Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Palestinian children and their status in society

Video Of The Week - Super Rich Palestinians -

 by Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch, “Palestinian Media Watch”

For almost a decade, the Palestinian NGO Defence for Children International - Palestine (DCI-P) has unjustifiably been accusing Israel of breaching the rights of Palestinian minors who are arrested on suspicion of committing terror attacks. Most recently, DCI-P launched a campaign in the US and in Canada under the title "No Way to Treat a Child", whose goal is "to challenge and end Israel's prolonged military occupation of Palestinians by exposing widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system."
Among other baseless claims, DCI-P argues that the Palestinian minors are arrested, interrogated in breach of all of their rights, prosecuted and sentenced to prison terms.
A recent interview with DCI-P's Accountability Program Director Ayed Abu Qteish on official PA TV, shows that the claims made by his own organization are false. Abu Qteish explained that Palestinian minors do in fact commit terror attacks, and they do it, not necessarily because they want to attack Israelis, but in order to enhance or maintain their status in Palestinian society.

Ayed Abu Qteish: "There are children who, when they were in prison, told the lawyer: 'I want to be imprisoned.' The first time [the child] was imprisoned, he didn't confess, and they released him because there was no evidence to convict him in the Israeli military court. The second time, there was no evidence either. The third time, he wanted to be imprisoned so that his image won't be hurt in the eyes of his friends, even though he is actually innocent... In several cases [Palestinian children] carried out stabbing operations because of the way the public looks at them. They realized 'the best way to clear myself of this image [of helping Israel] is to participate in resistance operations.'"
[Official PA TV, Personal Encounter, Oct. 11, 2017]

This statement by the DCI-P official is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, in stark contrast to the claims of DCI-P in its campaign, it demonstrates that when Palestinian minors are arrested but the investigation ends without finding sufficient evidence, the suspect is released.
Secondly, it demonstrates that, in several cases, the motivation for Palestinian children to carry out terrorist attacks is their own perception of how their own society views them and has nothing to do with Israel.
Significantly, when discussing the motivations of Palestinian children to carry out terrorist attacks, the DCI-P representative completely ignores other real and equally relevant factors that explain their participation in terror attacks, such as:
1)    the incessant Palestinian incitement to hatred and violence that is promoted in the PA media;
 2)    the incitement to hatred and violence that is taught to children in PA schools;
 3)    the PA glorification of terrorists that is an integral part of Palestinian society and even in sporting events for youth.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Will Palestinian Reconciliation Reduce Hamas’ Cash Flow?

Video of the week - Gaza homes with tunnels built underneath-

 Evelyn Gordon 2-11-2017

When the Palestinians’ two rival governments announced their latest reconciliation deal last month, it raised two obvious questions. The first was whether it would actually be implemented, given that countless similar agreements have been announced with great fanfare only to collapse into renewed feuding between Hamas in Gaza and the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority. But the truly critical question–for Israel and for anyone else who doesn’t want another war in Gaza–was how the deal would affect Hamas’s finances if it were implemented. On that front, Wednesday’s developments offered short-term encouragement. The longer-term outlook, however, remains troubling.

Until a few months ago, Hamas effectively enjoyed control over Gaza’s revenues with no attendant responsibility for the needs of its residents, since the PA largely funded those needs (medicine, electricity, etc.). This arrangement assured Hamas of plenty of money to spend on its military wing, with much of that money coming from the taxes it collected in Gaza. As Avi Issacharoff reported in the Times of Israel in April, everything imported into Gaza is taxed twice, once by the PA and once by Hamas. 

Nor does Hamas make do with taxing imports; it taxes almost everything. For instance, as Issacharoff reported two years ago, companies in Gaza must pay 500 shekels “to have a Hamas representative participate in a company conference. Hamas charges another few hundred shekels to have the conference registered, and if it is postponed, the postponement is taxed as well.”

This convenient arrangement ended abruptly this past spring, when the PA finally tired of serving as Hamas’s ATM and stopped paying for most of Gaza’s civilian needs. The result, as I wrote last month, was that Hamas for the first time had to spend some of its own money on those needs, causing its military budget to plummet from an estimated $200 million in 2014 to just $50 million this year (not counting the extra money it gets from Iran, which is solely for military spending).

Thus for Israel, the worst of all worlds would be a return to the status quo ante, in which the PA resumed responsibility for Gaza’s civilian needs but Hamas remained free to tax anything that moves and pour the money into its military wing. In contrast, this would clearly be Hamas’s preferred outcome. The main reason it agreed to the reconciliation deal was its desire to shed responsibility for Gaza’s civilian needs so it could resume focusing on its military wing.

Viewed through this prism, implementation of the reconciliation deal got off on the right foot on Wednesday when Hamas formally handed over Gaza’s border crossings to the PA. This isn’t because of the handover itself, which was largely meaningless, but because Hamas also agreed to dismantle the tax collection checkpoints it erected near the crossings with Israel.

The handover technically didn’t affect those crossings at all: Both have been manned by PA personnel for years already because Hamas refuses to deal with Israel directly. That is also why it needed to have special tax collection checkpoints instead of just collecting tax at the border. But those checkpoints were major revenue sources for Hamas, since almost all imports to Gaza passed through them. The crossing with Egypt–the only one that actually changed hands on Wednesday–is for people only. Cross-border smuggling, which used to be a major source of imports, declined drastically after Egypt began cracking down on the smuggling tunnels in 2013. Thus the removal of these checkpoints will severely dent Hamas’s revenue stream.

Of course, it will still have the money it gets from Iran, estimated at $60 million to $70 million this year, and that money will continue going straight to its military wing. But that’s still far below what it was spending on its military in 2014 when it was getting less money from a cash-strapped Tehran but had a steady stream of Gazan tax revenue to play with.

Hamas agreed to dismantle the checkpoints because both PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Egypt refused to accept a return to the status quo ante, demanding instead that the PA be given full control of Gaza. And they backed this demand with heavy financial pressure—the PA by ceasing its funding for Gaza, and Egypt by shuttering its border crossing for months on end.

The question is whether they have a plan for continuing to enforce this demand over the long term. After all, once Hamas is no longer responsible for Gaza’s civilian needs, it will no longer be vulnerable to that kind of financial pressure. And since the reconciliation didn’t require Hamas to disarm, it will continue to be the strongest military power in Gaza even after PA forces return to the borders. Thus, it’s not clear how anyone could stop it from using its guns to resume extorting taxes once it has gotten what it wants out of the deal, which is to stop being responsible for civilian affairs.

This matters because Hamas has shown no signs of losing its desire to fight Israel. Just last month, its new leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, declared, “The discussion is no longer about recognizing Israel but about wiping Israel out.” What has stopped it for the last three years hasn’t been lack of desire, but lack of capacity: Its arsenal of rockets and cross-border attack tunnels was depleted in the last war, in 2014, and another war won’t be practical until that arsenal is rebuilt. Thus, the more money Hamas has to spend on its military build-up, the sooner it will reach the point where it feels it can afford to start another war.

Hence if the PA, Egypt, and the international community want to avoid such a war, they must start thinking now about how to keep Hamas away from Gazan revenues if and when the reconciliation deal is fully implemented. For if Hamas is allowed to resume milking Gaza for cash to pour into its military wing, the next Gaza war will certainly be just a matter of time.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Commemorating the ANZAC liberation of Beersheba

Video of the week- Beer Sheva Anzac cavalry charge-  

 Isi Leibler, J.Post 1-11-2017

Today Australia is indisputably Israel’s best friend in the world – in every respect.

The origins of this relationship have their genesis a century ago with the spectacular victory of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) that liberated Beersheba on October 31, 1917 and paved the way for the conquest of Jerusalem.  This was followed two days later by the issuance of the Balfour Declaration which preceded the British Mandate and subsequently served as the basis for the establishment of a Jewish state.

The Battle of Beersheba was a turning point in the war against the Ottoman Empire after successive failures to capture Gaza. It was the first time Australians and New Zealanders were highlighted as having effected a critical impact. The stunning charge of the ANZAC Light Horse Brigade that overcame the Turkish defenses was hailed as a milestone of military bravery comparable to that of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854 and is remembered as the last great cavalry charge, establishing it as the best cavalry force in the world. It represented Australia’s first outstanding achievement as a fighting force, predating the 1918 Western Front victories.

With the disaster at Gallipoli, where over 8,000 Australians needlessly lost their lives, many initially predicted that this attempt was doomed to failure and represented yet another example of military incompetence and willingness to cynically sacrifice soldiers.

Beersheba was heavily fortified, making the town a virtual fortress, and the battle was considered a last-ditch effort to defeat the Ottoman Empire in the region.

Late in the afternoon of October 31, following an order by their commander, Sir Harry Chauvel, 800 Australian light horsemen, brandishing bayonets, galloped directly into machine-gun fire, many dismounting and engaging in hand-to-hand combat, surprising the Turks who did not imagine that the Australians would act so brazenly. Galloping over 2 kilometers at top speed, they overcame the stunned Turkish defenders in less than an hour. Thirty Australian horsemen were killed and 36 wounded. Over 500 Turks were killed and 1,500 surrendered.

It was a glorious victory, a turning point in the struggle enabling General Edmund Allenby to defeat the Ottomans in Palestine.

It also heralded the beginning of an extraordinary close relationship between Australia and Israel.
On the personal and individual level, it was enhanced by Australian soldiers temporarily stationed in Palestine at the outset of World War II who developed good relations with the Jews. Old timers still relate nostalgically to the friendship extended by the Australians as tensions were rising with the British mandatory officials.

This week the Australian and Israeli governments will jointly celebrate the centennial anniversary of the heroic Light Brigade’s extraordinary role in Beersheba. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, New Zealand Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a major entourage of ministers, officials, descendants of the ANZACs, and over 100 Australian horsemen, as well as private citizens from both countries will participate in commemorative ceremonies. These will include a joint Australian-New Zealand service at the war cemetery, the opening of an ANZAC museum, and a re-enactment of the charge by the Australian Light Horse Brigade.

It is anticipated that huge numbers will attend what promises to be a spectacular event highlighting the Australian-Israeli relationship.

Australian Jewry enjoys an outstanding Jewish lifestyle and can be considered a jewel in the crown of the Diaspora. Jews were among the first boatloads of convicts transported to Australia in the 18th century.

The first military commander of Australian forces serving during World War I was Sir John Monash, a proud Jew who was also the founding president of the Zionist Federation of Australia.

In the 1930s, the Jewish community was declining and rapidly assimilating but over the course of time it became reinvigorated by Holocaust refugees and survivors. Most of the newcomers were passionately Zionist and created a unique network of Jewish schools ranging from secular Zionist to Chabad, from Modern Orthodox to Reform and even a Bundist Yiddish school. From the 1980s, the community expanded further with the immigration of large numbers of Russians and South Africans.
Many penniless Jewish immigrants to “the lucky country” became leading industrial titans. Jewish leaders were appointed prominent roles in public life, including two governors general. One, the late Sir Zelman Cowan, was an outspoken Zionist and champion of Jewish rights. My brother, Mark Leibler, a long-standing Zionist leader and head of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, was appointed by the government as co-chairman of the expert panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal Peoples.

Today, Australian Jewry numbers over 120,000, has the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors and their descendants in a Diaspora Jewish community, and is one of the most Zionist communities in the world with 15,000 – more than 10% of the community – having made aliyah.

The community, united under the umbrella of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, could well serve as a template for other Jewish communities to emulate. The Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce has emerged as probably the most successful chamber of commerce in the nation.

Despite its geographical distance, except for two minor aberrations, Australia has consistently maintained a positive bipartisan relationship with Israel since its creation, when Labor leader Dr. H.V. Evatt chaired the U.N. General Assembly.

Both parties also supported broader Jewish concerns. Successive governments made major global contributions toward ameliorating the plight of Soviet Jews, particularly in 1962 when Australia became the first country in the world to raise the issue of Soviet Jewry at the U.N., condemning Soviet anti-Semitism and calling for the right of Jews to emigrate. On a personal note, two successive prime ministers from each of the two major parties directly intervened to enable me to assist Soviet Jews and instructed the Australian Embassy in Moscow to provide me with maximum assistance. The embassy was regarded as a haven for refuseniks despite the tension this created with the Soviet authorities.

Australia was directly involved in efforts to rescind the infamous 1975 U.N. resolution that equated Zionism with racism. It also served as a crucial intermediary for Jewish leaders seeking to promote diplomatic relations between Israel and Asian countries.

The Jewish community can claim much of the credit for this.

In contrast to their American and European counterparts, Australian community leaders have not hesitated to confront their government on the rare occasions they considered their government was acting in a biased manner or applying double standards against Israel. The all-encompassing Zionist orientation of the bipartisan Jewish community is undoubtedly a major factor contributing to the pro-Israel orientation of the mainstream political parties.

However, there are now dark clouds emanating from sectors of the Australian Labor Party, whose former Foreign Minister Bob Carr has become a spokesman for extremist Arab causes and vitriolically lambasts the Jewish community for being extreme right-wing. He is supported by former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who was once one of Israel’s greatest supporters. The growing electoral power of over 500,000 Muslims, especially concentrated in the Labor electorates, also strengthens these trends.

Yet, despite a growth of anti-Semitism and intensified anti-Israeli activity at universities, overall, the public tends toward Israel. But there are legitimate concerns that if the current government is defeated by Labor in the next elections, the Arab lobby – which now has a powerful electoral influence within Labor and its left-wing allies – will pressure Australia to adjust its Israel policy in line with that of the hostile EU.

But 18 months to the next election is a long time and meanwhile the Australia-Israel relationship has exceeded all expectations.

Netanyahu’s visit to Australia earlier this year was a resounding success and undoubtedly Turnbull’s visit will further cement this relationship.

We warmly welcome the Australian prime minister and his entourage to Israel and are confident that this will further strengthen the burgeoning economic, technological, defense and investment ties that bind our countries.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Child Who Died, Dances on Stage 5 Days Later

Video of the week-

 by Raphael Poch 15-10-2017

On Thursday a two-year-old boy left his family’s sukkah in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem just after lunch and made his way to a nearby pond where he slipped and drowned. The missing boy was underwater for sometime before he was located by his worried parents who immediately called emergency services. United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs Meir Framowitz and Yishai Blau were the closest responders to the incident and arrived in less than two minutes from the time the call went out.

When they arrived they were handed a young boy, completely blue who was not breathing and had no pulse. The immediately began CPR on the young boy named Elchanan while his family and onlookers prayed for the boy’s recovery. A few minutes later they were joined by other first responders and an ambulance team who took Elchanan to the hospital where the resuscitative efforts were continued.

Dr. Adam Ballin, a volunteer with United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit arrived at the scene in an effort to comfort Elchanan’s parents. Dr. Ballin accompanied the distraught mother to the hospital after the father had gone with the ambulance. He spent 5 hours with the family in the hospital until the holiday had ended and Elchanan’s condition had stabilized somewhat. “The doctors who were treating him in the hospital said that he was in serious condition but stable later that evening,” explained Ballin. “We were praying that Elchanan recovered and that there would not be any brain damage.” 

                 Elchanan dancing on stage
Their prayers were answered. Elchanan was released from hospital on Monday morning, and due to the quick intervention by the first responders, he made a full recovery. “I didn’t want to tell the parents at the time but their boy was clinically dead when the team arrived, and he was brought back from the brink,” said Dr. Ballin. “The chances of this kind of CPR succeeding on a young boy in this situation are infinitesimal.”

Elchanan and his parents Yehoshua and Rivkah were invited by United Hatzalah to tell their story in front of the gathered crowd at the annual Sukkot concert on Monday evening. Elchanan who had just been released from hospital earlier that day ran, jumped and played on stage as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The family thanked the first responders who saved their child’s life on stage in a heartfelt speech that left the audience in tears.  
Framowitz said that: “Seeing Elchanan laugh, play and roll around on stage as if nothing had happened five days prior was simply miraculous. This organization gave us the tools, the technology and the training needed to create a miracle, and that miracle is now smiling and laughing with us on stage here at this concert.”

Dr. Ballin added that: “We succeeded together in saving Elchanan’s life and giving this family something to celebrate rather than mourn. Being on stage with him tonight was simply out of this world. On Sukkot afternoon that child was basically dead and now he is up and around and jumping on stage and has a bright future in front of him. It was simply unbelievable.”   
At the concert, both Rivkah and Yehoshua thanked United Hatzalah and the first responders for their quick life-saving intervention.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing my baby back,” said Rivkah with tears in her eyes before passing the microphone to Yehoshua. “We are so happy to be here with good news as this situation could have gone very differently,” Yehoshua said. “There are different ways that God does miracles but he prefers to do them in the natural way. Even though these responders seem like they are God’s natural way it is hard for me to imagine that I can touch this guy and that he is not an angel and that I would burn my hand. These people are God’s messengers. The doctors at the hospital didn’t recognize the miracle. There was water in my son’s lungs. My only son. There is no water there anymore. This is truly a miracle. God used these guys as his arms and we will thank them forever and ever. We will always thank them.”


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tens of thousands in Jerusalem March

 Multitudes of people from Israel and around the world take part in the annual Jerusalem March, marking the 50th anniversary of the city's unification.

By Adi Rozenberg 10.10.17

Tens of thousands of participants from 80 different countries took part Tuesday in the annual march in Jerusalem marking the 50th anniversary of the city's unification.
Israeli tourists, IDF soldiers, representatives of the security and rescue forces, street artists, dancers, musicians and dozens of groups representing public bodies were seen walking side by side.

(Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

"I came because I love Israel," said Jenny from the United States. "This is my 20th trip here, this time through ICEJ (the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem—ed). We are happy to do things for Israel. It's an amazing country. "

"I'm a Christian but I feel connected to Israel," said Marissa from Catalonia. "I do not know how to explain it, but I feel very close to it. All Christians feel that way. "
                                                 (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

As participants gathered to start the march, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat welcomed one and all.
"The Jerusalem march is a tradition which lasted for more than 60 years. Every year it is exciting again, though as this year we celebrate 50 years of unification it is even more exciting than ever," he said.
(Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Avihu Sofer and Brig. Gen. (Res.) Ram Shmueli, joint chairpersons of "Meetchabrim (Connecting)–Building a future together," said "the people of Israel and Israeli society desperately need to strengthen the unity and connection between different people.

 "Unity and not uniformity," they added. "This year's march is marked by the connection between us and the connection to Jerusalem.


Monday, October 9, 2017


Video of the week- Anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party-

by Melanie Phillips, JerusalemPost 28-9-2017

At its annual conference this week, Britain’s Labour Party crossed a chilling and fateful line.

At a fringe meeting there was a call to treat Holocaust denial as a legitimate contribution to debate; Israel was compared to the Nazis; and there was a demand to expel pro-Israel Jewish groups from the party.
On the conference floor itself, a Jewish woman spewed a stream of defamatory falsehoods, distortions and smears about Israel. She then received an ecstatic standing ovation for stating: “I am not an antisemite. This party does not have a problem with Jews.”

Conference delegates seemed beside themselves with joy that they were being given permission by a Jew to hate the collective Jew in the State of Israel.

In the face of all this and more the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn – a hard-leftist who calls Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” – not only remained silent but failed to attend a reception by the Labour Friends of Israel, pleading pressure of work while managing to attend various other receptions instead.

Labour’s so-called moderates are refusing to face up to what this all means.

Unfortunately, a number of Jewish Labour members are amongst them.

The Jewish Labour Movement drafted a resolution to make it easier to expel antisemites from the party. Although this was eventually passed, it is actually worse than useless.

Crucially, it doesn’t define antisemitism.

And you can bet Labour will never accept that demonization and delegitimization of Israel is the contemporary form of the oldest hatred. If it did so, it would have to expel much if not most of the party.

Moreover, Labour has now reiterated its intention to recognize a state of Palestine as soon as the party takes power. It has therefore committed itself to an act of malice against Israel and a denial of the Palestinians’ own treaty obligations. It is a unique approach which singles out Israel for double standards – a key marker of antisemitism.

The CEO of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission has said Labour antisemitism is now so bad the party must prove that it is not racist.

Yet on Tuesday evening the Jewish Labour Movement put out leaflets calling on people to “help Jeremy Corbyn fight antisemitism.” Having convinced themselves falsely that their resolution has started to draw the sting of Corbyn’s poison, these Jews have actually ended up promoting him.

Much, much, worse though, is that Jews themselves are in the forefront of spreading this venom.

The ranting woman who declared she was no antisemite was a virulently anti-Zionist Jew called Naomi Wimborne- Idrissi.

The man who called for two pro-Israel Jewish groups to be expelled from the party was Michael Kalmanovitz, a member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

The individual who called for Holocaust denial to be taken seriously was Miko Peled, the son of an Israeli general.

Now living in America, Peled has made a career out of defaming Israel, telling AIPAC supporters in 2011 that they were “supporting evil.”

Across the West, the demonization of Israel has been dominated by such Jews spreading incitement to hatred and murder by regurgitating incendiary falsehoods and distortions.

Their hallmark is to void Jewish ethics in order to make them correspond to the leftist ideology of a universalist utopia – which inescapably means the destruction not just of Israel but of Judaism itself. Grotesquely, they then claim they stand for Jewish ethics and are thus morally superior to those who support Israel.

The tragic fact is that there’s no disorder quite so pathological as when a Jew turns against his or her own identity. Jews are a unique people; the hatred directed at them is a unique hatred; and when Jews turn on their own people, they behave in a uniquely terrible way.

Israeli Jewish intellectuals are even more afflicted by this pathology. The Israeli novelist Aharon Megged has lamented “a phenomenon which probably has no parallel in history: an emotional and moral identification by the majority of Israel’s intelligentsia with people openly committed to our annihilation.”

In The Jewish Divide Over Israel, which he wrote with Paul Bogdanor, Edward Alexander writes devastatingly: “The disproportionate influence of Jewish accusers depends in large part on the fact that they demonize Israel precisely as Jews; indeed, since religion and tradition count for little in most of them, it is the demonization of Israel that makes them Jews.”

And because people assume wrongly that Jews cannot be antisemites, these anti-Zionist Jews offer themselves as human shields to protect and facilitate those who they hope will destroy the State of Israel through demonization and delegitimization.

The problem of antisemitism in Britain, however, goes far beyond the Labour Party.

My Name Is Rachel Corrie is a play first staged in 2005 sanitizing an International Solidarity Movement activist who was killed in Gaza by an Israeli armored bulldozer when she tried to stop demolition work being carried out to eradicate terror tunnels.

Lo and behold, this out-dated piece of meretricious agitprop is being revived by London’s Young Vic theater. Why? Because human-shielded Jew-baiting is now the recreational sport of the British intelligentsia.

So when is the opening night of this revival? Why, Kol Nidrei, the start of Yom Kippur, the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. Right in the Jews’ faces, eh.

Don’t weep for the wretched Labour Party. Weep for what Britain has become, and for the Jews who have lost their way.


Sunday, October 1, 2017


Video of the week - P A the “greatest enemy of the Palestinians" -

 By Ariel Ben Solomon
Jerusalem Post. May 22, 2016

Yousef mentioned that he first became acquainted with the 'Post' when he was in an Israeli prison 20 years ago.
Mosab Hassan Yousef – the “Green Prince” – who worked as an Israeli spy, said “the Jewish nation is dear to me and when I see nations fighting against the Jewish people it hurts me.”

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post’s annual conference in New York on Sunday, Yousef noted that at one point he was working for and being paid by Israel, the US, the PA and Hamas, all at the same time.
Yousef, the son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, helped the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) thwart attacks from 1997 to 2007. He later went on to write an autobiography published in 2010 titled Son of Hamas.

He converted to Christianity and fled to the US where he was granted political asylum.

Yousef mentioned that he first became acquainted with the Post when he was in an Israeli prison 20 years ago and he wanted to learn English and ended up gaining knowledge about the Jewish and Western world.

“I speak with the authority of experience, it is not from the books, it is not a second-hand knowledge that I got from somebody. I don't represent government or politicians - I represent myself," he continued, before wading into problems he sees in the Palestinian and Islamic world.

He mentioned that he was raised to believe that Jews are the enemies of humanity and the Palestinians.

However, he continued, that was “until I came to experience what the Jewish nation really is...through witnessing the true democratic model in an ocean of darkness.”

Yousef recounted how he had witnessed a Palestinian mother send her five children on suicide attacks and how she would bless each one. The former Israeli spy said the mother did this to gain respect in society.

The collective mind of society is representing something, an ideology, a culture, a state of consciousness that is stuck in the 6th and 7th centuries in a tribal lust for power, he said.

“We cannot fool ourselves,” he continued, but “there is an Islamic problem,” going on to mention various radical Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and Islamic State.

“All of them are killing by the name of Allah,” he said adding that other religions do not act in such ways. “There is an Islamic problem and I think humanity needs to stand against this danger.”

Political correctness means to bury your head in the sand, but "the truth is that we are afraid and we are trying not to provoke them more, we are trying not to create a religious war. But there has been a religious war whether you like it or not.”

This threat needs to be faced with “courage,” said Yousef.

"To tell them no, Islam is a religion of peace. We just create the perfect climate for terrorists to keep on growing." Islam is a belief system and the world should unify against it just as it did against Nazism, he went on to argue.

“When the president of the free world stands and says ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ he creates the create more terrorism,” asserted Yousef.

The Jewish people were able to overcome the Holocaust and instead of playing the victim card, built a democratic state, which sets a great example, concluded Yousef.

“I came from hell,” and “I love what Israel stands for.”


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

IDF in Mexico for Earthquake Aid

“Fear not, for I am with you, Be not frightened, for I am your God; I strengthen you and I help you, I uphold you with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (The Israel Bible™)
Video of the week - Israel helps Mexico after earthquake -

The IDF’s aid delegation to Mexico, moments before lifting off on September 20, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson)
Tazpit Press Service September 24, 2017                         
By: Mara Vigevani
A 60-strong delegation from the IDF’s Home Front Command, together with two foreign ministry representatives,  left for  Mexico City on Wednesday afternoon shortly before the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah)  to provide emergency aid after an earthquake hit the country, killing at least 200 people.
They were met with applause by Mexican civilians as they walked through Mexico City.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the IDF to send the delegation after receiving a request for aid from Mexican authorities in the wake of the 7.1 quake that caused several building in Mexico City to collapse on Tuesday night.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered that an aid operation be organized to leave to Mexico as soon as possible,” his office said.
Gali Cohen, a representative of the Strategic Cooperation Division  of the National Emergency Authority and Home Front Command told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) the delegation would be comprised mainly of “engineers and other professionals that can provide assistance.” The delegation will stay in Mexico for a week and will come back on September 29, ahead of Yom Kippur.
Though the IDF soldiers were in Mexico to assist in aid and rescue missions, they made sure to perform the special commandments, or mitzvot, that are incumbent upon Jews during Rosh Hashana, including blowing the shofar.
The delegation is headed by Col. Dudi Mizrahi, the head of the army’s search and rescue unit.
Israeli diplomats in Mexico were in touch with local officials to find out what exactly Mexico needed.
Netanyahu made his first trip as prime minister to Mexico last week meeting with President Pena Nieto and offering reconstruction aid following an earthquake that killed 96 people in southern Mexico earlier this month. Wednesday morning  before taking off to Israel following a 10-day trip to Latin America and New York, Netanyahu said Israel’s “heart” was with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and the rest of the country.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Accidental Zionist

Video of the week -  Africa: Through the Eyes of an Israeli 8 year old

by Gary C. Gambill

The Jerusalem Post
I was staunchly pro-Palestinian when I arrived at Georgetown University to begin studying for an MA in Arab Studies in the fall of 1995, or at least I thought so.
I had read Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem in college a few years earlier and accepted the basic conclusion that Israel's unwillingness to compromise had become the primary obstacle to Middle East peace.
If any place might have been expected to shepherd this eager young mind into accepting "progressive" orthodoxy on Israel, it would have been Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS).
There I received a solid grounding in post-colonial theory, revisionist historiography of Israel, and so forth.
Radical though their views may have been, I don't recall many CCAS faculty caring much what I thought of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and few were involved in the kind of campus activism that is de rigueur among academics today. The roster of guest lecturers hosted at CCAS's spacious, elegantly appointed boardroom was another story, however, and notices for anti-Israel events throughout the Washington, DC, area were routinely advertised on the center's bulletin board. Going to them was the cool thing to do, and I attended more than I care to admit.
However, while I remained sympathetic to the Palestinian experience, I found interacting with other sympathizers increasingly intolerable. My immersion into the anti-Israeli movement brought me face to face with peer antisemitism for the first time, primarily among European and American students who shared much the same liberal outlook as myself.
Oddly enough, I don't recall any disparaging talk about Jews (albeit plenty about Israel) from Arab students at Georgetown, some of whom went out of their way to befriend Jewish students and faculty. It was Western students who said the darndest things.
The final straw came when I arrived with friends at an Israeli embassy protest during the September 1996 Western Wall Tunnel riots, when organizers led the crowd in chanting "Bibi, Hitler, just the same / Only difference is the name." I left in disgust, then sent an email to CCAS students and faculty inviting anyone who felt Hitler was no worse than then (and current) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join me on a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the other side of town. There were no takers, though several students – including two who had enthusiastically participated in the rally – privately applauded the letter.
Truth be told, though, the biggest problem with the pro-Palestinian movement wasn't so much the antisemitism as it was the varying degrees of willful blindness displayed by its foremost advocates both to the suffering of other ethno-sectarian groups in the region (particularly Kurds and Christians) and to Palestinian suffering at the hands of villains other than Israel, particularly those seen as leading the fight against the Jewish state. There was more than antisemitism at work here.
This blindness owed much to the fact that CCAS and other Middle East studies departments were becoming increasingly inundated with lavish grants from Arab governments.
Having fed their own citizens a steady diet of propaganda blaming all the region's ills on Israel, Mideast autocrats now promoted this narrative abroad very effectively.
This was painfully evident when Lebanese human rights attorney Muhammad Mugraby traveled to the United States in November 1997 for a short lecture tour at the invitation of Human Rights Watch. As it often does when hosting guests from the Middle East, HRW asked if CCAS would be interested in hearing Mugraby speak.
Yes, the answer came back from a CCAS administrator failing to see why a Muslim discussing Lebanon in the wake of Israel's devastating Grapes of Wrath campaign the year before would be a problem, so Mugraby was scheduled to speak at the center.
That was, until the day of the talk, when (I'm guessing) CCAS faculty learned that Mugraby was speaking about the abduction and incommunicado detention of Lebanese and Palestinians by Syrian forces then occupying all but a sliver of Lebanon (with the blessing of most Arab and Western governments). The location was abruptly changed from the CCAS boardroom to on ordinary classroom outside the center. No faculty were in attendance.
At that time, I was doing freelance web development work (a little html knowledge went a long way back then) for, among others, an NGO stridently critical of Israeli policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians, and got to know its Jewish-American director.
When I mentioned the Mugraby story, he confided in me that a longtime Palestinian friend of his had been imprisoned incommunicado for many years in Hafez Assad's Syria, which then held far more Palestinians in its prisons than Israel, and under far worse conditions.
Then why focus on Israel, I asked. "I can't do anything for him," he explained.
Alongside the antisemitism and the money, this idea of Israel as the low-hanging fruit for do-gooders wanting to improve the Middle East was the third foundation stone in what became a vast conspiracy of silence about how the region works during the 1990s.
The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli-Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.
Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.
I don't have a particularly rose-colored view of Israel's history (or that of any other nation-state, including my own), nor do I put much stock in the religio-cultural attachments that make many Israelis resistant to sweeping concessions.
I just don't buy into the "theory of everything" where Israel is concerned. The particulars of when and how Israelis and Palestinians work out their differences don't matter that much, and insofar as they do Netanyahu is among the least of the complications getting there.
That makes me a hardline Zionist, liberal friends tell me.

All right, I guess.