+61 3 9272 5644

Latest Israel News – 4th April

A Sure Sign That Pesach is Near: Cleaning Notes from the Western Wall

Eight days from today, Jews around the world will be sitting down to the Passover seder. Signs of Pesach are everywhere, especially in supermarkets where the aisles are filled with all kinds of matzah and Kosher for Passover items.

One of the necessary, if not beloved, chores performed during the week before Pesach, is house cleaning. Wherever you live, the process is about the same. But in the old city of Jerusalem, getting ready for Pesach includes a special type of cleaning — removing the many notes that have been placed in the Kotel Hamaaravi – the Western Wall of the Temple.

All year long visitors scribble their prayers and wishes on pieces of paper and stuff them into the wall’s crevices. More than a million prayer notes or wishes are placed in the Western Wall each year.

According to Jewish law, prayer notes may not be thrown away; there is a difference of opinion as to whether they should be burned or buried. According to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, Rabbi of the Western Wall and author of Minhagei HaKotel, a book of halakhot about the Western Wall, burning is a “pure” way to deal with the notes, but burying them is more honorable. Twice a year, Rabbi Rabinovitch and his assistants collect the notes left in the Wall and bury them in the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

Col. Kemp: International community ignoring Hezbollah threat to Israel

Countries that maintain relations with Iran and Lebanon need to focus on the threat of Tehran-directed Hezbollah attacking Israel, rather than wait for war to come and then point fingers, Col. (ret.) Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, says.

“The purpose really [of my visit to Israel last year was] to determine what the current threat is and see how Israel can counter that threat,” he says. “We want to highlight to the international community that unless something is done to prevent Hezbollah under direction of Iran from attacking Israel – and Israel will respond, and there will be civilian casualties and Israel will be condemned by the international community – [this could happen, and we need] to give notice to the international community that this could happen, and that when it does happen the casualties are not Israel’s fault but Hezbollah’s.”

Last year, while Kemp was touring the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports, south of Netanya, he came across an oil painting of the institute’s namesake, Orde Wingate. Wingate was a former British major-general who helped lead the pre-state Special Night Squads that played a role in training Jews who went on to found the Israeli army. Kemp decided the painting deserved better and paid to have it restored. In late March, after a visit to Israel as part of the Friends of Israel Initiative, he stopped by the institute to see the finished product.

Now back in England, he wants to emphasize how important it is that the world keep an eye on Hezbollah’s threats and Islamist terrorism.

He points to the UN resolution after the Second Lebanon War that has sought to end the militarization of southern Lebanon.

Security Council Resolution 1701 of 2006 sought to have the Lebanese army exercise full sovereignty and make it so that there would be no other weapons without the consent of the government on Lebanese territory, keeping the area “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon.”

But this is being “completely ignored,” says Kemp. Pressure should be put on Lebanon to end Hezbollah’s arms buildup.

“No one seems to be even paying attention to the 100,000 missiles pointing at Israel’s civilian population.” He also argues that the international community should pressure Tehran, which supports Hezbollah, and points to the Iran nuclear deal that has resulted in billions of dollars being released to the Islamic Republic that empowers it and Hezbollah.

Kemp thinks the decision to leave the EU will make the UK more secure. This is especially true in light of the recent London terrorist attack, the first since 2013 and the most serious since the July 2005 bombings.

“The current estimate is that there are 3,000 active jihadists considered to be a threat by MI5 [Britain’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency]; that same threat extends across the whole of Europe in France, Belgium and elsewhere, and the thing is complicated, one of the reasons the threat is there is because Islamic State has been allowed to continue to exist – its existence and defiance have inspired terrorists to act,” says the colonel.

The threat of lone-wolf terrorism, such as that carried out by London attacker Khalid Masood outside Parliament on March 22, will be minimized once the UK reestablishes its borders with the EU. “Currently we can’t control jihadists coming in from other EU countries; we have border controls, but if we know someone is an active jihadist then we can’t stop him coming here, so it gives our security services a problem monitoring those who travel.”

The future he envisions might entail a change in the law allowing the UK to stop those who volunteered for ISIS or other jihadist organizations from returning. “Does it make sense to allow them to come back into country after actively fighting with one of the most horrific terrorist organizations? Allowing them back puts their rights above the safety of other British citizens.”

He acknowledges that preventing UK citizens from returning, or interning them when they do, would be problematic and result in criticism abroad. “Would we rather have our people chopped up?” he asks, referring to the murder of British Army soldier Lee Rigby in London in 2013 by two Islamists who hacked him to death.

Kemp also thinks that Brexit will lead to better relations with Israel, since the UK will be searching for additional markets for trade. That is already happening, he points out. The British mission to the UN harshly criticized the UN Human Rights Council in late March for its 34th session that focused disproportionately on Israel. The UK has warned it may vote no on resolutions in the future unless the council deals with other pressing human rights issues.            (Jerusalem Post)

IDF drills for possible Islamic State attacks across southern border on foot, in cars

With helicopters, tanks, and infantry soldiers, the Sagi Territorial Brigade trained over the past week to fight Islamic State terrorists should they break through the Egyptian border and attack the communities and military installations of the Negev desert.

The Israel Defense Forces’ Sagi Brigade guards the western Negev and, beginning last Sunday and ending Thursday, its territory was under simulated attack.

The brigade simulated terrorists from the Islamic State’s Sinai Province infiltrating the border on foot and in vehicles, as well as launching rockets at Israeli communities, said Maj. Shachar Nachmani, the unit’s chief operations officer.

The exercise took place in the same week as Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau released an updated and more severe warning against travel to the Sinai Peninsula in light of the Islamic State affiliate’s growing strength and expressed desire to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians. (The IDF says its exercises are planned months in advance and not tied to specific world events.)

The restive Sinai has been wracked by terror attacks carried out by a local Islamic State affiliate known as Sinai Province, including the downing of a Russian passenger jet in 2015.

Despite intensive efforts by Egyptian forces to battle the group, it has rebounded and grown brazen in attacks on Egyptian troops and civilians, including Coptic Christians, in recent months, the head of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau said.

“There is a serious and current threat of terror attacks being carried out against tourists, notably Israelis, in the immediate future,” according to the bureau’s travel advisory.

The specifics of last week’s exercise were based on both up-to-date intelligence on Sinai-based terrorist groups and also past experience.

“They were reasonable scenarios that we believe could happen, in light of situational assessments we’ve done in the field,” Nachmani said over the phone.

The vehicular attacks, for example, drew on an event in August 2012, when terrorists in the peninsula attacked an Egyptian military base, stole two armored personnel carriers and used one of them to break through the Kerem Shalom border crossing. They traveled two kilometers inside Israel before an air force missile destroyed the vehicles and IDF soldiers shot the attacking terrorists dead.

The missile attack scenario was based on a far more recent incident — four rockets launched at the southern city of Eilat in February, Nachmani said.

These events were threaded together to form what is known in the army as a “rolling exercise,” where one event leads to the next, rather than a series of disconnected scenarios, he said.

Most of the week-long exercise was performed by the mixed-gender Caracal Battalion, which serves under the Sagi Brigade. But the male and female combat soldiers were also joined by tank units serving inside the brigade, as well as by helicopters from the Israeli Air Force.

In light of the integration of ground and air forces, though not technically the brigade’s largest exercise of the year, last week’s drill was its most complex, Nachmani said.

IDF Drilling[1]

To ensure the preparedness of civilians near the Egyptian border, in the area of Nitzana, the army also worked with local police and the security officers of the nearby communties, he said.

Nachmani wouldn’t say where exactly the IDF conducted its exercises, beyond the “Nitzana area and the hills south of it,” for fear that the Islamic State would take the challenge and attempt to carry out attacks there.

He was also hesitant to discuss the specifics of what the army believed Sinai terrorists would do once inside Israel.

“Anyone can see the way the Islamic State acts on YouTube, I think it’s clear enough,” the major said. “We’re preparing our troops to fight that.”  (the Times of Israel)

Palestinian Authority textbooks teach pupils to be expendable ‘martyrs’

The latest Palestinian Authority elementary school textbooks are even more radical than previous editions, according to a report just issued by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

The report was based on examination of elementary- school grades one through four and high-school grades 11 and 12 of the 2016-2017 PA’s educational curriculum.

The new textbooks showed deterioration in messages of tolerance and peace compared to previous editions.

They teach pupils to become expendable martyrs and reject negotiations, while demonizing and denying the existence of the State of Israel, according to the findings.

“Despite assurances from the PA Education Ministry, these new books are actually more radical than we have previously seen,” IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said of the findings.

“There is clear evidence of a strategy of radicalization of young Palestinians, devised and implemented by the ministry, which includes a commitment to an Arab Palestine encompassing the entirety of Israel,” he said.

IMPACT-se is a research center that analyzes schoolbooks and curricula for compliance with UNESCO-defined standards on peace and tolerance.

It was founded in 1998 and is based in Jerusalem. The study, conducted by Dr. Eldad Pardo of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, focused on 45 textbooks and teacher’s guides published in 2016.

The report provides numerous examples of radicalization. One thirdgrade textbook encourages children to become “martyrs” by using an illustration of pupils in the classroom looking at their friend’s empty desk, with a sign that reads: “The Martyr.”

Another example, from a fourthgrade math textbook, asks pupils to compute how many martyrs died in the two intifadas combined. The question is accompanied by a photograph of a funeral procession featuring coffins draped in the Palestinian flag.

The study further found that the struggle against Israel and its disappearance were main themes in the schoolbooks.

A political map in a third-grade textbook shows Palestine in the entire territory of Israel. While neighboring Arab countries are shown, Israel is not depicted. The pupils are asked to look at the map to find Ramallah and four other cities. The map includes many Israeli cities with their names changed to Arabic, including Tel Aviv, which is called Tal al-Rabi (Mound of Spring).

“The most troubling aspects of this curriculum involve the attitude of PA/PLO/Fatah authorities toward the six- to 10-year-old children who are considered to be expendable; and the indoctrination of these youth to the idea that all of Israel belongs to Palestine and all Israelis are evil,” the report stated.

The study did find some positive notes in the curriculum for elementary school pupils, including that national institutions and authorities should be respected and that Islam is not to be used as a radical political tool.

Furthermore, traditional gender roles are maintained by girls and boys, who are not depicted as segregated, and veiling is accepted but not specifically encouraged.

Christianity is included in the elementary school curriculum, though negative messages about non-Muslims prevail and Jewish roots and connections to the land are entirely omitted.

“The strategy of violence and pressure [in place of negotiations] is advocated as the most effective action to achieve Palestinian goals,” the report stated.

Furthermore, the findings indicated that within the higher-grade textbooks there remained an “absolute lack of empathy for the ‘other’ nor any comprehension or explanation of the root causes of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.”

As such, the report concluded that the curriculum does not meet the UNESCO-derived standards of peace and tolerance in education.  (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Aviation Security Expert in Response to Report of New ISIS Laptop Bombs Able to Evade Detection by Airport Scanners: ‘Human Element More Important Than Technology’

In response to a report that US intelligence services fear that ISIS and other terrorist organizations have developed non-detectable bombs — inside electronic devices — which can be carried on to planes, an aviation security expert told Israel’s Channel 2 on Sunday that Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport has been prepared for such a possibility for decades.

Indeed, said Pini Schiff – former head of security at Ben Gurion – attempts to insert various types of explosive devices in innocent-looking instruments is nothing new.

He pointed to the December 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 203 by Libyan agents, who managed to smuggle 450 grams of explosives on to the plane inside an electrical appliance. All 243 passengers and 16 crew members — as well as 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland, hit by debris — were killed.

Since then, he said, all luggage and equipment have had to undergo careful screening before being allowed to board. However, he said — responding to Saturday’s CNN report that new laptop bombs might be able to evade airport security — “The human element is almost more important than the technology. Even the best technology is not effective if the employee using it is not equipped to recognize the difference between explosives and non-harmful materials.”

Schiff said that there are two options when faced with this type of terrorist threat: One is not to let any electronic devices on planes; the other is to subject them to a much more pedantic examination, to see, for example, “whether an appliance actually works or has been hollowed out.”

To set the Israeli public’s mind at rest, Channel 2 said, Schiff stressed that the situation at Ben Gurion is much better than that of the rest of the world’s airports.

“It has been clear to us, since the mid-‘70s, that any and every item a passenger takes with him — whether it be shoes or cosmetics cases — could contain weapons of some sort,” Schiff explained. “As a result, the technology at Ben Gurion is constantly being upgraded, and employees continue to be trained to recognize weapons placed in seemingly innocuous items.”

To put travelers at ease even further, Schiff said, “The amount of explosives that can be inserted into a laptop or something similar is very small. In all probability, such a bomb could cause injury to the person sitting in the next seat, but probably would not lead to a plane crash.” (the Algemeiner)

The bigotry of ‘intersectionality

by Alan Dershowitz                The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-bigotry-of-intersectionality-485896

What do Hamas and the anti-violence group Black Lives Matter have in common? What does Israel have in common with the Ku Klux Klan? What does the Islamic Republic of Iran, which throws gays off rooftops, have in common with gay right activists? What do feminists have in common with radical Islamic sexists who support the honor killing and genital mutilation of women? Nothing of course. Unless you subscribe to the pseudo-academic concept of intersectionality.

Intersectionality – the radical academic theory which holds that all forms of social oppression are inexorably linked – has become a code word for anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Israel and antisemitic bigotry.

Nowhere has adoption of this radical paradigm been more pronounced than on college campuses, where in the name of “identity politics” and “solidarity,” intersectionality has forced artificial coalitions between causes that have nothing to do with each other except a hatred for their fellow students who are “privileged” because they are white, heterosexual, male and especially Jewish.

Students at the University of Illinois (UIC) recently took to social media to express their distress after flyers were plastered around campus calling for the “end of Jewish privilege.”

The flyer stated in bold letters that “ending white privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege.” The posters had outlines of silhouettes with Stars of David printed on their chests and an arrow pointing to them with the accompanying caption “the 1%.”

Although some of the posters identified Black Lives Matter as sponsors, it isn’t clear whether they were distributed by extreme right-wing groups using hard-left antisemitic tropes or by hard Left antisemites. In some respects, it doesn’t really matter because many on the hard Right and hard Left share a disdain for Jews, their nation state and so-called “Jewish privilege.”

The very concept of “privilege” – the idea that white people benefit from certain privileges in Western society, compared to non-whites living in the same social, political and economic environment – has a long and complex history in the United States. The subjugation of black Americans, and other non-whites, is an endemic problem that requires far-reaching legislative and grassroots action. By attributing this domestic social problem to so-called “Jewish privilege,” radicals are engaging in traditional economic antisemitism; attributing far-reaching societal problems to Jewish status, occupation or economic performance.

This practice resembles the vile antisemitic propaganda splashed across Der Spiegel in the 1930s, which blamed Jews – and so-called disproportionate Jewish wealth – for Germany losing WWI and its subsequent economic downturn. Canards about Jews controlling world finances – first promulgated by the Tzarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – was antisemitic back then and it is still antisemitic today, whether espoused by the extreme Left or Right. There is no more evidence that Jews are responsible for economic or social inequality in contemporary America than there was that Jews were responsible for any of the other crimes that formed the basis for traditional blood libels. Indeed, Jews disproportionately support racial equality and other liberal causes. Most successful Jews, like most successful people of other religions and ethnicities, earned this success by hard work, not special privilege.

I certainly didn’t begin life with any privilege – indeed, despite finishing first in my class at Yale Law School, I was rejected by all 32 of the law firms to which I applied.

The linking of unrelated “victimizations,” despite their tenuous connections, is reflective of a broader trend in hard-left politics, whereby increasingly, radical activists demand that the demonization of “Zionists” – often used as a euphemism for Jews – be included, indeed featured, in the package of causes that must be embraced by anyone claiming the label of “progressive.”

Lumping seemingly disparate groups under the “umbrella of oppression” leads to the forming of alliances between causes that at best have nothing to do with each other and at worst are adverse to one another’s stated mission. Their only common feature is that in order to join, they must demonize the nation state of the Jewish people.

Some intersectional feminists involved with the recent Women’s March on Washington, for example, purport to be natural allies with anti-Israel Muslim groups that tolerate, if not accept, the “honor killings” and genital mutilation of women.

Similarly, Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) – an organization that calls for “an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East” – invited Rasmea Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and convicted terrorist, to appear as a speaker at their national conference later this month. The idea of Odeh – a terrorist who quite literally has blood on her hands – speaking for a Jewish organization that claims to propagate peace flies in the face of logic. Fortunately, Odeh is being deported for perjuriously failing to disclose her murder conviction. I guess the peace-loving members of JVP will have to applaud her on Skype.

The following are among many examples of radical leftists conflating unrelated grievances. Consider the linking of the US government’s handling of the Flint water crisis to the “severe” water crisis in Gaza. Black Lives Matter activists have visited Gaza to express solidarity with the terrorist group Hamas, and with Palestinians oppressed by so-called racist Israeli self-defense measures. While Black Lives Matter claims to disavow violence in securing its political objectives, many of its most prominent members are far more eager to criticize the “Israeli genocide of Palestinians” than to criticize Hamas for using rockets to target Israeli civilians.

During a recent interview on PBS’s Charlie Rose program, Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, had this to say about the conflation of various left-wing causes under the banner of intersectionality: “There is a good kind of identity politics, which is, you know, if black people are being denied rights, let’s fight for their rights, that’s the good kind. But there is a bad kind, which is to train students, train young people to say let’s divide everybody up by their race, gender, other categories.

We’ll assign them moral merit based on their level of privilege [which] is bad, and victimhood is good. Okay, now let’s look at everything through this lens. Israel, the Palestinians are the victims. So therefore, they are the good and the Jews or the Israelis are the bad… All social problems get reduced to this simple framework. I think we are doing them a disservice. I think where actually making students less wise.”

There is a certain irony in so many feminists and gay-rights activists refusing to condemn the sexism and homophobia in the Arab world.

Increasingly, they try to force other progressives to adopt a “No True Scotsman” worldview, in which they are made to feel that to be a “true progressive” one must embrace a wide variety of so-called hard-left causes, regardless of how unrelated they may be – as long as they also condemn Israel.

The essence of antisemitism is the bigoted claim that if there is a problem, then Jews must be its cause. Hitler started by blaming Jews for Germany’s economic downturn. Today, many hard-left activists explicitly or implicitly blame Jews and Zionists for many of the evils of the world. All decent people must join in calling out intersectionality for what it is: a euphemism for anti-American, antisemitic and anti-Israel bigotry. Exposing and condemning “intersectionality” for the bigotry that it represents is critical to ensuring that those repressive extremists who falsely claim the mantle of progressivism are not able to hijack important liberal causes in support of their own bigoted agenda.

Palestinians: The Diploma for Terror

by Bassam Tawil               The Gatestone Institute

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10143/palestinians-terror-awards

A glance at their leaders and senior officials tells them that Palestinian Authority jobs go to “graduates” of Israeli prisons.

Besides sending a message to Palestinians about who is valued in Palestinian society, the Fatah leader is also making it clear that the path to leadership and employment passes through Israeli prisons. Abbas’s senior representative is telling Palestinians that there is no need for them to pursue actual education: Israeli prisons are the best “universities.”

The longer the time spent in prison, the higher the military rank. Ten years will earn them the rank of Colonel. More than that will earn them General. The path to winning a job with a PA ministry also passes through Israeli prisons. These are the leaders touted as role models to young Palestinians.

Palestinians who are being held in Israeli prisons are “a model for sensibility and national culture and constitute a pillar for the establishment of a Palestinian state.” This glorification of Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are behind bars for murdering Jews, was issued last week by Fayez Abu Aitah, a senior representative of President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction.

Abu Aitah’s words of appreciation for murderers of Jews came during a visit he paid to Hatem al-Maghari, a Palestinian Authority (PA) policeman who was released last week after serving 17 years in prison for his role in the lynching of two Israeli reserve soldiers who mistakenly entered Ramallah. Upon his arrival at his home in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Al-Maghari received a hero’s welcome. Hundreds of Palestinians have since converged on his home to congratulate him on his release from prison and heap praise him on for his “contribution” to the Palestinian cause.

Abbas’s Fatah was quick to embrace al-Maghari as “one of our sons” in order to send a message to Palestinians that the Fatah faction is also involved in terror attacks against Israel. For years, Fatah’s opponents have been accusing it of abandoning the “armed struggle” in favor of a peace process with Israel. Groups such as Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad continue to criticize Fatah for not being sufficiently active in the terror campaign against Israel.

The release of al-Maghari provided an opportunity for Fatah to remind its Palestinian enemies of its “contribution” to the war against Israel. The lynching of the two soldiers inside a Palestinian Authority police station in Ramallah was one of the most brutal crimes perpetrated by Palestinians. The PA leadership has never accepted responsibility for the lynching of the two soldiers, who were being held by PA policemen inside the station after taking a wrong turn into the city as they were on their way to their base.

The hero’s welcome that al-Maghari received and the words of praise from Fatah leaders serve as a reminder of how murderers of Jews continue to be hailed as role models for Palestinians. President Abbas and his PA and Fatah representatives have long lauded Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as “heroes” and future leaders of a Palestinian state.

As Abu Aitah explained during his well-wishing visit to the released terrorist:

“The prisoners are the pillar of our national movement. They have sacrificed the best of our committed and responsible national cadres that are leading the struggle of our people. Our prisoners have turned (Israeli) prisons into universities from where the future leaders graduate.”

Besides sending a message to Palestinians about who is valued in Palestinian society, the Fatah leader is also making it clear that the path to leadership and employment passes through Israeli prisons. In no uncertain terms, he is saying to young Palestinians: “If you want to become a leader, you need to prove your qualifications by following the example of those Palestinians who carried out terror attacks against Israel and spent time in Israeli prison.” Again: Abbas’s senior representative is telling Palestinians that there is no need for them to pursue actual education: Israeli prisons are the best “universities.”

Palestinians have every reason to believe Abu Aitah; he is the top Fatah official. Just a glance at their leaders and senior officials tells them that Palestinian Authority jobs go to “graduates” of Israeli prisons. There is no shortage of such leaders who rose to power thanks to their involvement in terror attacks against Israel.

In the world of the Palestinians, terror is indeed the diploma of currency. Serving time in Israeli prison can even earn one a military rank without having to go to any military or security academy.

The PA, according to Palestinian sources, has one of the largest numbers of Generals and Colonels in the Arab world. Most of these high-ranking officers earned their titles thanks to the time they served in Israeli prison, not because they studied at any military academy.

Take, for example, Jibril Rajoub, the former commander of the Palestinian Authority’s notorious Preventive Security Force, who holds the rank of Major-General. Rajoub’s rank is largely the result of the 17 years he spent in Israeli prison for his role in terrorism. Rajoub is only one of dozens, if not hundreds, of former prisoners who hold such high-ranking titles but do not have any real military background.

Many high-ranking PA security officials, such as Major-General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, wear medals and decorations on their military uniforms even though they have not participated in any war. Damiri spent 10 years in Israeli prison for security-related offenses.

PLO Security[1]

PLO Security

Many high-ranking Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials, such as Major-General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, wear medals and decorations on their military uniforms even though they have not participated in any war.

These are the leaders touted as role models to young Palestinians. No small number of Palestinian senior “officers” failed even to complete their high school education. But that should not bother any Palestinian who is dreaming of assuming a senior job in a Palestinian state.

On April 17, the Palestinians will again mark “Palestinian Prisoners’ Day” by holding as series of rallies in solidarity with prisoners who carried out terror attacks against Israel. This event is marked every year by Palestinians to honor the “heroes” who made “huge sacrifices” on behalf of the Palestinians.

These “sacrifices” include the maiming and murder of Jews. The annual event in the West Bank is sponsored and funded by Abbas’s Fatah, in turn funded by Europe and the West, in the context of glorifying terrorists and encouraging Palestinian youths to follow their presumably heroic example.

A Palestinian teenager who wishes to become a “general” under Abbas need not apply to any sort of academy. The shortest route to achieve rank is by carrying out a terror attack against Israel and doing time in Israeli prison. The longer the time spent in prison, the higher the military rank. Ten years will earn them the rank of Colonel. More than that will earn them General. The path to winning a job with a Palestinian Authority ministry also passes through Israeli prisons. Former prisoners are treated as the “good boys of the revolution” and granted the plum jobs. Meanwhile, those Palestinians who actually choose to become educated once again lose out.

It would be no surprise, then, if al-Maghari finds himself awarded the rank of General in Abbas’s Fatah-controlled security forces.

And so it continues: the unashamed glorification of murderers; terrorists paraded as role models and paragons of virtue to yet another generation of Palestinians. Under these conditions of unremitting incitement, no Palestinian can talk about peace with Israel.

When President Abbas visits the White House, it will be interesting to see if his “peace” stance includes a discussion of the Diploma for Terror.