Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Deadly EU Blind Spot on Israel

By Evelyn Gordon in the Commentary on July 20, 2016

Following last week’s terror attack in Nice, a Belgian Jewish organization issued a highly unusual statement charging that, had European media not spent months “ignoring” Palestinian terror against Israel out of “political correctness,” the idea of a truck being used as a weapon wouldn’t have come as such a shock. But it now turns out that European officials did something much worse than merely ignoring Palestinian attacks: They issued a 39-page report, signed by almost every EU country, blaming these attacks on “the occupation” rather than the terrorists. The obvious corollary was that European countries had no reason to fear similar attacks and, therefore, they didn’t bother taking precautions that could have greatly reduced the casualties.

The most shocking part of the Nice attack was how high those casualties were: The truck driver managed to kill 84 people before he was stopped. By comparison, as the New York Times reported on Monday, Israel has suffered at least 32 car-ramming attacks since last October, yet all these attacks combined have killed exactly two people (shootings and stabbings are much deadlier). Granted, most involved private cars, but even attacks using buses or heavy construction vehicles never approached the scale of Nice’s casualties. The deadliest ramming attack in Israel’s history, in 2001, killed eight.

Firstly, this is because Israel deploys massive security for mass gatherings like Nice’s Bastille Day celebrations, forcing Palestinian assailants to make do with less densely-populated targets, like bus stops or light rail stops, which greatly lowers the death toll. As an Israeli police spokesman told the New York Times, an Israeli event comparable to the one in Nice would entail “a 360-degree enclosure of the area, with layers of security around the perimeter,” including major roads “blocked off with rows of buses, and smaller side streets with patrol cars,” plus a massive police presence reinforced by counterterrorism units “strategically placed to provide a rapid response, if needed.”

Secondly, Israeli security personnel have no qualms about using deadly force against terrorists in mid-rampage if less lethal means would take longer to succeed because they understand that the best way to save innocent lives is to stop the attack as quickly as possible. This lesson was driven home by a 2008 attack in which a Palestinian plowed a heavy construction vehicle into a crowded Jerusalem street. A policewoman tried to stop him without killing him; she wounded him and then climbed into the cab to handcuff him. But while she was trying to cuff him, he managed to restart the vehicle and kill another person before he was shot dead.

Now consider the abovementioned EU document, first reported in the EUobserver last Friday, and its implications for both those counterterrorism techniques. The document is an internal assessment of the wave of Palestinian terror that began last October, written by EU diplomats in the region and endorsed in December 2015 by all EU countries with “embassies in Jerusalem and Ramallah,” the EUobserver said.

And what did it conclude? That the attacks were due to “the Israeli occupation…  and a long-standing policy of political, economic and social marginalisation of Palestinians in Jerusalem,” to “deep frustration amongst Palestinians over the effects of the occupation, and a lack of hope that a negotiated solution can bring it to an end.” This, the report asserted, was “the heart of the matter”; factors like rampant Palestinian incitement and widespread Islamist sentiment, if they were mentioned at all, were evidently dismissed as unimportant.

The report’s first implication is obvious: If Palestinian attacks stem primarily from “the occupation,” there’s no reason to think anything similar could happen in Europe, which isn’t occupying anyone (at least in its own view; Islamists might not agree). Consequently, there’s also no need to learn from Israel’s methods of dealing with such attacks.

In contrast, had EU diplomats understood the major role played by Palestinian incitement—for instance, the endless Internet memes urging Palestinians to stab, run over and otherwise kill Jews, complete with detailed instructions on how to do so—they might have realized that similar propaganda put out by Islamic State, urging people to use similar techniques against Westerners, could have a similar effect. Had they understood the role played by Islamist sentiments—fully 89 percent of Palestinians supported a Sharia-based state in a Pew poll last year, one of the highest rates in the world—they might have realized that similar sentiments among some European Muslims posed a similar threat. And had they realized all this, the crowds in Nice might not have been left virtually unprotected.

No less telling, however, was the report’s explanation for Israel’s relatively low death toll. Rather than crediting the Israeli police for managing to stop most of the attacks quickly, before they had claimed many victims, it accused them of “excessive use of force… possibly amounting in certain cases to unlawful killings.”

If the EU’s consensus position is that shooting terrorists in mid-rampage constitutes “excessive use of force,” European policemen may understandably hesitate to do the same. In Nice, for instance, the rampage continued for two kilometers while policemen reportedly “ran 200 meters behind the truck trying to stop it”; the police caught up only when a civilian jumped into the truck’s cab and wrestled the driver, slowing him down. Yet even then, an eyewitness said, “They kept yelling at him and when he did not step out – they saw him from the window taking his gun out.” Only then did they open fire.

Not everyone shares the EU’s blind spot about Palestinian terror. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Africa earlier this month, the leaders he met with said openly that one of the main things they want from Israel is counterterrorism assistance. They understand quite well that anti-Israel terror isn’t some unique breed that other countries can safely ignore; terror is terror, and any tactic tried by Palestinians is liable to be quickly imitated by Islamist terrorists elsewhere—from airplane hijackings to suicide bombings and, now, car-rammings.

But European officials, entrenched in their smug belief that anti-Israel terror has nothing to do with the terror they face, are incapable of acknowledging that Israel’s experience might be relevant. And therefore, people died who might still be alive had the lessons of Palestinian terror against Israel been learned.

Video of the weekAlan Dershowitz dismantles the BDS movement:


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Abbas can't mention "Temple Mount" at UNESCO for fear of ISIS

For the full article go to -
GENEVA, July 15, 2016 — Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to include any non-Islamic term for Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in a UNESCO resolution out of fear that he and Jordan’s King Abdullah would be targeted by ISIS, reported Israel’s ambassador to the Paris-based UN agency on science, education and culture. (See story below.)
Israel is expressing alarm over an EU members’ revised draft resolution at a session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee now meeting in Istanbul. Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said it would be “crazy” for EU states on the 21-member committee—Poland, Portugal, Croatia, and Finland—to agree to a text that is “denying Jewish Jerusalem” and Temple Mount, thereby “denying the roots of Christian Europe.”

In a statement by the foreign ministry, Israel said it was “concerned by the European Union’s intention to propose a draft resolution that denies the connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site.”

 “The EU resolution would serve as an alternative to the draft resolution proposed by the Palestinians,” yet “the EU proposal is a continuation of the attempts being made to negate the Jewish people’s deep historic and religious ties to the Temple Mount.”

“This despite France’s apology and admission that it erred in supporting the April decision of UNESCO’s Executive Board that considered the Temple Mount to be a site holy only to Muslims.” (See below on France.)
“They must come to their senses!” wrote spokesman Nahshon on Twitter.
Palestinian Rep: Abbas Won’t Mention Temple Mount for Fear of ISIS.

Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, present at the UNESCO meeting in Istanbul and leading the campaign against the European initiative, was quoted by Ynet as follows: “Though the Euro soccer tournament ended, the EU is deep offside; instead of focusing on its challenges, it may be adding troubles in a region that already has its share. The European consensus for severing the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount reaches a new record of hypocrisy.”

During the discussions, reported Ynet, Ambassador Shama Hohen asked Palestinian delegate Mounir Anastas why Palestinians are not prepared to recognize the Jewish right to the Temple Mount and include the term “Temple Mount” in the resolution, alongside the Arab term, Haram al-Sharif.

The Palestinian delegate replied, according to Ynet, that if the Palestinians were to recognize the Temple Mount, then Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah would become number one targets of ISIS.

Shama Hacohen commented that “the historical connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount is not subject to the wishes and threats of ISIS, just like it is not subject to the will or decisions of foreign countries and international organizations.”

“Palestinians and Jordanians should thank God for Israeli sovereignty over Temple Mount, which gives them and the place complete religious freedom and absolute protection from ISIS and the destruction it sows of cultural and religious heritage sites in the entire Middle East.”

Jordanian-Palestinian Draft Denies Jewish Ties to Jerusalem
An earlier, Palestinian-Jordanian draft referred ten times to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the Islamic term for Temple Mount, without mentioning that it has been the holiest site in Judaism for thousands of years.

France backed a similar resolution adopted at UNESCO’s executive board in April, but after an outcry several of its leaders expressed regret. President Hollande pledged to be “vigilant” in the next resolution, to affirm the shared significance of the holy sites. Brazil also expressed regret. Now is an opportunity for both countries, who exercise influence despite not being members of the committee, to play a positive role in Istanbul.

Arab states can expect immediate support from 11 of the 21 committee members. Six of them—Cuba, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia and Zimbabwe—are almost certain to back the Palestinians, while another five, the Philippines, Jamaica, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, are likely to do the same.

On the other hand, it was hoped that Croatia, Finland, Poland, Portugal, South Korea and Tanzania would take a more balanced position, as possibly could Angola, Burkina Faso, Peru and Vietnam.

After UNESCO Vote in April, French Leaders Criticized Own Position
 After the April resolution at UNESCO that effectively denied Jewish ties to Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reprimanded French President Francois Hollande for his country's support of the resolution, citing it as a stumbling block to Israel endorsing a French-led international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
  • In a rare development, French leaders then questioned their own government's vote. President Francois Hollande indicated that he will be "vigilant" in ensuring that the next text on the subject, expected in October, will be unequivocal in its affirmation of the shared significance of the holy sites.
  • Prime Minister Manuel Valls more sharply criticized the resolution, saying: “This UNESCO resolution contains unfortunate, clumsy wording that offends and unquestionably should have been avoided, as should have the vote."
  • Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also criticized France's vote, telling an event organized by CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, that he does “not take a supportive view of the text.” The resolution “should not have been adopted,” Cazeneuve said at the event in Paris, adding that the resolution passed “was not written as it should have been,” the Le Figaro daily reported.                          

 Video of the week: My Message to President Abbas: 5 Steps for Peace


Monday, July 11, 2016

Background on Breaking the Silence

By NGO Monitor -July7th 2016

For the full article go to -
NGO Monitor’s analysis of Breaking the Silence activity shows that NGO cannot be said to promote “Jewish-Arab understanding.” This political NGO polarizes Israeli society and fuels anti-Israeli campaigns around the world. The organization comprises a small number of political activists, exploiting the complex dilemmas facing IDF soldiers and stripping events of context, in order to advance political agendas and lobby outside of Israel. Terms such as “human rights” and “coexistence” are used by Breaking the Silence activists, but this does not justify claims that the organization advances these issues.
For example, on June 14, 2016, the Israeli news website NRG published a video documenting a Breaking the Silence official telling tourists that “the settlers basically poisoned all the water cisterns of the [Palestinian] village…”. In June 19, 2016, the Turkish news website Anadolu, repeated the allegations, citing “Israeli anti-occupation organization ‘Breaking the Silence’” and adding a blood-libel claiming that a “rabbi call[s] to poison West Bank water.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas then repeated these allegations in a speech to the European Parliament (June 23, 2016), but retracted them a few days later. Similarly, Breaking the Silence did not retract its allegation regarding a poisoned water cistern, but claimed that the incident was the result of a mistranslation.
Other examples can be seen in the NGO’s international activity: In October 2015, a Breaking the Silence representative gave a number of lectures in Scotland to the SNP Party’s Friends of Palestine and to the NGO “Medical Aid for Palestinians.” The former supports a Palestinian right of return” and BDS, while the latter was involved in antisemitic campaigns.
In May 2015, a former CEO lectured to the coalition of left wing parties in the European Parliament (GEU/NGL), whichsupports a full boycott of the Israel.
There was also an October 21, 2013 presentation at the virulently anti-Israel and antisemitic UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The presentation first aired on the official Iranian TV channel under the title “Israeli War Crimes.”
According to the NGO’s 2015 annual report, its budget was NIS 4,937,792, of which 4,893,023 were donations. Of that, at least 85% originated outside of Israel.
More than half of the donations came from foreign governments: Directly from the governments of Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxemburg, France, Norway, and the EU; and indirectly via church aid organizations by Belgium, France, Germany, and Ireland. Private donors include New Israel Fund, Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (which also funds Zochrot, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Who Profits).
To read more about Breaking the Silence, click here

Video of the week: Talk about tasty coexistence


Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Palestinian Incentive Program for Killing Jews

By Eli Lake July 1st 2016
For the full article go to:
Whoever said crime doesn't pay hasn't talked to the family of a Palestinian terrorist. For the Palestine Liberation Organization and the related Palestinian Authority, the killers of Jewish Israelis are considered "martyrs." And as such, their families are paid for the service these murderers have done for the Palestinian cause.
This has come to light this week after a Palestinian, Mohammed Tarayra, stabbed Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a 13-year-old Israeli girl, as she was sleeping in her bed. The stabbing was part of a wave of attacks by Palestinians who have for nearly eight months been shooting, stabbing and running down Jews with the encouragement of social media and popular songs.
According to the latest report of the Russian, European, U.S. and U.N. group known as the Quartet, there have been 250 of these kinds of attacks since October. It says, "These terrorist attacks, which have been carried out mostly by young, unaffiliated individuals, contribute to the sense among Israelis of living under constant threat."
But this misses important context. The Quartet's report, which is even handed to a fault, makes no mention of the "martyr's fund," through which the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization pay the families of all Palestinian prisoners and the families of martyrs. So while there is no evidence that the Palestinian government plans these killing sprees, it encourages them as a legitimate act of resistance.
As Commentary's Evelyn Gordon wrote this week, the prisoners and the families of the prisoners themselves are actually paid a higher wage than what most Palestinians earn for nonviolent work.
The origins of these payments goes back a long way. Before the Palestinian Authority was established in the 1990s through the Oslo peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization paid the families of "martyrs" and prisoners detained by Israel. That practice became standardized during the Second Intifadah of 2000 to 2005. The Israelis even found documents in the late Yasser Arafat's compound that showed payments to families of suicide bombers.
For years the Israelis and the Americans didn't do much on this issue. The Israel Defense Forces work closely with Palestinian security services to keep the peace in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the Bush and Obama administrations have pressed both sides to restart negotiations over a final status.
This is starting to change. On Friday, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that he would begin withholding part of the tax revenue that Israel sends to the Palestinian Authority -- equal to the amount paid to "martyrs."  
Frank Lowenstein, the U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, told me the U.S. has recently started withholding funding for the same reason. "We have robustly complied with legislation passed in 2014 that requires us to deduct from development assistance to the Palestinian Authority for Palestinian payments to individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism," he said. The amount of development assistance that has been withheld is classified.
The Palestinian Authority seems to be aware of this and has figured out ways to hide these payments to the families of murderers, by creating new accounts. Senator Dan Coates, a Republican from Indiana, has introduced new legislation aimed at closing this loophole.
One problem is that the payments to terrorists' families are exceedingly popular these days. Ziad Asali, the president and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, told me that in recent years the media and politicians have elevated these payments to something "sacred in Palestinian politics." Asali said the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, and others are too weak to stop it. "This is where we find ourselves now. The vast majority understand there has to be an end to violence; it's not serving the Palestinians in any way," Asali said. "But I think nobody really has the stature and clout to confront these issues publicly."
Asali is getting at one of the many tragedies today for the Palestinians. Abbas came to power initially after he condemned suicide bombing and terrorism during the Second Intifadah. His bravery at the time to confront Arafat earned him a reputation as a peacemaker and is one reason President Barack Obama has never publicly criticized him with the same ferocity he reserves for Netanyahu.
But today Abbas is in the 11th year of a four-year term as president. He has made some vague statements opposing the recent wave of violence. But he never condemns the murderers by name. Meanwhile, his own Fatah Party glorified Tarayra on its official Facebook page
No wonder the killer's family is so proud of him. His mother told a local news outlet: "My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque," according to a translation from Palestinian Media Watch.
Israel's alleged peace partner appears to agree. If the past is precedent, she will receive a steady check to honor her son's murder of a 13-year-old Jewish girl in her sleep.

Video of the week, PA's salaries to terrorists debated in Norway -


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Palestinian terrorism, Muslim hypocrisy: Open letter from a Muslim woman

JULY 1, 2016,   
Nadiya Al-Noor
For the full article go to: 

While millions of children got out of bed on the morning of June 30, 2016, excited for summer vacation, one child did not. A young Israeli girl, 13-year-old Hallel Yaffe Ariel, was brutally murdered in her own bed by a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist. He broke into her house and stabbed her to death. Another life lost to senseless violence. Another poor soul taken too early from this world. But few Muslims in this world will be mourning her death, because Hallel was an Israeli Jew.

I am a Muslim, and I know that when it comes to Palestinian terrorism, too many Muslims are hypocrites. I have seen firsthand the casual, destructive anti-Semitism that plagues the Muslim community. I have heard it from the mouths of our religious leaders, from our politicians, and even from our otherwise peaceful, liberal Muslim activists. I have witnessed in horror the desperate attempts to justify Palestinian terrorism from people who I once respected. Why? Why do we decry all other types of terrorism, but bend over backwards to legitimize violence against Israeli Jews?

We blame it on “Zionism.” We blame it on “occupation.” We blame it on “apartheid.” We lap up the tired, anti-Semitic lies fed to us by Al-Jazeera: “Israelis cut off the water supply!” “Israelis are going to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque!” We’re not even willing to admit that Israel is a country. We call it “Palestine.” We refuse to call violence against Israelis “terrorism,” and we hypocritically scream, “Resistance is not a crime!”

Let me tell you something. Stabbing pregnant women in the stomach is not “resistance.” Shooting people at a cafe is not “resistance.” Driving your car into pedestrians is not “resistance.” Bombing a bus is not “resistance.” Breaking into a woman’s home and murdering her in front of her children is not “resistance.” And stabbing a little girl to death in the one place where she was supposed to be safe is certainly not “resistance.” Terrorism is not resistance. Terrorism is an unjustifiable crime.
Muslims around the world are constantly decrying ISIS and most terrorism in the name of Islam. I know Muslims who are interfaith activists, peace advocates, doctors, gay rights activists, and more. We sincerely hate ISIS and terrorism with a passion. We’ll stand up against the persecution of Christians, atheists, Hindus, Shias, Ahmadis, and anyone else who is persecuted. We will sob to the heavens if a Palestinian is killed, but when it comes to Palestinian terrorism against Jews, we either turn a blind eye to it, or we twist the story to make the terrorists into the victims. This is unacceptable.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “If you say… ‘Violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter’ – then you too are part of the problem.” He is absolutely right. Terror is terror, even when it’s against Israelis. Do not try to justify or make excuses for the terrorism that happens much too often in Israel. Innocent people are being killed. Their lives are just as important as those killed in Paris, Brussels, Nigeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, Indonesia, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, or Syria. Their deaths are no more deserved.

Of course we must condemn instances where injustices are committed by the Israeli government or any other government or authority of any sort. Of course we must affirm the right to life of Palestinians, but one life is not worth more than another. An Israeli life lost is equal to that of a Palestinian. Tragedy is not a competition. We must mourn for both, and fight to prevent the loss of both. We must decry all terrorism committed. We must not bend over backwards to try to justify it. We must not blame innocent people for being slaughtered, or justify the actions of the terrorists who slaughter them. If we justify acts of terrorism, it is an indication that we do no really believe in peace.
When you make excuses for terrorists, you support terrorism. Period. Until we stand against terrorism in all its forms, against terrorists from every background, we Muslims are hypocrites. Allah does not love hypocrites.
The world lost a beautiful little girl on Thursday. We must not let Hallel’s death be ignored. We must fight anti-Semitism in all its forms, and that includes fighting against Palestinian terrorism. This was a terrible tragedy, and we must work to prevent it from happening to someone else’s child. In the words of my friend Afshine Emrani, an Iranian-American, “Dear God. Help us. We are not supposed to say Kaddish for a bat mitzvah girl.”
Video of the week - Terror Show at a Gaza Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony;