Netanyahu: “You Don’t Murder a Sleeping Child for Peace”
In the wake of the killing of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, by a Palestinian terrorist, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. You don’t slit a little girl’s throat to protest a policy you don’t like. You do this because you’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human.”
“Today, each of us is going to fight back….We fight back first by fighting the terrorists, fighting their backers, fighting those who incite for such murder, whether in Hebron or in Orlando, or in Berlin, or in Ankara, or in Belgium, anywhere….We will defend and honor her dignity by redoubling our efforts around the world to defeat the scourge of radical Islamist terror.” (Times of Israel)
Father killed, wife and two children injured in West Bank terror attack
Rabbi Michael “Miki” Mark, 48, a father of 10 and the director-general of the Otniel Yeshiva was killed Friday by a Palestinian gunmen as he drove on Route 60 in the South Hebron Hills.
His wife and two of his children, ages 14 and 15 were wounded in the incident that occurred near the Aduraim Junction.
The junction is located just 15 kilometers down the road from the Kiryat Arba settlement, where a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated a home and stabbed to death Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, on Thursday morning.
Doctors in the hospitals trauma unit are treating the family.
Victim Micheal “Miki” Mark, killed on Route 60
In Friday’s incident, the rain of bullets against the vehicle caused it to overturn. Paramedics who arrived at the scene found Mark in the upside down vehicle, while the other passengers had been managed to exit the car.
Magen David Adom paramedic Zaki Yahav said that it was a “very difficult” scene. Mark “was trapped inside” with gunshot wounds and other injuries form the accident. He didn’t have a pulse and he wasn’t breathing. “We tried to resuscitate him,” said Zahav, but it was not possible they declared him dead at the scene.
Magen David Adom reported that Mark’s wife, in her 40s has been evacuated while sedated and intubated, and rushed to the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Karem in serious condition. His daughter, 14, sustained with a gun shot wound to her stomach is in serious condition and his son, 15-year-, was lightly injured.
Doctors in the hospitals trauma unit are treating the family.
President Reuven Rivlin sent his condolences to the Mark family. “I join in the prayers being said now across Israel for the full recovery of the family’s mother and children,” Rivlin said.
“Miki, who was the director of the Hesder Yeshiva (Torah college) in Otniel, saw the school as his life’s project and one of the most important projects in Israeli society.
“The Yeshiva in Otniel has known sad times, and to our sorrow the list of its alumni who have fallen in Israel’s conflicts is long,” said Rivlin in reference to the 2002 attack in which two Palestinians infiltrated the building and killed four students.
Earlier on Friday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot visited Kiryat Arba with OC Central Command, Maj.-Gen. Roni Nume, and Judea and Samaria Division Commander, Brig.-Gen. Lior Carmeli. During the tour, Eisenkot received a security briefing from Judea Brigade Commander, Col. Yair Ben Ezra, and other senior commanders in the sector.
Since September 2015 to now, 40 people have been killed and 430 injured in a series of Palestinian attacks. (Jerusalem Post)
‘They shot at us, then dad stopped moving,’ rabbi’s son recalls
The son of Rabbi Miki Mark, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting south of Hebron on Friday afternoon, recounted the moments of the attack, when the family’s vehicle came under fire and overturned.
“They shot at us from my sister’s side, she was sitting to my left,” Pedaya Mark said shortly after the incident.
“And then dad suddenly stopped moving and the car overturned.”
Mark, the head of a yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Otniel, was killed in the attack near Beit Hagai on Route 60, when terrorists apparently overtook the family’s car in a second vehicle and riddled it with bullets.
The car spun out of control and overturned. Mark’s wife was seriously injured and Pedaya’s 14-year-old sister suffered moderate-to-serious wounds. Pedaya, 15, was lightly injured.
Pedaya said Palestinian passersby helped the surviving family members escape the vehicle.
Arabs succeeded in opening the door and took us out and put us in [another] car so that nothing will happen to us,” the boy recalled.
Walla News reported that a Palestinian man called in rescue forces, while his wife attended to Pedaya’s sister. A Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance was first to treat the victims at the scene. Israeli Magen David Adom teams arrived shortly afterwards.
MDA paramedic Zaki Yahav said, “It was a very grave picture. We saw a vehicle turned over on its roof, a vehicle carrying four family members. Inside the car was a man in his forties. He was unconscious, no pulse or respiration, and suffered gunshot wounds as well as injuries from the accident.”
Yahav said medical teams began treating Mark but “shortly afterwards we were forced to declare him dead at the scene.”
The paramedic said Mark’s wife was barely conscious, with gunshot wounds in her upper body.
“We gave her swift care at the scene, put her on an ambulance and evacuated her to hospital sedated and ventilated, while administering life-saving treatment.”
The victims were taken Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.
Security forces were searching the area for the perpetrators, who fled the scene after the attack, the army said in a statement.
The military placed an effective closure on Hebron after the shooting to prevent further assaults in the area, and significantly increased the presence of soldiers in the area, an army spokesperson said. Hebron has been the source of many of the attacks on civilians and security forces in recent months.
The government, meanwhile, announced an immediate cut to tax funds it collects for the Palestinian Authority, saying it would deduct the amount the Palestinian leadership pays to the families of terrorists.
Israeli police look for evidences at the scene where Miki Mark was killed and three members of his family were wounded when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at their car, on July 1, 2016, south of Hebron.
A meeting of the high-level security cabinet was set for Saturday night, when ministers could decide on further punitive steps.
Hours after the assault, friends and family of the slain rabbi described him as a pillar of his community, a hard-worker and a dedicated father.
His nephew Elhanan Kalmanson said “Miki said more than once that in these cases [of terror victims] we always see that…the best of the best are chosen. How right he was. There was no one better than Miki.”
Friday’s attack came a day after a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist broke into the Kiryat Arba settlement outside of Hebron and stabbed to death a 13-year-old girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, as she slept in her bed.
Hours later, a Palestinian man from the city of Tulkarem in the West Bank stabbed and wounded an Israeli man and woman in the coastal city of Netanya.
And on Friday morning, a Palestinian woman was shot and killed as she attempted to stab a group of border guards in Hebron with a knife that she had hidden in her bag, according to police. (the Times of Israel)
Netanyahu, Liberman approve 42 new housing units in Kiryat Arba following teenager’s murder
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced Saturday evening that they have approved the construction of 42 new housing units in Kiryat Arba following the brutal murder of a 13-year-old girl as she slept in her family home.
The move comes along with a number of other measures in response to a string of terror attacks that have rocked the Jewish state over the last week.
The defense minister also announced that he will cancel the entry of Palestinians laborers with work permits from certain areas of the West Bank, including residents of the Arab village of Bani Naim, located near the settlement of Kiryat Arba, where the perpetrator of Thursday’s attack on 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel had resided.
Hallel was fast asleep when Muhammad Tarayrah, 17, breached the settlement’s fence, setting off an alarm that alerted residents to stay indoors.
Tarayrah slipped into Hallel’s bedroom through an open window and stabbed her multiple times. He was still in the house when the settlement’s security team arrived, including Hallel’s stepfather, Amichai, who was part of the team.
Tarayrah was subsequently shot and killed at the scene of the attack.
Meanwhile, the greater Hebron region continued to be under an IDF closure throughout the weekend – the first such security measure in two years – as security forces launched a massive search for the terrorist shooting cell that fired on an Israeli vehicle on Friday, killing father of 10 Rabbi Michael Mark.
Mark was driving along Route 60 when a suspected Palestinian gunmen opened fire on his vehicle as he drove through the South Hebron Hills.
His wife and two of his children, ages 14 and 15 were wounded in the incident that occurred near the Aduraim Junction.
So far, the closure has not resulted in a large increase in disturbances, though the army did engage small, sporadic groups of Palestinian rock throwers, as well as residents who hurled objects at IDF units from rooftops. “This occurs on many weekends,” an army spokeswoman said on Saturday afternoon.
The closure is part of an effort to disrupt a series of deadly terror attacks on Israelis in the past 48 hours, a senior security source said, speaking on Friday. Only humanitarian journeys are allowed out of the city and its suburbs for the duration of the closure. The area is home to 700,000 Palestinians. “If we do not place our hands on the shooting cell [behind Friday’s attack], there will be further attacks,” the source warned. He said the closure would assist intelligence efforts to track down the shooting cell.
The IDF believe Friday’s shooting attack took the form of a drive-by shooting from close range.
Netanyahu also announced earlier this week that Israel will start deducting taxes equal to stipends the Palestinian Authority pays militants in Israeli prisons and the families of jailed or slain militants, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday. (Jerusalem Post)
IAF strikes four Hamas targets in Gaza following rocket fire into Sderot
The IAF struck four targets in the Gaza strip early Saturday, following a Friday night incident in which a rocket launched from the strip landed in a public building in Sderot.
The destroyed targets served as terror infrastructure for Hamas in northern and central Gaza.
“The IDF will continue to act strongly against any terror force which targets Israel and its ctiziens, in order to keep the south safe,” the IDF said in a statement issued by the Spokesperson Unit..
“We hold Hamas responsible,” the IDF said. “Hamas, [as a governing body], will be held responsible for all that occur within its borders.’
The Friday-night rocket which struck Sderot landed in an unmanned preschool; No injuries were reported in the incident, yet the building sustained significant damage, and few individuals were treated for shock near the scene of the incident.
Earlier on Friday, The IDF placed greater Hebron under general closure in an effort to disrupt a series of deadly terror attacks on Israelis over the course 48 hours. Throughout its duration, only humanitarian transit will be allowed out of the city.
The IDF sent two back-up battalions to the West Bank, and beefed up the number of units guarding roads and communities.
The last time Hebron was placed under closure was in June 2014, following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers by a local Hamas cell. (Jerusalem Post)
Female terrorist shot, killed following thwarted terror attack in Hebron
A terror attack was thwarted in Hebron Friday morning after a Palestinian female suspect attempted to stab an Israel Border Police officer at the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Border police said that the female assailant approached officers stationed at the holy site and suddenly pulled out a knife, attempting to stab at least one guard.
Border police officers responded quickly, shooting the alleged suspect and halting her progress. The suspect later died of her wounds.
No one else was injured in the event.
Meanwhile, Israel Police announced that they arrested a man who allegedly assisted the perpetrator of a near fatal terror attack the previous evening in the central Israeli town of Netanya, the second of the day.
Police said that they apprehended a 30-year-old Tel Aviv-Yafo resident who allegedly drove the now deceased assailant to the area of the attack in an overnight raid on his home.
On Thursday, a Palestinian terrorist attacked Israeli civilians in the vicinity of Netanya’s central market, on the corner of Milkhemet Sheshet ha-Yamim Street (Six Day War Street) and Shoham Street.
The assailant, a 40-year old Palestinian male, stabbed and wounded two Israelis before being shot and killed by an armed civilian present at the scene, with security forces arriving in the minutes following the attack.
Thursday also saw the brutal murder of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel as she slept in her Kiryat Arba bedroom following the break-in of an Arab terrorist from a nearby Palestinian village who sneaked inside and stabbed her to death.
“The entire world needs to condemn this murder, just as it condemned the terrorist attacks in Orlando and Brussels,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the wake of the attack. “I expect the Palestinian leadership to clearly and unequivocally condemn this vicious murder and take immediate action to stop the incitement.” (Jerusalem Post)
Israel to deduct Palestinian terror funding from tax fees it hands to the PA
To stop the Palestinian Authority from making payments to terrorists and their families, Israel plans to deduct that sum from it’s monthly transfer of tax fees to the Fatah led government in the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that the transfer of those fees be halted in response to two deadly terror attacks in a 48-hour period that claimed the lives of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, and Rabbi Michael “Miki” Mark, 48, who is a father of ten children.
“The Palestinian Authority transfers funds to terrorists by various laundering methods; the more severe the acts of terrorism, the greater the amount of funds,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement it issued on Friday.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered that the entire amount of support for terrorists and their families be deducted from the tax revenues that Israel transfers monthly to the Palestinian Authority,” the PMO said.
“Israel believes that the encouragement of terrorism by the Palestinian leadership – in the form of both incitement and payments to terrorists and their families – constitutes incentive for murder.” the PMO said.
It is one of a number of measures Israel took on Friday in response to the twin terror attacks, that occurred some 15 kilometers from each other in the area of the Palestinian city of Hebron.
The IDF imposed a closure on that city.
Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) and Education Minister Nafatali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) both demanded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu call an emergency meeting of the security cabinet on Friday.
“We must understand that we are in a war and must act accordingly. A state of emergency must be declared, legislation allowing the expulsion of the families of terrorist needs to be promoted and we need to take steps to crack down on those who incite terrorism,” said Katz who is a member of the Security Cabinet.
Bennett called on the IDF and the government to force the families of the terrorists to pay a hefty price for the actions of their relatives.
“We can’t continue to rely on a policy of closures and the withholding of tax fees,” Bennett said.
Even when the tax fees are withheld, the families of the terrorists continue to receive payments from the PA, Bennett said.
The family of Muhammad Tarayrah, 17, who killed Hallel Yaffa Ariel on Thursday will already get such funds in August, Bennett said.
He proposed a number of new punitive measures in additional to home demolitions such as for the families to be exiled and or imprisoned. In addition, he suggested the demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes that have been constructed illegally in the West Bank.
Facebook and or the Palestinian 3G network could be shut down, a move that would be an effective way to combat Palestinian incitement on social media, Bennett said.
Palestinian traffic could be halted all together on Route 60, where Friday’s attack occurred, Bennett suggested.
The IDF could arrest all Hamas activists and or re-arrest all Palestinians freed from jail as part of the deal to free Gilad Schalit in 2011 but who have committed crimes in the last two years, Bennett offered.
The IDF could restore full operational activity in Areas A and B of the West Bank, Bennett said.
He also called for the construction of two new neighborhoods in the Kiryat Arba settlement. (Jerusalem Post)
Quartet report blames Palestinians, Israel equally for impasse
Speculation that the long-awaited Quartet report on the Middle East diplomatic process would place most of the blame for the current impasse on Israel failed to materialize Friday, as the Quartet released a report that did take Israel to task for settlement construction, but also slammed the Palestinians for incitement, violence, and a failure to get Gaza under control.
Indeed, before criticizing Israel for its settlement policies and policies in Area C, the document, negotiated for months among representatives from the US, EU, Russia and UN, first addressed the violence and terrorism, saying that “continuing violence, terrorist attacks against civilians, and incitement to violence are greatly exacerbating mistrust and are fundamentally incompatible with a peaceful resolution.”
Then the document tackles the settlements.
“The continuing policy of settlement construction and expansion, designation of land for exclusive Israeli use, and denial of Palestinian development is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution.”
And the third trend that it states as making the prospect of a two state solution increasingly remote is the situation in Gaza.
“The illicit arms build-up and militant activity, continuing absence of Palestinian unity, and dire humanitarian situation in Gaza feed instability and ultimately impede efforts to achieve a negotiated solution,” it stated.
The report urged the need for “affirmative steps” to reverse each of those trends “in order to prevent entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict that is incompatible with realizing the national aspirations of both peoples.”
The report called for both sides to demonstrate through policies and actions a genuine commitment to a two-state solution.
Among its recommendations were the following:
* Both sides should work to de-escalate tensions by exercising restraint and refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric.
* The Palestinian Authority should act decisively and take all steps within its capacity to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including by clearly condemning all acts of terrorism.
* Israel should cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and denying Palestinian development.
* Israel should implement positive and significant policy shifts, including transferring powers and responsibilities in Area C, consistent with the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority contemplated by prior agreements.
* All sides must continue to respect the ceasefire in Gaza, and the illicit arms buildup and militant activities must be terminated.
* Israel should accelerate the lifting of movement and access restrictions to and from Gaza, with due consideration of its need to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks.
* Gaza and the West Bank should be reunified under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO platform and Quartet principles and the rule of law, including control over all armed personnel and weapons in accordance with existing agreements.
Regarding violence and incitement, the report said that “continuing violence, recent acts of terrorism against Israelis, and incitement to violence are fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution and are greatly exacerbating mistrust between the communities. Upholding the commitment to act effectively against violence, terrorism, and incitement is critical to rebuilding confidence and to avoiding escalation that will further undermine the prospects for peace. “
The report said that the terrorism contributes “to the sense among Israelis of living under constant threat.”
“Settler violence against Palestinians, including assaults, vandalism and the destruction of property,” was also mentioned in the report.
Also noted was that there has been a decline in these incidents over the last three years, said that “the overall conviction rate for Israeli extremists accused of violence remains significantly lower than for Palestinians.”
As to incitement, the report noted that Palestinians who commit terrorist attacks are “often glorified publicly as ‘heroic martyrs’. Many widely circulated images depict individuals committing terrorist acts with slogans encouraging violence.”
Though it says that Hamas and other radical factions are responsible for the worst of the incitement, “some members of Fatah have publicly supported attacks and their perpetrators, as well as encouraged violent confrontation. “
“Regrettably,” the report read, “Palestinian leaders have not consistently and clearly condemned specific terrorist attacks. And streets, squares and schools have been named after Palestinians who have committed acts of terrorism.”
The report also mentioned ”death to Arabs” calls inside Israel by Israeli extremists, and some references in social media sites including “references to justifications for violence against Palestinians.”
As to “settlement expansion, land designations and denial of Palestinian development,” the report said that this was all “steadily eroding the viability of a two state solution.”
“This raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions, which are compounded by the statements of some Israeli ministers that there should never be a Palestinian state,” the report read.
According to the report, 70% of Area C, which makes up 60% of the West Bank land, has “been unilaterally taken for exclusive Israeli use.” And most of the remaining 30% is off limits for Palestinian development, it stated.
As to settlement construction, the report said that since the beginning of the Oslo process, the settlement population has more than doubled, with 370,000 Israelis living is some 130 settlements, “including 85,000 deep in the West Bank.”
“Combined with some 200,000 in East Jerusalem, this brings the total settler population to at least 570,000.,” the report read. “The policy of steadily constructing and expanding settlements and related infrastructure continues. Between 2009 and 2014, the West Bank settler population increased by over 80,000, including at least 16,000 deep in the West Bank.”
The report also scored Israel for retroactively legalizing settlement outposts, and for the demolition of Palestinian structures built without permits.
As to the situation in Gaza, the report stated that the “illicit arms buildup and militant activity by Hamas, the lack of control of Gaza by the Palestinian Authority, and the dire humanitarian situation, exacerbated by the closures of the crossings, feed instability and ultimately impede efforts to achieve a negotiated solution.”
Preventing the use of Gaza for attacks against Israel “is a key commitment that is essential to long-term peace and security,” the report stated.
The arms buildup in Gaza, the building of tunnels, weapons smuggling and manufacturing of rockets “increase the risk of renewed conflict, divert resources from humanitarian efforts, and threaten the lives of civilians in Israel and Gaza.”
The report said that “reuniting the Palestinians under a single, democratic and legitimate Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO platform and Quartet principles remains a priority. This is critical for the fulfillment of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.”
The report also called on Israel to lift restrictions on external trade from Gaza and limits to access to fishing waters, which “contribute to food insecurity and humanitarian aid dependency.” (Jerusalem Post)
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace prize winner, Holocaust survivor, dies aged 87
PM Netanyahu mourns loss to Israel, Jewish world; Rivlin bids farewell to ‘Jewish hero, giant of humanity’
Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel died on Saturday at the age of 87 after a prolonged illness.
A survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald Nazi death camps, Wiesel dedicated much of his life to Holocaust education and promoting tolerance around the world.
The Romanian-born Wiesel authored 57 books, including “Night,” a memoir published in 1955 in which he recounted the deaths of his father, mother and sister in Nazi camps.
When he was a teenager, Wiesel was sent with his father, Shlomo, to the Buna Werke labor camp, a sub-camp of Auschwitz III-Monowitz. They were forced to work for eight months before being transferred to a series of other concentration camps near the war’s end. Wiesel survived whereas his father was beaten to death in 1945 by a German soldier.
The recipient of over 100 honorary doctorates, Wiesel received France’s distinguished Prix Medicis for his 1968 book “A Beggar in Jerusalem,” describing the Jewish response to the reunification of Jerusalem following the Six-Day War.
He also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the rank of Grand-Croix in France’s Legion of Honor, and he was knighted as Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his role in speaking out against violence, repression and racism.
In 2013, he received the Israeli presidential medal awarded to him by then president Shimon Peres.
He had long served as a professor of Judaic studies and the humanities in the United States.
Soon after he won the Nobel prize, Wiesel and his wife Marion founded The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity with a mission to “combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality”.
Wiesel traveled back to Auschwitz in 2006 with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey. He also accompanied US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a tour of the Buchenwald camp.
In 2007 Wiesel was attacked by a Holocaust denier. Although he was not injured, Wiesel’s attacker was arrested and sent to prison.
Throughout his life and career, Wiesel continued to speak out for victims of oppression all over the world.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday called Wiesel “a beacon of light” in the “darkness” of the Holocaust and said the State of Israel and the Jewish world were “shedding bitter tears” over his passing.
“Elie, the wordsmith, expressed through his extraordinary personality and fascinating books the triumph of the human spirit over cruelty and evil. Throughout the dark period of the Holocaust, in which our six million brethren perished, Elie Weisel was a beacon of light and an example of humanity that believes in man’s inherent good,” he said.
“I am grateful for the privilege of knowing Elie and of learning so much from him,” Netanyahu added in a statement.
President Reuven Rivlin said Wiesel was a “hero of the Jewish people, and a giant of all humanity.”
Elie Wiesel and Shimon Peres in 2013
Rivlin called him “one of the Jewish people’s greatest sons, who touched the hearts of so many, and helped us to believe in forgiveness, in life, and in the eternal bond of the Jewish people. May his memory be a blessing, everlastingly engraved in the heart of the nation.”
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder also eulogized Wiesel, calling him “a beacon of light” and said the Jewish world “owes him an enormous debt of gratitude.”
“Today, Jews and non-Jews around the world mourn a man who was undoubtedly one of the great Jewish teachers and thinkers of the past 100 years. His passing leaves a void that will be impossible to fill. At the same time, his writings will live on,” Lauder said.
Peres said “Wiesel left his mark on humanity through preserving and upholding the legacy of the Holocaust and delivering a message of peace and respect between people worldwide.” (the Times of Israel)
Rabbi Sacks: Corbyn’s Israel-ISIS comparison ‘lowest of the low’
Former British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks furiously condemned Jeremy Corbyn’s comparison between Israel and ISIS. In wake of the Chakrabarti Report, which raised questions about anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party, Corbyn tried to placate critics by claiming “our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel…than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations.”
Sacks responded: “Jeremy Corbyn’s comparison of the State of Israel to ISIS is demonisation of the highest order, an outrage and unacceptable. That this occurred at the launch of the report into the Labour Party’s recent troubles with antisemitism shows how deep the sickness is in parts of left of British politics today.”
He added: “Israel is a democratic state with an independent judiciary, a free press and a diverse population of many cultures, religions and creeds. ISIS is a terrorist entity whose barbarities have been condemned by all those who value our common humanity. In the current political climate, when hate crimes are rising and political rhetoric is increasingly divisive, this is all the more shocking.”
Board of Deputies’of British Jews president Jonathan Arkush added: “It is deeply regrettable that he went on to establish some sort of equivalence between Israel and terrorist groups such as ISIS. This is completely unacceptable.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis considers that Mr Corbyn’s comments “however they were intended, are themselves offensive, and rather than rebuilding trust among the Jewish community, are likely to cause even greater concern.”
“Full and unhesitating implementation of the report’s findings must now follow. I call upon the Labour Party to guarantee that there will be zero tolerance of antisemitism.”
At that very anti-Semitism event, though, the Labour Party showed its true colours. A supporter of Momentum, an organization that supports Jeremy Corbyn, refused to hand a leaflet to Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth, accusing her of colluding with the right-wing media. Smeeth left the event in tears, and as Corbyn’s establishment remains mum on the issue, called for his resignation.
“Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews,” Ms Smeeth declared.
This comes in high contrast to Jeremy Corbyn’s defense of councillor Aysegul Gurbuz, after her anti-Semitic tweets raised a scandal in the media. Corbyn recently suffered a landslide vote of no-confidence from within his own party, as he suffers from an image of being outdated and bigoted. (Arutz Sheva)
Scotland Yard summons Tzipi Livni for Cast Lead war crimes questioning
Britain’s Scotland Yard recently summoned former foreign minister and current top Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni for questioning over alleged war crimes committed by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday.
Coming only days after Israel signed a deal with Turkey to put behind it war crimes cases relating to the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, the incident was a reminder that Israel’s problems in facing war crimes charges in foreign countries are multifaceted and far from over.
Livni received the summons on Thursday during a trip to Britain, but the incident was kept quiet until Sunday.
In the meantime, the Foreign Ministry and other government agencies worked furiously to avoid the summons, with the eventual resolution being that it was arranged for Livni to have a state meeting with a British diplomat.
By adding this meeting into her schedule, her visit fell under the definition of a “state visit” which gives her immunity from attending the questioning.
The summons was a first and for that reason, caught Livni and the government by surprise.
On the other hand, in the past, Livni herself and many other Israeli officials, have faced the threat of arrest in Britain for alleged war crimes, and the police summons was less serious than those situations.
The police summons may be a new tactic for making trouble for Israeli officials after new legislation was passed by the British government a few years ago which blocked private individuals from seeking arrest warrants from courts without the consent of the British government’s prosecution, which generally would oppose all such attempts.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog reacted strongly to the incident, sending a letter to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Sunday “demanding” that the UK change the law in order for situations such as this to not arise again.
“In the context of the last few days, during which a 13-year old girl Israeli girl and a Rabbi were among those murdered by Palestinian terrorists (this) makes a mockery of the British government’s calls for unity in fighting radical Islamist terror,” the letter read. (Jerusalem Post)
Palestinians see consent in Abbas’ silence
by Noam Amir/Maariv Hashavua The Jerusalem Post
After weeks of relative quiet, signs foreshadowing the escalation of violence in Israel were raised following the fortification of the al-Aska Mosque by a number of Palestinian youth earlier this week.
Alarmed by the event, the defense establishment immediately recommended the temporary closure of the Temple Mount to both Muslims and Jews.
At first, political leaders expressed surprise as to why Jews should pay a price… after all, it was Palestinians who were disrupting the fragile “status quo” presiding over the contentious holy site.
In a terse response, defense officials made their assessment clear: “A one-sided closing will lead to attacks.”
At this point the ball moved to the Palestinian side.
Messages were quickly passed to the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mammoud Abbas, from the Israeli defense establishment urging him to “calm the area,” expecting him to fully cooperate and publicly convey the importance of keeping the peace in the last week of Ramadan.
To their surprise, however, Abbas chose differently.
In Ramallah, the situation only deteriorated further with an incident no less serious. On June 30, nine Israeli-leftist activists were rescued by the IDF and Palestinian Authority Security Forces in a joint operation after local Palestinians threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at their vehicle. The activists had entered the West Bank in hopes of participating in a fast breaking ceremony for a Ramadan event.
Here the signature of the PA leader was well seen. The nine were invited to the ‘Mukataa’ (PA government complex) to pass out flowers and candy and their extraction from the city was announce by the PA as a rescue from “the terror outside of Ramallah.”
And for good reason. Abbas knew well that such an event, if turned deadly, in a large municipality like Ramallah, Jenin or Nablus would have the IDF charging in.
And not coincidentally, Abbas knows well that the murdering of the nine “peace activists” would open the hatch of another Intifada followed by IDF military operations in the West Bank. These two events, commotion at the Temple Mount and the near-lynching in Ramallah, shows that Abbas controls the area and directs it at his convenience.
These two events, along with wild incitement, during the period of Ramadan in the Palestinian sector led to to a brutal terror attack in which a Palestinian youth successfully mocked the security establishment by infiltrating a fortified settlement, penetrating into a private home and committing a horrendous murder of a young girl in her bedroom while she slept.
Abbas is silent and the Palestinian sector immediately interprets the silence as consent. An escalation in violence in the West Bank, a stabbing attack in Netanya and a shooting attack on route 60 is a nightmare scenario for the security establishment.
It appears that defense officials were also negligent in their duties and failed in their responsibilities. A senior IDF officer stated on Friday that “successful attacks that end in casualties lead to more attacks. Given the situation that incitement in the PA is not diminishing, every attack, such as a little girl being murdered in her bed, nourishes the next attack.”
Security forces are correctly analyzing events on the ground but with a delay of 24 hours. The attack in Netanya should have been a yellow traffic light, the moment just before changing in to red.
The security establishment has now identified the threats, yet it remains unclear as to why the enclosure of Hebron and the use of infantry reinforcements didn’t come before the shooting attack on route 60.
Former ‘Palestinian’ terrorist exposes why there will never be peace with Islam
Walid Shoebat is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was converted to Christianity, and author of the book, God’s War on Terror. He is an expert on the dangers of Islam and is also a strong supporter of the State of Israel.