) less than 2 miles from the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. You will also learn about the Hamas tunnels dug less than 1000 meters from the Kibbutz Nirim fence line.

One person was in serious condition, and three others suffered minor injuries, in the strike on the Eshkol region community. Fifty-five year-old Ze’ev Etzion, the security chief for the kibbutz, was killed on the spot as he worked to fix electricity lines damaged in an earlier mortar attack. Israel Radio reported that he was also a volunteer ambulance driver for Magen David Adom. Nirim resident Shahar Melamed, a 43-year-old father of 3, died on his way to the hospital. Medical care was given to the wounded as rockets and mortars fell around the kibbutz and Code Red sirens wailed.

The two Israelis killed Tuesday raised the civilian death toll in Israel in Operation Protective Edge, which entered its fiftieth day Tuesday, to six. Last week a four-year-old child was killed in an attack in the nearby Kibbutz Nahal Oz. In March of next year you will have the opportunity to join Tom Trento, Roni Wexler, and other notable counter terrorism subject matter experts exploring many places in Israel few tourists ever see.

For more information on this Israeli National Security Tour contact Tom Trento by email Tom@TheUnitedWest.org

Dissociated Press

Associated Press (AP), one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent news gathering, reported “Israeli house strikes killed mostly civilians.” It reported 247 airstrikes (bombings) in Gaza during the summer of 2014, killing 840. Of that number, 508 (60%) were civilians, 96 (11%) were terrorists, and 240 (29%) remained uncharacterized. The failure to seek identification of the “uncharacterized” reveals a scheme to re-engineer the outcome, and a flawed count can only lead to a flawed conclusion.

AP professes a commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism over the past 165 years. It employs the latest technology to collect and distribute news and photos, with a 24-hour update process, and has one of the largest collections of historical and contemporary imagery. Headquartered in New York, it operates in more than 180 locations worldwide, including every US statehouse, and has won 51 Pulitzer Prizes since the prize’s establishment in 1917.

Regrettably, the wire services, which include AP, Reuters, and similar sources of news for broadcast, print media, and on-line news, are responsible for the blatant lies peddled and truths compromised when the original story opposes the Arab Muslim narratives. A recent example was an international wire service report that accused Israel of releasing water to deliberately flood the Gaza Valley, destroying houses and causing hundreds of Gazans to flee. When caught in this lie, Daily Mail apologized and clarified that there are no dams in southern Israel, that the flooding was caused by unusually heavy rain and drainage issues. Al Jazeera retracted its statements and the photos of rushing waters. Similarly, Reuters had been found guilty of switching photos or cropping photo edges, such as when they excluded weapons held by activists aboard the Mavi Marmara during the Gaza flotilla raid. This is serious treachery.

We have now learned that the 240 “uncharacterized” males were indeed terrorists (ages 16-59), changing the total from 96 to 336 terrorists (40%), not an unusual ratio of women and children to terrorists, as these poor victims are customarily used as human shields, whether alongside the rocket sites or within the buildings. Hamas often secretes rockets and explosives in residential homes, which certainly contributes to the civilian casualty count. AP never reports Israel’s warnings to civilians to evacuate residential areas, never cites Israel’s casualties, and never reveals that the strikes are always retaliatory for wars begun by the Arabs.

AP has repeatedly sought to discredit Israel by accusing her armed forces of conducting disproportional warfare against Palestinians, when no war or sport has ever been fought for an equal outcome. From 2001 to July 2014, Palestinians have conducted a war of terror, resulting in psychological trauma (PTSD) to more than 50% of the children and depression and miscarriages to adults, and using more sophisticated rockets (some containing white phosphorous) to reach larger cities. AP did not propose that Israel conduct a comparable rocket attack into Gaza for the sake of proportionality, or suggest Israel bomb Palestinian school buses, or advocate that Israel dig an equivalent number of terror tunnels leading to Palestinian children’s schools and dormitories when Hamas’s were discovered.

In an attempt to further paint Israel as the aggressor, AP incorporates “evidence” to accuse Israel of intentionally targeting civilians. Hence, it presented the fatality figures of 844 against the backdrop of 247 air strikes, an equation of 3.4 people per bombing when, in fact, Israel actually made 20,000 air strikes, thereby achieving a .04 fatality figure per bombing. These percentages verify that AP’s reporters script deceptive, damaging information and that Israel does its utmost to avoid civilian casualties. Israel’s record is in fact, unparalleled.

AP also failed to provide comparative analyses, such as how these numbers match up to other wars and air strikes conducted in urban areas. Withheld information is as dishonest and harmful as erroneous information. In fact, investigative journalist Richard Behar’s studies of conflicts since World War II show that the norm of fatalities is 85 to 90 percent civilian. We might well be reminded of Germans’ killing 28,000 civilians in the London Blitz; Allies’ killing 25,000 civilians when they bombed Dresden and destroyed the Nazi industrial center; our killing 130,000 civilians with our nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, which brought about Japan’s unconditional surrender and peace.

The United Nations’ figures cited at least 1,483 Gazan Palestinian civilians killed, with an overall death toll of 2,205, the balance being militants, with the source of information being Hamas-controlled Gazan Health Ministry. AP actually did have access to figures from a trustworthy, private research institute in Israel, Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, but chose not to avail itself of them – although they do sort through their information if they can contribute to a war crimes accusation against Israel.

Oddly, throughout the world, Imams spew hate and incite to kill from their mosque podiums. Muslims murder Jews and Christians because of their religion or, as with Charlie Hebdo, because of cartoons against their prophet. Muslims (Hamas) fire deadly rockets for (Israeli) territory. Muslims (ISIS) chop off people’s heads and burn others alive, and just kidnapped 90 Christians. Muslims (Boko Haram) kidnapped young girls for sexual slavery and buried some alive. Muslims (Chechens) beheaded Russian soldiers and attacked, kidnapped and killed children and school staff. Muslims appear to have reached the percentage at which they are now capable of conquest of the Nordic countries, and the natives are committing cultural suicide without a fight. And we know of this through AP. Yet AP continues its deception as well as its unparalleled accusations not against Muslims, but against Israel primarily.

Not only has Associated Press become known for its sloppy, dishonest and unreliable reporting, but it has also been accused of biased reporting on the Middle East by its own journalists. Indictments included story-lines showing Arabs and Palestinians to be entirely blameless and Israel fully culpable; refusing to print a 2008 Israeli peace proposal when it would have verified Israel’s desire for peace; and killing a story that would have shown Israel appropriately.

It is time these wire services were rewired to overhaul their failed policies, and return to responsible, honest journalism.