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Latest News in Israel – 7th April

Israeli Medical Invention Saves Lives of Stabbing Victims in Seconds!

Israeli students have developed a new chest-tube insertion device that can save the lives of stabbing victims 15 times faster than before.

Israelis are known to be extremely resourceful and creative, overcoming challenges with remarkable ingenuity.

A collapsed lung has become a common medical challenge over the past several months as a result of the current wave of Palestinian terror, where knife attacks are the most common form of violence.

Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem developed a new chest-tube insertion device that dramatically shortens the time needed to save stabbing victims’ lives. (United with Israel)

Ya’alon on Hebron shooting: Those who back soldier don’t back our laws and values

The soldier under fire in last month’s Hebron incident acted against the laws and values that bind and strengthen Israeli society, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Tuesday, as he spoke with high school students in the Jordan Valley settlement of Ma’aleh Ephraim.

“Those who back the soldier don’t back our laws and values,” Ya’alon said.

He spoke with the students on the same day that a military hearing was held about the detention of the soldier who on March 24, fired the fatal shot at an already wounded Palestinian assailant.

“It’s important for us to both win and remain humane,” Ya’alon said and added, “if we lose our morality we will lose our way.”

He spoke against the demonstrations in support of the soldier and warned that the subject could be easily manipulated for harmful ends.

Ya’alon condemned the soldier’s actions, but stopped short of calling him a murderer.

“No one is calling him a murderer.

This is a soldier who did not act as he was suppose to,” Ya’alon said. The IDF prosecution intends to charge him with manslaughter.

The soldiers actions that March day were filmed by a B’tselem volunteer and widely circulated in the media and on Youtube.

“But even before anyone saw the video his commanders saw that his actions were improper and began an investigation,” Ya’alon said.

The term “murder” was introduced into the situation only after the legal proceedings against the soldier began, Ya’alon said.

Still, he said, when one talks about the ethic of “kill or be killed” one should also speak about “do not murder.”

With regard to the larger Israeli- Palestinian conflict, he said, that there was no partner on the Palestinian side because no one is willing to recognize that Israel is the homeland of the Jews.

“That is the source of the conflict,” he said.

Ya’alon added that he did not believe it was resolvable at this time.

“We as modern Western people, have the mistaken idea that there is a solution to everything. Sure, we made it to the moon which gives us the idea that everything is possible,” Ya’alon said.

“I contend that not every problem is solvable, not in mathematics and not in medicine. Even in our personal lives, we live with problems that we manage but cannot solve.

Only when it comes to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict do we insist that there must be a solution.

“And if there is a solution, why can’t it happen now. That is dangerous, God has solutions, but we don’t. We live in the world of instantaneous solutions. If you are hungry, you can go into a fast food restaurant. At home you can put food in the microwave. Just like we want food now, we want democracy for the Arab world now, we want peace now, there are those who want the Messiah now.

“I suggest that we be cautious against these intellectual hurdles, he said.

One has to wonder that if the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so well-known, why has no one made it happen over the last one hundred years, he said.

“I don’t think time is working against us,” he said.

Separately, he spoke about the importance of doing a better job of integrating Israeli-Arabs into society.

Later while still in the Jordan Valley, Ya’alon spoke in support of the settlements there and said that the region had an important role to play in the nation’s future.  (Jerusalem Post)

Abbas: We are prepared to discuss with Israel ending of ‘mutual incitement’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday he was prepared to work with Israel to stop and monitor “mutual incitement” between the two sides.

Abbas told visiting Romanian journalists in his office that he has called for the reformation of the Palestinian-Israeli-American committee for monitoring incitement that was established 15 years ago, and that he was working toward the achievement of a two-state solution by establishing a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital on the pre-1967 lines that would live in peace and stability alongside Israel.

“We want to hear a clear statement from the Israeli government that it believes in the two-state solution,” Abbas said. “If it agrees to this, the beginning of the solution will be ready and we will negotiate about the other issues.”

Abbas said settlements were the major obstacle to peace and they, therefore, were “demanding a full cessation of settlement activities in the Palestinian territories.”

The Palestinians, he said, are seeking a UN Security Council resolution that condemns settlements and calls for an immediate cessation of settlement activities.

Once the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solved, he said 57 Arab and Islamic countries would be ready to normalize relations with Israel in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.

The PA president also warned, once again, against “settler assaults” on the holy sites in Jerusalem, saying it could lead to a religious conflict.

“The Palestinians are against Israeli occupation and not the Jewish religion,” he stressed. “We are against all forms of terrorism and extremism.”   (Jerusalem Post)

PM calls on IDF to act against terror ‘everywhere and without restrictions’

Amid reports that Israel and the Palestinian Authority are negotiating a deal to restrict IDF action in Palestinian-controlled areas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the IDF to continue its offensive activities without restrictions.

Netanyahu’s comments came during a tour the Security Cabinet took to the IDF’s Judea and Samaria division, hearing a briefing from top IDF and Shin Bet officials at lookouts at Kochav Ya’akov and Psagot near Ramallah.

The ministers, according to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, were told that there has been a significant decrease of late in the number of terrorist attacks and the number of wounded. They were briefed by OC Central Command Maj.-Gen Roni Numa and a Shin Bet representative.

Netanyahu directed the IDF to continue its offensive against terrorism “everywhere and without restrictions.”

Haaretz reported Wednesday that progress has been made in talks limiting Israeli incursions into Area A, the part of the West Bank under complete PA control. According to the report, the Security Cabinet was to get its first briefing on the status of those talks. Numa was reportedly involved in those talks.

Officials in the PMO denied this was purpose of the security cabinet tour and meeting. “The IDF will retain the right always to act everywhere according to operational needs,” one offical said.

Meanwhile, President Reuven Rivlin, during a meeting of industrialists in Nazareth, called on Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to return to talks.

“I listened with great interest to the prime minister’s words yesterday that if Abu Mazen [Abbas] sees Hamas as a problem and not a solution, we would be very happy to re-start negotiations. I call on both of them to bring about an understanding of how we can live side by side,” he said.               (Jerusalem Post)

UN partially reverses decision to censor Israel exhibition


Special exhibition initiated by Israel’s permanent mission to the United Nations

The United Nations reversed its decision to censor one of the three displays that it had originally disqualified from a special exhibition initiated by Israel’s permanent mission to the United Nations with the organization StandWithUs on Monday.

The display on Zionism, which defined the concept as “the liberation movement of the Jewish people”, was the one that was ultimately approved. The two other posters, on Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish People and on Israeli Arabs, remained censored by the UN.

Israel’s Ambassador to the international body Danny Danon had called on Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Sunday to reverse the decision and to “apologize to the Jewish people.”

“By disqualifying an exhibition about Zionism the UN is undermining the very existence of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” he said on Sunday.

Danon welcomed Monday’s decision to finally allow the panel on Zionism and said it is “a clear win for Israeli diplomacy and a victory for the truth about Israel” but that the UN must now reverse its decision to censor the other two elements and allow all the panels to be exhibited.

Spokesman for Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said that the panel on Zionism had never been disallowed from the exhibit.

“There was a misunderstanding because there was a question about a photo in that panel, and so it was initially communicated to the [Israeli] Mission that the panel could not be displayed,” he explained. “That was immediately revised and it was then clearly communicated to the [Israeli] Mission shortly after the first message that the panel could be displayed.”

As a general rule, Dujarric further added that the aim is of the exhibits put together in the UN’s public hall is to allow member states to showcase cultural and/or social achievements, as well as their history.

“The displays need to be in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Organization,” he said. “We are the custodians of this space and so it falls to us to make the call of whether proposed exhibits are in such conformity.”

Regarding the panel about Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people, the spokesman explained that displays should be in line with international legality, which is why it was banned.

“We also try to the best of our ability to keep these spaces free from polemics,” he added. “This is not an exact science, as we’re dealing with understandable sensitivities.”

“One must also keep in mind that we’re dealing with 193 member States, who all have to feel that this is their house,” Dujarric pointed out. “We regularly look at this process to see how it can best serve all the member States.”

The Spokesman also said that there have been multiple past instances where the UN asked member States to adjust exhibits. “This is not unprecedented,” he said.

The Israeli exhibition opened in the UN’s public hall on Monday.             (Jerusalem Post)

Premier Baird: ‘Nothing can prepare you for Yad Vashem’

When Kerryn Baird started crying at Yad Vashem on Tuesday, she just couldn’t stop.

More than a quarter-of-an-hour after she welled up in the Hall of Names, there were still tears on her face. Then, a visit to the Children’s Memorial and a wreath laying in the Hall of Remembrance brought her emotions to the fore again.

Her husband Mike Baird, Premier of New South Wales, stood fixated by the guide during parts of their 90-minute tour of Yad Vashem — including a segment when they were taken to walk on original cobbles from the Warsaw Ghetto.

He admitted that the tour had drained him emotionally by the time he talked to The AJN at the end. “Nothing can prepare you for that,” he said.

Kerryn Baird nearly broke down again when asked for her thoughts. “What moved me the most was that these atrocities were conducted in daylight, and people stood and watched,” she said.


The Premier said that he connected with the Holocaust on a personal level at Yad Vashem, especially when hearing the story of the family of Australian philanthropist Frank Lowy, who he knows, and when seeing a display of victims’ shoes. “There was a red sandal that caught my eye and immediately I imagined a young girl like one of my daughters who innocently dreamed and laughed and played,” he said.

Baird was in Israel this week on the first trip to the country by a sitting NSW Premier. He spent part of the visit with just his wife and entourage, and part with a delegation of business, research and public sector leaders, which has been coordinated by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD).

Aside from visiting the staple tourist sites of Israel, including the Old City, the Bairds spent most of  their time delving in to Israeli innovation, putting the emphasis of the trip firmly in the economic sphere. JBOD president Jeremy Spinak said that this will push new economic ties between NSW and Israel, and impact on the image of Israel in Australia. “People at home are starting to see Israel in its true light, as the ‘Start-up Nation,’” he said.

Baird described Israel as an “incredible nation” that is “leading the world in so many ways”.

Baird said he believes the trip will come to represent a “critical turning point” in relations between NSW and Israel, “going from being … allies and friends to significant collaborators and economic partners”.

There were meetings with start-ups and there was particular interest in cyber-security, with Andrew Scipione, commissioner of the NSW Police Force, joining the trip to focus on this.

One collaboration is already near to being signed. In the unlikely setting of a dilapidated Hebrew University building, the Premier and his entourage listened to a briefing on the institution’s cutting-edge research on medical cannabis, and moved close to preparing an agreement for Israeli-Australian cooperation in this field. Using an injection of public money the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales will innovate in medical cannabis using Hebrew University research.

“As I see it, it’s us providing basic scientific tools for clinical trials to be done in Australia,” said Hebrew University’s Yossi Tam, adding that the research agreement will be for five years, after which it will be renewed. Baird said that he is ready to “start tomorrow”. As well as going to Hebrew University he met Israel’s Health Minister Yaakov Litzman to discuss medical cannabis.

There was some politics during the trip, including a day in the West Bank which included a visit to a refugee camp that receives Australian aid money, and a meeting with Israel’s head of state. President Reuven Rivlin thanked Baird for Australia’s “strong position against extremism”, and said that the Israel-Australia friendship made him very disappointed to have to cancel a visit to Australia that he was meant to make last month.

A spiritual high-point of the trip for Baird, who has an academic background in theology, was visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, where he went to the Western Wall, ascended Temple Mount, and toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was, he said, “very remarkable” to see how close the sites of the different faiths are. He spent a few quiet moments at the Wall and he remarked afterwards that he found the place “very profound”.                     (AJN)

Former president Katsav’s request for early release denied by parole board

Former president Moshe Katsav’s request for early release from prison was denied by the parole board on Wednesday.

Katsav had asked to be released early after having served approximately two-thirds of a seven-year sentence for rape.

The Israel Prisons Service parole board explained its decision as being based on its review of the issues “fitting to be released with conditions” and “dangers of being released.”

They wrote, “before us is a prisoner who denies that he committed the crimes, who continues to claim his innocence despite the court decisions…which was manifested in his appearance before us.”

Katsav acted “as if there was no legal proceedings and he continues even today as someone who has not undergone any treatment connected to the crimes which he perpetrated.”

Further, it noted the court slammed Katsav for the severity of his crimes, that “the crime victims expressed their position against his release before the board,” and that expert opinions rejected Katsav’s private proposed post-release program as being “capable…of preventing continued defective conduct.”

The former president’s “obsession with his innocence” damages his ability “to avoid the same risk” of his sexually assaulting more women, it said.

Katsav’s lawyer Tsion Amir told the press after the parole board’s denial that he would appeal the decision.

When asked how Katsav had received the decision, Amir said that Katsav was in “great pain,” and wanted to go home.            (Jerusalem Post)

For parents of soldiers lost in Gaza, the war never ended

One family lost their son in late July 2014. The other lost theirs on the first of August in the same year.

One family has lobbied the United Nations and crossed an ocean in hopes of bringing their son’s remains back. The other mostly stays home.

One family is sure their son is dead. The other is plagued by uncertainty.

But one thing unites the Goldin and Shaul families: Of the 67 sets of Israeli parents who lost sons in the Gaza War two years ago, only theirs have not returned.

Now, Leah Goldin and Zehava Shaul look burned out and constantly on the verge of tears as the two mothers separately talk through their ordeals. By their sides, their husbands, Simcha Goldin and Herzl Shaul, look dejected.

“They say we’re not normal,” said Leah Goldin. “We have to talk about the first of August. It’s like returning to the scene of the crime. We can’t leave the place of our mourning.”

Oron Shaul, then 20, was engaged with his unit in a brutal battle over the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya on July 20, 2014. He had left his armored personnel carrier to repair a broken part when Hamas militants began firing on the vehicle, taking him prisoner. Five days later, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that he had died based on evidence at the scene. The battle claimed 12 other Israeli soldiers.

Herzl Shaul accepts the army’s conclusion about his son. But because his body wasn’t recovered, Zehava Shaul believes he is still alive. She says Oron is being held captive by Hamas like Gilad Shalit, the soldier captured in a 2006 raid and returned in a hotly debated 2011 prisoner swap that saw 1,000 Palestinian prisoners go free.

“As a mother I feel he’s alive,” she said. “How can you determine death when he’s in the hands of Hamas? In any case, I want Oron. The government and the defense minister sent him to this operation. They need to bring him back.”


Zehava and Herzl Shaul have no definitive proof that their son Oron died after he was captured by Hamas in Gaza City on July 20, 2014

About two weeks after Shaul’s capture, Hadar Goldin was taken during the collapse of a cease-fire. In response, the IDF employed the controversial Hannibal Directive, which calls for the army to use any means necessary to ensure a soldier isn’t taken prisoner. Some 150 Palestinians and three Israelis died in the ensuing fight.

The IDF was able to recover enough of Hadar’s body to declare him dead. The family held a funeral, and since then has engaged in an unending quest to return the rest of their son’s remains.

Though both parents work, the Goldins’ campaign takes up all their energy. They have traveled from their home in this central Israeli city to the United States three times in their so-far failed attempt to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and lobby for the return of Hadar’s body. They hope for a deal to increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza in return for the bodies of their son and Oron Shaul. They confer on the campaign regularly with the Shaul family.

“We have no time to be sad,” said Leah Goldin. “We have no time to get angry. We must act. We need energy to speak, to influence.”

Back home, the Goldins and their friends are doing everything they can to keep their son’s memory alive. They held an exhibit of his artwork on the war’s first anniversary at the Ein Hod artists’ village in northern Israel. Twice a year, his classmates organize a day of hiking and study in his memory.

Following Oron’s capture, the IDF offered a headstone for him in a section of a military cemetery reserved for missing soldiers. The Shauls wanted no part of it. Oron has been memorialized at no shortage of events — from official military functions to a marathon to a home match of his favorite soccer team, Beitar Jerusalem. An hour after speaking to JTA at their home, the Shauls would be visited by former Education Minister Shai Piron.


Simcha and Leah Goldin have embarked on a ceaseless campaign to retrieve the body of their son, Hadar, from Gaza. He was captured and killed in a clash at the southern end of the strip on Aug. 1 2014

But while the Shauls appreciate the thought behind these gestures, they are exhausted by them. Zehava Shaul doesn’t want to see her son memorialized; she wants him back. Besides, she doesn’t think he’s dead.

“What can I tell you? None of that helps me,” Zehava Shaul said. “The opposite; it makes it worse for me. Sometimes you want quiet, to be with yourself, and they don’t let you. Some minister is supposed to come over. Nothing helps.”

Before last year, says Zehava Shaul, it “didn’t occur to us” to join the Goldins’ overseas trips. Zehava Shaul traveled to London last summer to meet with representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross, to no avail. They planned to join the most recent trip, in February, but Herzl Shaul was diagnosed with intestinal cancer.

Neither Shaul works now. They spend their days on the couches in the living room of their home in Poriya Ilit, a small town near the Sea of Galilee, surrounded by pictures of their son in and out of uniform, tortured by what might have happened to him. Oron’s bed is covered with signs, pictures and gifts sent to the family after his death. Otherwise it remains untouched, his shirts and jeans still sitting in neat stacks in his closet.

“It’s the hardest thing,” said Zehava Shaul. “There’s nothing harder than uncertainty. Every day the hole in my heart gets bigger. Every day I say when I get up in the morning, ‘What have I done to bring back Oron?’ There’s no one to talk to.”

Both families have met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But nearly two years after the war, neither expects much of him or finds comfort in his sympathy. They understand that after the Shalit deal, which saw some of the Palestinian prisoners return to terror, the Israeli public has little appetite for another exchange.

As much as they’re campaigning to get their sons back, the Goldins and Shauls are fighting for something more basic: They just want Israelis to pay attention to their plight.

“When we start talking about bringing back Hadar, they say, ‘Oy oy oy, how much will it cost? The trauma of Gilad Shalit was terrible for us,’” said Leah Goldin.

“So what?” she asked. “You don’t do anything?”                                                       (JTA)

The Historic Betrayal of the Palestinians

by Bassam Tawil            The Gatestone Institute


Why, throughout its history, have the Palestinians been the victims of so many irresponsible leaders who harm their own constituents?

Historically, the Palestinian “liberation organizations” have had no ideology or motivation beyond the destruction of the State of Israel. They are proxies of the countries funding them, instead of acting in the authentic national interests of the Palestinian people.

Instead of bringing jobs, water and better education — as they promise when they stand for election — some Arab Israeli legislators sell out their people for a few crumbs of headline attention. They parrot the Iranian line, with no regard for the needs of their voters. Iran just wants to get its foot in the door.

With the generous “help” of our Palestinian leaders — and especially with the “help” of the treacherous Europeans who keep on enabling them — any real help for the Palestinians looks more distant than ever.

We Palestinians, as a new people on the stage of history, have not yet learned from the experience of those who preceded us. We always seem to be motivated by factors working against us, and let ourselves be manipulated by foreign countries who use us as proxies to further their own interests.

We are making mistakes again, one after another. We do damage to the Palestinian national interest and instead of propelling ourselves forward, we push ourselves back. We work against our own best interests by constantly lying. We all know, for instance, that there is no truth to the claim that Jesus was a Palestinian, or when we say that the Jews have no historic links to Jerusalem. We just make ourselves look ridiculous. Whoever makes such claims not only attacks Christianity but also represents the entire Palestinian narrative as a blatant lie.

The Palestinian leadership continues to destroy every chance the Palestinians might have of becoming a genuine, internationally recognized nation by insisting on demands they know the Israelis will never meet. These include the right of return for more than 11 million Palestinians to a country of eight million, and refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Israelis correctly understand both demands not as a desire to have a Palestinian state, but as a desire to have Israel’s state. That impression can only be confirmed every time anyone looks at a map of Palestine: by pure coincidence, of course, it is identical to the map of Israel, only the names are different

In 1948, when we could easily have established a Palestinian state in the large territories offered by the UN, and instead joined with five Arab armies in an attempt to destroy Israel and erect Palestine in its place.

Between 1949 and 1967, we could have established a Palestinian state in the West Bank while it was still under Jordanian control, and in the Gaza Strip governed by Egypt.

During the 1970s, instead of thanking Jordan’s King Hussein for taking in Palestinian refugees, Yasser Arafat and the PLO tried to overthrow him. The result was a civil war and the expulsion of the Palestinian leadership from Jordan to Lebanon.

Once in Lebanon, we set about creating a terrorist state-within-a-state, bent on subverting Lebanese sovereignty and attacking Israel. The Israelis consequently entered south Lebanon, and with the support of the Shi’ites there, we were expelled once again, this time to Tunisia.

Under Palestinian influence, Tunisia then became a hotbed of crime and international conspiracies, again endangering our hosts.

We are now following the same pattern in Syria. The Palestinian leadership first betrayed Syria’s then President Hafez Assad in 1982, when elements of the PLO fought, together with the rebels, against the regime in Homs and Hama. Now, in the Syrian civil war, some Palestinian movements, mainly in the Yarmouk refugee camp, are fighting together with the rebels against President Bashar Assad.

Yasser Arafat stupidly supported Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, a choice that led to the expulsion from the area of 400,000 Palestinian white- and blue-collar workers, and doing untold damage to the Palestinian cause. When Saddam Hussein was defeated and the Iraqis withdrew from Kuwait, the extent of Arafat’s mistake became evident. The Gulf States came to regard Palestinians as traitors and alienated themselves from the Palestinian cause, overtly for a long time and covertly — with the exception of Qatar — to this day.

The same pattern of ingratitude and thick-headedness is also being repeated by Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. While totally disregarding what Egypt sacrificed for the sake of the Palestinian cause in its many wars against Israel, senior Hamas officials are now working to undermine Egypt and its president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, by supplying the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula with arms and training.

Hamas, composed of Sunni Muslims, has also become the willing dupe of the Iran, which is Shi’ite. Hamas is therefore openly collaborating with the arch-enemy of Sunni Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Gulf States. Iran has promised Hamas arms and money to circumvent the Palestinian Authority (PA), in an attempt to topple it. The Iranians are also trying to trying to convert members of Hamas, and eventually all Palestinians, to Shi’ite Islam.

Recently, a senior official of the Fatah’s Central Committee, Abbas Zaki, spoke out in favor of Iran’s plot. His remarks will not only help Hamas in its attempts to overthrow the Palestinian Authority, but could mean the end of Saudi Arabian and other Sunni-Arab Gulf States’ support for the Palestinian cause. On March 11, all 22 members of the Arab League officially branded Hezbollah — Iran’s proxy — a terrorist organization because it collaborates with the Syrian regime in slaughtering Sunnis, has terrorist cells in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and fights in the ranks of Yemen’s Houthi Shi’ite rebels against Saudi Arabia and other Sunni countries.

It has become painfully clear that, regardless of political affiliation, the Palestinian leadership is motivated only by greed — with no thought to the interests of the Palestinian people.

Palestinians did not bypass the Arab politicians in the Israeli Knesset, who are among the worst offenders, as well. As soon as the Arab League voted to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, three Arab Israeli parliamentarians, who were elected to represent Arabs inside Israel, condemned the decision. In comical language that sounded as if it had come straight out of the Cold War Kremlin, they said that declaring Hezbollah a terrorist group served the interests of “the reactionary Arab states loyal to Israel and the United States.” The objective, they claimed, was to neutralize Hezbollah in order to damage the security of the “Arab nation;” turn the war towards the destruction of Lebanon, and get rid of anything that could stop America and Israel’s imperialistic plans for the Middle East in general and Palestine in particular.

One can only ask why we, Sunni Palestinians, should support the Shi’ite Hezbollah, which slaughters Sunni Muslims in Syria and subverts Arab states while serving Iran’s desire to keep Syria’s Assad in power. What do these three Arab members of Israel’s Knesset think they have in common with Hezbollah?

Why, throughout its history, have the Palestinians been the victims of so many irresponsible leaders who harm their own constituents? What makes the radicals of Hezbollah more appealing to some Arab Israeli legislators than the radicals of ISIS? Do those honorable Arab Knesset members not understand the damage they do to the Palestinian cause by challenging the Sunni Arab states, which have contributed so much to us — both politically and economically — over the years?

Historically, the Palestinian “liberation organizations” have had no ideology or motivation beyond the destruction of the State of Israel. They are all proxies of the countries funding them, instead of acting in accordance with the authentic national interests of the Palestinian people. In the instance of the three Arab Israeli legislators, they evidently followed instructions from the Iranians. Instead of bringing jobs, water and better education — as they promise when they stand for election — they sell out their people for a few crumbs of headline attention. They self-importantly parrot the Iranian line with no regard for the needs of the people who voted for them. They cynically exploit their parliamentary immunity and the defense provided them by a country they call their sworn enemy, in order to support Hezbollah and Iran, which are comfortably manipulating them.

Iran just wants to get its foot in the door. That is the reason the Iranian regime is so persistent in courting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, both Sunni organizations (as well as its own Gaza proxy group, Al-Sabireen), while it slaughters Sunnis in Syria and Iraq, and puts agents in place to overturn the Sunni governments of Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Can Iran’s plot possibly be a secret from the Israeli Arab Knesset members, whose support of Hezbollah harms the interests of the Arabs inside Israel? Have these three members of Knesset forgotten the thousands of missiles Hezbollah fired into the Galilee, where so many Israeli Arabs live? Do they not understand that if Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah carries out his threat to bomb an ammonia installation in the Haifa area, thousands of Israeli Arabs will be killed? With the generous “help” of our Palestinian leaders — and especially with the “help” of the treacherous Europeans who keep on enabling them — any real help for the Palestinians, and the top of our mountain, look more distant than ever.

The United Nations sanctifies evil

The UN is intensifying its campaign against Israel.

By Isi Leibler       The Jerusalem Post


The United Nations has progressively become dominated by Islamic nations and tyrannies and increasingly sanctifies evil. Just last week, on March 24 in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) concluded its session by passing five resolutions condemning Israel. This followed a series of blood libels accusing the only democratic country in a region surrounded by barbarism of engaging in a policy of deliberate murder of Palestinian children.

Indeed the UNHRC has passed more resolutions condemning Israel over the past decade than all resolutions criticizing other governments combined.

This, despite the fact that countries leading the charge against Israel are themselves engaged in horrific human rights violations. And despite the fact that in Syria, Israel’s neighbor, hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions are trying to flee the country as President Bashar Assad’s army and Islamic State (ISIS) butcher entire communities.

The reality is that the UN, with its subsidiaries, has morphed into an evil body dominated by Islamic nations, tyrannies and rogue states whose policies it legitimizes.

Freedom House, the independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy, maintains that 80 percent of UNHRC members are “not free” or only “partly free.” In this degenerate body, Saudi Arabia was elected last year to chair a key human rights panel.

The UNHRC has consistently appointed fiercely biased anti-Israel rapporteurs and commissioned numerous reports to demonize Israel and accuse the Israel Defense Forces of engaging in war crimes.

Last month, it passed a resolution to boycott produce and compile a list of businesses over the Green Line – clearly a first step in the direction of sanctions and an extension of the global anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Similar outrageous bias is also prevalent in the UN General Assembly and Security Council where demonizing, delegitimizing and attributing all the woes of the world to the Jewish state is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda or the Middle Ages when Jews were held responsible for all the misfortunes of mankind.

The initiatives of these efforts to demonize Israel emanate from rogue states that dominate the UN.

A few examples:

Representatives of Qatar and Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya served as presidents of the General Assembly.

A representative of Iran served as a vice president.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who heads the world’s most virulent terrorist state, used the General Assembly to “condemn terror” while interspersing his statements with anti-Semitic remarks.

Iran, which stones women for adultery, was appointed to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Assad’s Syria was elected to a UNESCO commission dealing with human rights and nuclear proliferation.

As recently as 2010, the UNHRC published a report praising the human rights record of Libya.

A representative of Sudan, whose president is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, was elected vice president of the Economic and Social Council, which regulates human rights.

North Korea was elected to chair the Conference on Disarmament.

UNESCO continuously condemns Israel and only once condemned Syria, and yet elected Syria to one of its human rights committees.

In 2015 the World Health Organization had the gall to pass a resolution, introduced by Syria, by a majority of 104 with four opposed and six abstentions, absurdly claiming that Israel was “targeting the health of Syrians in the Golan… injecting them with pathogenic viruses.” The WHO has never carried a single resolution condemning any other country.

Further examples abound of the hypocritical, corrupt and evil machinations of the UN.

After the defeat of Nazism, the founders of the UN endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They never envisaged that the organization they created would subsequently be hijacked by dictatorships and tyrannies who would exploit it as a platform to promote evil, even including the endorsement of genocide.

Israel became the canary in the mine. Two decades after having endorsed the creation of the State of Israel, the UN initiated a concerted effort toward its delegitimization.

We have witnessed a dramatic downward spiral at the UN over the past 30 years. In the 1990s, the Security Council was disgraced by its failure to quash genocide in Rwanda, despite the fact that it had peacekeeping forces in the area. Likewise, the shocking blunder in Srebrenica, Bosnia, when a UN battalion – in a UN-declared “free zone” – handed 8,000 Muslim civilians to the Serb military, which promptly slaughtered them all. Nor was the UN able to deal with the genocide in Sudan or more recently the carnage in Syria.

Instead, it intensified its anti-Israel campaigns.

What is morally despicable is that the Europeans, who initially displayed token resistance to some of the more outrageous attacks on Israel, have reverted to the role they played in the 1930s when they stood aside as the forces of darkness enveloped the Jewish people.

They seem to have entirely forsaken their moral compass and rarely vote against the most extreme anti-Israel resolutions, preferring to abstain so as not to antagonize those powers seeking to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state. They also join the obscene calls on Israel to respond “more proportionately” to Palestinians engaged in murdering their civilians.

Now they have gone one step further. In a world rampant with human rights injustices, they preceded the UNHRC with an EU demand for “labeling” Israeli products emanating from over the Green Line.

This must be seen as an extension of the ongoing campaign to rescind UN Resolution 242, which calls for negotiations based on defensible borders and substituting it with a demand to return to the indefensible 1949 borders unless an agreement on swaps with the Palestinians (currently inconceivable) can be achieved. In this context, the settlement blocs, the Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem and even the Jewish Quarter of the Old City are regarded as occupied territories.

Until now, the Security Council was prevented from passing such a resolution because the US protected Israel by employing its veto. While US President Barack Obama has been at the vanguard of those demanding that Israel accept the indefensible 1949 armistice lines as future borders, until now he was inhibited by Congress and his own party from endorsing a Security Council resolution to this effect.

But in recent months there have been numerous signals and outright threats that unless Israel makes further unilateral concessions, it should no longer rely on a US veto to prevent a harsh Security Council resolution which could in turn pave the way for global sanctions against the Jewish state.

Obama is unlikely to act until after the presidential elections. But there are growing concerns that in the two-month hiatus between the elections and his retirement, he could well do so.

The UN is intensifying its campaign against Israel.

The horrendous ISIS attacks in Europe have in no way impacted on EU policy toward Israel.

The months until the US presidential elections present the optimal time to influence future US policy toward the UN and to ensure that Israel is not abandoned to the wolves.

This year, due to a mandatory rotation, the US is not a member of the UNHRC. Presidential candidates should be canvassed to express their commitment to refuse to participate in the UNHRC unless it halts its obsessional anti-Israel crusades. They should also be urged to commit themselves to refute any effort to impose a solution on Israel or rescind UN Resolution 242.

Donald Trump has already completely written off the UN, but the real challenge is to persuade the likely winner – Hillary Clinton – to translate the speech she made at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference expressing her love for Israel into a clear-cut commitment that, if elected, she will ensure the US either enforces a modicum of morality at the UN – including confronting the vile hatred that portrays Israel as evil incarnate – or take appropriate action.

The UN today incubates evil and provides legitimacy to tyrannies. If this does not change, the US and other democratic countries have an obligation to condemn these pathological actions and, if necessary, establish a global association of democracies to promote human rights and combat terrorism.

Democratic leaders would do well to recall the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian executed by the Nazis, who stated that “silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Redefining Israel’s national security

By Zvi Hauser           Ynet News


Israel is currently in the midst of an international public opinion war. Instead of trying to “orchestrate” organizations and enthusiastic individuals with good will who try to influence international public opinion regarding Israel’s policies and actions (aka hasbara), Israel should recruit the IDF to this battlefield in order to face this great national challenge.

In 2009 the Palestinians changed their strategy in their struggle against Israel; they shifted from a strategy of assuming that negotiations with Israel will best serve the Palestinian cause, to a new strategy that combines delegitimizing the state of Israel, along with unilateral political-diplomatic acts that are aimed at creating a legal and political “balance of terror” against Israel.

The Palestinians, in a synchronized and planned move, have created an ecosystem aimed at the dismissal of Israel’s right to exist in every possible way, inter alia by encouraging and initiating boycotts of Israel (led by the BDS movement), ostracism of Israel and by creating alternative narratives to the Israeli one.

In addition, The Palestinian Authority has acted to get recognition as a Palestinian state in a unilateral way, trying to bypass bilateral negotiations that would probably bring along some mutual concessions. At the peak of these strategic unilateral efforts, the Palestinian Authority has become an official member of the International Criminal Court and for the first time has succeeded in changing the “rules of the game” by creating a substantial deterrence platform against Israeli decision makers.

Israel, who has been focused on the Iranian nuclear threat for the last decade, did not prepare itself sufficiently to deal with the intensifying threat that was constantly growing in front of its eyes. Israeli decision makers were divided into two camps, both of whom espoused flawed strategic approaches.

One camp assumed that only formal negotiations that might eventually lead to the two state solution will ultimately defuse the new strategic threat on the state of Israel. They pushed as hard as possible towards achieving such an agreement with the Palestinians, even as the entire Middle East and its old state structures have deteriorated and vanished and even when the chances of reaching such an agreement faded in the Middle East’s ever-growing chaos.

The other camp found it difficult to let go of their old paradigms and kept defining Israeli national security in old terms and definitions that originated from the challenges of the 20th century, mainly focused on weapons and fire systems. These Israeli decision makers did not update their definition of “national security” to include components of geopolitical strength, international propaganda and public relations abilities. That outdated approach created an unbalanced budget by allocating about NIS 50-60 billion to classic defense capabilities, while allocating only a mere NIS 60 million to Israeli public relations (hasbara).

In 2016, the Israeli defense ministry’s budget was granted an additional NIS 6 billion, but the whole increase was blindly and automatically directed to weapon systems, the use of which is being reduced more and more, instead of being directed to an updated defense approach: NIS 3 billion to Israeli PR and NIS 3 billion to strengthen relations with the Jewish communities in the diaspora.

Not only do budgetary allocations suffer from historical blindness, but also the Israeli organizational structures are outdated and  are fixate on yesterday’s challenges, along with a lack of creativity and relevance to the future. Israel is at the midst of an international public opinion war; it’s a war of attrition that threatens Israel’s national security and Israel’s strategic assets.

Instead of trying to orchestrate and synchronize dozens of separate organizations and hundreds of individuals who operate independently and out of their own good will to explain Israeli policies around the world – Israel ought to enlist the IDF to the challenging international campaign. Similar to the IDF’s elite signal intelligence (SIGINT) unit, the 8200 Unit, Israel should establish a designated unit of 2,000 soldiers (perhaps to be named Unit 8300), focused on the international public relatios war carried out in various languages and across various countries – in order to professionally and systematically explain to the entire world the broad consequences of the Middle East’s continued collapse.

Against radical Islam, we should defend ourselves not only by military means, but also by updated dynamic and multidisciplinary methods that do not stagnate. Only the IDF has the capability to run such an elaborate challenging project of this sort. Only the IDF has the ability to execute such a strategic project. The IDF has exclusive access to human resources of the relevant age for this sort of assignment and challenge.The  IDF is the only organization who can pay hundreds of NIS per month to thousands of highly qualified and promising young people to work in an efficient and effective professional system. Governmental offices and even non-governmental organizations cannot recruit young people on such a large scale nor can they compete with the salaries of the private sector.

Thus the IDF will once again establish in Israel a highly professional pool of workers with an advanced technological infrastructure. The IDF will enable the private sector to develop abilities in the domain of social networks and public relations, similar to the cyber abilities that have been developed in the Israeli high-tech industry. Into this new unit and field of expertise, the IDF would be able to integrate women, ultra-Orthodox Jews and under the right management it might even attract Israeli-Arabs and thus increase the percentage of the Israeli-Arabs recruited to the IDF, another strategic and important challenge for the Israeli society and economy.

Israel should begin by applying the answers of the future to present-day challenges, and convince its decision makers and generals that public opinion is a force to be reckoned with and that strategic defense does not only mean tanks and airplanes.

The illegal European plot to push Israel out of Judea revealed