Monday, February 8, 2016

Those nice Israel-bashers’ Achilles’ heel - by Melanie Phillips

...They are morally corrupt. They aren’t driven by compassion for any kind of victim. What drives them instead is hatred of supposed victimizers in the “powerful” West. Their purported even-handedness thus camouflages a moral degeneracy. For while denouncing Israel, they support Palestinians who throw gays from the top of tall buildings, who abuse women and children, who jail, torture and kill dissidents. They support the racist ethnic cleansing of Jews from a future state of Palestine. They help incite false grievances that kill. They have the blood of innocents on their own hands. But they think of themselves as fair, decent, progressive. This is where they are vulnerable. For like Ban, they also tend to be remarkably thin-skinned. That’s because their image of themselves really is all that matters to them. They don’t care about the world’s victims. They care about being seen to care. They think of themselves as nice people. We have to show them that they are not. Self-regard is everything to them. It is therefore their Achilles’ heel. We should puncture it.

Melanie Phillips..
As I See It/JPost..
04 February '16..

Why can't Israel's self-styled friends understand that the things they say about Israel are not in fact the sentiments of friends but of enemies? Whenever someone says “As a friend/candid friend/staunch ally of Israel...,” you know that what’s coming is a vicious kick to the head. Delivered, of course, purely in a spirit of friendship.

The Canadian foreign minister Stéphane Dion, describing himself as a “steadfast ally and friend to Israel,” criticized both the Palestinians’ unilateral pursuit of statehood and the Israelis’ settlement construction. “Canada is concerned by the continued violence in Israel and the West Bank,” he said.

“Canada calls for all efforts to be made to reduce violence and incitement and to help build the conditions for a return to the negotiating table.”

Dion seemed to be suggesting that Israeli terrorism victims were somehow asking for it and that Palestinian murder attacks were to be equated with Israeli self-defense.

Doubtless he thought he was being studiously even-handed and therefore fair, wise and just. But in the battle between victim and aggressor, legality and illegality, truth and falsehood, even-handedness inescapably entails blaming the victim and tacitly endorsing illegality and lies.

A few days later the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did something similar. While condemning the current wave of Palestinian stabbings and other attacks upon Israelis, he claimed the perpetrators were driven by “alienation and despair.”

“It is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,” he said.

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed outrage at such an apparent justification for Palestinian violence, Ban appeared genuinely affronted. His words, he said, had been twisted. Palestinian attacks and incitement were reprehensible and he condemned them.

Yet having stated, “Nothing excuses terrorism,” he then repeated the excuse for Palestinian terrorism. “No one can deny that the everyday reality of occupation provokes anger and despair, which are major drivers of violence and extremism and undermine any hope of a negotiated two-state solution.”

Well actually, no one who pays the slightest regard to reality could maintain such a thing. Whatever the provocation, it is not “human nature” to set out to murder as many innocents as possible, including women and children.

Ban’s apparently real bewilderment that anyone could possibly think he supports terrorism arises from two things. The first is his fundamentally false view of the Arab war against Israel. The “occupation” does not cause Palestinian violence. It is unending Palestinian violence that prolongs the “occupation.”

Anything is possible; but we really, really need to care - by Laura Ben-David

...There are rare things that unite us Jews and particularly Jews here in Israel. Left, right and center; religious and secular, can come together about pitifully few things. I dare someone to tell me, regardless of their political or religious positions, that they cannot support the sanctity of our holy books, the sanctity of our very lives. So we agree, but we also have to care. Assuming we care, we also have to act.

Laura Ben-David..
Times of Israel..
07 February '16..

We know how to react.

When right-wing Israeli “settlers” purportedly snuck into a Mosque in Mughayer near Ramallah and set it on fire last November, Israelis reacted – strongly. Condemnations came fast and furious for whomever could commit such an act.

When right-wing extremist Israelis allegedly torched the offices of Left-wing Israeli NGO B’Tselem in January, there was an immediate rush to judgment. The vilification of the right wing, and even of the government and Netanyahu himself, was swift, fierce and extensive.

In both instances strong words were used, by the media and general population, against a whole segment of Israeli society. People across the political spectrum were quick to condemn anyone who might have committed such acts, utterly disavowing the unknown guilty parties.

Except there weren’t any. Guilty parties that is. In both instances the fires were proven to be electrical. Yet in both instances, with no proof whatsoever, too many of us jumped into the fray as a whole segment of the population was aggressively and vocally attacked.

We know how to react. We know how to write, how to speak, how to shout to the world when something is not okay. We know social media. We know how to run campaigns. We know how to tell stories. Yet there are times, for seemingly inexplicable reasons, that we don’t.

Deep in the heart of Judea, about fifteen minutes from where I live, a small synagogue was dedicated not long ago to Gil-ad, Eyal and Naftali, the three boys who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in 2014. In fact the little synagogue near Karmei Tzur in Gush Etzion overlooks the area where the boys’ bodies were found, making it indeed a memorial of sorts.

The synagogue, though small and rustic, is stocked with holy books and is used as a place for prayer, a center for youth group activities, and as a tourist stop for backpackers and others.

This past Friday night, the synagogue, which is less than 100 meters from people’s homes, was attacked. This was clearly no accident, but a deliberate attack. Prayer books and Torah scrolls were collected and piled up, and set on fire. Seeing all those charred holy books was shocking to the officials who examined them, reminiscent of very dark days for Jews and for humanity. Police found footsteps leading right from the synagogue to the nearby Arab village of Halhul.

We know how to react. But we didn’t. Netanyahu has called on the world to condemn the torching. Why should they? We barely even condemned it ourselves. It took a day and a half for some of the bigger news outlets in Israel to report on it at all. When the B’Tselem offices were ablaze just a month ago, the damning – and incorrect – media reports went out even before the fire went out. Why was this time so different?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Unabashed Zionist - by Michael Lumish

The Unabashed Zionist. "Because an unabashed Zionist is better than a bashed one."

Michael Lumish..
Israel Thrives..
07 February '16..
{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}..

Remember Professor Andrew Pessin?

Anyone who follows the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East knows about the harassment of vocal pro-Israel professors on western university campuses, including in the United States.

As I wrote in a piece last summer:

Professor Andew Pessin is a Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College. He studied at Yale and earned a PhD at Columbia University. He is the author of five books, including most recently Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas From The Smartest Philosophers. He is also friendly to the Jewish State of Israel and in opposition to political Islam for reasons having to do with social justice and human rights.

Pessin, as you will recall, took a beating on his home campus for daring to disparage Hamas. Meanwhile, at San Francisco State University, professors Rabab Abdulhadi and Trevor R. Getz have partnered with what is perhaps the most racist university in the entire world, An-Najah National University, in the Palestinian Authority controlled town of Nablus. and nobody even blinks.

The ADL has this to say about An-Najah National University:

An-Najah University, in the West Bank city of Nablus, has been a flashpoint in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians since at least 1980, when violent anti-Israel protests led the Israeli military to close the school intermittently. Today the student council of An-Najah is known for its advocacy of anti-Israel violence and its recruitment of Palestinian college students into terrorist groups. The council, almost completely controlled by factions loyal to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, glorifies suicide bombings and propagandizes for jihad against Israel. Hamas has described An-Najah as a "greenhouse for martyrs."

Yet San Francisco State University supported Abdulhadi, while Connecticut College turned its back on Pessin. Is this the sad condition of American campuses these days? Supporting a genocidal organization like Hamas is A-OK from a progressive-left viewpoint, but supporting the lone, sole Jewish-democratic country in the entire world is verboten and considered illiberal?

Well, I am pleased to see that Professor Pessin, is well-liked by most of his students, one of whom wrote this:

actually the best professor at conn. intensely passionate about the subject matter and works exceptionally hard to make sure his wording is precise and his arguments are clear. will go out of his way to help, he read 8 drafts of one of my essays. take pessin's classes if you want to learn rigorous (real) philosophy.

Aside from garnering the support of some very well respected colleagues at nearby universities, such as Richard Landes of Boston University, and successfully high-lighting the issue of anti-Jewish support for genocidal terrorists on American college campuses, he has also started up his own venue which he calls The Unabashed Zionist.

"Because an unabashed Zionist is better than a bashed one."

I could not agree more.

How NGOs Became a Weapon in the War on Israel - Prof. Gerald Steinberg

...The intense rhetoric of the NIF reflects their genuine concern that, by highlighting the massive European funding for its associated NGO network, the organization will lose standing and influence on the Israeli center and center-Left. From this perspective, the stakes are even higher than the question of foreign funding for NGOs. They and their patrons believe the NGO bill threatens a political structure they have built up over almost four decades. For Israel itself, however, the stakes are even higher. In question is Israel’s right to reassert its national sovereignty in the face of foreign manipulation, demand transparency from unelected groups that campaign intensely against the policies of its elected government, and counter an international campaign of hate and defamation that potentially threatens Israel’s very existence.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg..
Tablet Magazine..
Issue 35 February '16..

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are very big business in Israel. Various NGOs—most of them from the Left and claiming to promote human rights and democracy—are very active in the Knesset, in filing lawsuits with the Supreme Court that seek to overturn government policies, and in the media. They receive hundreds of millions of shekels from large foundations and foreign governments—primarily European. While the activities of these NGOs are criticized by the Israeli Right, much of the mainstream Israeli media supports them. As a result, the “halo effect” that protects these NGOs from independent investigation is particularly strong.

But that halo was shattered recently when the popular Israeli television news program Uvda featured a hidden-camera expose of a little-known “peace group” known as Ta’ayush, led by activist Ezra Nawi. The footage showed Nawi, along with Nasser Nawaja, a Palestinian employee of the NGO B’Tselem, plotting against an Arab who was negotiating to sell private land in the West Bank to Jews. They were trying to lure the Palestinian into a trap where he would be captured by the Palestinian Authority’s security services. As Nawi coldly noted in the video, under PA law, the sale of Palestinian land to Israelis is punishable by death.

The broadcast became headline news and the fallout continued for weeks. Nawi was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport when he tried to flee the country. A few days later, a follow-up program aired more hidden-camera footage, this time showing Nawi with officials from two other prominent “human rights” NGOs—Breaking the Silence (BtS) and Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR). Both groups were shown giving money to Nawi, who then handed out checks to Palestinians, apparently for taking part in violent demonstrations. RHR claimed that Nawi was paid for providing transportation services. BtS denounced everyone involved in the program as “Stasi,” a reference to the notorious East German intelligence service.

The report was particularly explosive because Nawi had been an iconic hero to the far-Left in Israel and beyond—a gay Sephardi peace activist and pacifist who embodied Western orientalist myths. Prominent leftists like Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein described him as “one of Israel’s most courageous human rights activists.” David Shulman, who writes highly critical articles on Israel in The New York Review of Books and happens to be a member of Ta’ayush, referred to Nawi as an Israeli Gandhi. In 2009, after Nawi was convicted of assault following a demonstration, he became the focus of an international campaign, including a sympathetic portrayal in Time magazine. The fiercely anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace claimed to have collected 20,000 signatures on a petition to save him from jail. But in 37 minutes, the Channel 2 program destroyed Nawi’s image.

In a wider context, the timing of the reports was damaging to the entire NGO establishment in Israel. It came in the middle of an intense controversy over the role of Israeli NGOs in the worldwide campaign to demonize Israel through the use of terms such as “apartheid,” the rise of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, and the use of “lawfare” to charge Israeli officials with war crimes and other supposed transgressions of international law.

Prior to the Uvda broadcasts, BtS and its patrons were the particular focus of growing anger among many Israelis on the Right, center, and even the center-Left. This anger followed a major jump in the visibility of BtS, which reflected the group’s million- dollar budget. BtS events in churches, universities, and national parliaments around the world featured “anonymous testimony” that alleged systematic immorality by IDF soldiers, with no corroborating evidence.

Surprise! BBC News still promoting ‘cycle of violence’ myth. - by Hadar Sela

...Yet again, however, the BBC fails to clarify to its audiences in this report that the allegations of Israeli state discrimination it has promoted are unfounded.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
07 February '16..

Following the sentencing of two of the three murderers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by the Jerusalem District Court on February 4th the BBC News website produced an article titled “Mohammad Abu Khdair murder: Two Israelis jailed“.

As has been the case in previous BBC reports concerning the same subject matter, the article materially misleads audiences with regard to the cause of the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and terrorist organisations in the Gaza strip.

“Abu Khdair was killed in apparent revenge for the murders of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

The killings were part of an escalating cycle of violence, culminating in a war between Israel and militants in Gaza.”

Once again we see that the BBC promotes the notion of a “cycle of violence” whilst completely erasing from audience view the escalation in missile fire from the Gaza Strip which began immediately after the disappearance of the Israeli teenagers on June 12th and continued throughout the three weeks of search and rescue operations.

It was of course that incessant missile fire on Israeli civilians – which is repeatedly erased by the BBC in its portrayal of events – that was the reason for the military operation, with the later discovery of dozens of cross-border tunnels prompting the subsequent ground operation. The military operation could have been avoided had Hamas elected to take advantage of the ample opportunities it was given to stop the missile fire before July 8th 2014, but the terrorist organisation chose not to do so – for reasons by no means exclusively connected to Israel.

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Palestinian Terrorism, Statehood and French Appeasement Déjà Vu - by Yoram Ettinger

...In defiance of contemporary reality, and well-documented 1,400 year old Islamic terrorism, but consistent with appeasement, French President Francois Hollande stated following the January 7, 2015 terrorism at the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo: “Those who committed this act have nothing to do with Islam….” Hollande’s statements and policies on Islamic and Palestinian terrorism reflect his determination to learn from history by repeating - and not by avoiding - dramatic errors, dooming France and the West to exacerbated terrorism.

Yoram Ettinger..
The Ettinger Report..
05 February '16..

The French intent to recognize Palestinian statehood in Judea & Samaria, if the Israel-Palestinian negotiations fail, reflects the French policy of appeasing Palestinian terrorism (since the 1960s) and Islamic terrorism (since 1978). Rather than sheltering France from terrorism, France’s appeasement policy - more than any other European country - has fueled anti-French and anti-Western terrorism. French policy has rewarded the 100-year-old systematic Palestinian hate-education, incitement and terrorism. It prejudges the outcome of negotiations and minimizes Palestinian incentive to negotiate.

While the November 13, 2015, and the January 7, 2015, combined slaughter of 147 people in Paris were committed by Islamic terrorists, much of the responsibility for enticing these heinous acts lies at the doorstep of French policy-makers, who have appeased Palestinian and Islamic terrorists, with the former facilitating the penetration of Europe for the latter.

Since the 1960s, France has tolerated the presence, on French soil, of Palestinian terror organizations, operationally, logistically and diplomatically. Notwithstanding – and due to - French hospitality and support of pro-Palestinian proposals at the UN General Assembly and Security Council, many acts of terrorism against French, Arab, American and Israeli citizens have occurred on the French mainland: the July 31, 1975 PLO hostage-taking at Iraq’s Embassy in Paris, the April 3, 1982 murder of an Israeli diplomat, the August 9, 1982 murder of six patrons (including two Americans) at the Chez-Goldberg Restaurant, etc. During the 1970s, France replenished the bank accounts of Palestinian terrorists, in order to avoid the wrath of terrorism, in general, and hijacking, in particular. In 1996, France prevented the addition of Hamas to the list of international terrorist organizations.

A new standard of appeasement was set in 1978, when French President Giscard d’Estaing, in collaboration with US President Jimmy Carter and the US foreign policy establishment, overruled severe opposition by the French Secret Service (DST), by providing political asylum to Ayatollah Khomeini, who was expelled from Iran and Iraq for incitement, subversion and terrorism. They embraced an arch anti-Western terrorist, stabbing the back of an arch pro-Western Muslim leader, the Shah of Iran, “the Policeman of the Gulf.” Those two presidents generated a very effective tailwind to the Khomeini Revolution, the most ferocious, megalomaniacal, supremacist, Jihadist threat to Western civilization, destabilizing the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and the rest of the globe, undermining US and French homeland security, national security and economic interests.

In 1978, France provided Khomeini with a unique organizational and operational platform in West Europe, which served as vital recruiting ground for Islamic terrorists, but became a key target for Islamic terrorism.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

No Playing Nice With a Cesspool of Anti-Semitism - by Jonathan Tobin

...Just as it is not “human nature” but hate and prejudice that drives Palestinian to slaughter random Jews in the streets, there is nothing normal about having to listen to a man that is willing to play the role Ban embraces pontificate about his sorrow about the Holocaust. On the day when the UN ceases to treat Israel as a pariah state and stops enabling Palestinian terror, then we can speak of its leaders’ fine personal qualities and good intentions. Until then, let us hear no more of that and instead concentrate on voicing our full-throated opposition to a corrupt institution that, despite the grand rhetoric about its purpose, currently plays a deeply destructive role in the Middle East and has provided a foundation of support for a political culture bent on the destruction of Israel and its people.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
05 February '16..

This weekend, United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon will join Israel’s ambassador and other notables at a service at Manhattan’s Park East Synagogue to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day. Ban is scheduled to speak at the service which should make for some uncomfortable conversations since this comes just a week after he landed in a controversy by saying that the current upsurge of terrorism against Israelis was merely “human nature,” since it was to be expected that Palestinians would rise up against “occupation.” Ban was severely criticized by Israel’s government and others but, rather than back off, he doubled down on his position in a New York Times op-ed in which he claimed his critics were unfairly “shooting the messenger” rather than listening to what he had to say.

Ban will, no doubt, be received politely at the synagogue, whose longtime leader Rabbi Arthur Schneier, has been a leader interfaith work and holds an appointment to a UN group by Ban. Ban is also not without his defenders. Malcolm Hoenlein, the longtime executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, sought to downplay the controversy saying that Ban was “basically a nice guy.” According to the Jerusalem Post, Hoenlein said the secretary general was a “captive of the system” and that the offensive address was the work of a “speech writer or someone advising him.”

Hoenlein is right that the issue here is bigger than one man but wrong to let Ban off the hook. The secretary general is a career diplomat and the product of the system rather than its captive. Moreover, as the leader of the UN, he is the spokesperson for it. He may well be a nice guy in his private life. He may even think he is being sincere about wishing to help save Israel from itself. But in this case, sincerity is a highly over-rated virtue. As I noted when dissecting his self-serving op-ed, even if we were to credit him for having good intentions, that would be irrelevant to the discussion about the way the UN singles out Israel for unfair treatment and privileges the Palestinian campaign to destroy it.

Ban and his apologists say that as long as he continues to include language about supporting Israel’s right to exist and condemning terrorism against the Jewish state and its people, it is wrong to condemn him. But the problem here is that so long as he is prepared to rationalize terror as “human nature” while blaming Israel for not making peace, he is perpetuating myths about the situation that provide a rationale for the murder of Jews and a war against the Jewish state.

The system of which Ban is either the captive or the creature is not something about which words should be minced. The UN is and has long been a cesspool of anti-Semitism. The one Jewish state on the planet is continually singled out for discriminatory treatment. Humanitarian crises abound across the globe, but the only problems that can be counted on to get UN attention are the complaints of the Palestinians about Israel. Next door to Israel in Syria, a war rages in which hundreds of thousands die, millions are made refugees, and unspeakable atrocities carried out by the Assad regime and ISIS are a daily occurrence. Yet only the frustration of the Palestinians about the “occupation” is worthy of consistent outrage, endless meetings, and pointless resolutions. That is true of the General Assembly and Security Council over which Ban presides as well as satellite agencies such as the tragicomic UN Human Rights Council.

An ocean apart: A tale of 2 young women

...Ultimately, Jencey didn't even have the courage to stand behind her own words. Meanwhile, across the ocean, Hadar was donning a uniform and learning how to use the weapon with which she would end up preventing three Palestinians from committing the mass murder of Jews.

Ruthie Blum..
Israel Hayom..
05 February '16..

This week, a beautiful young Israeli woman lost her life serving her country. Hadar Cohen, the 19-year-old heroine killed in the line of Border Police duty, died from wounds she sustained in a terrorist attack on Wednesday afternoon. Two weeks earlier, her parents had beamed with pride at the swearing-in ceremony that marked the successful completion of her basic training. On Thursday, they were weeping over her freshly dug grave at a military cemetery.

In spite of being new to the job -- made particularly daunting by the surge in Palestinian terrorism that has swept the Jewish state since September -- Hadar acted both professionally and swiftly. Not only did she literally and figuratively take a bullet for her unit and the innocent Israeli civilians whom the three terrorists had come to slaughter with knives, guns and pipe bombs, but she also managed to shoot at them in the process. It was this, apparently, that saved a fellow female Border Police officer, who was wounded in the attack, from certain death.

Though Hadar will be remembered for her special bravery, her story is not unique. It is the common course that the life of her peers takes after high school. We only hear about those individuals who become unwittingly famous for being buried before getting a chance at life, enabling countless civilians to go about their business in peace.

Comparing this late-teen-early-adulthood reality with that of Hadar's American counterparts requires a stretch of the imagination and a sense of satire. Take the case of Yale University student Jencey Paz, whose own fame was gained through having her feelings hurt by an associate master at her college. Right around the time when Hadar was going over a checklist of items she'd need to pack before entering the IDF, Jencey was gearing up for Halloween.

Don't laugh. Selecting a costume is no small matter these days on U.S. campuses, where anything a student or faculty member says or does can and is interpreted as racist, sexist or -- the ultimate no-no -- "uninclusive." College administrators and other staff, therefore, actually invest time and energy in the pursuit of pertinent guidelines ahead of the October 31 holiday. Playing dress-up, it seems, is not what it used to be -- you know, fun for some, ridiculous or pointless for others.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Meet the Palestinians’ Post-Attack Incitement PR Industry

...After terror attacks just a few years ago, Israeli investigators looked beyond the Palestinian suicide bomber and followed the trail of the bomber’s driver, religious handler, paymaster, bomb maker, recruiter, and ultimately the commander. In the current surge of attacks the terrorist trail may not be apparent before the attack, but the terror incitement trail after the attack certainly is.

Fatah poster in honor of its “son”
Lenny Ben-David..
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs..
02 February '16..

On January 25, 2016, two Palestinian terrorists jumped a fence and entered the Jewish community of Beit Horon where they stabbed two Jewish women, killing 23-year-old Shlomit Krigman. The assailants were shot and killed by the community’s security guard.

The next day the Fatah organization published this poster mourning the “brave shahid [martyr]” Ibrahim Osama Alan. The message, issued by the Fatah branches in Ramallah, Al Bira and Beit Ur al Tahta in the “name of Allah the merciful and beneficent,” mourned their “son.” The background for the terrorist’s portrait is the Dome of the Rock, the gilded icon that has replaced the less photogenic al-Aqsa mosque in the Palestinian public relations campaign, despite al-Aqsa’s superior Islamic holiness.

Ibrahim Osama Alan may not have been a member of any organized terrorist cell nor received instructions from a Fatah leader, but there is another clear trail.

After terror attacks just a few years ago, Israeli investigators looked beyond the Palestinian suicide bomber and followed the trail of the bomber’s driver, religious handler, paymaster, bomb maker, recruiter, and ultimately the commander. In the current surge of attacks the terrorist trail may not be apparent before the attack, but the terror incitement trail after the attack certainly is.

The Turks' Unrequited Love for Palestinians - by Burak Bekdil

...That was "From Palestine with Love" -- to Turkey. Without caring much about whether the Palestinians love the Turks, the Turks keep on loving to love the Palestinians. Political Islam has its many prerequisites. If one of them is unconditionally to hate Israel and the Jews; the other is an unconditional devotion to the "Palestinian cause." Turkey's leaders successfully fulfill both prerequisites.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
(pictured left with Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas
and right with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal)
now finds his affection and emotional
support for the Palestinian cause unrequited.
Burak Bekdil..
Gatestone Institute..
04 February '16..

Although it came as no surprise, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in his weekly parliamentary group speech last December, spoke like a Palestinian politician, not a Turkish one:

"The most oppressed people of the 20th and 21st centuries is the Palestinian people ... Our support will continue until Jerusalem becomes the capital of independent Palestine ... No one should doubt our devotion to the Palestinian cause ... We won't forget Palestine, Gaza, Jerusalem, not even in our dreams ... We do politics for this holy way."

He then narrated an anecdote:

"We were in the front rows when three months ago the Palestinian flag was hoisted at the United Nations. In November 2012, I was the only representative, as [then] foreign minister, from the Islamic world when Palestine was given non-member status at the United Nations general assembly. I sat with [Palestinian leader] Mahmoud Abbas when the Palestinian flag was hoisted recently and we hugged ... That's why I felt honored on behalf of my nation to witness the hoisting of the Palestinian flag at the United Nations. Inshallah [God willing] that flag will one day be waved in Jerusalem ... Whatever is wrong for Palestine is wrong for us too."

What generous Turkish affection for the Palestinian flag and leader! But both history and present times would forcefully remind one that the Turks' love affair for the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular, is quite unrequited.

First, the flag. The colors of the Palestinian flag (red, white, green and black) are pan-Arab colors. The Palestinian flag is almost identical to that of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. It is also very similar to the flags of Jordan and Western Sahara. Before being the Palestinian flag, it was the flag of the short-lived Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan. All of these flags draw their inspiration from the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkey (1916-1918).

In short, the flag the Turkish prime minister proudly witnessed while being hoisted at the UN is an inspiration of the flag used by the Arab Palestinian nationalists in the first half of the 20th century, which was the flag of the 1916 Arab Revolt against Davutoglu's beloved Ottoman Empire. The Arabs, including Palestinians, joined the Allies to fight the Turks during the war.

Hagai Street, the Western Wall and the Battle for Jerusalem - by Nadav Shragai

...Increasing the number of Jews living on Hagai Street will also make clear to the Palestinians that there is a price to pay for terrorism. In the past, we were good at making this price clear to the Palestinians. But in recent years, we have not. Thousands of Jews used to live on Hagai Street before the Arab riots of 1929. We now have an opportunity to return there and send a message to the Palestinians that terrorism will only hurt, not benefit, them. Terrorists will be killed and Palestinians will lose properties to which Jews have been prevented from returning.

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
04 February '16..

In 1948, Jewish fighters sacrificed their lives to open the road to Jerusalem. Haim Gouri wrote the song "Bab el-Wad" about these heroes (referring to the spot where the road to Jerusalem enters the mountains).

Seven decades later, members of the Israel Police and Border Police are sacrificing their lives to defend the "Bab el-Wad" of our time: the road to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City. In recent months, Palestinian terrorists have repeatedly tried to kill Jews near Damascus Gate, the starting point of Hagai Street. This is no coincidence. Hagai Street is one of the two main access routes to the Western Wall.

The Temple Mount and Western Wall are the core of the Jewish people's bond to Jerusalem and the Land of Israel, a bond the Palestinians are seeking to sever.

In recent years, official Palestinian spokespeople have been disseminating with renewed vigor the lie first spouted by Jerusalem Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini nine decades ago -- that the Western Wall is Palestinian and the Jews have no connection to it.

Four months ago, Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Bennett were murdered on Hagai Street by a Palestinian terrorist, and since then there have been many further attacks there. Due to the security situation, the number of Jews visiting the Western Wall has decreased.