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Latest News in Israel – 30th November

Two stabbing attacks in Jerusalem within hours

Jerusalem was hit with two stabbing attacks on Sunday morning.

A terror suspect was arrested for a stabbing attack near a bus station in Jerusalem on Shamgar street. Magen David Adom treated a woman in her thirties who sustained a moderate wound to her back. MDA evacuated her to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital.

The suspect fled the scene and police arrested him after a manhunt in the area. The victim of the attack was not an Israeli citizen.

The suspect was a 17-year-old Palestinian resident of the West Bank who admitted he was connected to the incident, police said.

Earlier in the day, a Border Police officer was stabbed and was lightly to moderately wounded at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. The suspect was shot and killed.

Magen David Adom said it treated the victim of the attack at the scene and evacuated him to Hadassah University Medical Center, in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

Police said that the attacker was a 38-year-old Palestinian resident of the West Bank who approached Haguy Street from the Damascus Gate in the direction of two Border Police officers who were patrolling in the area.

Just as the man passed the police officers, he pulled out his knife, screamed “Allahu Akbar” [God is great] and stabbed one of them in the neck, the police spokesperson said.

Police said the officers reacted quickly, shot the assailant, and after searching his body they found another knife.

Security forces arrested 15 Palestinian terrorism suspects – 11 of them suspected in taking part in unorganized attacks and riots – in West Bank raids overnight between Saturday and Sunday.

The arrests included the arrest of four Hamas members. Hamas members were arrested in Nablus, Beit Awa, southwest of Hebron, and Adna, west of Hebron.

During a weapons raid in Hebron, soldiers from the Givati infantry brigade’s Tzabar battalion seized an M-16 assault rifle, a handgun, and ammunition.

On Saturday, the IDF began to prepare to demolish the homes of three Palestinians, two of whom wounded eight soldiers in the West Bank on Friday.  (The Jerusalem Post)

Eight soldiers wounded in two vehicular attacks in West Bank

Eight IDF soldiers were lightly-to-moderately wounded in two separate vehicular attacks in the West Bank on Friday.

At around 12:30pm, a Palestinian rammed his car into IDF troops at the entrance to the Beit Ummar refugee camp near Kiryat Arba, south of the Gush Etzion junction, wounding four moderately and one lightly. Several of the wounded were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

An initial investigation of the attack revealed that the IDF force which was struck was made up of two armored jeeps, and included the Shimshon Battalion’s commander and the Kfir Brigade’s operations officer. The troops were stationed on the road in order to prevent clashes from a nearby funeral for a terrorist from spilling onto Highway 60.

While the troops were operating on a narrow side road near the refugee camp, the terrorist sped towards them in his vehicle and managed to run over five of the soldiers. The brigade operations officer was very lightly wounded in the incident. The other troops opened fire at the vehicle and killed the terrorist, who was later identified as Omar ah- Zaakik, 19, from Beit Ummar.

Violent clashes broke out at the scene of the attack, where Palestinians were pelting stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces.

Around 7:30am, two soldiers were lightly wounded in a vehicular attack near Ma’ale Adumim after a Palestinian attempted to run them over at a bus stop near the settlement.

Witnesses say that the attacker’s vehicle, rented in Ramallah the previous day, was speeding down the road from Jerusalem when he smashed into the bus stop where the soldiers were standing, hitting the concrete barriers placed there to stop such attacks.

He then exited the car and ran towards the soldiers wielding a knife, but dropped it. He was then shot and killed by a civilian who was at the scene.

The attacker was identified as Fadi Hassib, 30, from al-Bireh near Ramallah. Police and the Palestinian Health Ministry said he was the brother of a man who on Sunday had been shot dead in a similar incident nearby.

Members of a civilian search and rescue team who were coming back from a training session witnessed the attack and shot the driver, while another member of the team who works at Magen David Adom administered initial treatment to the soldiers.

The last Palestinian attack took place on Thursday morning, when a Palestinian attempted to stab a group of soldiers at the Tapuach Junction, and was shot dead.

Samer Seresi, 51, arrived at the major intersection in the Samaria region by car, and pulled over near a Border Police post. He then exited his car and ran at the troops while brandishing a knife. The troops, who spotted him, opened fire and killed him. None of the soldiers were hurt in the incident.

In the village of Qattana near Ramallah, a Palestinian was killed in clashes with IDF troops during an overnight raid. The Palestinian health ministry identified him as 21-year-old Yehya Taha. The IDF said Taha threw a Molotov cocktail at troops during the clashes, which led forces to shoot him.              (Ynet News)

Israeli Defense Minister: We Don’t Know if This Terror Wave Will Stop Anytime Soon

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Friday that defense officials were unsure whether the current wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks convulsing Israel would end any time soon.

“We have a wave of terrorism that’s going to be with us for the coming days and probably the coming weeks, and we don’t know if it’s going to end anytime soon, or when,”  Ya’alon told an audience at the annual Manufacturers Association of Israel conference in Eilat.

In addition to the indefinite timeline, Ya’alon warned against “taking shortcuts” to solve the spate in stabbings, car-rammings, and shootings of Israelis in cities around the country.

“There isn’t a solution to every problem,” said Ya’alon, according to The Marker. “Perhaps the Holy One Blessed be God has an answer to everything we don’t, we have to be humble. So we should avoid taking shortcuts to the solution. We need to talk about strengthening our interests. Our War of Independence hasn’t ended, there are those who don’t recognize our right to a Jewish home, neither the Palestinian leadership, but we don’t need to despair.”

Ya’alon said Israel must battle against these terrorists — mostly young Palestinian men and women — while safeguarding the economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to The Marker, he noted that Israel stopped handing out work permits to Palestinians after a resident of the West Bank village of Dura stabbed two Israeli worshipers to death at the Panorama building in south Tel Aviv.

Earlier this week, Israel started barring thousands of Palestinian workers from reaching their workplaces in Gush Etzion, a bloc of Israeli settlements between Jerusalem and Hebron, in light of the security situation.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will revoke work permits belonging to families of terrorists.

Additionally, Israel announced more stringent monitoring of Palestinian vehicles traveling in the West Bank, after several Palestinian drivers were seen dropping off terrorists at crowded intersections manned by Israeli security forces and some using their cars to ram Israelis.

Twenty-two Israelis including three US citizens have been killed in the near-daily attacks committed by Palestinians since the beginning of October. Two Palestinian drivers rammed their cars into Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on Friday in two separate incidents.

The Palestinian Health Ministry announced on Friday that 100 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli security forces since the beginning of October. Israel says most of the dead have been terrorists who were shot in the middle of carrying out attacks or those involved in violent riots.           (the Algemeiner)

IDF chief visited Brussels to establish unprecedented security ties

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot traveled to Brussels earlier this week, holding clandestine meetings with Belgian security officials less than one month after the Paris terror attacks, according to The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew language sister publication Maariv Friday.

The purpose of the trip was designed to help establish unprecedented security ties involving Belgium and Israel prompted by security fears throughout Europe.

During his one-day trip to Europe, the IDF chief of staff also held meetings with high ranking military officials from the United States.

Israel has already established a precedent coordinating with other European countries who are seeking to improve security protocols.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Germany received from Israeli intel services less than two weeks ago key intelligence regarding an imminent terror attack against a packed soccer stadium, German magazine Stern reported Wednesday.

Israeli intelligence provided the crucial information that lead German authorities to cancel a scheduled friendly soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands at Hanover Stadium on November 17.

The game was called off just four days after the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been set to attend along with other government ministers in a show of solidarity with the French.

According to Stern, Israeli intelligence had informed of an imminent threat modeled after the Paris attacks, with concrete times and targets being mentioned. One of the targets was the Hanover stadium.

Earlier in the evening, Hanover Police President Volker Kluwe said there were “specific indications” of a planned attack with explosives at the game.  (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel Says Russian Warplane ‘Briefly’ Entered Airspace Over Golan Heights

An aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces task unit deployed to Syria entered by mistake the Israeli-controlled airspace over Golan Heights and left it, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon reported.

According to the minister, the military communication channel between Russia and Israel was used to settle the situation.

“There was a minor mistake, and the pilot entered our airspace for 1.6 kilometers. We immediately contacted him, he changed his route and flew back to Syria,” the minister said Sunday.

He did not say when the incident took place.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian and Israeli Air Forces were conducting trainings to maintain flight security over Syria. They also established a hotline for sharing information about flights in Syrian airspace.

“Since Russian jets are not going to bomb there is no need to shoot them down,” Yaalon said.

“Just as we do not interfere in their mission in Syria so they create no problem for us with our flights,” he pointed out.

He added that in accordance with the agreement on preventing collisions in the sky over Syria, Russia must notify Israel about its flights near the Israeli border.

“We established an open communication channel to avoid any collisions. They notify us when they fly near Golan Heights,” Yaalon said.        (Imra)

Israel to open first diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi

Israel will inaugurate for the first time an official – and visible – diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, in the coming weeks.

A senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the move, noted that the new legation will be officially accredited to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is based in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Dore Gold, director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, visited Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to participate in the biannual meeting of IRENA’s Council. The meeting was to discuss the future activities and budgetary issues pertaining to the organization’s members, but the main purpose of the trip was to finalize the opening of the mission. During the three days of his visit, Gold met with IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin and discussed with him the opening of the mission.

A senior official in Jerusalem reported that diplomat Rami Hatan has been appointed to head the Israeli legation, and will depart for Abu Dhabi in the near future. The official added that office space for the new mission has already been found and that it is undergoing final preparations before the formal opening.

Discussions about an official Israeli presence in Abu Dhabi have been conducted in great secrecy for several years now. In fact, this idea was what prompted Israel, at the conference that founded IRENA in January 2009, to unexpectedly support the UAE instead of Germany as the world headquarters of the organization.

A senior Israeli official related that one of the conditions involved in Israel’s support for the UAE was that no restrictions would be imposed on Israeli participation in the activities of IRENA in Abu Dhabi, regardless of political realities, and that Israel would be permitted to open a diplomatic mission there that would be accredited to the agency.

On its website, IRENA defines itself, among other things, as an “intergovernmental organization that serves as a platform for international cooperation,” which supports its members’ transition to sustainable energy.

In January 2010, Uzi Landau, Israel’s minister for infrastructure, participated in an IRENA conference in Abu Dhabi, marking the first time an Israeli cabinet minister had visited the UAE. One month later, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a leading Hamas militant, was assassinated in Dubai. News of the incident reverberated around the globe. Dubai police investigators accused the Israel’s Mossad espionage agency of the assassination, and even published photographs of members of the hit team. The affair led to enormous tension between the UAE and Israel, even at a time when there were no diplomatic relations between them.

The tension eventually abated and in January 2014, Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Silvan Shalom gave a speech at an IRENA conference in the UAE and met with a number of Arab government ministers. At the time, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Shalom was quoted as saying he believed Israel needed to open a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi which would be accredited to IRENA.

As of July 2015, the agency had 145 member states and 29 other countries in the process of joining. None of these countries has a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi accredited solely to IRENA.

Countries that maintain an embassy in Abu Dhabi are represented in the organization by their ambassador or a subordinate diplomat. In the case of countries with no embassy in Abu Dhabi, their delegate to IRENA is a not-resident diplomat who pays a working visit to the UAE every few months.

The senior official in Jerusalem reiterated that Israel will be the only country with a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi that is accredited solely to IRENA. Israel decided on this course, he said, because it allowed for an official, open presence in the UAE for the first time ever.           (Ha’aret

In anger over settlement labeling, Israel suspends contact with EU on Mideast peace process issues

Israel stepped up its battle with the EU over its decision to label products from the settlements, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspending diplomatic contacts with the EU regarding the Mideast peace process pending completion of a “reassessment” inside the Foreign Ministry of the EU’s role in that process.

According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Israel will continue to have diplomatic contacts with individual EU countries – such as Germany, Britain and France – but not with EU institutions. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande and new Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło in Paris on Monday.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman did not provide any other practical consequences stemming from the decision, such as whether this would mean that Netanyahu will not meet with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on issues pertaining to the Palestinians. The decision comes at a time when there is very little movement in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

The EU, meanwhile, had no immediate response, with one EU official saying that the organization was first trying to understand the implications of the statement.

Soon after the EU decided earlier this month to label products from the settlements, Jerusalem decided to suspend diplomatic dialogue with the EU for a few weeks to strongly protest Brussels’ decision.

The EU has consistently downplayed the impact of the guidelines, saying it was only a “technical matter.” For instance, an EU commission spokesman said earlier this month the labeling would simply “ensure the uniform application of the rules concerning the indication of origin of Israeli settlement products. The aim is to ensure effective implementation of existing EU legislation.”

The guidelines provide member states with legal instructions as to the placement of consumer labels on products from the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to inform European consumers that they are not “made in Israel.”

The move infuriated Jerusalem, which said that paved the way to a boycott of Israeli products.

At the recent Jerusalem Post Diplomatic conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu blasted the EU’s decision, calling it “absolutely absurd and morally abhorrent, because on the soil of Europe within living memory, Jewish products were labeled, Jewish stores were labeled.”

The EU’s ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen hit back at the conference against any comparisons with Nazi boycotts of Jewish businesses, saying this was a “distortion of history and belittlement of the crimes of the Nazis, and the memory of their victims.”              (The Jerusalem Post)

‘Paris terror ringleader planned to attack Jewish targets’

The leader of the group of terrorists who carried out the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris two weeks ago also planned to strike at the French Jewish community, Reuters reported Friday, quoting a witness statement related to the investigation into the November 13 terror attacks. The report did not specify which Jewish targets were intended to be hit.

The terrorists were also planning to disrupt the education and transportation systems in the French capital, Reuters said.

The Reuters report quoted the witness statement saying that Belgian national Abaaoud “also boasted of the ease with which he had re-entered Europe from Syria via Greece two months earlier, exploiting the confusion of the migrant crisis and the continent’s passport-free Schengen system.”

The quotes were apparently taken from a confidential police witness statement leaked this week to French magazine Valeurs Actuelles.

Two days after the Paris bloodbath, Abaaoud asked his cousin Hasna Ait Boulahcen to hide him as he prepared more attacks, the witness statement reportedly said.

He told her “they would do worse (damage) in districts close to the Jews and would disrupt transport and schools,” the witness statement said.

“Abaaoud said he would give Boulahcen 5,000 euros (about $5,000) to buy two suits and two pairs of shoes for him and an unidentified accomplice to ‘look the part’ in a planned attack on Paris’s commercial district La Defense,” Reuters said.

Boulahcen was killed in the same raid as her cousin.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday it would launch an investigation into how the confidential statement was leaked to the press, Reuters said.

Islamist terrorists have targeted the French Jewish community on more than one occasion. In January, four people were shot dead in an attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris, two days after 12 people were killed in an attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in the French capital.

In March 2012, a rabbi, his two young children and another young girl were shot and killed by an Islamist gunman at a Jewish school in the city of Toulouse.    (The Times of Israel)

Argentine rabbi appointed minister in newly elected Macri government

Argentinean lawmaker Rabbi Sergio Bergman has been chosen to serve as Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Bergman, who will start his new position on December 10th when the new government is sworn in, is believed to be the only rabbi serving as a government minister outside of Israel.

The lawmaker will be part of Mauricio Macri’s new center right government, after being named by Macri in 2011 to head the his party’s slate of the parliamentary candidates for the Buenos Aires City Municipal Legislature and in 2013 to head the list of National parliamentary candidates, winning both elections. He is the rabbi of the oldest synagogue in Argentina which is part Fundación Judaica, a network of Jewish institutions founded and led by Bergman.

Bergman is a friend of the Pope Francis, who served as the archbishop of Buenos Aires prior to his election as pope. The rabbi wrote a book of religious essays, titled  “A Gospel According to Pope Francis,” which praises the Pope as a religious leader, social worker and political statesman.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Macri on Wednesday to congratulate him on the election victory, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “Macri told me that relations between Argentina and Israel will now change for the better,” Netanyahu wrote in a post on Facebook.

The new Argentinean government has said it will cancel the pact that Argentina signed with Iran to jointly investigate the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, a measure welcomed by American Jewish Committee, Latin American Jewish Congress, the Argentinean Jewish political umbrella DAIA, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The agreement has been criticized by Israel and Argentina’s Jews, among others. Iran has been accused of being behind the 1994 AMIA bombing, which killed 85 and injured hundreds.

“We will propose to the Congress to cancel the pact with Iran as we promised in the campaign,” Macri said Monday morning in his first news conference after being elected in a runoff vote the previous day.      (Ha’aretz)

Thousands from Israel, overseas at wedding of terror victim’s daughter

Sarah Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel were married Thursday evening at the elevated plaza in front of Jerusalem’s International Convention Center. As hundreds of guests crowded around the white chuppah (wedding canopy), the sounds of police and ambulance sirens rose from the streets below to mingle with the music played during the ceremony.

Also heard in the plaza were various languages spoken by those gathered. Not only Israelis from all over the country, but also Jews from all over the world (including a group of 12 from a Canadian synagogue) responded to the couple’s invitation asking “everyone” to celebrate with them at their wedding, which had been postponed from its originally scheduled date of November 16.

Litman and Biegel rescheduled the wedding for Thursday night, less than two weeks since the bride’s father Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and her 18-year-old brother Netanel were shot dead in a terrorist attack as they drove on Route 60 in the southern West Bank on November 13. Other family members in the car — the mother, a 16-year-old boy and three young girls aged 11, 9 and 5 — were lightly wounded, suffering mostly from bruises and shrapnel injuries. The family had been en route to join Sarah in a Shabbat eve pre-wedding celebration.

The wedding, whose guests numbered in the thousands by the end of the evening, was broadcast live and the video below shows an edited version of the event, from the gathering of guests, the moving chuppah ceremony and a few select dancing scenes.

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attended the wedding and in a video posted by her husband on social media, can be seen arriving at the wedding, and posing for photos with the bride and groom and their families.

Guests interviewed by The Times of Israel said they were moved by the fact that Litman was going ahead with her wedding just days after getting up from shiva — the initial seven-day mourning period.

Bronya Shaffer, a teacher at Beth Rivkah, a Chabad high school for girls in Brooklyn, was in Israel for a conference, and was asked by Beth Rivkah’s principal to represent the school at the wedding.

Shaffer told The Times of Israel that her students sent messages and a gift to the couple. Before leaving for Israel, Shaffer had a discussion with the girls, some of whom spoke about how inspired they were by Litman, who, by going ahead right away with her planned marriage, is letting joy into her life despite her pain.

“We spoke about how the bride is not giving in to suffering. Suffering and pain are not the same,” Shaffer said.

Sharon Feldman, who lives in Mevasseret Zion, said she came to the wedding because she was “curious” to see how people can move so quickly from a state of mourning to a joyous event.

“These people are very brave to go from a murderous catastrophe to something so happy. That’s the power of faith, I guess,” she said, referring to the fact that members of the Litman family — who live in Kiryat Arba, a settlement on the outskirts of Hebron — are religious Jews.


Australian students on a gap-year program in Israel attend the wedding of Sarah Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel in Jerusalem, November 26, 2015.

Although the general public was invited to join the festivities only after 10:30 p.m., a group of seven Australian teens on a gap-year program in Israel who had arrived early tried to talk their way past security so they could witness the ceremony from up close.

The 18- and 19-year-old students from Sydney and Melbourne said that being in Israel during the current wave of terror has been hard at times. They spoke of the tension in the air, and how they have exercised extra caution while trying to carry on with their regular activities.

“I’ve found myself looking over my shoulder a lot as I walk around,” said Tim Schey.

His friend Caleb Dobelski spoke of scared parents back home and program participants who have decided to scratch plans to visit terror-stricken Europe after their program ends a week from now.

Despite their feeling a bit jittery about the security situation, the students said they had not wanted to miss the wedding, and that they were grateful to their program leaders for letting them attend.

“It’s an incredible national experience. Israel is like a big family, and I feel part of it,” said Tamar Jacobs.

This sentiment of national unity was echoed by David Alter from Lawrence, New York, who, together with his wife, Suri, sufficed with standing behind a barrier meant to keep people without invitations to the ceremony itself well away from the chuppah.

“We have to be strong as a nation, and we are here to do our part. We share both Israel’s bad and good times. We can’t let the terrorists win,” Alter said as he filmed the goings-on with his cell phone.

Unlike Alter and his wife who had already planned to be in Israel over the long American Thanksgiving weekend, Sara Just-Michael flew in especially to attend the wedding.

A senior at Queens College in New York, Just-Michael was one of six students from the US and Canada brought to the event by Chabad on Campus.

While waiting for a connecting flight in Zurich on Wednesday, Just-Michael, 23, told The Times of Israel by phone that she had won a sort-of lottery set up to determine which student would represent her campus at the wedding.

“Chabad on Campus sold raffle tickets for $18 a piece, and all the money went to pay for the plane ticket. We just broke even,” she explained.

Just-Michael was surprised that she won the raffle, and when Tzipah Wertheimer, co-director of Chabad On Campus at Queens, called her at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and asked if she could be at the airport by 10 o’clock that evening, she answered with an unequivocal “yes.”

“It’s not about me personally going. It was important to send someone from our college, but I am glad that I will be able to be there to experience something happy that shows we can still look forward past the horrible things that have been happening,” she said.

As a singing and dancing throng escorted Litman and Biegel to the huppah, Australian student Jemma Katz headed off with her friends to try to get closer to the action — but not before expressing one last thought.

“You asked us what made us want to be at this wedding. I can tell you that for me it was the idea of a daughter of a family broken apart by terrorism getting married and building a new family of her own,” she said.               (The Times of Israel)

Loyal to their people and to their state

Outlawing the Islamic Movement is an opportunity, as it requires a clear policy towards the loyal majority of Israeli Arabs who oppose terror.

by Ben-Dror Yemini         Ynet News


These words are dedicated to G. from the village of ‘Ara, to H. from Jaffa, to Dr. S. from the Upper Galilee, to R. from Nazareth and to other friends from the Arab “sector.” Occasionally they speak up; occasionally they keep quiet. Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we yell at each other. That’s the way it is among friends.

There is one more thing I know: I can count on each and every one of them blindly, even after not talking to each other for months. They are Palestinian and they are Israeli, and they belong to a minority which wants to be and is trying to be – and sometimes succeeding – part of the Israeli existence.

According to previous surveys, more than 50 percent of young Israeli Arabs are in favor of volunteering for national service. They are trying to be loyal both to their people and to their state, and it’s not easy. With people like Azmi Bishara, Hanin Zoabi and Raed Salah in the background, and when Father Gabriel Naddaf suffers from violence for supporting IDF enlistment, many prefer to keep a low profile.

They belong to quite a large group of people who have gained personal and professional success. They have done it thanks to the state and despite the hostility and discrimination from their surroundings and sometimes from the state as well.

When one of them, or those who are like them, voices his moderate views, he is ridiculed not only by the screamers in his own sector, but also by the screamers of the Left in the Jewish sector, who want their Arab angry and full of hatred against the apartheid state they paint in their wild imagination.

S., a hospital department head, and G., a successful businessman who has a company with which companies in central Israel prefer to work because it’s better, despise such Jews. In their eyes, they are no different from the fascists in the Right, as both encourage hatred and hostility.

The apartheid claims are nonsense and a lie, and the Adalah organization’s list of “apartheid laws,” which stars in anti-Israel propaganda, is pure deception. There isn’t a single law there which smells of apartheid.

Nonetheless, Israel is far from being perfect. Not all of the arguments made by Israel’s Arabs are groundless. We should do more and we must do more, much more, for equality and integration. Not that it will change anything as far as Zoabi or Salah are concerned. They will keep spreading poison. But we must not despair because of the inciters. It will be their victory.

So why do they vote for a hostile party, once Balad and now the Joint List? Well, not everyone who votes for these parties is necessarily anti-Israel. This vote is the result of one’s identity. Not every Jew who votes Likud or Bayit Yehudi hates Arabs. And in any event, about a third of the Right’s voters would have supported a far-reaching compromise in exchange for true peace, which is slightly hard to achieve. So the Arab vote is largely a mirror image of the Jewish vote.

The “other” Arabs are not the majority, but they are not a small minority either. They care about the language and attitude of the Jewish majority. One of them wrote to me, after I wrote about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the Holocaust, that those days in Paris and in Northern African countries there were Muslim righteous among the nations who were busy saving Jews, and these days there are Muslim intellectuals who write against anti-Semitism in a blatant manner. He is right. We must not ignore the inciters, and we must not ignore the sane, enlightened stream which fights racism.

While the situation of Israel’s Arabs is relatively better than the situation of Muslims in Europe, it’s not enough. Israel must do more, much more, to increase equality and participation.

For each person who supports Hamas or the Islamic State, there are hundreds who oppose terror. They won’t become Zionist. The disputes will remain. But outlawing the Islamic Movement is actually an opportunity, because it requires a clear policy towards the loyal majority.

Only racists exempt the Arabs from being responsible for their situation. But the ball, we must not forget, is also in our court.

Refugees? What about the ‘Palestinians’?

Joseph Farah reveals why no one dares ask Obama the simple question



I have a serious question.

Why is Barack Obama hell-bent on resettling thousands of overwhelmingly Syrian Sunni Muslim “refugees” in America when we constantly hear about the plight of so-called “Palestinian” refugees who have been presumably waiting in line for resettlement for 48 to 67 years creating what we’re told is the most grievous injustice on the planet today?

Obama and his supporters say they believe solving the Palestinian “refugee” crisis is the key to peace in the Middle East.

It has been suggested that a permanent “Arab Spring” is just waiting to break out once these “Palestinian refugees,” who have been waiting and waiting and waiting for a solution to their plight, get justice.

So why aren’t the United Nations and Obama doing anything to resettle those poor, oppressed “Palestinian refugees” in the U.S. or in Europe?

Far be it for me to give the U.N. and Obama any ideas, but the question needs to be asked.

Why aren’t world leaders and various countries debating over how many “Palestinians” they will take in? Why are they focused only on this brand new “refugee” crisis?

This is a question no one dares ask. No one even considers it. When was the last time you heard the “Palestinian refugee” question addressed the way the Syrian Sunni Muslim crisis is being discussed?

The answer, of course, is never.

Why is that?

Why isn’t Sweden opening its borders to tens of thousands of “Palestinians”?

Why didn’t France do it?

Why didn’t any European country think of it?

Why didn’t any Muslim nation in the world consider it?

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The answer is very simple.

Because the so-called “Palestinian refugees” serve an important purpose to the Arab powers, the Muslim nations of the world, the United Nations and the U.S. and Western Europe.

The “Palestinian refugees” represent the eternal grievance against the one and only free state in the Middle East and the one and only Jewish state in the world.

Those who use this “crisis” as a wedge of hate and agitation against Israel don’t really want to see this “refugee” crisis solved. If it were solved, then Israel would be at peace. The so-called “Palestinian” cause is the asymmetrical war of wars against the Jewish state. Having failed to destroy Israel through several conventional wars since 1948, the Arab nations finally found an alternative following the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Yasser Arafat handed it to them on a silver platter. The U.N. bought into it. The European elite bought into it. And the U.S. bought into it.

The solution has been the so-called “two-state solution” – even though another two-state solution was arranged in the mid-1940s when Jordan was created as an Arab Palestinian state and Israel as the Jewish state.

If something doesn’t work the first time, progressives believe, try it again and again until it works. Make the victim of terrorism, in this case Israel, pay a bigger and bigger price.

That’s why there is no thought of resettling Arab Palestinians anywhere else in the world. Nor is there any thought of forcing Arab Muslims nations to take them in any more than there is a thought of getting Saudi Arabia, with all of its land and riches, to help resolve either refugee crisis – old or new.

Do you get it?

Those who blame Israel for the Palestinian Arab refugee problem wouldn’t have a grievance against Israel if they actually resettled those refugees. They wouldn’t have an opportunity to use the Arab Palestinians as pawns in an asymmetrical war against the Jewish state. They would no longer have an excuse to falsely label Israel as an apartheid state. It’s never really been about a just solution for Arab Palestinian refugees displaced through no fault by Israel.

Even though Palestinians wait and wait for a permanent solution, the Syrian Sunni Muslim “refugees” jump to the head of the resettlement line.

Amazing, isn’t it?

And no one even asks the simple question

This information is compiled by Dr Ron Wiseman, Board Member of the Zionist Council of NSW