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Latest News in Israel – 11th December

Watch Israeli commandos rescue Syrian rebel fighters wounded in fighting as journalist gets first-hand access to the IDF

The question being asked in Israel is why are we potentially putting our soldiers in harm’s way to save the lives of those who are our enemies. These terrorists have been wounded in fighting which occurred in Syria and not with our soldiers. Their bodies are literally dumped near the Israeli border with the hope that Israel will treat them.

To date, Israel has treated just over 2,000 Syrians (mostly young men who are soldiers and/or civilians).

You watch and decide for yourselves if Israel is doing the right thing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3315347/Watch-heart-pounding-moment-Israeli-commandos-save-Islamic-militants-Syrian-warzone-risking-lives-sworn-enemies.html

Bahrain’s king holds first Hanukka candle lighting since establishment of State of Israel

The director of an Orthodox European rabbinical association lit Hanukka candles in the palace of the king of Bahrain.

The ceremony held on Monday in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf nation’s palace since the establishment of Israel in 1948, according to a news release from the Conference of European Rabbis.

Conference director Rabbi Moshe Levin, who was invited by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, recited the traditional blessings while lighting the candles and sang a verse of “Maoz Tzur,” the traditional Hanukka hymn. Some 50 Jews were present for the ceremony.

“A little light drives off a lot of darkness,” Levin told the king, according to the news release. “Bahrain under your rule is a little light in a dark world of radical fundamentalism.”

Video:               https://youtu.be/z-XkDtboVLY  (The Jerusalem Post)

Police arrest three Palestinians found carrying butcher knifes in Afula

Police on Wednesday night arrested three Palestinians found carrying large knives in Afula.

Following reports to police of three suspicious figures in the northern Israeli city, officers located the three young men who fit the description.

During searches, 23-centimeter-long butcher knives were found on the three residents of the West Bank city Jenin.

Police arrested the suspects, two of whom were minors and one adult.

Security forces were investigating the three.

The incident came as Israel has faced three months of increased Palestinian terror attacks against civilians and security forces.               (Jerusalem Post)

Toddler injured in rock attack near Beitar Illit

A baby girl about six-months-old was lightly wounded Thursday morning when terrorists threw rocks at an Israeli vehicle traveling from Beitar Illit toward Jerusalem.

The toddler was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital after being wounded by glass shards.

According to reports, she was struck right between her eyes.

Meanwhile, Shaul Nir who was injured yesterday in the shooting attack near the Avni Hefetz, continues to be in serious condition according to reports Thursday morning from Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

His wife, Rachel, suffered light injuries in the attack and was also admitted to Beilinson Hospital.          (Arutz Sheva)

UNRWA Educators Persist in Inciting Fellow Palestinians to Violence Against Israelis on Social Media

In spite of UN assurances to the contrary, Jew hatred and incitement to violence continue to grace the social media threads of teachers employed by the international body, pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon reported on Wednesday.

The latest example highlighted by the anonymous blogger can be found on the Facebook page of Zia al Talouli, a teacher for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) at the Beit Hanoun Elementary School in Gaza. Along with a photo of himself and a group of his young pupils engaged in a cheerful outdoor exercise, Talouli posted a cartoon of a terrorist – whose face is masked with a keffiyeh – playing a knife as though it were a violin, using a key (the Palestinian symbol for returning to their “homes” in the entire state of Israel) as a bow.

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A cartoon supporting the “knife intifada” on the Facebook page of an UNRWA teacher in Gaza

The knife imagery has become a common theme on social media, representing the stabbing attacks that best characterize the current surge in Palestinian terrorism that began in September. In fact, the cartoon itself has been circulating for several weeks.

An additional cartoon on his page illustrates “Palestinian reconciliation” – in the form of a handshake in the shape of a gun – shooting at the Israeli flag. The implication is that internal Palestinian strife, as between Fatah and Hamas, is set aside for the common cause of fighting Israel.

Elder of Ziyon asks rhetorically what one thinks this UNRWA educator is teaching his students.

This question was at the root of a number of complaints lodged by the Geneva-based non-profit human rights organization UN Watch to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about UNRWA teachers’ open encouragement of the killing of Jews. It was also behind UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer’s warning to the United States and Europe – UNRWA’s largest donors – about where their more than $1 billion annually is going.

Neuer’s persistence has had a number of consequences. The first was an attack on his integrity, launched on Twitter by UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness, who told The Algemeiner in September that UNRWA “always investigates credible reports of neutrality violations by our staff and take appropriate action, including disciplinary action, where violations by UNRWA staff members are established. Our position on racism is clear. We condemn racism in all its forms.”

This comment came on the heels of a series of tweets by Gunness attacking Neuer, rather than addressing the issue.

The second was a very brief lull in the number of social media posts with blatantly antisemitic memes and caricatures. As Elder of Ziyon noted in November, “Many of the people I exposed have taken out their association with UNRWA in their profiles, and others took their pages down altogether.”

Still, Elder of Ziyon added, UNRWA has refrained from acknowledging that the phenomenon is widespread, and never comes out and calls for a halt to anti-Israel incitement.

To illustrate, he pointed out a passage of a speech delivered to the UN General Assembly on November 9 by UNRWA commissioner-general Pierre Krähenbühl:

UNRWA continues to operate in a highly polarized environment where emotions frequently run high. We enforce neutrality within our organization, but we are not immune from the context. There have recently been allegations of inappropriate statements by UNRWA staff, notably on social media. Let me state here unambiguously that UNRWA condemns any form of antisemitism or racism and its position on this issue is a matter of public record. We take every allegation seriously and when credible investigate it and will continue to take disciplinary actions as required.

The subsequent cropping up of many new antisemitic posts on social media by UNRWA teachers spurred Neuer to submit a report on November 30 to Ban Ki-moon, Krähenbühl, EU foreign affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, listing 10 egregious examples.

These included an UNRWA English teacher saying it’s important to know that “the Zionists and the Jews are sons of monkeys and pigs.”             (the Algemeiner)

Obama to Rivlin: Important to try to reach peace between Israel, Palestinians

At an Oval Office meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday it is important to try to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians, even though the possibility seems distant.

“Although obviously this is a time at which the prospects of serious peace may seem distant, it is important that we continue to try,” Obama said. “And I know that President Rivlin has made it one of his hallmarks to improve dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Rivlin thanked Obama for his support and said, “We have no war with Islam.

We have war against those who are using ideas in order to create extremism and threats toward the innocent people in the world.”

Peace between Israel and the Palestinians may seem distant, but America remains committed to the cause, Obama told his guest.

The president then invited Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, to be his special guests at this year’s White House Hanukka reception. Before the party, the two leaders met in the Oval Office to discuss security cooperation and the absence of peace talks.

Obama said he had been “clear” in his condemnation of Palestinian violence against Israelis in recent months, and called on Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to join his condemnation of the slew of stabbings, vehicular attacks and shootings that have plagued the country’s Jews.

Rivlin kept his comments brief and broad, lauding the timeless bond between Israel and the US, and praising Obama for his leadership.

In an homage to the holiday, Rivlin called Obama a shamash – a leader of others, like the candle on a hanukkia that lights the rest.

Rivlin presented his host with a replica of a gold coin dating back to the Byzantine period, which he had brought with him from Jerusalem.

The coin was discovered in the Ophel excavations just south of the Temple Mount and features a relief motif of a menorah plus other Jewish ritual objects.

At the traditional White House Hanukka candle-lighting ceremony, Rivlin related some of the history of the festival, emphasizing the tale of the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. He noted that eight is a significant number in Obama’s political career, in that he was elected for two terms totaling eight years.               (The Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian girl brandishes knife in Facebook video

A video produced in the southern Gaza Strip last month shows a young girl, with her parents’ apparent prompting, eagerly advocating stabbing Israelis.

The footage was posted on November 12 to a Facebook page entitled, “Jerusalem Intifada’s Young People’s Coalition,” according to the Israeli watchdog Palestinian Media Watch.

In the video, the girl is questioned by an imagined Israeli.

“[Palestinian] youth are throwing stones at us [Israelis]” the Israeli says.

The girl replies, “So what!”

With each Israeli complaint — “Youth are running after us with knives,” “Muhannad Halabi [who killed two Israelis in October] stabbed us,” “[terrorist] Fadi Alloun stabbed us” — the girl’s response is the same: “So what!”

The refrain refers to a meme on Palestinian social media born in a viral video in which an elderly Palestinian is seen arguing with Israeli soldiers.

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PMW describes the exchange seen in the earlier video: “A soldier points to rioting Palestinians, saying: ‘They’re throwing rocks at us.’ The old man replies: ‘So what, let them throw rocks.’”

In the new video, when asked “What do you tell the youth in the West Bank,” the girl brandishes a knife and replies, “Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab!”

At least 22 Israelis have been killed in dozens of Palestinian stabbing and shooting attacks since the beginning of October throughout the country. Dozens more were injured. Roughly 70 Palestinian attackers have died in the attacks, according to Israeli figures.                  (The Times of Israel)

Ya’alon in the south: Terrorists better not test us

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited the Eshkol Regional Council on Wednesday evening, where he lit a Hanukkah candle of Hanukkah with locals.

The Eshkol Regional Council, located near the border with Gaza, has been the target of many rocket attacks by Gaza terrorists over the years.

During the evening, Ya’alon said, “We are less than a year and a half after Operation Protective Edge, during which this region lost friends, including a small child, Daniel Tregerman. It certainly was a period of darkness. I think that the period since then, as a result of local leadership and our aid, has been a ray of light.”

Ya’alon assured local residents that the defense establishment will continue to invest in the region and warned terrorists not to test Israel’s patience.

“Here in the Gaza Belt, in the situation we are experiencing, there is undoubtedly a need to invest more in defense operations, but also in infrastructure. This area will receive the best barrier that Israel knows how to make at this time in terms of technological capabilities that will provide an answer to all threats,” he promised.

“I hope nobody will put us to the test, as they did about a year and a half ago – a test from which they are still licking their wounds. We also licked our wounds, but they are licking their wounds to this day and maybe for the next two decades in light of what happened on the other side. And I think they understand that whoever lifts a hand against us, whether here or elsewhere, they will pay a heavy price,” said Ya’alon.

Despite relative quiet in the Gaza region, the Eshkol region and other localities are still occasionally targeted by terrorist rockets from Gaza.

Hamas has been stepping up its domestic production of missiles, largely due to the fact that an Egyptian buffer zone has kept arms from foreign backers like Iran and Qatar from reaching it through Sinai, and Israel has been implementing a naval blockade to blocked the route from the sea.     (Arutz Sheva)

Netanyahu ‘rejects’ Trump’s Muslim remarks, will meet with him anyway

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he “rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” but will not cancel his scheduled meeting with the Republican presidential hopeful.

In response to a news release issued by Netanyahu’s office on Wednesday evening, 37 Knesset members signed a petition urging him to cancel the Israel meeting, according to the Times of Israel.

The release did not detail Netanyahu’s objections to the remarks this week by Trump calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Republican and Democratic politicians are among the many who have condemned his remarks, including numerous Jewish leaders.

“The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens,” Netanyahu said in the news release. “At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.”

Netanyahu and Trump are scheduled to meet on Dec. 28; the meeting arranged two weeks ago, according to the release. Trump’s remarks this week about barring entry to Muslims have not been his only controversial comments on Muslims. In November the candidate said that if president he would create a database to track all American Muslims.

Netanyahu “decided earlier this year on a uniform policy to agree to meet with all presidential candidates from either party who visit Israel and ask for a meeting,” the release said, adding that the policy “does not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, Trump, in addition to meeting with Netanyahu, is considering a visit to the Temple Mount, a heavily contested site that is holy to both Jews and Muslims.

Taleb Abu Arrar, a Knesset member from the Arab Joint List party, told the Post: “If Trump the racist plans to visit Al-Aqsa, the holiest place in the world for Muslims, to harm the sensitivities of people against whom he incites, he and Netanyahu will be responsible. Such a visit will set the whole region on fire, I am warning.”

In the petition urging Netanyahu to snub Trump, Knesset member Michal Rozin of Meretz wrote: “Their meeting at the end of the month lends support to [Trump’s] racist comments, and in this disgraces the democratic character of the State of Israel and hurts its Muslim citizens.”                   (JTA)   (Trump has now deferred or cancelled his trip to Israel   RW)

Palestinian terrorism plus Western appeasement equals today’s Islamist

by Gil Troy     The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/printarticle.aspx?id=436723

Most academics today are too politically correct to admit it – and too busy boycotting democratic Israel. Last Tuesday, two widows of the Israeli Olympians murdered at Munich in 1972 revealed that the eight Palestinian terrorists beat the hostages who survived their initial assault. The attackers also shot Yossef Romano when he resisted, then castrated him. These horrifying details, sandwiched between the Paris massacre and the San Bernadino bloodbath, amid the latest wave of Palestinian violence, reinforced a fact that terrorist- deniers and Palestinian apologists deny: The world’s tolerance for Palestinian terrorism, starting in the 1970s, made it the gateway crime to Islamist terrorism – understanding a gateway crime as both evil and trailblazing, normalizing. As one friend cleverly noted: “ The suicide vest found in the garbage bin in Paris might as well have had ‘Made in Palestine’ stitched on it. Guess that’s a label the European Union lets into the continent.”

Most academics today are too politically correct to admit it – and too busy boycotting democratic Israel. But when future historians connect the dots to explain the origins of al-Qaida, Islamic State and today’s scourge of Islamist terrorism, the pattern will be undeniable. Yasser Arafat was the grandfather of Osama bin Laden and all modern terrorists. Moreover, Western appeasement of Palestinian terrorism – cravenly displayed at Munich – proved that claiming “terrorism doesn’t pay” is delusional: terrorism works thanks to Western weakness. Violence put the Palestinians on the international agenda and cast them as the ultimate oppressed Third Worlders to many totalitarian leftists – who today exaggerate Palestinians’ suffering, importance and impotence.

In September 1972, the International Olympic Committee president, Avery Brundage, became the sniveling symbol of Western appeasement. More protective of his games than the kidnapped athletes, he allowed the Olympics to continue for 10 hours as the Palestinians tortured the Israelis. Then, after the terrorists murdered the hostages and one German policeman during Germany’s botched rescue attempt, Brundage insisted the games continue after a short 24-hour pause. One Los Angeles Times columnist wrote: “It’s almost like having a dance at Dachau.”

The Olympic Committee has never commemorated the murdered Israelis with a moment of silence  (although one is planned for 2016), hoping not to “politicize” the games, meaning anger Arabs and Muslims.

Barely two months after this debacle, West Germany used a false hijacking ruse to free the three surviving terrorists. In return, the PLO promised not to attack Germany. In 1999, one terrorist, Jamal al-Gashey, boasted: “I am proud of what I did at Munich because it helped the Palestinian cause enormously. Before Munich the world had no idea about our struggle, but on that day the name of Palestine was repeated all over the world.” In September 1970, Palestinian terrorists hijacked planes and destroyed them in Jordan, but Munich became their big international premier.

Six months after Munich, on March 1, 1973, America – under a supposedly tough Republican Richard Nixon – caved despite losing two diplomats in a Palestinian raid against the Saudi embassy in Khartoum. The two Americans, Cleo Noel and George Curtis Moore, along with a Belgian diplomat Guy Eid, were the only hostages murdered – after Yasser Arafat sent the terrorists a coded radio message, asking: “Why are you waiting? The people’s blood in the Cold River cries for vengeance.” “Cold River” was the pre-arranged code for “kill them.”

The Sudanese soon freed all eight terrorists and the Americans never hunted down these killers. Less than two years later, in November, 1974, Arafat addressed the UN General Assembly. Two decades after that, this unrepentant murderer of Americans would win the Nobel Peace, be the most frequent foreign guest Bill Clinton hosted at the White House and bring his people to the brink of a peace treaty and their own state, only to lead them back to terrorism, delegitimization and cries to exterminate the Jewish state.

The Palestinians chose well in targeting Israel, especially during the 1970s. Directing terrorism against the Jewish state triggered decades of blaming the victims and excusing the perpetrators. The anti-Semitic hostility so many Westerners have toward Israel, the Jew among the nations, reinforced the growing post-Sixties culture of Western guilt, self-abnegation, appeasement and enabling of violent enemies – as long as they could define themselves as people of color. Radicals cast democratic Israel, forced to defend itself, as an imperial force not an embattled state, while casting Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters not pathological killers.

Rather than noting how few peoples suffering far more turn terrorist, rather than wondering why Palestinians targeted innocent women, children, elders, Blame Israel Firsters assumed that Palestinians’ cruelty somehow reflected Israeli cruelty. Israel must be very guilty of intense oppression to merit such hatred, the politically correct assumed, rather than scrutinizing the Palestinian death cult that fed off anti-Semitism and Islamic fundamentalism.

Arafat’s success and the West’s limp response helped weaponize an exclusivist, bigoted, triumphalist Islamist ideology, inspiring al-Qaida, Islamic State and others.

Even today, President Barack Obama hesitates to label terrorism terrorism and dodges the phrase “radical Islamism” – even when a jihadist major shot up Fort Hood in 2009 or a San Bernardino shooter posted an IS manifesto. True, Obama has hunted some terrorists aggressively, but his ideological confusion has emboldened terrorists – and reflects this broader international muddle in facing evil.

If I were Palestinian or Muslim, I would be ashamed. So far, the great Palestinian contribution to civilization has been terrorism; “Palestinian” as a modifier most frequently appears before the word “terrorism” – 32 million times, a Google search shows. The phrase “Islamic terrorism” appears 201 million times. Don’t they want to be known for constructive contributions? Without a robust internal critique, among Palestinians, among Muslims, terrorism will continue. Golda Meir’s aphorism needs updating. Yes, Palestinians must love their children more than they hate our own before peace comes. And Palestinians must also become terrified of being considered terrorists.

The wretched reason why Israel became Europe’s whipping boy

by Brendan O’Neill    The British Jewish News

http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-brendan-oneill-the-wretched-reason-why-israel-became-europes-whipping-boy/

The right-on are always raising concerns, and raising the political heat, over what they refer to as the Siege of Gaza by Israel. But what about the siege of Israel by Europe?

It might not be a military siege – although many a supposedly peacenik European dreams of Israel having its knuckles rapped by external powers – but it’s a siege nonetheless.

What we have today is a moral, intellectual siege of Israel, by the academic and media elites of Europe’s chattering-class citadels. They’ve turned Israel into Global Enemy No1, the source of all the world’s sorrow, a nation to be railed against more than any other on Earth.

My dictionary says a siege is the “surrounding of a place” with the intent of making its inhabitants surrender. Could there be a better description of European progressives’ myopic singling out of Israel for invective, and their shunning of its wares, books and even people via the BDS movement? People in Israel feel this moral siege, this intellectual blockade, very strongly.

When I visited last month, almost everyone I met asked me: “What the hell has happened to Europe? Why do they hate us?” During a dinner debate, a woman whose son was killed by terrorists asked the assembled European hacks why our media is more angry about Israel than any other nation. In soft, wavering tones, she accused us of anti-Israel bias. A spokesman for the Israel Foreign Ministry wrung his hands over Europe’s dodgy double standards on Israel. He was especially exercised by the EC’s recent decree that things made in Israeli settlements must be branded as such, lest some pure PC person in Europe unwittingly eat an olive made in a disputed bit of the Golan Heights and become morally compromised as a result. The EC doesn’t make other nations that are embroiled in conflict over territory – the Ukraine, say – stick such moral warnings on their produce. Just Israel.

It’s clearly pandering to Europe’s Israel-allergic middle classes, the people who hound Israeli academics off campus, bleat about Israeli orchestras performing in their cities, and would rather go hungry than eat an Israeli-grown apple. (And who, hilariously, go mad if anyone wonders if such a one-eyed obsession with blocking the products and ideas of one people only might be a tad prejudiced.) Not surprisingly, it was the settlers we met who were most annoyed about the EC’s labelling rules, and the Western media more broadly.  Against the dry, hilly, beautiful backdrop of the West Bank – or, as they see it, Judea – these settlers chastised the Euro-media for failing to tell the truth about Israel. “Why lie?”

Some will say Israel isn’t under any kind of moral siege; Israelis just have a siege mentality. Indeed, it’s all the rage among the irate Israel-bashers of the modern European left to sneer at Israel’s inhabitants for stupidly thinking the world is out to get them. But the facts speak for themselves. Polls have found that more than half of Europeans consider Israel “the biggest threat to world peace”. In 2012 a BBC survey found that 69 percent of Brits think Israel has a “negative influence”. Europe’s radicals take to the streets to march and holler if Israel so much as reverses a warplane out of a hangar, but never protest over war in Ukraine, or Yemen, or Libya. They boycott only Israel’s musicians and books.

And the European media unquestionably has an unhealthy obsession with Israel: consider the vast, often highly emotional and blood-obsessed coverage Israel’s war in Gaza got last year, in comparison with the Ukraine conflict of the same time, which claimed a similar number of lives.

It isn’t Israelis who are paranoid; it’s anti-Israeli Europeans. They’re the ones who madly look upon one nation, one people, as toxic, destabilising, destructive, out to get us all and do over world peace. Such swirling paranoia often means anti-Zionism crosses the lines into anti-Semitism.

Some Israelis I spoke to seemed more upset about the turn against Israel in Europe than they were about the more immediate threat posed Islamists in the Middle East. It wasn’t hard to work out why. As one said, “We considered Europe a friend”: “We thought Europe and Israel had a lot in common, being Western and democratic.”

This cuts to the heart of the Euro-elites’ paranoia about Israel, their turn against it: it is really European values, the ideals of modernity and democracy, they’ve given up on. The thing that riles them most about Israel is that it reminds them of what they used to be like, of the values they once espoused, before they lost the moral plot and sank into the cesspit of relativism and post-Enlightenment self-loathing.

Plucky, keen to protect its sovereignty, considering itself an outpost of liberalism… Israel is a painful reminder to today’s morally anchorless European thinkers and agitators of what their nations once were. They hate Israel because they hate themselves.

Israel has become the whipping boy of guilt-ridden Western liberals who’ve given up on the very idea of the West.