Terrorists Should Be Sentenced to Death-Israeli PM

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu  has declared that the time has come for terrorists to face the  death penalty, when caught.


Netanyahu made this declaration, when himself and his wife  paid a condolence visit to the Salomon Family home in Elad.

“My position as prime minister, in the case of such a lowly murderer, is that he should be executed, so that he will smile no more” Netanyahu said, referring to the testimony of Tova Salomon who was wounded in the attack, who said that the terrorist smiled before he started stabbing her and her family members”, the Prime Minister stated.

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anti-Semitism taking shape worldwide, even threatens America, warns top US Jewish leader

‘We saw anti-Semitism in Britain, we saw it in France, and now we see it’s spreading everywhere,’ says Malcolm Hoenlein, calling for global summit to combat the phenomenon. Stresses: ‘Any accusations that Trump is an anti-Semite are unfounded’


Anti-Semitism is taking on potentially “pandemic” dimensions globally, even in the US, and if left unchecked could grow into an immensely serious threat, one of American Jewry’s most senior leaders said this week, calling on world leaders to convene a global summit to forcefully denounce the phenomenon.

Anti-Semitism is taking on potentially “pandemic” dimensions globally, even in the US, and if left unchecked could grow into an immensely serious threat, one of American Jewry’s most senior leaders said this week, calling on world leaders to convene a global summit to forcefully denounce the phenomenon.

“I think we’re seeing a pandemic in formation,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, who heads the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I don’t think it’s here. I think America’s situation is different from Europe. But the potential is there.”

In a far-reaching interview, Hoenlein, who is currently in Israel, also spoke about widespread concerns over the Israeli government’s total alignment with US President Donald Trump, which some fear could turn Israel into a partisan issue in the United States. He called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to invite to Israel the newly elected head of the Democratic party, Tom Perez, in a bid to cement bipartisan support for the Jewish state.

“We saw anti-Semitism in Britain, we saw it in France, and now we see it’s spreading everywhere,” Hoenlein told The Times of Israel in its Jerusalem office on Sunday. “Look at the numbers of incidents in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of the world. And now we see in America swastikas being painted, other expressions [such as phoned-in] threats or aggression against kids on campuses. So it spreads. It’s not isolated to one geographic locale. It’s like a virus that spreads. And you have to declare it for what it is.”

The interview with Hoenlein was conducted mere hours before news emerged of an apparently anti-Semitic act of vandalism that took place in his hometown of Philadelphia. Several tombstones in the city’s Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetary had been toppled  in what the Israeli government called a “shocking” and worrying act.

“I don’t think now it’s a direct threat to Jewish existence or Jewish survival,” Hoenlein said about general trend of anti-Semitic acts committed recently in the US, including the desecration of Jewish cemeteries or bomb threats made to Jewish community centers. “I do think that this cancer, left unchecked, spreads and becomes more and more of a threat.”

Damaged headstone at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia on February 26, 2017. (screen capture: 6ABC)

The best example of such a process can be identified in France, where anti-Jewish sentiment “metastasized over a period of time,” he said. “It didn’t just happen,” he added, citing recent reports of attacks on Jews, and information from his own relatives who live in France telling him life has become “intolerable” there.

European governments have denounced such incidents and increased measures to protect Jews, Hoenlein said. “But we can’t deny the fact that anti-Semitism today is no longer something that has to be done under the cloak of darkness, with the fear of repercussions. Those restrictions are gone. And I think we have to reimpose it and there have to be standards set. That’s why I want government officials saying this is not acceptable, just like racism and bigotry in any other form is not acceptable.”

‘It’s everybody’s problem when there’s hatred against Jews. We’re the victims, we’re not the cause of it’

To effectively fight anti-Semitism, Hoenlein called for a “global summit” similar to the one convened on behalf of Soviet Jewry in the last century. He urged leaders from the US, Germany, Britain, India, East European and South American countries to attend and unequivocally declare that “hatred of Jews has taken too heavy a toll and that we gotta draw the line now.”

Combating anti-Semitism starts with the Jewish community, “but it doesn’t end with it,” posited Hoenlein. “This is not our problem. It’s society’s problem. It’s Christianity’s problem. It’s everybody’s problem, when there’s hatred against Jews. We’re the victims, we’re not the cause of it. It’s not because we did something wrong. It’s because of who we are and our values.”

Surveys and the high rate of intermarriage indicate that the American public generally accepts and appreciates Jews, Hoenlein said. “At the same time we are seeing an increase in anti-Semitism. We are seeing increased hostility in campuses in particular. We are seeing threats against institutions.”

It does not take much to pick up the phone and threaten a Jewish community center, he said. But, “it does have an impact,” he added. “People are not sending their kids to programs; they won’t attend if they feel if they feel they’re in danger. And a phone call does that — it disrupts the pace of Jewish communal life. I don’t dismiss those things.”

However, he is more troubled by “what happens on campuses and the greater acceptance of charges against Israel.” Many Americans accept the claim that Israel is an apartheid regime. For the last decade or two, it was okay for Americans to say that they are anti-Israel. “Today it is accepted to say I am anti-Jewish,” Hoenlein said. This, he suggested, is partly to due to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which, he said, provided a “cover for anti-Semitism.”

An image from the documentary 'Crossing the Line 2,' which depicts rising anti-Semitic activity on North American campuses. (Courtesy)

Hoenlein, who has been heading the Conference of President since 1986, credited Trump for speaking out against anti-Semitism and hatred, but acknowledged his organization wished he had done so earlier.

After long weeks in which the president remained mum on a series of evidently anti-Semitic events, last Tuesday he denounced them as “horrible,” “painful” and a “sad reminder” of evil.

US President Donald Trump, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 15, 2017. AFP/ SAUL LOEB)

“Certainly any accusations that Trump is an anti-Semite are unfounded,” Hoenlein declared. “We have to be very careful — and it’s a warning you cannot exaggerate — about using the label anti-Semite. It’s a very powerful accusation. If you demean it, if you make it commonplace, you remove the strength of the accusation. It has to be used carefully and only when you can substantiate it. And it should be reserved for occasions when it is really necessary.”

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While some in the Jewish community had misgivings over the White House’s refusal to mention Jews  in its International Holocaust Memorial Day statement, the administration should be judged by its deeds, Hoenlein argued, citing Trump’s appointing many Jews and voicing strong support for Israel.

Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Jared Kushner, husband of his daughter Ivanka, during a campaign stop at Concord High School, January 18, 2016, in Concord, NH (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

While careful not to appear criticizing the prime minister, Hoenlein noted “concern” in the American-Jewish community over Netanyanhu’s defense of the President  from charges that he stoked anti-Semitic and xenophobic sentiment.

“The post-election divisions are still very deep. It’s a very sensitive time still,” Hoenlein said. “The one thing we have to protect is that Israel is a bipartisan issue. We cannot allow it become associated with one party or one ideology. It’s not a conservative issue; it’s not a liberal issue.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg (center) and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Malcolm Hoenlein at the opening of the organization’s 42nd Leadership Mission, February 14, 2016. (Avi Hayoun)

Netanyahu’s tweet in support of Trump’s plan to build a border wall with Mexico “did create some negative reaction with some of of our Hispanic friends and supporters,” the veteran Jewish leader said. “It is always better for Israel and others to stay out [of domestic US politics]. Sometimes it’s required. We don’t hesitate to speak out on anti-Semitism in European countries, which is really a domestic affairs of theirs.”

It is appropriate for an Israeli leader to seek to close ties with a new US president, but one needs to “be sensitive of how it’s interpreted,” Hoenlein went on. “There has been concern expressed that if the prime minister is seen as too close to one party or another, you the risk alienating others. At the same time, being close to the president of the United States is an asset.”

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, winning candidate to chair the Democratic National Committee, speaks during the general session of the DNC winter meeting in Atlanta, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Netanyahu did well in meeting with leaders from both sides of the aisle during his recent trip to Washington, DC, Hoenlein said. In that spirit, the prime minister should immediately move to establish good ties with Tom Perez, who on Saturday was elected as the Democratic National Committee’s new chairman. His chief rival, Keith Ellison, was controversial among American Jews due to his past record of associations with known anti-Semitic figures and critical stances on Israel. Perez named Ellison his deputy.

“I think it’s positive that Mr. Perez was chosen,” Hoenlein said. “We look forward to working with him and hope the government of Israel will reach out to him and invite him to visit.”

Source : The Times of Israel

As Netanyahu, Trump Meet, How to Keep Doors Open to Peace?

Can Israelis and Palestinians—With U.S. Support—Find a Vision and Take Steps Forward?

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington tomorrow is likely to produce at least a few initial signs of next steps in a decades-long conflict—and equally long efforts to resolve it. It’s unclear how President Trump will engage on the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but he has indicated his interest in “making the ultimate deal.” He also recently issued a statement on the unhelpful nature of settlements, and affirmed his commitment to the two-state solution.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a floor-to-ceiling map that has Israel at its center, in his office in Jerusalem, July 2016. Photo Courtesy of The New York Times/Uriel Sinai

Certainly, after decades of effort, initiatives to resolve this conflict engender cynicism. One Israeli analyst I recently met referred to the collective perennial diplomatic efforts as the “rest in peace” process, and a refrain from Palestinians is that diplomacy has been heavy on process, light on peace.

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Yet majorities of Israelis and Palestinians still support a two-state solution as the preferred end to the conflict, even while harboring pessimism regarding its prospects. As time passes, this goal becomes more difficult to implement as settlements expand, attitudes harden, political division persists, and mutual mistrust in the existence of a good-faith partner deepens.

But should President Trump take up the challenge, the opportunity still exists. Ultimately the onus is on the Israelis and Palestinians, but in this climate of leadership inertia, and against a backdrop of regional turmoil, there is a role for responsible U.S. engagement. Playing that role sits squarely within U.S. national security interests.

The broader Middle East may be on fire, but those who seek regional stability ignore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at their peril. The conflict captures the imagination well beyond its borders, and remains an easy rallying cry for violent extremists. This also means that Israelis, Palestinians and many Arab states now share regional security interests. But cooperation among these players on mutual threats will be limited until there are clear signs of a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The prospect of pushing the parties to meaningful direct negotiations in the near term is dim, and trying is inadvisable. But things can, and should, be done short of that objective. Above all, progress will require a clearly-defined vision for how this conflict ends, an articulated commitment by the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to a shared goal of a two-state solution, and practical steps on the ground that provide a tangible sense to the Israeli and Palestinian publics that the vision is achievable.

The U.S. cannot effectively go it alone as a third party, but it can lead in corralling our European and Middle Eastern allies around a coordinated package of incentives, disincentives and steps that pave the way. These include easing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza; advancing stronger governance and institutions in the West Bank; improving economic opportunity in East Jerusalem; halting settlement activity; guarding against official provocation and incitement; and strengthening support for civil society initiatives that build trust and prepare the ground for peace.

It’s a tall order, but clear avenues and mechanisms exist, should President Trump decide to take up the charge. Peace inevitably will require process, but to succeed, that process must be implemented with an unambiguous destination, and a set of defined landmarks en route.

Source : USIP

US police chiefs visit Israel to learn counter-terrorism techniques

Citing Israel’s preeminence in counter-terrorism operations, US police chiefs are visiting the country as part of an ADL delegation to learn advanced training techniques from Israel Police. Among the delegation are chiefs of the Orlando, Florida and San Bernadino, California, police departments, who recently witnessed unprecedented terrorist attacks in their cities.

Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, said approximately a dozen senior law enforcement officers from across the US are participating in the National Counter- Terrorism Seminar, an annual one-week event which the organization hosts.
“We bring top-level law enforcement from the States to Israel to learn about civil society here, the role that law enforcement plays in terms of protecting communities with regard to terrorism, and to provide a better sense to American law enforcement about Israel,” Segal said on Tuesday.
The seminar was created to show that “people here are like people everywhere,” Segal said, noting that the portrayal of Israel in the news is overwhelmingly negative and frequently focuses on conflict and terrorist attacks.

“Like many people in the States, law enforcement officials who have not visited have a perception of Israel that they get from the media,” he said. “To actually bring people here to experience the day-to-day and learn from academics and Israeli police officials… makes the State of Israel a little more real to them, and they get a better sense of what life is really like here.”

THE ADL delegation of senior US law enforcement officials poses with Israel Police officers in Jerusalem.

Equally important, Segal said, is that “US law enforcement officials can learn some lessons about what it’s like to be in law enforcement here in Israel, and the unique threats and unique experience” that it entails.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina – who led the investigation into the largest mass shooting in modern US history last June, in which 49 people were killed at a gay night club – said the massacre committed by a lone gunman profoundly scarred the city.

“The attack was devastating,” Mina said, “and we were devastated. But we knew we had to come together as a community, and we’re going through that process now.”

Mina, who arrived on Sunday with the other US participants, said he felt compelled to join the delegation when he was invited following the attack.

“After what happened, it made me want to come to Israel even more, just to learn more from the Israeli Police to see how they deal with terrorism, how they respond to it, and see what their training is like,” he said.

The delegation will attend several seminars daily as well as training exercises.

During one lecture, Mina, whose Lebanese father was born in Haifa, said he was impressed with how Israeli Police utilize heavily-armed pairs of officers on motorcycles to deal rapidly with potential threats.

“We’re not used to that in the United States, so it was kind of interesting to see,” he said.

“Also [Police spokesman] Micky Rosenfeld gave an excellent presentation on dealing with terrorism and the importance of getting information out quickly, which we think is very important as well in the US.”

Asked his opinion of Israeli counter-terrorism, Mina said it serves as a model for US law enforcement.

“We have great respect for the way things are done over here by the Israeli police,” he said. “Unfortunately, it seems like there are so many attacks that they have a clear sense of what they’re dealing with. We have great respect for how they approach terrorism, and how they train and respond to it.”

Mina also cited the careful monitoring of social media by Israeli Police as “extremely important” in preventing attacks.

“People in the States are using social media and getting this idea in their heads to carry out their own attacks,” he said.

“That is one of our greatest threats right now, and Israel is excellent at dealing with that.

“I like the way the Israeli Police pretty much go right after the threat, and in the US we are heading in the same direction, especially with our situation. Also, over here they don’t negotiate [with terrorists], and I think that’s the way to go.”

After Mina met with the survivor of a terrorist attack, he said the average Israeli citizen’s preparedness and response to terrorism is noteworthy.

In applying lessons he learned from the Orlando massacre, Mina stressed the importance of dealing effectively with a barricaded active shooter holding multiple hostages.

“It was a very unique situation, because in the US shootings typically end in a few seconds, and the [suspect] kills himself,” he said.

“For us, this went from an active-shooter situation to a barricaded gunman holding hostages to a terrorist situation within the first hour. From my perspective, I think our police response was good and we saved many, many people from inside the Pulse Night Club. But there will always be situations where, as we compile more information, we will certainly share it [with the public].”

While Mina stopped short of deeming the violence in the US a turning point, he emphasized that attacks there required police and citizens to become “super vigilant.”

“It is different times,” he conceded.

“People need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Officers in uniform are being targeted as well. I believe that it starts over here [in the Middle East] and kind of carries over to the United States.”

John McMahon, sheriff of San Bernardino County, California, echoed Mina’s sentiments.

McMahon oversaw a December terrorist attack in which a married Arab couple killed 14 people and wounded 22, before being shot dead by police.

“It was a tragic event, and not only was it a terrorist attack… it included county employees in a building used by multiple groups, including us,” he said. “That we never expected. I guess we expect the unexpected, because you never know where they are going to occur.”

McMahon, who has previously worked with the ADL at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, said he was offered to attend the seminar previously, but only decided to join this year.

“The ADL does an incredible job educating law enforcement officials on terrorism, hate, and a variety of other things,” he said.

“To come over and interact with the Israeli National Police to see how they deal with the multiple cultures, the extremism, and terrorism, is an opportunity of a lifetime for us.”

Adding that terrorist attacks in the US are becoming increasingly prevalent, McMahon said American law enforcement is entering a world which Israel knows well.

“We’re very good with intelligence and the things that we’re used to,” he said, “This is a new world for us, and so we can learn a lot from the Israel Police, and the folks in Israel, because this is something they’ve been dealing with for a number of years, and they have a lot of experience to share.”

Indeed, Police spokesman Rosenfeld, who is helping host the delegation, said that as more brazen terrorist attacks unfold across the globe, international law enforcement officials increasingly seek Israel’s advice on how to deal with the growing epidemic.

“As part of ongoing coordination and sharing of intelligence, knowledge and experience in the field of terrorism, the Israel Police will continue to work with law enforcement officials throughout the world,” Rosenfeld said

Source : The Jerusalem Post

King David’s Descendents Making Case to Reclaim Ownership of Temple Mount

”Then Shlomo began to build the house of Hashem at Yerushalayim in mount Moriah, where [Hashem] appeared unto David his father; for which provision had been made in the Place of David, in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite”. II Chronicles 3:1 (The Israel Bible™)

In another manifestation of Biblical precepts interacting with modern life, a private foundation representing the descendants of King David recently launched a lawsuit presenting a legal claim to ownership of the Temple Mount.

While their claim is legally sound and verifiable, it faces significant political hurdles. One of the suit’s beneficiaries, who claims descent from the Davidic Dynasty, is ready for the legal battle but cautiously pragmatic.

This story has simple beginnings. In 2004, Dr. Boruch Fishman, then a recent immigrant to Israel from America, went to tour the tomb of Samuel the prophet north of Jerusalem, which led to a chance meeting with Israel Aurbach, the owner of a nearby farm. Inspired by the Biblical roots of the setting, they began to discuss the link between the House of David and the Temple Mount. They noted that King David purchased the site, originally for a simple altar.

So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto Hashem, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. II Samuel 24:24-25

The pair concluded that since the site was originally the property of King David, and no one else has legally purchased it in the interim, the Temple Mount should have been passed along as an inheritance to his male descendants.

As a result of the discussion, Dr. Fishman hit upon the idea of creating a legal entity to represent all the descendants of King David. Anyone who could prove male lineage from the house of David would have a legal claim to inherit the Temple as property. Dr. Fishman established a foundation to advance the claim of Temple Mount ownership by King David’s descendants, naming it Canfei Nesharim L’maan Hakahal (Wings of Eagles for the Assembly).

At present, the legal entity created by Dr. Fishman represents two claimants who have genealogical records documenting their lineage back to King David through male descendants.

Genealogy from the Royal House of David can be traced through oral tradition, rabbinic sources, historical data and extensive research. Several families claim descent “ben akhar ben” (father to son) in a direct line, most notably the Dayan, Shealtiel and Charlap/Don Yechia families. The descendants of King David are believed to have settled in Aleppo, Syria, so most claimants trace their lineage back to that city. An online project has been set up to maintain a list of these claimants.

By definition of the foundation, any other all male descendants of King David who wishes to join the suit can do so at any time.

Breaking Israel News asked the foundation’s lawyer, Baruch Ben Yosef, about the strength of their case.

“Surprisingly, the Temple Mount is not listed in Israel Land Authority,” Ben Yosef explained.

Ben Yosef is referring to an aspect of land ownership in Israel, where less than ten percent of land in Israel is privately owned. Over 90 percent of the property in Israel is owned by the Israeli government, via the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israel Lands Administration. When land is purchased in Israel, it must be registered with these authorities and is, essentially, a long-term lease. Since the Temple Mount is not registered under these authorities, it can be considered privately owned.

“The fact that it is under the authority of the Waqf or Jordan is not a legal claim to ownership. It is a temporary condition based on power and not a valid legal claim,” Ben Yosef said. “You would think that the State of Israel owns it, but by not registering it, they have clearly expressed they don’t have an interest in owning it.

“Since it can be privately owned, the people who claim lineage to King David have a legal claim,” Ben Yosef concluded. “If we make a claim in court, the court would have to disprove the claim. The burden of proof would be on them. But in the meantime, the Land Authority won’t do anything without a court order from the High Court.”

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/mitch-dayan-273×300.jpeg

Mitch Dayan claims descent from King David. (Courtesy)

Mitch Dayan claims descent from King David. (Courtesy)

Breaking Israel News contacted one of the litigants represented by the legal entity. Mordechai Mitchell Dayan from Chicago has verifiably traced his family lineage back 87 generations via male descendants to King David.

“A militant takeover of the Temple Mount is certainly not my goal,” prefaced Dayan. “You don’t have to establish that we legally own the land in order to bring Messiah. We also have to deal with world opinion and the opinion of the Israeli government in a realistic manner.”

World opinion contradicts his claim. UNESCO has denied any historical Jewish ties to the site. Dayan felt that the obstacle preventing the Jews from taking their rightful place on the Temple Mount had little to do with the justification of his claim.

“It is universally accepted that King David purchased the Temple Mount,” he said, clarifying, “Well, everywhere except the United Nations.”

Dayan acknowledged that on that basis, he has a valid legal claim and, as a religious Jew, his interests are for the good of the Jewish people. Nonetheless, he feels the question is not one of legality, but of political interests.

“Who is going to judge this? Who do I make my claim to? Even if I wanted to make this claim, the High Court of Israel doesn’t want to hear this. The State of Israel doesn’t want to hear this. The world is willing to lie about it. My entire ancestry has been wronged, but there is no court I can take this to.

Source: Breaking Israel News

Masked Palestinian terrorists at large after stabbing 2 elderly women in Jerusalem

A peaceful morning stroll by a group of elderly Jewish women on a promenade overlooking sweeping vistas of Jerusalem turned into a bloody nightmare when two masked terrorists stalked and stabbed two of the octogenarians in their backs.

The attack, which ironically took place adjacent to the Peace Forest, occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. when five women, all in their 80s, were walking together on the popular Haas Promenade in Armon Hanatziv/East Talpiot, police said.

“The two terrorists stabbed them in the back multiple times, both in the upper body, and fled the scene toward the adjacent neighborhood of Jebl Mukaber,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said shortly after the stabbings.
“Police and emergency units rushed to the scene and gave immediate medical assistance before transferring both women to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition. While a forensics team searched the area, police set up roadblocks to find the terrorists.”

Roughly one hour later, Rosenfeld said, Border Police officers arrested two suspects matching the description of the assailants, but after extensive questioning, both young men were released without charges.

“Police are continuing to search for the terrorists involved in the attack and hope to make arrests soon,” he said later in the day.

Shortly after the attack, Shaare Zedek Medical Center spokeswoman Shoham Ruvio said both victims were in stable condition and expected to survive.

“They are stable and conscious,” said Ruvio. “One, 86 years old, was stabbed in the back three times and is in the intensive care unit. The second victim, 82, was also stabbed multiple times and is in the department for heart surgery.

She doesn’t need surgery, but is being closely monitored due to a preexisting heart condition.”

Meanwhile, Rosenfeld said, security has been heightened throughout the capital, and will continue at elevated levels throughout the holiday.

 “All public areas will have additional police units deployed and nothing will be left to chance, as the city observes Remembrance Day and Independence Day,” he said.

Last October, the Armon Hanatziv/East Talpiot neighborhood made international headlines after two terrorists from Jebl Mukaber stormed an Egged bus and stabbed and shot four victims to death before being killed by police.

To stymie the deadly violence between the Arab and Jewish communities, police temporarily set up a concrete wall and checkpoint around Jebl Mukaber, which was soon taken down amid protests by human rights groups.

Near the scene of Tuesday’s attack, a cross-section of residents expressed shock and indignation that the assailants preyed on women in their 80s.

Meir Shahar, 67, a longtime resident of Armon Hanatziv/ East Talpiot said young Arab residents from Jebl Mukaber have long intimidated and terrorized Jews living in his neighborhood, but said he was stunned that defenseless elderly women were stabbed in the back.

“These are old women!” he said with clear revulsion. “What did they do that they should be stabbed? You fight with an army, you fight with grown men – you don’t fight with old women!” Moreover, Shahar said many Arab residents from Jebl Mukaber work in menial jobs throughout the neighborhood or routinely visit the area, making daily interaction with Jewish residents unavoidable.

“All the people from there come to the promenade, to our post office, to our supermarkets and to our hospitals – to every place there – and nobody says ‘You are Arab, why are you coming here?’” he said.

“The Jewish people in this area are with these people all the time, and it is known that a lot of the people who live there are connected with Hamas.

They are not peaceful people, and the [Jewish residents] are afraid. The children going to school, older people traveling at night – everyone is afraid.”

Indeed, May Schultz Sclair, who was riding her bicycle near the scene of the attack, said she now avoids the promenade, where she once routinely visited.

“It’s very troubling. It’s shocking, and certainly restricts my sense of peace of mind living in my own neighborhood,” she said. “The area where it happened is a place we used to walk during Shabbat, and we don’t go there anymore because we just don’t feel it’s safe.”

“We are worried about violence carried out by residents of these Arab towns,” continued Schultz Sclair, a retiree originally from the US.

“I often find young people walking around in groups – especially boys – intimidating; and given the violence that we’ve had, it’s increasingly intimidating. I have stayed away from there for at least the past year.”

Evgeny Kaveshnikov, 32, who made aliya from Russia two months ago, said he was deeply troubled by the attack, which took place just a few meters from where he was riding his bike later that day.

“When I heard about this, I worried a lot, of course, because I want to live in peace with everyone, but it’s very difficult to understand why these women were attacked, because it’s not their fault,” he said.

“I’m very worried that it has happened here, and that it is happening everywhere. I feel pain hearing about this. This is difficult to understand for a normal man. I am new here, and it’s horrible for me to see this.”

Although Kaveshnikov said he is not concerned for his own safety, he said the safety of his mother, wife and children is another matter.

“I will make sure they do not come here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ilana Rass, a middle-aged woman who was walking alone near the scene of the attack, expressed her concerns about its religious and educational underpinnings and implications.

“I think if Muhammad came back, he would say to these people, ‘You are crazy,’” she said.

“I only read the Koran once, but when I did, I didn’t find anything about stabbing old women in the back. This book is supposed to be about love.

“I think it is a problem concerning education. There is no education, only aggression,” she added. “These people must be given a good education and learn how to live with other people.”

Source : Jerusalem Post

Israeli companies find huge new natural gas field

New gas field found in the drilling license region by the name of Daniel East and Daniel West. Field is as big as Tamar Field.

By Shlomo Piotrokovsky

“Isramco” and “Modiin Energy” companies, announced on Sunday that they found a gas reserve in the Mediterranean Sea the size of the “Tamar” drilling field. The companies who partner in searching for oil and gas reserves in Israel publicized on Sunday morning that they have found gas reserves that equal the size of the offshore “Tamar” Gas field. The reserves are  located in the drilling license regions of East and West Daniel.

According to an outside prospective agency that hails from the Netherlands “NSAI”, the twin gas field has the potential to drill up to 8.9 trillion cubic feet (TCF), making it quite larger than the “Tamar” field. It will require several drilling points, as opposed to the single drilling point needed for the “Tamar” field.

The chances of taking full advantage of this discovery are estimated at 30 to 40%. Currently the assets of the field are divided among four owners. “Modiin Energy” owns a 15 percent share, “Isramco” owns a 75 percent share, “ATP” and “AGR” groups own five percent each of the additional ten percent.

Israel: Businesses Should End Settlement Activity

Settlement Business Links Foster Abuse

(Jerusalem) – Businesses should stop operating in, financing, servicing, or trading with Israeli settlements in order to comply with their human rights responsibilities, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Those activities contribute to and benefit from an inherently unlawful and abusive system that violates the rights of Palestinians.

The 162-page report, “Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights,” documents how settlement businesses facilitate the growth and operations of settlements. These businesses depend on and contribute to the Israeli authorities’ unlawful confiscation of Palestinian land and other resources. They also benefit from these violations, as well as Israel’s discriminatory policies that provide privileges to settlements at the expense of Palestinians, such as access to land and water, government subsidies, and permits for developing land.

“Settlement businesses unavoidably contribute to Israeli policies that dispossess and harshly discriminate against Palestinians, while profiting from Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and other resources,” said Arvind Ganesan, director of the business and human rights division. “The only way for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities is to stop working with and in Israeli settlements.”

More than a half million Israeli settlers live in 237 settlements throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. Successive Israeli governments have facilitated this process, but businesses also play a critical role in establishing and expanding settlements, and enabling them to function.

Under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies should respect human rights and identify and mitigate any adverse human rights impact their operations may cause. But because of the nature of settlements, which are inherently illegal under the Geneva Conventions, companies cannot mitigate their contribution to Israel’s violations so long as they operate in settlements or engage in settlement-related commercial activity, Human Rights Watch said.

“Settlement businesses unavoidably contribute to Israeli policies that dispossess and harshly discriminate against Palestinians, while profiting from Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and other resources. The only way for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities is to stop working with and in Israeli settlements.

Arvind Ganesan

Director of the Business and Human Rights Division

Businesses engage in a variety of activities that support settlements. Some settlement businesses are directly engaged in managing the practical demands of settlements. Human Rights Watch investigated Israeli bank financing of settlement construction; a global real estate franchise that has a branch in settlements and whose Israeli franchisees market settlement properties; and a waste management company that collects and processes settler garbage in a landfill in the Jordan Valley that exclusively services settlements and Israel.

Other businesses are located in settlements or settlement industrial zones, often drawn by cheap Palestinian labor, low rents, or favorable tax rates. Human Rights Watch investigated a textile manufacturer in a settlement industrial zone that supplies linens to a major American retailer. It relocated to Israel in October 2015. About 20 settlement industrial zones house about 1,000 factories, and Israeli settlers oversee the cultivation of around 9,300 hectares of Palestinian land. Settlement manufacturers and agricultural producers export much of these goods, often wrongly labeling them as made in Israel.

Both types of settlement businesses facilitate Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilians into the territory it occupies, and the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, states that such a transfer, directly or indirectly, is a war crime.

Human Rights Watch takes no position on a consumer boycott of settlement companies or on the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. Rather, Human Rights Watch is calling for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities by ceasing settlement-related activities.

Other countries should ensure that any import of settlement goods into their territory is consistent with their duty under international humanitarian law not to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territories, Human Rights Watch said. This includes prohibiting such goods from being labeled as made in Israel, excluding them from preferential tariff treatment for Israeli products, and refraining from recognizing any certification – such as organic – of settlement goods by Israeli government authorities.

Settlement businesses also operate on and contribute to the Israeli military’s confiscation of large amounts of land in the West Bank, which it transfers to settlements. That violates the international humanitarian law prohibition on an occupying power using the resources of the territory it occupies for its own benefit. Some of the land is privately owned by Palestinians, violating an additional international humanitarian law prohibition, and the Israeli military severely restricts many more Palestinian landowners from accessing their farmland in the vicinity of settlements.

“Businesses should account for the reality that using Palestinian land, water, minerals, and resources in their settlement operations is unlawful and comes at a great cost to Palestinians,” Ganesan said. “But the tide is turning as more and more businesses are waking up to the reality that it is wrong for them to profit from inherently illegal settlements.”

The Israeli military’s unlawful transfer of Palestinian land to settlements and settlement-related restrictions are aspects of a broader system of discrimination that benefits settlement businesses while devastating the Palestinian economy, Human Rights Watch has found. Human Rights Watch documented the vastly discriminatory settlement system, and the ways in which it gravely harms Palestinians and forcibly displaces them from their land in a 2010 report, “Separate and Unequal.”

Israel all but bars Palestinians from building or extracting natural resources in Area C, the part of the West Bank under its administrative control. Between 2000 and 2012, the Israeli military administration rejected 94 percent of Palestinian construction permit requests, and in 2014, it issued only one such permit. Human Rights Watch investigated one of 11 Israeli-administrated quarries in this area, owned by a European conglomerate. Israel has not approved a new quarry license for a Palestinian company there since 1994, according to the Palestinian Union of Stone and Marble, an independent organization representing more than 500 Palestinian companies.

“Every dollar of stone that settlement businesses extract and sell from the West Bank is a dollar taken from Palestinians,” Ganesan said. “The bottom line is no settlement business should be operating and profiting from land and resources illegally taken from the Palestinian people.”

The World Bank estimated in 2013 that Israeli restrictions in Area C cost the Palestinian economy $3.4 billion annually, approximately equal to 33 percent of Palestine’s GDP. Settlement businesses contribute to and benefit from unlawful and discriminatory policies that leave many Palestinians with no alternative but to work in Israel or settlements.

This system affords Palestinian workers in Israeli settlements few labor protections. Israeli government officials have said they conduct virtually no oversight over labor conditions for Palestinian workers in settlements due to these workers’ ambiguous legal status under Israeli law. This leaves Palestinian workers vulnerable to abuse. In 2007, Israel’s Supreme Court held that the two-track legal system in the West Bank, which applies Israeli civil law to settlers but military law to Palestinians, discriminates against Palestinian workers, but the government has yet to implement the decision. Military law provides some labor protections, such as minimum wage, but since 2006, the Israeli civilian government has been responsible for enforcement.

“Settlement businesses help entrench discriminatory Israeli policies that favor settlers over Palestinians in Area C, even though the settlers should not be there in the first place,” Ganesan said. “Businesses that claim they are helping Palestinians by offering trapped Palestinians minimum-wage jobs with few labor rights protections add insult to injury.”

Human Rights Watch also has issued a question-and-answer document about its research.

Source : Human Rights Watch

‘The only country ISIS fears in the Middle East is Israel’


A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country – Israel.

In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls his brief time behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.

“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, told Jewish News. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”

The writer said that ISIS wants to lure British and American forces into Syria and Iraq, areas where it thinks it has an advantage.

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies,” he told Jewish News. “But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.”

Todenhofer said that ISIS was “preparing the largest religious cleansing in history” and that he was “pessimistic” that the threat it poses could be neutralized. He added that the Paris attacks was just the first of “a storm” that is coming to Western cities.

“They are not scared of the British and the Americans, they are scared of the Israelis and told me the Israeli army is the real danger. We can’t defeat them with our current strategy. These people [the IDF] can fight a guerrilla war.”

“In Mosul there are 10,000 fighters living among 1.5 million people in 2,000 apartments, not in one place – so it would be difficult [for western soldiers] to fight them. ISIS fighters are ready to die in a war against a western soldiers.”

Todenhofer said that ISIS plans to topple local governments while at the same time carry out terrorist atrocities abroad.

“They are a very strong danger for Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Libya, while the West will be subjected to big acts of terrorism instead of a full blown ISIS war because they say they don’t want too many battles at the same time,” he said.

The Islamic State released a taped message on Saturday with a purported speech by it’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he threatened the Jewish state.

“We are getting closer to you day by day,” said the message. “Do not think that we have forgotten about you.”

“God caused the Jews of the world to gather in Israel, and the war against them has become easy. It is the obligation of every Muslim to carry out Jihad,”

“Jews, you will not enjoy in Palestine. God has gathered you in Palestine so that the Mujahadeen can reach you soon and you will hide by the rock and the tree. Palestine will be your graveyard,” he said.

The audio message said air strikes by Russia and by a US-led coalition had failed to weaken the group.

“Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets,” Baghdadi added.

The authenticity of the message, posted on Saturday on Twitter accounts that have published Islamic State statements in the past, could not be verified.

It slammed Saudi Arabia’s efforts to set up a coalition of Muslim nations to fight his group.

“If it was an Islamic coalition, it would have declared itself free from its Jewish and Crusader lords and made the killing the Jews and the liberation of Palestine its goal,” the message said.

Source : Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu: Israelis joining ISIS will lose citizenship


Anyone joining Islamic State will forfeit their Israeli citizenship, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu, who told ministers that indictments were filed last week against citizens planning to join the terrorist group, added that he has asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to advance steps to revoke their citizenship as well.

“Whoever joins ISIS will not be an Israeli citizen. And if he leaves the borders of the state, he will not return. I think this lesson is becoming increasingly clear throughout the international arena, and it is fitting that we lead this effort as well,” Netanyahu said.

Discussions about revoking citizenships of nationals joining Islamic State have been taking place for months around the globe, from Australia, to Norway, Britain and the US.

One government official said that Netanyahu’s request to Weinstein was the start of what will be a protracted process.

The Justice Ministry, asked about the legal basis of such a move, simply referred to the terms of the Citizenship Law and to the Prime Minister’s Office for further explanation.

Over the past few years, many Israeli Arabs have been convicted of joining Islamic State, but prison sentences have carefully distinguished between those whose intentions were directed at Israel, as opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad, or were nonviolent.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

Source : Jerusalem Post