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Fatah Commission of Information and Culture depicts Netanyahu as Hitler

The Palestinian resistance is a jihadist assault on the state of Israel. It disseminates propaganda to justify human rights abuses that would never be tolerated if they were perpetrated by Christians or Jews. The so-called “far right” is routinely compared to Hitler, even though Hitler was leftist (as is evidenced by the name of his party, the National Socialist German Workers Party). Nazi Germany launched an “extensive propaganda campaign in the Middle East and North Africa during World War II.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated that no Jew will live in a Palestinian state. He also did his PhD dissertation in Holocaust denial. And now this. Yet far too many Western governments still support pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, even as the Palestinians continue their gross antisemitism and jihadist attacks on the state of Israel, calling them a just “resistance” and manipulating victimhood in the face of historical truths.

Abbas teaches Palestinians that “Jews must be fought for Allah on behalf of all humanity.” The soft bigotry of low expectations allows the Palestinian leadership to scream victimhood while being the aggressor.

“Netanyahu is Hitler – Antisemitic Fatah cartoon,”

by Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, March 2, 2021:

The antisemitic cartoon above was posted by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Commission of Information and Culture. It shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Hitler with Hitler’s mustache and a Nazi uniform with Stars of David on blue instead of Swastikas on red on his tie and arm band. Netanyahu is making a Nazi salute and blood is dripping from his hand.

Headline: “He killed the Palestinians with the weapon of racism!”
Text on cartoon: “Adolf Netanyahu”

[Website of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Feb. 16, 2021]

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) internationally accepted working definition of Antisemitism, includes “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The PA and Fatah have often disseminated this specific kind of Antisemitism by comparing Israel in general and Netanyahu in particular to the Nazis. Fatah has portrayed Netanyahu as a Nazi officer:

Netanyahu has been called Nazi propaganda minister “Goebbels’ outstanding student”:

And recently Palestinian Media Watch documented that Netanyahu was referred to as “the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler:

Israel as such has been called “fascist and Nazi” and the behavior of Israelis has been compared to that of the Nazis prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials….

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

Gaza: Internal Hamas government memo calls for ‘activities to reduce interaction with Christmas’

Once again, anger and fear resurface among Christians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, who also are preparing to celebrate Christmas amidst the restrictions due to the Covid19 pandemic.

However, their concerns are not because of the spread of coronavirus, but rather because of a letter (which was made public on social media and other Palestinian websites) that was sent to the government of Hamas in Gaza regarding the upcoming celebrations of Christmas.

The letter, entitled “Activities to reduce interaction with Christmas during the next two weeks,” was sent by the Director-General of the General Administration of Preaching and Counseling of the Palestinian Endowment Ministry in Gaza.

In what appeared to be an official correspondence between Palestinian officials, the letter discussed the steps taken during “an emergency meeting” that was held in Gaza on December 15. It included the issuance of “awareness and guidance” that needed to be implemented by 10 departments within the Islamic Waqf ministry.

The main goal behind this campaign would include “issuing fatwas [to prohibit Muslims from participating in Christmas], releasing videos, and requesting some preachers” to talk about the great sins of celebrating their holidays with the Christians.

It is worth noting that the number of Christians still living in Gaza may not reach 1000, while the Orthodox and Catholic churches continue to provide parish services to the remaining families, in addition to two schools whose students are mostly Muslims.

After Hamas gained full control of the Strip, the Baptist Church in Gaza, which had operated since 1950, was soon almost shattered. In October 2007, Rami Ayyad, one of its active members in Gaza, who managed its Christian bookstore there, was kidnapped, tortured, and then killed.

After Ayyad’s assassination, seven church leaders left for the West Bank, while Hanna Massad, the church’s pastor, moved to Jordan with his family.

Since Hamas installed Shari’ah law in Gaza, which fomented further threats against the remaining Christians from Islamic extremists, Christians in general feared gathering in groups. They no longer wear crosses, while women dare not move around freely by themselves or be unveiled.

Hamas has always prohibited the Christians from holding public celebrations during Christmas and New Year, ever since its usurpation of power in 2007. This time, it intends to socially isolate them as well.

In the West Bank, the situation of the Christians may seem relatively better, but the fear of Islamic jihad remains a ghost haunting them.

The number of Christians in Bethlehem, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, is rapidly dwindling. Christians today make up merely 15% of what was once known as a Christian-majority town. The violent military actions taken by Fatah militants wreaked havoc on the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ after the outbreak of the so-called Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000.

Palestinian Christians singing Christmas carol near the Church of the Nativity

A few years ago, a visa clerk at the US consulate disclosed to this writer that Palestinian Christians who met the US tourist visa requirements often decided to overstay their visit to the United States, and eventually applied for political asylum because of fear of growing Islamic jihad activity within the Palestinian society. Those applicants share with the USCIS in secrecy their valid stories of persecution at the hands of “their Muslim brethren.”

On the other side of the country, Christians inside Israel tell a completely different story. They increasingly are incorporated in all walks of life, and their numbers are growing. It is worth noting that their academic achievements rival those of the majority Jewish population.

The head of the Israeli Christian Aramaic Association recently posted on his Facebook page an appeal to the Likud, the main party of the current Israeli government. “We call upon the Likud party which is the [ Israeli] government to open up for appointing Christians and to work on integrating our Christian community and our youth into the state of Israel. This is the responsibility of the members of the Likud party today.”

The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, recited by Shadi Khaloul, head of the Israeli Christian Aramaic Association

In Jordan, where Christians have lived so far in peace and safety and enjoyed opportunities that secured them access to both the public and the private sectors, the picture has begun to change.

Yesterday, The Students’ Union of the College of Sharia at the University of Jordan issued a statement expressing its refusal to erect a Christmas tree and light inside the university courtyard. It added that what the university did is a matter that does not appease God in a country whose religion is Islam.

Muslims, in general, are living in a crisis because the image of Islam has worldwide been shaken. I am not surprised that they seek to defuse their anger in the remaining Christian minorities.” George Abu Kova, a Palestinian Christian who lives in the United States commented on Facebook in reply to Hamas’s letter against Christmas.

Samir Qumsiyeh, a former advisor to the Orthodox and Catholic Patriarchs in Jerusalem, expressed his dismay and anger to the letter in a post on Facebook, saying, “Hamas’s positions are well known. Have you forgotten that Ismail Haniyeh [Hamas Prime Minister] congratulated Erdogan for turning the Hagia Sophia Church into a mosque and thus ignored the feelings of Christians in general and the Christian Palestinians in particular? Then you hear from them that we are one people within all its components.” Unfortunately, our reality is painful and we have no future.

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

Rep. Rashida Tlaib retweets genocidal slogan ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’

This slogan means no Jewish state at all, and that would mean the slaughter of millions of Jews. But it’s acceptable on the Left today to harbor such genocidal aspirations.

“Democrat Rashida Tlaib Promotes Slogan Associated With Calling For Elimination Of Israel,” by Ryan Saavedra, Daily Wire, November 29, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) promoted a tweet on her Twitter account on Sunday that contained a phrase that is associated with calling for the elimination of Israel.

StopAntisemitism.org highlighted the tweet that Tlaib retweeted, which stated: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

“Rashida Tlaib RT’s out the same message that got Marc Lamont Hill canned from CNN,” StopAntisemitism.org noted. “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free – code for eradicating the State of Israel and its millions of Jews. Reminder – this is a sitting U.S. Congresswoman.”

The Daily Beast, a left-wing publication, wrote the following about the meaning of the phrase:

The river in this formulation is the Jordan, the naturally occurring eastern border of Israel and of the West Bank; the sea is the Mediterranean to the west. Uttered by advocates of the Palestinian cause for decades, the pithy slogan very pointedly makes no place for Israel. It evokes a strip of Middle Eastern land where Israel is no more, replaced by a unified Palestinian entity in the space it once occupied. It could be that this entity would welcome and protect a Jewish population. But when supporters of the Jewish state hear those 10 words, they worry about their potentially violent implications.

CNN did fire then-contributor Marc Lamont Hill in 2018 after he used the slogan, which The Times of Israel noted was associated with “Palestinian extremists,” during a speech at the United Nations. Hamas has repeatedly used the phrase…

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

Chutzpah: Palestinians Prepare List of Demands For Biden Administration

The Palestinian Arabs sense an opening for them in Biden’s Washington, where they rightly assume they will be personae gratae again. They have already been preparing their laundry list of demands for the Biden Administration, which is discussed here: “PA wants Biden to reverse ‘anti-Palestinian’ decisions,” by Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, November 22, 2020:

The Palestinians will demand that the new administration under US President-elect Joe Biden cancel “anti-Palestinian” decisions taken by the administration of President Donald Trump, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.

The officials told The Jerusalem Post that the Palestinian Authority has prepared a list of demands that will be presented to Biden after he is sworn in on January 20.

The list includes a request to reopen the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington, rescinding Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, resuming financial aid to the PA and the UN Relief and Work Agency and reopening the US consulate in east Jerusalem.

In addition, the officials said, the Palestinians will also demand the Biden administration cancel the recent decision that allows US citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their place of birth, as well as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement allowing for settlement products to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

“We have already contacted Biden’s people to inform them of our demands,” a Palestinian official told the Post. “We had a positive dialogue with senior officials who are close to Biden.”

Since that contact between the Palestinians with Biden’s staff, the two most pro-Israel of Biden’s advisers, Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, have been appointed to be, respectively, Secretary of State and National Security Adviser. It may not be quite as smooth sailing for the PA as it thought just a few days ago.

Last week, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said the Palestinians want to conduct dialogue with the new US administration in order to cancel decisions taken by the Trump administration.

Malki said the Palestinians have suffered tremendously as a result of Trump’s decisions directed against them, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the closure of the PLO mission in the US and the suspension of US financial aid to the Palestinians.

Malki and other Palestinian officials said they also expected the Biden administration to distance itself from Trump’s plan for Middle East peace, also known as the “Deal of the Century.” The Palestinian leadership has strongly condemned the plan, unveiled in January 2020, as a “conspiracy aiming to liquidate the Palestinian issue and national rights.”

Another Palestinian official told the Post that while he was optimistic the Biden administration would cancel some of the decisions taken by the Trump administration, the Palestinians do not believe it would be easy to return the US Embassy to Tel Aviv.

No, it won’t be easy to move the Embassy back to Tel Aviv. It will be impossible. There is not a chance in hell that the American Embassy will be moved out of Jerusalem. Biden has already declared that he would not do it, though he also added that he “would not have made the move himself,” a curious remark given that he was one of the most enthusiastic backers of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which passed in the Senate by 93 to 5.

“We know that the Biden administration would not be able to accept all our demands, such as the removal of the embassy from Jerusalem, but we are very optimistic regarding the other demands,” the official explained. “If [Biden] renounces the ‘Deal of the Century’ and resumes financial aid to the Palestinians, this will be a good step in the right direction. It will be a big victory for the Palestinian people.”

The suspension of financial aid to the Palestinians was partly in response to the PA’s refusal to end its Pay-For-Slay program, which incentivizes terrorism by providing generous monthly stipends to imprisoned terrorists, and to the families of terrorists who had been killed. The PA has been recently been making noises about modifying the plan, by providing stipends based not, as now, on the length of a sentence, which provide more money the longer the sentence (so those who commit the worst attacks get more money), but instead on the “financial need” of a terrorist’s family. Qadri Abu Bakr, the PLO’s Director for Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, in English told the New York Times that the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) policy on terrorists’ families’ salaries will change. But in the Arabic version of those remarks, Qadri Abu Bakr said the exact opposite, assuring his listeners that the calculation of stipends to terrorists and their families would not change in any way. Two versions, directly contradicting each other. Why not? Qadri Abu Bakr knows: “War is deceit,” said Muhammad.

It is thus doubtful that the PA could bring itself to change its Pay-For-Slay policy, which reflects the Palestinians’ visceral support for terrorism. But even if the PA did change the criteria according to which the stipends are calculated, this would still leave in place a program that subsidizes, and therefore incentivizes, terrorism. This will make it very difficult for the Americans to turn on the faucet of aid again.

The PA’s complacent assumption that the Americans will renew financial aid to the Palestinians needs to be challenged and undermined. Even without the Pay-For-Slay program, why should the Americans turn on that tap for the PA, rather than have the PA go hat in hand to their fellow Arabs in the oil states, or Iran, or Turkey, and ask them for aid? Who decided that the United States owes the Palestinians a permanent living? And why should American taxpayers be shelling out billions, over the years, to UNRWA, which includes on its ever-expanding rolls of those who receive its largesse not just the real Palestinian refugees, those who left in 1947-1949, of whom there may now be 30,000 still alive – but also all of their descendants, now amounting to more than five million people? Who decided that among the many tens of millions of refugees who have been created by conflicts – wars, civil wars, persecutions — all over the world since the late 1940s, only one group, the Palestinians, should be allowed to pass on the refugee status to their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, world without end?

This ever-lengthening list of “Palestinian refugees” has been on the international – almost entirely Western – dole for decades. Don’t we need to ask a few questions at this point? For example, why are we Americans expected to give hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the Palestinians instead of, say, to the inoffensive and much poorer people in Bolivia or the Congo or Nepal? What exactly have the Palestinians done for us? Haven’t they used terror as a weapon for a half-century? Didn’t we see the Palestinians hand out candies and celebrate when they heard the glad news on 9/11/2001? Haven’t Palestinian terrorists killed American citizens? Isn’t Hamas a local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, that seeks a worldwide caliphate? And what about the links between the Palestinians and our mortal enemy, Iran?

According to the official, the Palestinians are also expecting the Biden administration to return to the long-standing US policy toward settlements and adhere to UN resolutions on this issue.

In November 2019, Pompeo announced that the US no longer views settlements as “inconsistent with international law,” a move that drew strong condemnation from the Palestinian leadership.

Secretary Pompeo had quite properly declared as a break with previous policy what ought to have been American policy all along. The Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate, and are not “inconsistent with” international law. Their legality stems from the Mandate for Palestine, that included the entire West Bank in the territories assigned to the future Jewish National Home. Previous administrations had relied on the “Hansell Memorandum” of 1978, which took the position that the settlements were “illegal,” but Hansell himself never mentions the Palestine Mandate In his memorandum, as if it were of little moment, when it is, in fact, the essential document for understanding Israel’s claim to the West Bank, and hence, the basis of Israel’s right to build settlements in that territory.

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

Kamala Harris: Biden will restore aid to ‘Palestinians’, reopen East Jerusalem consulate and PLO office in D.C.

Returning to the old arrangement: pressuring our only reliable ally in the Middle East, while coddling and enabling those who would conquer and subjugate us.

“Exclusive: Q&A with Kamala Harris ahead of election,” Arab American News, October 28, 2020:

DEARBORN — Democratic vice presidential nominee and California Senator Kamala Harris visited Metro Detroit last Sunday, making a notable, unannounced stop in Dearborn to grab dinner at the Khalaf Grill. The visit by Joe Biden’s running mate was just one of several visits by both prominent Democratic and Republican candidates in the last few weeks ahead of the critical upcoming general election….

Many Arab voters in Dearborn and Hamtramck hold foreign policy issues important, particularly the Israel and Palestine conflict, Syria, the war on Yemen and others. What can a Biden presidency mean for lasting peace and demands for human rights in the Mid East region? Could we see an end to continued U.S. military engagements in the region?

Joe and I are committed to helping the people of the Arab world meet the challenges they face. The United States cannot dictate the outcomes in other countries, but we do have a responsibility to advance human rights and democratic principles on behalf of all people. We have an obligation to promote universal values and work toward a more peaceful and secure world.

Joe and I also believe in the worth and value of every Palestinian and every Israeli and we will work to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy. We are committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal. We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion. And we will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington.

In Syria, Joe and I will once again stand with civil society and pro-democracy partners in Syria, and help advance a political settlement where the Syrian people have a voice. We will work to protect the most vulnerable Syrians and lead the global coalition to defeat ISIS. And instead of standing by as the government of Saudi Arabia pursues disastrous, dangerous policies, including the ongoing war in Yemen, we will reassess the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia and end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen….

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

The Trump Administration’s Geopolitical Hat Trick

Sudan has become the third Arab country to agree to normalize relations with Israel. The Palestinians are most unhappy: “Palestinians condemn ‘shameful’ Israel-Sudan accord,” by Khaled Abu Toameh and Celia Jean, Jerusalem Post, October 24, 2020:

The Palestinian Authority said on Friday that it “condemns and rejects” the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel.

A statement by the PA presidency in Ramallah said that normalization with Israel is in violation of the Arab summit resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative….

Friday’s statement by the PA, however, did not accuse Sudan of betraying the Palestinians or stabbing the Palestinian people in the back, as was the case with the UAE and Bahrain.

Mahmoud Abbas has apparently figured out that the curses and insults that he and his cronies flung at the UAE and Bahrain when they normalized relations with Israel, did the Palestinians no good, but merely inflamed passions against them. With the Sudan, they’re trying a different, more-in-sorrow approach: How can you do this to us? Don’t you feel our pain?

“No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue,” the statement added. “The path to a just and comprehensive peace should be based on international law and legitimacy so as to end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and achieve independence for the Palestinian people in their state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders. The Palestinian leadership will take the necessary decisions to protect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

But Sudan did not arrogate to itself the “right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue.” It said nothing at all about the “Palestinians” in its agreement to normalize relations with Israel. It was only addressing, and promoting in two ways, its own national interest. First, to obtain this agreement, the U.S. has removed the Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. That will give it access to foreign investors, and to loans from the World Bank, the IMF, and other institutions. Second, Israel will be eager to prove to the Sudan that it made the right choice, by helping it where it most could use Israeli help: in agriculture. Israel is a world leader in drip irrigation, in wastewater management, and in solar energy, all of which could be of great help to Sudanese farmers.

While not in the official PA statement, Wasel Abu Youssef from the Palestinian Liberation Front, a small faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, said that Sudan joining “others who normalized ties with the state of the Israeli occupation represents a new stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a betrayal of the just Palestinian cause.”

“A new stab in the back”? Oh dear. It sounds as if Wasel Abu Youssef of the PLF did not get the memo from Mahmoud Abbas calling for a kinder, gentler approach to Sudan. This kind of charge only infuriated the UAE and Bahrain when it was made about them by the PA; the Sudanese are just as unlikely to be pleased to be described as back-stabbers. The Palestinians really ought to do a better job of coordinating their responses; this mixed-messaging will never do.

Abbas Zaki, a senior official of the ruling Fatah faction, said that Sudan would not gain anything from the normalization accord with Israel….

“Sudan would not gain anything from the normalization accord”? But Sudan has already gained something. It has been removed from the American list of state sponsors of terrorism; that removal will greatly improve Sudan’s ability to attract foreign investment, and will now enable Sudan to receive loans from the IMF, the World Bank, and other financial institutions that were previously impossible to obtain. And then there is the extensive Israeli aid that will be given to Sudanese farmers, just as soon as the agreement goes into effect. Abbas Zaki is whistling in the dark.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the agreement was “not compatible with Sudan’s record of supporting the Palestinians.”

But that “record of supporting the Palestinians” took place under the long and terrible rule of Omar al-Bashir, the dictator of Sudan from 1989 to 2019. Bashir was an ardent supporter of Hamas, allowing it to operate freely in the country. Bashir also gave refuge to Osama bin Laden, who lived securely in the Sudan for four years. The new regime in Sudan wants to end any hint of the country’s previous connection to terrorists; it wants to reconnect with the West, attract investors, and build its economy, especially agriculture. It has gotten nothing from its “record of supporting the Palestinians” except being placed on the list of state sponsors of terror. Now, by normalizing relations with Israel, it has already been taken off that list, allowing it to attract investors, be again eligible for foreign aid, and be able to obtain loans from major financial institutions such as the IMF. Israel is ready to share with Sudanese farmers the benefits of its expertise and advances in at least three key areas – solar energy, drip irrigation, and wastewater management – where it is a world leader.

PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] spokesman Daoud Shehab accused Sudan of presenting Israel with a “free gift” in order to appease the US.

“This is a black day in the history of Sudan,” Shehab added. “The agreement jeopardizes Sudan’s future and identity and is a betrayal of the Arabs and Muslims.”

The PIJ official expressed confidence that the Sudanese people would not accept this “betrayal.”…

It is Israel that will be giving gifts to the Sudan, in the form of aid to its agricultural sector. As for Shehab’s claim that the normalization agreement “jeopardizes Sudan’s future and identity,” since when did the Palestinians become the judges as to the “Arab” identity of others? Because the Sudanese are black, is there possibly an attempt here to hint at doubt as to their “Arab” identity unless they fall back into line with what the Palestinians demand? And what exactly was the “betrayal” by the Sudan? Did it owe the Palestinians anything? Have the Palestinians ever done anything for the Sudan, other than land the country on the list of state sponsors of terrorism?

There is certainly domestic opposition in the Sudan to this new agreement. But the opponents of normalization surely know that the Sudanese quid for that significant American quo was Sudan’s agreeing to normalize relations with Israel. And if they are willing to “give peace a chance,” they will find the new connection with Israel will pay ample dividends, for the Israelis want to make sure that the “early adopters” of normalization realize economic benefits quickly. In the case of Sudan, as bears repeating, that means Israeli help to Sudanese farmers, mainly by sharing Israeli advances in drip irrigation, in waste water management, and in solar energy.

Commending the agreement from the Arab world was Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who tweeted that he welcomed the joint efforts of all three states involved in the agreement.

He added that he also values “all efforts aimed at achieving regional stability and peace.”…

El-Sisi has for a long time been cooperating with Israel on security matters, especially against Jihadis in the Sinai and, naturally, against the Muslim Brotherhood that is the sworn enemy of his regime. He previously praised both the UAE and Bahrain for their normalization agreements with Israel. It is not surprising, but is still heartening, that the most populous Arab state, and Sudan’s immediate northern neighbor, has come out foursquare for the agreement.

The Palestinian Arabs continue to believe that they should have a veto power over the policy toward Israel of all the other Arabs. They seek to deny the Arab states the possibility of making their own arrangements with Israel, arrangements that further their own national interests. The UAE and Bahrain dismissed the Palestinian objections, and went ahead in normalizing relations with the Jewish state. They have had only curses and insults heaped on them by the Palestinians, which only makes them more determined to promote both economic and people-to-people ties with the Israelis – “a warm peace.” Meanwhile, the entire nation of Israel seems ready to make sure their new Arab interlocutors benefit from such normalization; Israeli businessmen, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and tourists have gone to the UAE and Bahrain, while Emiratis and Bahrainis are doing the same in the Jewish state. And now, to complete the Trump Administration’s geopolitical hat trick, Sudan has just become the third Arab state to announce its intention to normalize relations with Israel. Abbas rages in Ramallah, for he can do no other, and the caravan moves on.

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

As Palestinian Authority calls for jihad against Israel, US House Subcommittee votes to give it $250,000,000

“PA-affiliated TV channels have been running a video including a song with an explicit call for ‘jihad’ — a holy war — against Israel until ‘it is too late.’” — i24News, July 6, 2020

No problem! If the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs gets its way, money for that jihad is coming just in time, straight from the Great Satan.

“US House Subcommittee Passes $250 Million in Funding for Palestinian Authority Arabs,” JNS News Service, July 10, 2020:

A U.S. House subcommittee included $250 million in funding for Israeli-Palestinian Authority dialogue and Palestinian Authority business development in a $66 billion spending bill passed earlier this week, despite the Trump administration defunding both areas.

The House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs passed the bill on Monday. It includes $50 million annually over five years for dialogue programs and investment in the Palestinian Authority’s private sector: $110 million for the former and $140 million for the latter.

Additionally, bill seeks “to restore humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinian Authoirty Arabs to continue the viability of a two-state solution by providing resources to organizations working in the West Bank and Gaza,” said House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) in a statement introducing the bill.

It also includes $225 million for Palestinian Authority relief and development, despite the Trump administration slashing funding in that category to virtually zero.

Israel-related lobbying groups AIPAC and J Street have applauded the move…

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

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.

First Thoughts On the Trump Plan and How Mahmoud Abbas Will Save the Day by Hugh Fitzgerald

“The Deal of the Century” turned out to be remarkably generous to the “Palestinians,” giving them far more than they had any right to expect. It promises them a state – the state of Palestine. It doubles the size of the territory under Palestinian control. The Palestinians will under the plan possess nearly 80% of the West Bank. They will also have their capital in East Jerusalem. The plan includes Palestinian use and management of facilities in Haifa and Ashdod ports, Palestinian development of a resort area in the north shore of the Dead Sea, and continued Palestinian agricultural activity in the Jordan Valley. Ultimately, the plan envisions “modern and efficient transportation links” through the future Palestinian state, including Gaza. The West Bank and Gaza will be linked through a tunnel.

Under the Trump plan, the Palestinians will be obligated to disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad, must stop their Pay-For-Slay plan, must stop inciting terrorism, must end the rampant corruption in the PA, must respect human rights, and must guarantee a free press and religious freedom. We shall see if the PA is able to meet these conditions precedent to achieving a state. The PA’s record to date is not encouraging.

The plan also requires Israel to observe a four-year moratorium on any new settlements in the West Bank while negotiations with the Palestinians are going on, but says nothing about whether the moratorium would continue if, after four years, negotiations are still continuing. It makes provision for $50 billion in aid to be given to the Palestinians, as had previously been announced at the “Peace Through Prosperity” workshop in Manama last June. That is a huge sum, but who would pay it? One hopes that it will not be the Western Infidels paying for the Palestinians. The $50 billion ought by rights to come from fellow Muslim Arabs, those who live in the oil-rich states of the Gulf – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar.

The most important concession of all, according to Trump’s peace initiative, would be the recognition of a new state, the State of Palestine. This State of Palestine would have to agree to be disarmed, but how that disarmament would be enforced, and exactly what arms it would include, remains unclear.

Israel also gets certain concessions. Existing Israeli settlements (that is, towns and cities) in the West Bank would be recognized as sovereign Israeli territory. The Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinian refugees, or “refugees” (the quotation marks indicate that these are the descendants of refugees, not true refugees themselves) would be integrated into the countries where they now live. There would be no right of return.

Netanyahu and Gantz have both declared themselves pleased with Trump’s peace plan. But can they truly be pleased with the recognition of a State of Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem? Perhaps they are pleased because the plan is better than any of the previous plans presented by Trump’s predecessors, and because they know that Abbas will never accept it, so they needn’t worry. They can afford to be pleased. There is no other state in the world that has been successfully disarmed. How likely is it that a State of Palestine, full of Jihadis, could be permanently disarmed, and not become a source of terrorism against Israelis, whether living in the West Bank or elsewhere in Israel?

The plan is generally good, but I confess that I expected even better. I did not think this administration would recognize a State of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem. I envisioned instead an arrangement whereby the local Arabs (to be carefully referred to as “Palestinian Arabs”) in the West Bank would be given as much autonomy as was consonant with Israeli security, but not a state. The safer the Israelis, the greater the degree of local autonomy. I see that I was wrong.

However, there is one thing about this plan that makes it most welcome. And that is the assurance that neither Mahmoud Abbas, nor any of his successors in the Palestinian Authority, nor anyone in Hamas, will be willing to negotiate over this plan in good faith. The Palestinians rejected Trump’s plan before they knew what was in it; they reject it again now that they know what is in it. Much of the world will be able to see that even when the Palestinians are offered a state of their own, even when they are promised that that state’s capital will be in East Jerusalem, even when they are further promised $50 billion in aid, far more than any of the more than 100 developing countries have ever received In aid, that is not enough to satisfy them. They are the spoiled brats of the international community.

Other Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, will urge the Palestinians to take the deal — “You get a state, you have your capital in Jerusalem, the Israelis have to stop building settlements, you’ll have 80% of the West Bank” – “or else.” “Or else” would mean only this: “We are tired of your whining, tired of the whole Palestinian problem; tired of your refusal to accept $50 billion in aid. We have so many bigger problems to think about, starting but not ending with Iran. Get with the program. Or count us out.” The refusal of the Palestinians to take the deal will only widen the gap between them and the other Arabs.

In agreeing to the Trump plan, Israel will have committed itself to not building new settlements in the West Bank for four years, while negotiations are going on. It’s a big concession. But if there are no negotiations, because the Palestinians continue to refuse enter into them, then the Trump administration has made clear that Israel is no longer required to refrain from settlement building. The Trump administration has noted that, in that case, it will support Israel should it decide to unilaterally incorporate other areas of the West Bank, beyond what it will already have annexed. And the offer of a State of Palestine will not be revived. And very few, at that point, will care.

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

‘The Golan is ours’ — Israel Sovereignty and American National Security

A momentous joint press conference was held at the White House with President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu on February 15, 2017. For the first time in recent memory, a U.S. President was not demanding that Israel relinquish sovereign territory that had been granted under international law. That meant that the Jewish nation was entitled to negotiate secure borders in the land west of the river.

Things appear to be changing in the Middle East among the Sunni Arab monarchies, Emirates and states recognizing that America’s democratic ally is the proverbial strong horse opposing the hegemonic aspirations of the Shia Islamic Republic of Iran. An Iran that in consort with its proxy Hezbollah is actively engaging in creating a Shia crescent from the Persian Gulf via Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean Coast of Lebanon. Moreover, Iran has control of two world maritime choke points in the oil trades; the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al Mandab (at the mouth of the Red Sea).

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The Golani tree symbol of the IDF Golani Brigade of the Northern command.

For Israel there is evidence that Iran’s IRGC Qods force and its proxy Hezbollah are ranging across the vital Golan Heights frontier. That is reflected in clashes that resulted in the deaths of IRGC Generals and a Hezbollah commander, son of the terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyah.   A frontier that is also witnessing the expansion of ISIS militia on the southern portion of the Golan frontier.

The Golan is strategic to Israel’s national security reflected in its annexation by Israel’s parliament the Knesset in 1981. Yet, there have been efforts at the UN suggesting that Israel’s sovereign claim to the Golan is questioned. That despite it being included in the original Palestine Mandate granted to Great Britain at the Sam Remo conference in 1920. After two climatic wars fought in 1967 and in 1973, Israel is not about to give up its sovereign claim to the Golan.Further, Israel’s ears on the Middle East can be found on the summit of Mount Hermon at the base of the frontier monitoring digital communications.  IDF Golani units are deployed on the heights of this important bastion.  The UNDOF force in the demilitarized has been routed during the six plus years of the Syrian civil war. Israel has provided humanitarian aid and medical assistance to Syrian civilians and casualties of opposition militias often treating them in field hospitals and in emergency cases sending them to hospitals in central Israel.  The Syrian frontier on the Golan divides the Druze community, the Israeli branch of which are loyal citizens and yet understand the predicament of their cousins across the frontier.

There has been talk of establishment of so-called safe zones in southern Syria at the apex where Israel, Jordan and Israel meet.  At issue is what international forces would staff it. Given the record of the UN peacekeepers it is dubious that it could effectively defend the suggested safe zones. Israel’s experience in the Lebanon wars indicates that it is not about to take on the responsibility of a security zone in Syria. The one in Lebanon ended disastrously in the pell mell withdrawal from the Southern security zone   in 2000.

That apex at the conjunction of the three counties frontiers is now the target of the Islamic State. A recent Jewish Press report confirms the activity of Islamic State Salafist militia overrunning the apex area of Southern Syria, Jordan and Israel threatening the Golan frontier. It reports that the ISIS militia is lead by a Palestinian Salafist. While the IDF Chief of Staff Eizenkot would like the UNDOF to block further movement by the ISIS, their track record has been abysmal. Thus his assessment is that the IDF on the northern frontier could see intense fighting occur this spring.

Jonathan Schanzer and Marc Dubowitz crystallized in a Wall Street Journal article, “Golan,” stressing the vital importance of Israel’s sovereignty.  They noted:

Benjamin Netanyahu has achieved his primary objective of resetting ties with the U.S. after eight years of tensions. True, the Israeli prime minister and Donald Trump still need to bridge the gap on issues such as Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy and West Bank settlements. But they seem to be on the same page on a broad range of regional matters.

That could lead to a breakthrough on an issue of strategic importance to Israel. According to reports of the two leaders’ meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu asked for U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The move makes sense for both sides. It would provide the Israeli government with a diplomatic win while helping the Trump administration signal to Russia and Iran that the U.S. is charting a new course in Syria.

[…]

By recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan, the Trump administration would signal to Russia that, while Washington may now coordinate with Moscow on activities such as fighting Islamic State, it doesn’t share Russia’s goals for Syria.

Moreover, it would show that the U.S. will take a tougher line on the provision of arms and intelligence to Iran and Hezbollah.

Recognition of Israel’s Golan claims would acknowledge that it needs these highlands to hold off a multitude of asymmetric and conventional military threats from Syria—and whatever comes after the war there. Israel continues to target Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah to prevent them from establishing a base of operations on the Syrian Golan.

Recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan would also soften the Palestinians’ core demand for a state within the 1967 borders. If an international border can be revised along the Syrian border, the Palestinians will have a harder time presenting the 1949 armistice line along the West Bank as inviolable.

Against this background we reached out to someone who knows the strategic importance of what Messrs. Schanzer and Dubowitz have espoused, Ambassador Yoram Ettinger former Israeli emissary in Washington involved with Congressional liaison.

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Mike Bates

Mike Bates:  Good afternoon welcome back to Your Turn, this is Mike Bates. We continue with our conversation, our Middle East round table discussion. With me in studio is Jerry Gordon,  Senior Editor of the New English Review and his blog the Iconoclast.

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Jerry Gordon

Jerry Gordon: Glad to be back.

Bates: And joining us by telephone from Israel is Yoram Ettinger, former Israeli Congressional Liaison.

Yoram Ettinger: Thank you very much.

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Former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger

Bates: Ambassador Ettinger, from your perspective as a former Israeli Emissary involved with Congressional relations, how significant was the outcome of the joint press conference at the White House on January 15th?

Ettinger: I would say that the outcome of the meeting between the leaders of the US and Israel is very significant.  It signals reconnection of the US administration with Middle Eastern reality after eight years – and more years – of assuming that the Palestinian issue is the core cause of regional turbulence and the crown jewel of Arab policymaking. Now there is an Administration that realizes, with all due respect, the Palestinian issue is not the primary or secondary, not even tertiary issue when it comes to Middle East priorities. The current administration seems to focus on the major threats to the US as well as to Western democracies and the regional and global stability. These are: Iran’s megalomaniacal aspirations and its  aim to become a major nuclear power. Second is Islamic terrorism  and third, the need to minimize the clear and present danger to every  pro- American Arab regime in the middle east, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain and Oman.

On all of those issues – Iran, Islamic terrorism, and the need to stabilize the pro- American Arab regimes – Israel plays a very unique role. The question is, are you going to sacrifice the very essential cooperation between US and Israel on the altar of the Palestinian issue? It seems to me that President Trump and his advisors may or may not go along entirely with Israel’s view of the Palestinian issue.  They are not going to sacrifice dire American national security interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue, which is not, is not, a core cause as far as Arab policymaking is concerned.

Bates: Ambassador Ettinger, I realize Israel is a democratic country, and like every democratic country, the people are not unified in their view of the world any more so in Israel as it is in the United States. But I’m curious. If you can generalize, what is the sense of the Israeli people to President Trump versus what we had for the previous eight years, President Obama?

Ettinger: Certainly Israel is highly diversified as far as ideology, as far as world view, even as far as Judaism is concerned.  However, one should note that a major factor in Israel is a sense of patriotism. We see that on the occasion of wars, on the occasion of conflicts with Arab countries, and recently on the issue of the Palestinians.  We see coalitions of all the big groups in Israel.  In fact, something which is not common in the US. The  majority of our special operation forces are very Dovish, and I emphasize very, very Dovish in their world view, and the majority of Israel’s combat pilots are also very Dovish.

And, their worldview has nothing to do with the fact that they are first to be called to serve during wartime, and they serve superbly.

When it comes to President Trump, the perception in Israel is that he is supportive of Israel. The public has accorded him at this point very significant support, unlike the case of the eight years with President Obama – when many Israelis sympathized with him as far as personality is concerned, maybe as it was reflected by television, newspapers, radio – but most Israelis were aware that as far as President Obama was concerned, Israel was not exactly one of his top positive priorities. When it comes to President Trump, the sense is that he does regard the Jewish State as a cardinal, positive element on his agenda.

Gordon: Ambassador, what is the danger of having a Palestinian state adjacent to the Jewish nation of Israel?

Ettinger: When it comes to Israel, the clear and present lethal threat is highlighted at this time of global instability, violence, and intolerance, tenuous agreements, tenuous regimes and policies. With a Palestinian state, Israel would be once again constrained to an eight-to-fifteen mile sliver along the Mediterranean, over-towered and dominated by the mountain ridges of the West Bank of Judea and Samaria. This is not exactly a prescription for long life expectancy. It’s a prescription for suicide, I believe.

But the key point is not what it means for Israel. For your American listeners, the issue is what would the impact be on America’s national security. And Americans should know when it comes to a Palestinian State, based on its track record, we are talking about a definite erosion of America’s authority in the Middle East and definite injury to very important American national security interests. For instance, there is the American-supported Hashemite monarchy in Jordan. A Palestinian State on the one hand and Hashemite regime in Jordan east of the Jordan River constitute an oxymoron.

Top Jordanian military officers made it very clear to their colleagues in Israel that the top priority of the Hashemites  is to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. Now the issue is not merely one more, or one less pro- American Arab regime.  A change in regime in Jordan would cause tectonic ripple effects, which would not be limited only to Jordan, but a definite spill- over southward to Saudi Arabia and from Saudi Arabia to the rest of the pro- American  Arab Gulf states.

This means that a Palestinian state could trigger ripple effects all the way into the Persian Gulf area, playing into the hands of Iran, also possibly into the hands of Russia and China and certainly adversely effecting America’s interest. It could create an Iranian block from Iran through Iraq, Jordan, all the way to fifteen miles from the Mediterranean. That  would mean loss of pro- American control of two critical waterways, the Bab el Mandab and Hormuz Straits in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, two of the most critical waterways for oil tankers, which would have an impact on the  global economy and  American economies.

You might also find a guarantee of naval rights, landing rights for the Russian, possibly Iranian, maybe Chinese, naval and air force, in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, which once again would undermine vital American interests.

All this is based on the track record of Palestinians, which includes the waves of terrorism in the 1920s, 30s, 40s; collaboration with the Nazis during the Second World War; collaboration with the USSR after the war; collaboration with Ayatollah Khomeini after the demise of the Shah of Iran; and very close ties with Russia, North Korea, China, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Bates: Ambassador  Ettinger there was a recent  The Wall Street Journal op-ed by Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz of the Washington DC based Foundation for Defense of Democracies drew attention to the possibility of Israel asserting sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Why did Israel annex the Golan Heights in 1981 and what geo-political and national security significance does it have given the threats on the frontier from Iran’s proxy Hezbollah and Syrian Islamic opposition  and ISIS?

 Ettinger: First of all, the Golan Heights is not foreign terrain for the Jewish state. The Golan Heights is part of the Jewish homeland going back some 3,500 years .  As far as contemporary strategy is concerned, there are only two options when it comes Golan: will it be part of Israel, controlled by Israel; or will it be a platform for rogue organizations, rogue regimes. There is no other option, although again in the wishful la-la land of some western policymakers, one could transform it into an international, neutral area.  Certainly when you look at the Middle East there is no such thing as a neutral element or neutral space.

As far as the impact of the Golan Heights, once again on the region as a whole and on Israel. One can go back to 1970 when Syria was a major military Arab power, Syria invaded Jordan. With the US bogged down in Southeast Asia, there was no way it could stretch military hand and help the pro- American late King Hussain. They called Israel. Israel mobilized its troops and the following day – without firing a single shot, only through the posture of deterrence of the presence of Israel – the Syrian military withdrew back to Syria. That was possible because Israel controlled the Golan Heights in 1970, which meant we were at the point where we could reach Damascus and basically take over Syria.

Should Israel be off the Golan Heights, and once again there is violence which threatens pro-American Arab regime in Jordan, without the Golan (and certainly there would already be a Palestinian state), Israel would be in no position, have no power to exert any posture of deterrence to assist the US, assist pro-American Arab regimes. We are talking today about the proliferation of Islamic terrorist organizations, many of which operate in Syria, which means with proximity to the Golan Heights and should Israel get off Golan Heights, the only question would be: which rogue regime, which rogue organization, will then control the Golan Heights.

Bates: There is no question that the Golan Heights are critical to the security of Israel. I made a day trip through Golan Heights when I was in Tiberius a few years ago. It’s beautiful, sparsely populated area.  It is of  massive strategic importance. Why doesn’t the United States recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel’s sovereign territory and is there any chance that will change under a Trump presidency?

Ettinger: It’s true that Golan Heights is critical for Israel’s national security, but it’s also true that it is  very important for America’s own national security, America’s own posture of deterrence in the Middle East.  Israel on the Golan Heights, Israel on the mountain ridges of Judea Samaria extends the strategic hand of the USA. With Israel off the Golan Heights and certainly off the mountain ridges of the West Bank, Israel is going to be transformed from a national security asset to a national security liability and a burden on the US. And the US is facing, in my mind, intensifying, and not reduced, threats due to the current trends in the Middle East and throughout the world. The US cannot rely on Europe which has lost its will power gradually – and is also losing its muscle. Israel is the only element in the Middle East upon which the US can rely. It is probably the most effective force anywhere in the world upon which the US can rely on.

Bates: No, question about it Ambassador.

Gordon: Ambassador, what is behind Israel’s emergence as a world leader in high tech global investments and its impact on the country’s economy?

 Ettinger: Out of necessity, due to the attempt to strangle Israel territorially, militarily, economically; due to various attempts to boycott and sanction Israel; and due to real lack of natural resources, Israel had to rely on its brain power. We have managed not only to survive but we have managed to develop – I would say next to the US – a major global, high tech technological country, both commercially and militarily. Today, in Israel, we have 250 research and development centers operated by global high tech giants, most of them American, some European. These are the centers that develop for Intel and Microsoft, and Apple and Google, and other giants, the latest innovative technologies. Israel contributes to research and development in America, to the competitiveness of American industries in the global competition, and to America’s foundation of employment.

Bates: It is a huge benefit, Ambassador. We have been speaking with Jerry  Gordon of the New English Review and its blog the Iconoclast and  with Ambassador Yoram Ettinger.  You can find Ambassador Ettinger online at www.theettingerreport.com.

Thanks so much for joining us this afternoon on 1330amWEBY

Listen to the broadcast, here.

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

VIDEO: Which is the Apartheid State? This sign says it all…

Have you ever wondered why there are so many people who refer to Israel as an apartheid state? Well, most have no interest in the truth. They simply hate Jews and this is just another way for the haters to hate.

While in Israel we came across a road sign to Jericho, a city located near the Jordan River in the Palestinian controlled West Bank, which reads:

This Road leads To Area “A” Under The Palestinian Authority. The Entrance For Israeli Citizens Is Forbidden, Dangerous To Your Lives And Is Against The Israeli Law.

This video of the sign demonstrates how APARTHEID the state of Israel really is NOT. An urban legend gone wrong:

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of the road sign leading to Jericho is by .

Landmark Victory In New York Federal Court for U.S. Victims of Palestinian Terror

Credit Nitsana Darshan -Leitner of Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) and US co-counsel for today’s verdict award by Federal Judge Daniels in a case brought against the Palestinian Authority arising from terrorist funding activities during the Second Intifada fomented  by the late Yassir Arafat of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO. Newsweek reported:

In the first ruling of its kind, a U.S. court has found the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization liable for damages suffered by 10 American families whose relatives were injured or killed in attacks in Israel.

The six shootings and bomb attacks in question took place between 2002 and 2004, during the second intifada, or uprising, killing 33 and wounding more than 450. The lawsuit was filed in 2004 and was tried in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York.

“This historic verdict against the defendants will not bring back these families’ loved ones nor heal the physical and psychological wounds inflicted upon them but it truly is an important measure of justice and closure for them after their long years of tragic suffering and pain,” Israel-based law office Shurat HaDin, which worked on the case, said in a statement after the verdict on Monday.

The plaintiffs argued that the two organizations supported the attacks—whether via direct involvement or assistance in the form of material support or training. They also allegedly paid those who carried out the attacks and continue to compensate perpetrators who were imprisoned as well as the families of those who died.

Since the plaintiffs are all U.S. citizens, the case was tried in the country under the Antiterrorism Act signed into law by then President Bill Clinton in 1996, which gives American courts jurisdiction over acts of terrorism that harm U.S. citizens abroad.

“We are truly grateful that an American court has heard the evidence against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO and determined that suicide terrorism was indeed their official policy during the Second Intifada,” said the statement from Shurat HaDin sent in an email to Newsweek. It continued:

We started out more than a decade ago with the intent of making the defendants pay for their terrorist crimes against innocent civilians and letting them know that there will eventually be a price to be paid for sending suicide bombers onto our buses and into our cafes. The defendants have already been boasting that they will appeal the decision and we will never collect on the judgment. We will not allow them to make a mockery of the US court process, however, and we continue to pursue them until it is paid in full. If the PA and PLO have the funds to pay the families of the suicide bombers each month, then they have the money to pay these victims of Palestinian terrorism.

The New York Times Breaking News report places both incumbent President Mahmoud Abbas and the Administration in a quandary, as the Netanyahu government has withheld $100 million in monthly tax revenue remittances used to fund the PA operations  because of the latter pursuit of claims of war crimes brought before the International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands. Perhaps the award of $218.5 million might be paid as compensation to Israeli and US victims of Palestinian terrorism from those taxation remittances witheld by Israel.  Kol Hakavod to Ms. Leitner and the team at Shurat HaDinand US co-counsel. Their motto is: “Bankrupting Terrrorism, One Law Suit at a Time.”

Below is the New York Times report:

Jury Awards $218.5 Million in Terrorism Case Against Palestinian Groups

The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization were found liable on Monday by a jury in Manhattan for their role in knowingly supporting six terrorist attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004 in which Americans were killed and injured.

The jury in Federal District Court in Manhattan awarded $218.5 million in damages, a number that is automatically tripled to $655.5 million under the special terrorism law under which the case was brought.

The verdict ended a decade-long legal battle to hold the Palestinian organizations responsible for the terrorist acts. And while the decision was a huge victory for the dozens of plaintiffs, it also could serve to strengthen the Israeli claim that the supposedly more moderate Palestinian forces are directly tied to terrorism.

The financial implications of the verdict for the defendants were not immediately clear. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, had serious financial troubles even before Israel, as punishment for the Palestinians’ move in December to join the International Criminal Court, began withholding more than $100 million a month in tax revenue it collects on the Palestinians’ behalf.

The verdict came in the seventh week of a civil trial in which the jury had heard emotional testimony from survivors of suicide bombings and other attacks in Jerusalem, in which a total of 33 people were killed and more than 450 were injured.

READ MORE »

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

Palestinian Authority Rewards Jihadis for Number of Jews they Murder

Don’t you dare call it savagery, you racist, bigoted Islamophobe. “Palestinian Authority Rewards Terrorists for Number of Jews They Kill,” by Edwin Black, Algemeiner, February 8, 2015:

Last year, Congressional legislators were astonished to learn that the Palestinian Authority was issuing monthly payouts totaling between $3 and 7 million as salaries and other financial rewards to specific terrorists and their families.

The money was channeled, in part, through the Ministry of Prisoners pursuant to the Law of the Prisoner. The law set forth a graduated scale, pegging monthly salaries to the length of Israeli jail sentences, which generally reflects the severity of the crime and the number of people killed and/or injured.

Thousands of documents, newly obtained by this reporter through a lawsuit to unseal court-protected files, demonstrate that these payouts are not blind automated payments. Rather, senior Palestinian Authority officials as high as President Mahmoud Abbas scrutinize the details of each case, the specific carnage caused, and the personal details of each terrorist act before approving salaries and awarding honorary ranks in either the PA government or the military.

Ministry of Prisoners spokesman Amr Nasser has explained, “We are very proud of this program and we have nothing to hide.” Nonetheless, in response to the international furor, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would replace the Ministry of Prisoners with an outside PLO commission known as the Higher National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs.

The PA is dependent upon foreign donor countries to supply much of its budget, which now exceeds $4.2 billion annually. About ten percent of the PA budget, more than $400 million, is contributed annually by United States foreign aid. The U.S. and many other countries have enacted laws forbidding any payments when the monies directly or indirectly support or encourage terrorism.

The interdepartmental bureaucratic notations the Palestinian Authority has recorded on each terrorist before approving the level of salaried compensation is extensive. For example, one prominent case involved Ahmad Talab Mustafa Barghouti, who personally coordinated numerous terrorist acts. These included a January 2002 shooting spree on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, killing two and wounding 37; a March 2002 shooting spree at a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing three and wounding 31; and finally a March 27, 2002, attempt to smuggle an explosive suicide belt in an ambulance. The Israel Defense Forces arrested Ahmad. On July 30, 2002, a military court concluded that he was responsible for murdering 12 Israelis, and Barghouti was sentenced to 13 life sentences.

According to on-going internal Palestinian Authority security reviews dated February 3, 2009, and July 6, 2009, Barghouti’s special compensation began retroactively to July 1, 2002, the first of the month that the 13 life sentences were imposed. At the time of his arrest, Barghouti was a Sergeant in the Palestinian Police. As a reward, while in an Israeli prison, Barghouti’s annual salary of 12,953 Israeli shekels was continued and gradually escalated when he was promoted to First Sergeant.

Still in prison, Barghouti was promoted again, this time to Warrant Officer, pursuant to a November 13, 2008, Presidential Order 15999/3, according to Palestinian internal security records. One document lists Barghouti’s bank account as account 36079 at the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance in Ramallah. A related document tabulates additional monthly allocations for Barghouti’s two named beneficiaries, showing they jointly received 900 shekels monthly in 2002, beginning the month he was sentenced. That monthly allocation rose to 1,000 shekels in January 2004. The beneficiary payments were deposited into account 628134 at the Arab Bank’s al Bireh Branch 9030, the documents show….

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Florida Mayor takes bold stand against Terrorism!

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Mayor Kent Guinn, Ocala, Florida.

Mayor Kent Guinn took a bold stand against terrorism on Tuesday, when he and the City Council rejected attempts by terrorist sympathizer Manal Fakhoury (pictured above) to marry the city of Ocala, Florida to Ramallah, Palestine via  Sister Cities International, a United Nations driven initiative.

A request to formally align the City of Ocala, which is affectionately known as horse country and the city of Ramallah which is better known for anti-Semitism and  terrorism was submitted by Manal Fakhoury, a Palestinian herself, as well as Karin Dean, Cindy Grimes, and Lola Gonzales in the official capacity of Fakhoury Leadership International.

Ramallah, is the Capitol city of the Palestinian Authority.  The P.A. was birthed out of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO),  a federally designated Terrorist Organization which by all appearances changed its name in an effort to distance itself from its violent nature.

The  application which was meet with strong opposition and dated 10/16/2014 was heard by the City Council, on Tuesday 11/18/2014.  Some in support of the initiative to twining the cities of Ocala and Ramallah, showed up wearing Fakhoury Leadership International T-Shirts.  Those who spoke in favor of a formal agreement via Sister Cities International, framed the initiative as an attempt to to promote peace and mutual understanding.

Suggesting Ramallah as a stalwart city in any effort to promote peace and mutual understanding in light its long history of terrorism is a stretch to say the least.  Recent Jihadist attacks on Jewish citizens, attacks the Israeli Prime Minister attributes directly to PLO leader Mamoud Abbas who is headquartered in Ramallah add additional skepticism to Fakhourys’ stated mission.   Comments by Israeli leadership regarding recent attacks give a glimpse at the kind of influence Ocala could expect from such an alliance:

Prime Minister Netanyahu said incitement by Hamas and Abbas motivated attacks on Jews. “This is a direct result of the incitement lead by Hamas and Abu Mazen (Abbas), incitement that the international community irresponsibly ignores. We will respond with a firm hand to this brutal murder of Jews who went to pray and were scathed by despicable murder.”   

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) said that “Abbas, one of the biggest terrorists to have arisen from the Palestinian people, bears direct responsibility for the Jewish blood spilt on tallit and tefillin while we were busy with delusions about the [peace] process.”   (Haaretz.com, 18 November 2014)

Manal palestine yasser arafat2

Manal Fakhoury posing with life size picture of Yasser Arafat, PLO terrorist.

Manal Fakhoury, is a tireless activist whose long history ties her to individuals and groups whose stated mission is to impose Sharia Law around the world, to include the United States.

In addition to membership in several Ocala organizations, Fakhoury is board member of United Voices for America (UVA) a spin-off of CAIR, as well as the Capitol Leadership Academy (CLA).  Co-founder Ahmed  Bedier launched UVA after jumping ship just prior to Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) being designated a Co-conspirator in the largest successfully prosecuted terrorism finance trial in U.S. history.  Members of CAIR have been convicted of terrorism, material support for terrorism, and it’s leadership has openly expressed their desire to replace the U.S. Constitution with sharia law.   This is not a freedom of speech or 1st Amendment issue, but is in fact a direct challenge to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution and its supremacy.

Ironically, CAIR was designated a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) just this past week along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), both Muslim Brotherhood entities, while at the same time both organizations enjoy unprecedented influence in local, state, and federal politics.

Capitol Leadership and similar Academies have sprung up in over 25 states, following the model set by Manal Fakhoury and Ahmed Bedier.  These Academies were designed to train 12-18 year old “minorities” almost exclusively Muslim to learn the ins and out of legislation, lobbying, and running for political office.

According to “student(s)” we placed inside two of these week long classes.  Ahmed Bedier said “I want clean Muslims in office in the next two years”.  In light of this information, it might be worth considering the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood used similar operations to gain legitimacy, influence, and eventually the Presidency in Egypt during the so called “Arab Spring”.

The Gainville Sun, reported that Mayor Guinn displayed an article detailing these connections titled “Manal Fakhoury: Possibly the Most Dangerous and Influential Woman in Florida Politics“, as well as other pictures of her beaming in front of pictures of Mamoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat.  Mayor Guinn stated:

“These are things I am concerned about, are the ties of Ramallah, Manal, and this group of people like pictured there,” Guinn said.

He added, “I am not going to pursue having a sister cities, twinning relationship, whatever you want to call it, for a lot of reasons, this being one of them.”

Sister Cities International, is a U.N. entity which facilitates the twinning of cities worldwide, providing guidance, formal agreements, and liaison between twinning cites and federal and international bodies.

One of the stated goals; is for the twinning to be mutually beneficial partnerships between peer communities to include exchanges in the fields of culture, arts, education, trade, municipal management, health agriculture and industry to name a few.  In addition, Cities may provide Sister City Organizations with financial support.

Historically, the Palestinian people have been a “refugee” people who have had little to offer in the way of agriculture and industry on a global basis.  Almost certainly any support would be directed towards Ramallah and not the City of Ocala or its residents.  Other than art and culture not much is left in the way of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Manal Fakoury PDF FB GAZA Photo enlarged  hate jewsEven CULTURE is suspect when you consider the following point(s):

Islam is a complete way of life for Muslims; meaning it is all encompassing and there is virtually no separation between the culture, religion, or the personal life of a Muslim.

Shabbir Mansori, founder of the Council on Islamic Education which is responsible for virtually all Islamic content in America’s public school textbooks succinctly illustrates the Islamic inseparability between culture and goals of Islam in regard to his statement regarding  his work America’s Public School system.

“I am waging a “bloodless” revolution, promoting world cultures and faiths in America’s classrooms”.

Gainesville Sister Cities Director Steve Kalishman said 20 percent of Palestinians are Christian and there is no fighting going on in Ramallah. He said Gainesville has a “great Sister City.” as reported in Gainsville Sun.   

This is a standard Muslim Brotherhood talking point which flies in the face of the fact that thousands of Christians have had to flee areas under P.A. control with a steady rise in attacks since the Oslo Peace Accords.  Christian population has dropped from 15% down to only 2% since just the 1960’s.

In her arrogance, Fakhoury said  “I don’t think he knows what he is talking about,” Fakhoury said of the mayor. “If he really had any concern, why wouldn’t he speak to me?” in regard to Mayor Guinn.

She said the Sister Cities program is a positive one and that if any city needed a sister city, Ocala did. she went onto say “I really thought our city was better than this. I think people know me”.

She said she has worked hard for the city of Ocala, a clear reference to her relentless outreach and involvement in dozens of groups.  Statements which on the surface suggest that the backward, redneck City of Ocala obligated to oblige her based on she had done for the community.

 She went on to affirm her commitment to terrorism, saying “There’s a ton of support in the city of Ocala. I just didn’t bother doing it that way. But we will continue our work (with Ramallah) without a relationship,” she said.

Fakhoury called commissioners’ lack of interest “disheartening” and “sad.” She said there is a blog online by ACT Jacksonville that is smearing her reputation.

By now it should be clear to those seriously considering the information provided in this article and links, that Manal Fakhoury is a passionate and driven woman.  Whose drive and support comes with certain expectations which may be diametrically opposed to the health and well being of our local, state, and ultimately national body politic.

Riayd and Manal Fakhoury’s, impact on Florida Politics has been significant on both sides of the isle.  They regularly fund and host fundraiser in their home for various Governors, Senators, House Members and Attorney Generals with Hamas Operative Ahmed Bedier frequently in tow.

It is very refreshing to see elected officials who have the discernment to recognize a clear and present danger, as well as the courage to act in the best interest of the community despite the risk of being labeled a racist?, hatemonger, bigot, or Islamaphobe.

Hat Tip to the City of Ocala, Mayor Kent Guinn, Council President John McLeod, James P. Hilty Sr., Brent Malver, Jay Musley, and Councilwoman Mary S. Rich.

American Jewish Baby Killed by Hamas Terrorist in Jerusalem

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Insert is photo of three month old Chaya Zisel Braun. Photo courtesy NBC Channel 4 New York.

Three month old Chaya Zisel Braun was run down and killed at the Silwan Light Rail Station in Jerusalem by a Hamas terrorist, 21 year-old Abdel Rahman  Al-Shalodi. Eight other persons were injured in the crowd he ploughed into on the station platform. Ha’aretz reported:

According to witnesses, Al-Shalodi drove the car 14 meters on the tracks itself, hitting disembarking passengers and continuing on along the length of the track. He stopped after hitting a pole a few hundred meters down and then attempted to flee on foot, when he was shot, arrested, and hospitalized.

[…]

An eyewitness reported seeing the car hit the mother and baby and continue plowing through the crowd. “The stroller was shattered and the mother was screaming.

[…]

The stroller flew into the air and the baby was found 10 meters away from the stroller.”

Hamas issued a statement calling Al-Shaludi’s murder of Chaya Zisel an “act of heroism”.

Al-Shaludi  had served  time  in an Israeli prison on terrorist-related charges.  Chaya Zisel  parents and visiting grandparents from America, the Halperins, grieved for their loss. Shimon Halperin and his wife had just arrived in Israel on their first visit after their birth of their granddaughter to see Chaya Zisel. Instead they were rushed  to Hadassah Hospital  on Mount Scopus   Chaya  succumbed to her injuries and  was laid to rest  at a Jerusalem cemetery  at midnight, Wednesday, October 22nd.  Al -Shaludi’s  mother,  did not acknowledging her son’s murderous action.   The Times of Israel  reported 42 year old Inas Sharif  saying “I feel [Chaya’s mother’s pain, I am a mother after all. I don’t wish for any mother in the world to lose her child.”

 Biased media  obfuscated what occurred on Wednesday  at the Silwan Light Rail stop in Jerusalem located at the bottom of Ammunition Hill.

What passes for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA)  stoked the violence that broke out during the recent Sukkoth holiday.  The AP had an initial headline, “ Israeli Police shoot man in East Jerusalem”  and only after complaints about it being misleading changed it to read,  “Palestinian Kills Baby at Jerusalem Station. “ The  U.S. consulate in Jerusalem issued statement hours after the event  calling it a “traffic incident”.  When the news caught up  at Foggy Bottom  they called it an act of terrorism, but with the usual proviso of  “all parties remaining calm.”  Jen Psaki  State Department Press Spokesperson made  the following statement:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.

Jerusalem Mayor  Nir Barkat said:

We must restore peace to Jerusalem – as I said for months, the situation in Jerusalem is intolerable and we must be acting unequivocally against the violence taking place in the city,

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu put the blame squarely on the PA leadership. He said:

This is how Abu Mazen’s  partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited  a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

Khaled Abu Toameh  squarely put the blame for the eruption of violence in Jerusalem  on PA President Abbas in a Gatestone Institute article, today, “Abbas’s Responsibility for Murder.” Toameh wrote:

To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one need look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.

The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas’s speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas’s crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.

Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.

Toameh drew attention  to the record of incitement  perpetrated by Abbas and  his cohorts like chief negotiator Saeb Erekat .  They concocted  the hate that led to Wednesday ‘s vehicular homicide by  al-Shalodi.  There was  Abbas’ UN General Assembly speech in September accusing Israel of waging  a “war of Genocide” in the 50-day war against  terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.  This from a man who ordered Palestinian security to cooperate with Israel  during the rocket and terror tunnel conflict fomented by his partner in the unity government, Hamas.   Abbas used the Sukkoth visits to the Kotel to inflame Palestinian. That  resulted in Israeli police cordoning off the Al Aqsa Mosque preventing Palestinians from raining rocks and Molotov cocktails on  the festival crowd of observant Jews below.  Abbas railed about Jewish desecration of Islamic  holy places. Abbas said:

We must prevent them from entering the Noble Sanctuary by all means. This is our Al-Aqsa. Al-Aqsa is a red line: Israel must be aware that the ongoing raids and attacks on Al-Aqsa will cause a volcanic explosion in the area that will reach Israel. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, and without it, there will be no state.

The flash point for al-Shalodi’s  terrorist act was reports that Jewish  “settlers” were buying buildings in the Silwan  section in Jerusalem.   The National , published in the UAE had  a  report that vaulted  to world coverage  when it popped up on Yahoo News, “By hook or by crook, settlers rack up gains in East Jerusalem.” The report looks suspiciously like hate filled PA agit-propaganda , tantamount to throwing oil on the fire of the “silent Intifada”.

By fair means or foul, Jewish settlers are notching up property gains in the heart of Arab east Jerusalem through a series of shady deals involving front men or straw companies.

The process by which such properties are acquired is shrouded in mystery, with the new Jewish occupants often moving in under the cover of darkness to avoid confrontation with residents.

The latest controversial acquisitions took place in Silwan, a densely populated Palestinian neighborhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

In the past three weeks, hardline settlers have moved into 35 apartments there, sparking anger and consternation among Palestinians who vehemently oppose such moves as a hostile attempt to Judaise Silwan.

Some were allegedly acquired fraudulently, and others legally.

Jewish groups buying up property in the heart of Arab neighborhoods is an explosive political issue because it touches on the future of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as capital of a future state.

The reality is that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal and undivided capital. East Jerusalem was formally annexed  by the Knesset on June 28, 1967, reunified following the Six Day War.. Earlier this month we posted on the Iconoclast:

The President and State Department condemned  Netanyahu’s announcement of 2,610 apartments in Givat Hamatos completing the Jewish areas of the municipality and separation from Bethlehem.   The Administration said the move would “poison relations” among Israel’s allies.  Nir Barkat , Mayor of Jerusalem,  took exception to the Administration’s criticism of the building program noting that it was anti-discriminatory and had been approved over two years ago.  Nearly half of those apartments were allocated for Arabs. There were death threats against Arab property brokers for sales of apartments to Jews in the Silwan section of Jerusalem, that prior to the War for Independence had been occupied by Jews.

Wednesday’s vehicular homicide of three month old Chaya Zisel Braun was perpetrated by Hamas terrorist al-Shaludi  with  PA President Abbas, as  an accomplice after the fact for inciting the terrorist act.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Photos courtesy of NER.