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Bibi Netanyahu meets Israeli Olympians Judo Rio Olympics 2016

Latest News in Israel – 19th August

IDF seizes weapons, terror funds overnight in the West Bank

In an operation to confiscate terrorist funds and illegal weapons in the West Bank overnight Wednesday, IDF forces, in cooperation with the Israel Civil Administration and police, arrested five wanted Palestinians.

Two suspects were arrested when a search of their home turned up ammunition and an improvised grenade. Additionally, in a weapons detection operation in the village of Jab’a, the IDF seized a shotgun-type weapon, ammunition and military equipment.

Further arrests included one suspect who was allegedly involved in terrorism, mass disturbances and violence towards civilians and security forces. Thousands of shekels in terror funds were also seized.

This year has seen a large-scale security operation by the IDF aimed at halting the illegal manufacturing of  deadly weapons throughout the restive territory.

Since the beginning of 2016, over 19 weapons manufacturing facilities have been seized along with 200 firearms, according to a previous statement by the IDF.           (Jerusalem Post)

Top 5 most egregious anti-Israel headlines in the international media

Israel supporters have said for years that there is an international media bias against the Jewish state.

This bias, they say, is reflected in erroneous headlines that downplay Israeli victims and always make Israel appear to be the aggressor.

Over the years, several headlines from major international news organizations have sparked an uproar, and have many times been changed or taken down after numerous complaints.

Here our some of the most well-publicized instances of the anti-Israel bias playing out in media headlines:

1) Following a terror attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona market on July 8 that left four people dead and 16 wounded, CNN inspired outrage with its headline when it put the word “terrorists” in quotations on its Facebook page.

Additionally, the news outlet failed to mention terrorism even once in the article reporting the ordeal.

Similarly, the British news network SKY also neglected to use the word “terror” or “terrorism” in their report of the attack at Sarona.

The BBC’s headline, “Tel Aviv shooting: Three killed in attack in shopping center” was also markedly void of the keywords.

The Telegraph as well as the Guardian also labeled the terror attack as a “shooting” incident in their headlines.

CNN swiftly removed the tweet and issued an apology via Twitter, calling their use of quotation marks around the word terrorist in their news headline “a mistake.”

“The attacks were, without question, terrorist attacks,” the news agency said in a press release.

2) After a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in which two Palestinian attackers tried to stab police and were shot, CBS described the incident on it’s website with the following headline in a story about the attack: “3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said the original headline was “biased and dishonest,” and an example of “unparalleled chutzpah,” and the network later changed the headline to “Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian attackers.”

3) After a Terrorist attack at a Jerusalem synagogue in November of 2014, CNN ran the story with the headline “4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians dead in Jerusalem,” failing to note that the two Palestinians were the terrorists.

However, in a separate reporting gaffe, CNN superimposed their preliminary coverage of the terror attack with the headline: “Deadly attack on Jerusalem mosque.”

4) After a stabbing attack in April 2015, Al Jazeera English tweeted “Palestinian shot dead after fatal stabbing in Jerusalem; 2 Israeli victims also killed.”

The network later apologized saying it regretted “the wording of a tweet posted regarding an attack in Jerusalem” after receiving a  wave of criticism from their audience.

5) Reporting on the ongoing violence on the Temple-Mount, the AFP and the Daily Mail both wrote on Monday a story with the headline “Jordan slams Israel after radical Jews visit Islamic holy site,” failing to mention the site’s significance to the Jewish religion and the historical fact that two Jewish Temples sat atop the temple for over a thousand years.    (Jerusalem Post)

PLO’s Erekat lashes out at Europe for not supporting Israel boycott

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat expressed dismay at the European Union for failing to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on Tuesday.

In an op-ed penned for Newsweek, Erekat said that the Palestinians had been “astonished” to see official EU representation at two recent anti-BDS conferences. Erekat claimed that the EU representative to Israel had both praised the Jewish state for its human rights record and stated that “settlement products are welcome in European markets.”

Erekat called on EU representatives, such as foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, to reverse statements to the effect that “no concrete actions” would be taken against Israeli “violations” of international law.

Singling out the UK’s decision to criminalize boycott campaigns against Israel, Erekat said that the Palestinians would no longer accept empty statements of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “while granting immunity to Israeli crimes and systematic violations of international law.”

The PLO official spoke against “the latest Israeli announcement to deport or deny entry to foreign passport holders that are involved in peaceful campaigns against the Israeli occupation,” an apparent reference to the government task force announced by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Interior Minister Arye Deri earlier this month that will work to deport activists calling to boycott Israel.

“The least we could expect from the international community, particularly Europe, is to take an active role in supporting the right to take peaceful action against human rights violations, rather than supporting, either directly or indirectly, the attempts to criminalize such actions,” Erekat said.

According to Erdan and Deri, dozens of organizations in Israel collect information and use it to promote boycotts against Israel and make it more isolated.

BDS activists, the ministers said, visit the West Bank to provoke Palestinian violence and obstruct soldiers and Border Police.

Erdan, who is also strategic affairs and public diplomacy minister, said the task force “is a necessary step in light of the malicious intentions of delegitimization activists who act to spread lies and twist the reality in our region.”

Speaking at a Knesset Control Committee meeting in July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel had made great strides in combating the BDS movement.

“The BDS movement is on the defensive. Now, they’re trying to defend their ‘right to boycott,’” he stated.

Netanyahu called BDS “an anti-Semitic movement par excellence” and a “hostile element,” and said that he didn’t think anything Israel does, as long as it exists, will change its boycott efforts.          (Jerusalem Post)

‘Jewish college students in the US are a persecuted minority’

The Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday held a special session on the growing targeting of Jewish students in the U.S. by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The meeting was called by MKs Anat Berko (Likud) and Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) following a June 16 report in Israel Hayom, which found that Jewish students in renowned American universities, including NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, Connecticut College, the University of Oklahoma, Harvard, Claremont College in Los Angeles, and Vassar College in New York, to name a few, were being harassed by pro-Palestinian and BDS activists.

In some schools, Students for Justice in Palestine activists taped fake eviction notices on the doors of Jewish students’ dorm rooms, and threatened to forcibly evict them if they refused to leave.

While the schools profess to oppose any anti-Israeli activity, they have done nothing against those accusing Israel of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes.

“BDS is a wave of anti-Semitism against Jews, which unfortunately has been taking place on so-called enlightened campuses [in the U.S.],” committee Chairman MK Avi Dichter (Likud) said.

“Many of the actions taken by BDS activists stem from their frustration over the [international] loss of interest in the Palestinian issue. Arab nations are not focused on the Palestinian issue and it’s driving the Palestinian Authority and its supporters crazy.”

According to Dichter, “We have experience on our side and we won’t allow the Israeli idea to be eroded. We will not tolerate [attacks] against Jews or Israelis. The Knesset and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee are committed to all Jews, regardless of where they are, especially when they come under attack simply for being Jewish.”

Amnon Goldstof, co-founder of Reservists on Duty, an advocacy group that seeks to counter the Breaking the Silence advocacy group, which is dedicated to exposing alleged wrongdoings by the IDF, told the committee that out of the 941 incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. in 2015, some 90 took place on university campuses.

“Jewish college students in U.S. are a persecuted minority,” he said.

And Berko remarked, “We have to face the truth — Jewish students are no longer safe on [U.S.] campuses, and faculty members who oppose Palestinian propaganda also suffer.”   (Israel Hayom)

Young Israelis in no hurry to get married, new data shows

Israeli men and women in their mid- to late- twenties are in no hurry to tie the knot, according to new data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday ahead of Tu B’Av, a holiday known as the “Jewish Day of Love,” which this year will fall on Friday.

Since 1970, the average age for an Israeli male to get married has risen by two and a half years to 27.6 years old, up from 25; for women, the jump has been by 3.3 years to 25 years old.

In 2014, according to the CBS, some 65 percent of Jewish Israeli men aged 25 to 29 were single — compared to 28% in 1970. And while 13% of Jewish Israeli women in that same age group were unmarried in 1970, by 2014, that figure jumped to 50%.

The numbers are starker in the “non-stop” city of Tel Aviv, where 83% of men aged 25-29 were single, as were 70% of women of the same ages.

Among Israeli men and women from the Muslim community, the rise in average age for marriage has been less significant. While in 1970, the average age a Muslim Israeli man got married was 24.5, by 2014 it was 26.4. The average Muslim Israeli woman in 2014 got married by 22.2 years of age, compared to 20.1 in 1970.

According to CBS, in 2014, 50,797 Israeli couples tied the knot through their respective religious institutions, among them 36,900 Jewish couples, 11,878 Muslim couples, 1,078 Druze couples and 860 Christian couples.

Israel has an overall marriage rate of 6.2 per 1,000 people, one of the highest among OECD members.                            (the Times of Israel)

Netanyahu Likens Judo to Israel, Combining Brains, Brawn, Heart

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the country’s returning Olympic judokas at his office in Jerusalem on Wednesday, and lauded them for more than their athletic prowess and success in Rio.

At the gathering, attended by Israeli’s national judo team, Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev and Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, the prime minister said, “First of all, anyone who made it to our Olympic team is equivalent to a general…It’s like getting accepted to an elite [IDF] unit. It’s not easy. Secondly, to see the dedication, the struggle, is an inspiration to everybody [to know that] you can lose in a competition and come back. I’m saying this from personal experience. Yes, you can lose and come back.”

Likening judo to the state of Israel, Netanyahu said it’s a combination of “brains, brawn and heart.” Turning to the judokas and their coaches assembled, he added, “You have all exhibited all of those traits. And we’ll support you and all our Olympic teams,” referring, among other plans, to a Knesset bill  proposing life-long salaries for Israeli Olympic medalists.

Bibi Netanyahu meets Israeli Olympians Judo Rio Olympics 2016

He ended by raising the much-publicized issue of the rebuffed handshake that bronze medalist Ori Sasson extended to his Egyptian rival at the end of their fight.

“I received a message yesterday from Egypt,” Netanyahu recounted. “And they said, ‘I want you to know, prime minister, that other voices were heard.’ What is important is that, for the first time in years, other voices were heard emanating from Egypt…It’s a turning point, not only in sports, but in our relationship [with Egypt] — not only on the governmental level, but among the public as well, where other voices were heard.”                  (the Algemeiner)

“No Room for the Zionist Entity in the Region”

by Khaled Abu Toameh                         The Gatestone Institute


“The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Wakf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except Jihad.” — Hamas Charter.

Hamas’s decision to participate in the upcoming local and municipal elections will further strengthen the movement and pave the way for it to extend its control from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

“The Zionist entity will not be part of this region. We will continue to resist it until the liberation of our land and the return of our people.” — Musa Abu Marzouk, senior Hamas official.

How precisely Hamas intends to “serve” the Palestinians by running in the elections is somewhat murky. Abu Marzouk did not talk about building new schools and parks for the Palestinians. When he talks about “serving” the people, he means only one thing: recruiting Palestinians to Hamas and jihad against Israel and the Jews.

The dreamers in English still have it: “Hamas and Israel, Israel and Hamas. Maybe one day…who knows.” And then the Arabic-language truth rolls in: “Death to Israel, always!”

Some Arab and Western political analysts have mistakenly interpreted Hamas’s agreement to participate in the Palestinian local and municipal elections, scheduled for October 8, as a sign of the movement’s “pragmatism” and march toward recognizing Israel’s right to exist.

They falsely assume that Hamas’s readiness to take part in the democratic process shows that the leaders of the extremist movement are also prepared to abandon their dream of destroying Israel and abandoning the “armed struggle” against it.

These arguments about Hamas’s purported “pragmatism” and “moderation” were also made back in 2006, when Hamas contested the Palestinian parliamentary election. Then too, many political analysts claimed that Hamas’s decision to run in the election was an encouraging sign that the movement has endorsed a new, moderate approach toward Israel and the peace process.

Reality, however, has proven these assumptions utterly false. Hamas’s victory in the 2006 parliamentary election did not bring about any changes in its extremist ideology. Hamas did not change its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel. Nor did Hamas abandon its murderous terrorist attacks against Israelis.

To recall, here is what the Hamas charter openly states about this issue:

“The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Wakf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except Jihad. The liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all Muslims everywhere. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from rising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the Islamic Umma [nation], clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters.”

The 2006 Hamas victory, in fact, further emboldened Hamas and increased its determination to stick to its ideology and terrorism, in addition to the indoctrination and incitement against Israel. The following year, in 2007, Hamas even waged a coup against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and seized full control over the Gaza Strip.

Likewise, Hamas’s decision to participate in the upcoming local and municipal elections will further strengthen the movement and pave the way for it to extend its control from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

So, an electoral win or loss for Hamas is totally irrelevant. Hamas is not going to change its ideology or soften its position toward Israel and the “peace process.” And, of course, Hamas is not going to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Its leaders continue to assure their people of that — in public and on a daily basis.

As in the parliamentary election, Hamas may even emerge stronger and more resolved, especially if it wins the upcoming local and municipal elections, as it seems destined to do.

Hamas sees its participation in elections as a golden opportunity for “the reinforcement of its positions and for the encouragement of its Jihad,” as it clearly and unequivocally states in its charter.

In other words, Hamas sees elections as a chance to pursue its fight to eliminate Israel. So Hamas is not running in the upcoming elections in order to provide the Palestinians with improved municipal services, but, as it states in its charter, “in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war” and “until liberation is completed, the invaders are vanquished and Allah’s victory sets in.”

Yet, incredibly, some Western political analysts and Palestinian affairs “experts” dismiss the Hamas charter as irrelevant. This dismissal is now based on statements attributed sporadically to some Hamas leaders and spokesmen in various media outlets. These comments are, for them, “encouraging” and “positive” signs from Hamas. They even take the foolhardy step of advising world leaders to listen to these voices and take them into account when dealing with Hamas.

Let us examine, for a moment, one of those statements.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was recently reported to have voiced his movement’s readiness to recognize Israel’s right to exit if it withdrew to the pre-1967 lines, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (Israel already pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005).

Mashaal is reported to have told representatives of Asian media organizations during a briefing in Doha, Qatar, that he was prepared to accept Israel’s right to exist and the “two-state solution.”

Within hours, the Hamas leadership denied that Mashaal had made such remarks concerning Israel’s right to exist. Hamas called the reports “lies” and “fabrications” and reiterated its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. “These suspicious and fabricated statements are aimed at distorting the image and positions of Hamas and its leadership,” read a statement issued by the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.

Slander and defamation: that is how Hamas views the talk about its leaders’ purported readiness to recognize Israel. This, to them, is the worst thing that could happen to Hamas — to accept the presence of Israel in the Middle East. The Hamas denial is aimed at protecting its reputation and image in the eyes of its supporters, lest they believe, God forbid, that the Islamist movement has abandoned its desire to eliminate Israel.

To set the record straight, another senior Hamas official, Musa Abu Marzouk, declared this week: “The Zionist entity will not be part of this region. We will continue to resist it until the liberation of our land and the return of our people.” With tongue in cheek, Abu Marzouk, who is being groomed as a potential successor to Mashaal, stated that Hamas’s goal behind its decision to participate in the October 8 local and municipal elections was to “serve our people.” Addressing his rivals in President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, the top Hamas official added: “Our differences will not reach the level of enmity. Our only enemy is Israel. Our political rivalry should not exceed its limit.”

How precisely Hamas intends to “serve” the Palestinians by running in the elections is somewhat murky. Abu Marzouk did not talk about building new schools and parks for the Palestinians. When he talks about “serving” the people, he means only one thing: recruiting Palestinians to Hamas and jihad against Israel and the Jews.

In recent weeks, Hamas supporters have been launching various campaigns highlighting the Islamist movement’s “achievements” in the Gaza Strip in a bid to win the hearts and minds of voters. One campaign, entitled, “A More Beautiful Gaza,” features scenes of clean streets and public parks in some parts of the Gaza Strip. Yet the rosy picture that Hamas is painting is silent as to the extraordinarily high rate of unemployment and poverty in the Gaza Strip, or the fact that thousands of Palestinian families have lost their homes in wars with Israel that were the direct result of bombarding Israel with rockets and missiles. Nor does the campaign talk about Hamas’s repressive measures against women and journalists.

This campaign of disinformation is aimed at persuading Palestinian voters that the two million residents of the Gaza Strip are living in a utopia under Hamas, and that this experience now needs to be copied in the West Bank.

There is no doubt that many Palestinians will fall into this trap and cast their ballots for Hamas. They will do so because they will be convinced that Hamas will solve all their economic and social problems and bring them peace and stability at home. But many Palestinians will also vote for Hamas for other reasons. The first of these is that they identify with Hamas’s ideology, as expressed in its charter, and believe that jihad is the only way to “liberate Palestine.” Second, Hamas has managed to convince a large number of Palestinians that a vote for another party or candidate other than Hamas would be a vote against Islam and Allah.

History seems to be repeating itself and the lessons from the Hamas victory in the 2006 parliamentary election have not been learned. Hamas is fooling not only many Palestinians by promising them a better life and prosperity under its rule; it is also fooling some Westerners, who talk about “signs of moderation and pragmatism” coming from the Islamist movement.

Since its establishment in 1987, Hamas has been single-minded about its charter-documented desire to wage jihad against Israel. Its leaders continue to state this in Arabic on a daily basis. It is not rocket science: the movement has not changed and will not do so in the future, regardless of whether it wins or loses any election.

Hamas has made itself perfectly clear. What is not so clear is why some Westerners continue to talk about its “policy shifts.” Also difficult to understand is why some in the West are not asking President Abbas and his Palestinian Authority what they intend to do if and when Hamas wins the local and municipal elections. Finally, why Abbas is pushing ahead with preparations for the elections, when he knows that his Fatah faction could easily lose to Hamas, is a true mystery.

Uziya Tzadok won the Bet Sefer l’Muzika competition… listen to him and you’ll see why


and again here

Uziyah Tzadok, 13, brought tears of emotion to the eyes of thousands with a sparkling rendition of “Tzel Etz Tamar,” on a talent show called “The Music School.”

Uziyah is the eighth child in the Tzadok family, which lives in Avnei Hefetz, in northern Samaria. He began performing when he was just 11-and-a-half.

Israel Prize winning singer Yehoram Gaon was his mentor on the show. Tzadok was not familiar with the song and learned it in three days.

The song was written by Efraim Weinstein and put to music by Haim Kubrin, in 1945.


(ignore the ad in the beginning)