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Update on Al-Aqsa unrest

July 21, 2017

Update on Al-Aqsa unrest | Anne’s Opinions, 21st July 2017

Just a quick update with what’s been happening today on the Temple Mount and Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa.

Last night, as the cabinet discussed the measures to be taken on the Temple Mount, the Arabs continued to riot violence, leaving 42 Arabs and 5 policemen injured:

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Palestinians threw rocks and glass bottles at the officers outside the Old City’s Lions Gate following evening prayers. Police responded with tear gas and riot dispersal methods. Samri said 5 officers were hurt.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 36 of the protesters were taken to the hospital for treatment. Two of them were in serious condition after being hit by rubber bullets.

As I mentioned last night, Israelis were worried that our government would cave in to pressure to remove the metal detectors at the entrance to Al-Aqsa. Thankfully, the cabinet did NOT surrender.

The Political-Security Cabinet decided on Thursday night, after a four-hour meeting, that the magnetometers will remain at the entrance to the Temple Mount as part of the new security measures at the compound. The decision was taken the evening before the Friday prayerrs at the site, when large numbers of Muslims ascend the Mount..

The Cabinet also authorized the police to make every decision “in order to ensure free access to the holy places, while maintaining security and public order” on the Temple Mount.

“Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and the freedom of access to the holy sites. Israel is committed to protecting the safety of all worshipers and visitors to the Temple Mount,” said a statement.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Channel 2 News in an interview that the metal detectors must remain on the Temple Mount because “the security interest in preventing future attacks in the wake of a desire to imitate what happened [last week] has to prevail.”

“We must continue to install them (the metal detectors) on all roads to the Temple Mount. If the Shin Bet is opposed to the security measures, then it should offer alternatives, and that did not happen.”

They also instructed to prevent under-50 year old men from entering the Mosque. Yisrael Katz, Likud Minister for Transportation, said “we won’t concede our sovereignty on the Temple Mount“.

Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), who serves as a member of Israel’s Secrity Cabinet, on Friday said that the Cabinet decided to keep magnetometers on the Temple Mount and did not leave the decision up to the police.

“The Temple Mount is in our hands,” Katz said, quoting the soldiers who liberated Jerusalem’s Old City during the Six Day War. “We will not cede sovereignty. The State of Israel is responsible for preserving law and order on the Temple Mount.””Contrary to reports, the Security Cabinet decided to continue using every security precaution which was begun immediately following the despicable terror attack, including the use of metal detectors. The State of Israel is responsible for implementing this policy.”

Earlier on Friday, Israel Police announced that entry to the Old City and the Temple Mount would be closed to men below the age of 50, and that private vehicles would not be allowed to enter the Old City or the nearby Sultan Suleiman Street.

The police also closed certain roads around the Old City area:

Following internal police consultations on Friday morning, Jerusalem Police chief Yoram Halevy ordered the continued operation of the metal detectors and restricted entry to young men, allowing only those over 50 or women of any age to enter the Old City.

Muslim worshipers perform noon prayers by the Lions Gate, outside the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 20, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Checkpoints at the entrances to Jerusalem will also be bolstered, as well as police patrols in the alleyways of the Old City and on paths taken by Jewish and Muslim worshipers to the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

Police also announced that some roads around the Old City will be closed to vehicles, including Sultan Suleiman Street and various circumference roads in the Old City basin.

Halevy issued a special notice to officers posted at the metal detectors “emphasizing the importance of ensuring the dignity of the worshipers” as they pass through the gates.

It is important to note that the directive emanated from the government to the police. If the choice had been left up to the police themselves, they might well have removed the magnetometers simply in order to “keep the peace”. This is certainly a short-term measure but that is how the police operate if left to their own devices. But they would not act against government directives. This is the way the government should act also regarding Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount – they should instruct the police to permit it, and it is up to the police then to enforce those rights.

In protest, the Mufti of Jerusalem called on Muslims to pray outside the Mosque rather than go through the security gates. I’m pretty sure that suits us all fine. It leaves the Temple Mount free for the Jews, and the Muslims can pray wherever they want.

Muslims pray outside Al-Aqsa, pointing their backsides towards the mosque

A win-win situation for all, as long as the Muslims stop their rioting.

I will update here if there is any more news before Shabbat.

UPDATE: 3 Palestinians killed, 200 injured in further riots.

The Israel-India renewed friendship

July 7, 2017

Good News Friday Part I – The Israel-India renewed friendship | Anne’s Opinions, 7th July 2017

The visit this week of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first ever official visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Israel, is too important to relegate to a small item in a regular Good News Friday post, so this week you shall receive a double portion (just like the Manna in the wilderness 😀 )

Indian PM Narendra Modi and Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Israel’s welcome of Modi was almost ecstatic. Not only the Prime Minister and the government, but the people of Israel too were delighted with the visit of this remarkable man. The warmth between the two nations was expressed right from the start, on Modi’s descending from his plane onto the tarmac. Watch just the first minutes of PM Modi’s (25 minute long) video to understand:

As Modi said:

Israellycool’s Aussie Dave remarks on Modi’s choice of clothing:

But there is even more to the level of respect and affection than meets the eye. The Times of India explains that even PM Modi’s fashion choice was meant as a tribute to Israel.

He wore a white suit with a blue handkerchief to represent the colours of Israel. What a beautiful gesture! What a mensch!

As to the substance of the visit, Vijeta Uniyal, writing at Israellycool, gives us some more background to the visit:

With bilateral relations at all-time high, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a 3-day visit to Israel today. Prime Minister Modi becomes the first ever sitting Indian premier to visit the Jewish State.

Developmental issues such as agriculture technology and water management will be high on agenda during the historic visit that marks the 25 years of bilateral diplomatic ties. Both countries are expected to sign an agreement setting up a $40 million innovation fund to finance joint research in agriculture, water, energy and technology during the prime ministerial visit.

“In the last few years the world has seen the India Israel relationship come out from the perception of just Defense related activities to showcasing a fantastic connection in agricultural, educational, entrepreneurial & cultural cooperation. It’s these new areas which are making this bilateral a model for the rest of the world to follow.” Rishi Suri, senior international affairs editor at Indian newspaper Daily Milap, told Israellycool.

Vijeta Uniyal wrote another piece at Legal Insurrection on Israel and India’s newly upgraded ties during the historic visit:

“Narendra Modi receives extraordinary welcome as he begins path-breaking visit to Israel,” noted Indian financial daily Economic Times. “The personal chemistry and the warmth between Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was apparent in their remarks and their hugs.” The newspaper noted the significance of the visit that goes beyond the impressive personal rapport that both world leaders have managed to forge:

Behind the overt affection and friendship, lies deep political significance as India for the first time has delinked its relationship with Israel from its traditional support to Palestine. But, India now hopes to leverage its relationship with Israel to attract more investment, and gain from Israeli cutting-edge technology and defence.

“Investments to boost tourism, education and cultural ties and building bridges with the Indian diaspora in Israel can help boost ties between the two countries,” wrote the leading Indian business daily Mint. “Indeed, these are the low-hanging fruits in the bilateral relationship that can be plucked right away.”

Indian PM Narendra Modi and Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Modi’s arrival in India

“Red carpet welcome done, PM Narendra Modi gets down to business in Israel today,” reported the Indian news channel NDTV. “Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who usually meets visiting heads of government for a meeting and over dinner or lunch meeting, will accompany PM Modi to most engagements.”

On a historic visit that started with firm handshakes, hugs and a smattering of Hindi and Hebrew, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will get down to business today with back-to-back meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders that will focus on cooperation on defence, security, water and more. Apart from the multiple pacts that the two strategic partners are expected to seal at Wednesday’s meetings, the two leaders are also expected to deliver a strong message against terrorism in their joint statement. Both leaders had yesterday spoken in one voice to resolutely combat terrorism and radicalism.

India-Israel partnership in the field of start-up alone has a revenue potential of $25 billion, projected NASSCOM, the association of Indian IT companies. Indian daily Financial Expresspublished the excerpts of a report compiled by NASSCOM and consultancy firm Accenture:

Revenue worth USD 25 billion can be generated in India and Israel through cumulative cross- border investment into start-ups in these two countries, a joint report by Nasscom and Accenture today said. The report titled ‘Collaborative Innovation: The vehicle driving Indo-Israel prosperity’ noted India and Israel’s innovation ecosystems share unique innovation complementary traits in three areas — temperament, talent and technology.

The reaction in India to Narendra Modi’s visit was surprisingly very positive across all sectors of the country, even among their large Muslim minority as Vijeta Uniyal reports:

In a stunning display, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel received favourable coverage from across the Indian media landscape. The Indian Prime Minister was in Israel on a 3-day visit, first ever by an Indian premier.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit lays “the foundation of a new chapter in relations with Israel,” commented the country’s leading business daily Economic Times. Both countries took “historic steps towards a new engagement,” wrote newspaper Hindustan Times. Like many Indian newspapers, The Hindu described the visit as “ground-breaking” and noted the “extraordinary welcome” Indian leader received in “the Jewish nation.”

“In reorienting India’s foreign policy, Narendra Modi is responding to history and realpolitik,” commented the often left-leaning Indian news website, FirstPost.

“It is time Muslims rethink their idea of Israel,” wrote the Indian-Muslim commentator Tufail Ahmad. “Muslims in India must keep in mind that their success lies in India’s prosperity. As India makes rapid progress, the fruits of economic development and growing educational opportunities will inevitably reach Muslims as well. However, India’s economic progress lies in its strong security partners: Israel and the US.”

There were prominent voices in support of Prime Minister’s visit, even within the main opposition Congress Party. The former Deputy Foreign Minister Shashi Tharoor praised Prime Minister Modi’s diplomacy on Israel. “[This] shows our relationship has reached a level of maturity which makes it possible for us to contemplate first ever PM visit [to Israel],” Tharoor said.

SwarajyaMag, India’s leading centre-right magazine with a young readership, praised Prime Minister Modi’s diplomatic initiative, urging the government to “disassociate itself completely from the Palestinian question” and seek greater strategic cooperation with Israel. Ahead of Modi’s visit, the publication was blunt in its assessment of India’s foreign policy, stating “[the Visit] does not upend India’s decades-long policy by betraying a tilt towards the Jewish state.” Criticising India’s track record at the UN and other international fora, SwarajyaMag wrote:

A truly historic moment would be if India were to disassociate itself completely from the Palestinian question – it is not as if it has contributed in any meaningful way all these years. The issue does not affect India and is best left to the concerned parties to resolve, much as India insists on Kashmir. If India’s voting at international fora were to shift to reflect this new position, such a move would give Israel much diplomatic room to manoeuvre.

Of course there was whining from the Palestinian camp, but that is hardly news. It would only be newsworthy if they had welcomed such a visit.

As for Israel, PM Modi’s visit and the deepening of bilateral relations has very important implications on the diplomatic front. Firstly, it shows that Israel can improve foreign relations even in the absence of a peace process, as Raphael Ahren writes in the Times of Israel:

But amid all the compliments paid and deals struck, perhaps most striking about Modi’s historic visit were the things that weren’t mentioned. Iran — a close Indian ally — for example. The Islamic Republic’s ongoing destabilizing actions in the region and continuous calls for Israel’s destruction were not raised, or at least not publicly.

In meetings with world leaders, even those with good relations to Tehran, Netanyahu usually doesn’t shy away from talking about Iran. Last December in Astana, for instance, he asked Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to send a message to Tehran. “Ask … why Iran continues to threaten us with annihilation. Don’t you understand: we’re not a rabbit. We’re a tiger,” he said.

Hosting Modi, Netanyahu refrained from belligerent statements directed at Tehran, despite the fact that Iranian terrorists were responsible for a 2012 terror attack in New Delhi, during which an Israeli was wounded. India never made any arrests in this case.

More importantly, the Palestinian issue was entirely absent from Modi’s visit. The Indian leader’s intention to separate Delhi’s friendship to Israel from its support for the Palestinians was evident once it emerged that Modi would visit Israel but skip the Palestinian Authority. But it was even more remarkable that in several speeches Modi made in Israel, he never cited the issue.

In a two-page joint statement the governments of Israel and India released Wednesday, the two leaders dedicated but one of 22 paragraphs to their discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region,” the declaration read. “They reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements.”

The premier of India — a state which in 1947 opposed the UN Partition Plan and, 65 years later, supported granting the “State of Palestine” nonmember state status at the UN General Assembly — did not endorse Palestinian statehood once during his time here. He did not mention the two-state solution or the principle of two states for two peoples.

Herb Keinon in the Jerusalem Post similarly notes that Narendra Modi spent over two days in the country – and never once mentioned the Palestinians, nor did he visit them.

But one of the most refreshing aspects for Netanyahu was certainly that Modi did not publicly lecture or hector about the Palestinian issue. Had he come here and not coupled his visit with a quick trip to Ramallah to see Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, that – in Netanyahu’s eyes – would have been enough.

But Modi did even more than that. He didn’t even mention the Palestinians in public. He didn’t slam Israel for the settlements. And in the joint statement carefully drawn up by both sides spelling out the underpinnings of the relationship, the Palestinians were not mentioned until the 20th clause of a 22-clause document.

And even there, India – which was the first non-Muslim country in 1987 to recognize “Palestine” – spoke only generically about a “just and durable peace in the region,” without explicitly calling for a two-state solution.

Netanyahu had to wish that all his guests – especially those from Europe – behaved like Modi.

Why? What happened? How come Modi, whose country for decades was at the forefront of championing the Palestinian cause, did not even give the issue public lip service while here.

There are many reasons, some having to do with how Asians do business, others with how Modi prepared the ground for the trip, and still others dealing with India’s emerging power and status in the world.

First a word about style. India, unlike many of the European countries, does not like “megaphone diplomacy.”

One of the reasons, the officials said, is that India detests when other countries lecture and hector it about its fraught relationship with Pakistan, an indication New Delhi has internalized – at least when it comes to Israel – Hillel’s famous dictum about not doing to others what is hateful to you.

Secondly, Modi could get away with making this a strictly bilateral trip because he carefully prepared the ground for it.

Elected in 2014, there was talk that he would come to Israel already in the summer of 2015. He didn’t. He waited. He first went to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Iran, where he obviously explained the nature of India’s relationship with Israel, and that improved ties with Israel would not come at their expense.

He also invited PA President Mahmoud Abbas to New Delhi in May, publicly supported a Palestinian state, and pledged that India’s historical support for the Palestinians would not waver.

In other words, he got all his ducks in a row before making his historic trip to Israel, something important from an Indian perspective considering that more than seven million Indians live and work in the Persian Gulf.

One of the reasons often given in the past for the brakes the Indians put on the relationship with Israel, was that a high-profile relationship would infuriate India’s Muslims.

It doesn’t.

India’s Muslims did not take to the streets when it became clear Modi wanted to visit, they didn’t raise a hue and cry. One conclusion is that the resonance of the Palestinian issue on the Muslim- populations in non-Arab countries is not as great as is often imagined. Another conclusion is that with all the turmoil in the Middle East, with the hundreds and thousands who have died in the region since the Arab Spring, the Palestinian issue has simply dropped as a priority issue.

If only other countries could learn from India and follow their lead, how different would the world, particularly the Middle East, look today.

And lastly, some highlights from PM Narendra Modi’s visit via the ToI link above:

The three-day visit was brimful with grand gestures — including plenty of Modi’s trademark hugs — and mutual declarations of love and admiration. Modi’s jam-packed itinerary comprised political talks with the government and the leader of the opposition, and secret talks on improving counter-terrorism coordination. There was an emotional meeting with an 11-year-old Jewish boy who lost his parents in the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai. Modi addressed a Bollywood-infused concert/rally for Israelis with Indian roots. And after paying his respect to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, he spontaneously visited the nearby grave of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl.

A floricultural center named a flower after him, and he took a stroll with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the beach. The photos of the two leaders, their bare feet in the water as they chatted about Israeli desalination techniques, will go down in history as one of the most iconic images to come out of Israel since Netanyahu and Barack Obama took off their suit jackets at Ben Gurion Airport in March 2013.

 

Watch the two leaders at the beach. 🙂

 

On the economic front, too, the visit will have an impressive lasting impact. Israel and India established a $40 million Industrial R&D and Innovation Fund, and individual companies from both nations signed deals worth millions. Jerusalem and Delhi signed seven bilateral agreements, covering technology, agriculture, water and even space research. “We already agreed that the sky is not the limit because we’re doing it in space, but I think that the talents that we have in India and Israel are amazing and the possibilities are amazing,” Netanyahu said Thursday at the launch of the Israel-India CEOs’ Forum.

Modi formally invited Netanyahu to visit India, something the Israeli leader had dreamed about for years.

On a more serious note, in a very moving and emotional moment , Modi met with Moshe Holzberg, the little boy who was saved by his Indian nanny during a terror attack in Mumbai in which his parents, Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holzberg Hy’d, were killed.

The 11-year-old son of Chabad emissaries who were murdered in a 2008 jihadist rampage in Mumbai told visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he loves India and wants to return to complete the mission of his slain parents, during an emotional meeting Wednesday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C-L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C-R) meet with Moshe Holtzberg (C), and his nanny Sandra Solomon and with other relatives at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on July 5, 2017. ( AFP PHOTO / POOL / ATEF SAFADI)

Modi met with Moshe Holtzberg, pulling the boy close for an embrace and telling him that he would always be welcome in India.

Moshe’s nanny, Sandra Samuel, escaped from the Nariman Chabad House carrying 2-year-old Moshe in November 2008 after the building came under siege. Four Jewish victims were killed, including Moshe’s parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg. Samuel has remained in Israel and was at the meeting as well.

At their meeting at a hotel in Tel Aviv, Modi immediately embraced Moshe, pulling him close and cupping his head against his chest before inviting him to come back to India.

The boy, accompanied by his grandparents who are raising him, welcomed the Indian premier to Israel.

Wearing a lapel pin with Indian and Israeli flags, he read out a message in halting English, telling Modi, “I hope I will be able to visit Mumbai, and when I get older, live there. I will be the director of our Chabad House” in place of his murdered father. “With God’s help, this is my answer.”

“Dear Mr. Modi,” Holtzberg concluded, “I love you and your people in India.”

I challenge you to have a dry eye at seeing this courageous little boy, all grown up, speaking two or three languages, and having developed so well thanks to his brave nanny Sandra Solomon and his wonderful grandparents and family.

And one more item from Modi’s visit to conclude this enjoyable post:

The Indian-Israeli community went gaga over Modi’s visit, celebrating in a jubilant fashion:

On Wednesday, thousands of Indian Israelis gathered in the city to greet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a glitzy, wild welcome for the first premier from their home country to visit the Jewish state.

Brightly colored Indian saris mingled with jeans and t-shirts — and not a few kippot and religious headscarves — at Wednesday’s event, which began with several Bollywood dance acts and a concert.

Members of the Indian community in Israel celebrate during the official visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the Convention Center in Tel Aviv, on July 5, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

 

Bollywood dancing at festivities celebrating Modi’s visit to Israel

“It gives me chills,” said Naomi Yakub, who immigrated to Israel from India in the early 1970s and is part of a community of some 100,000 Indian Jews living in the country. For the Jewish community in Israel, “a meeting like this we haven’t had in 45 years,” she said.

“We love India, because we were born there and our parents are there,” added her friend Tal Shulamith, now a resident of Be’er Yaakov in central Israel. “It’s very emotional.”

But the culmination of the community’s raw elation was reserved for the moment Modi and Netanyahu walked on stage to Academy Award-level applause and a solid two-minute standing ovation. The leaders — Modi dressed in blue-and-beige, Netanyahu in a blue tie — clasped hands triumphantly in the air.

“Modi! Modi! Modi!” chanted the observers, some of whom wore “I am a fan of Narendra Modi” t-shirts.

Hailing the strong bilateral ties between the two countries for 25 years, Netanyahu noted that “we always remember that there’s a human bridge between us — you. We admire you, we respect you, we love you.”

Taking the stage after Netanyahu, Modi gave a lengthy speech in Hindi to the crowd of mostly Indian immigrants.

“For the first time in 70 years an Indian PM has got an opportunity to visit Israel,” his office wrote on Twitter in English simultaneously. “This is a matter of joy.”

For Israel’s Indian community, it certainly was.

Not only for Israel’s Indian community. For all of us.

Safe journey home Mr. Modi. May our two countries continue on the path to deep and warm relations for our mutual benefit.

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Ayala Shapira’s mother: Why I didn’t go to court to see the terrorist sentenced

July 6, 2017

Ayala Shapira’s mother: why I didn’t go to court to see the terrorist sentenced | Anne’s Opinions, 6th July 2017

(Ayala Shapira is a young teenager (and one of my granddaughter’s best friends) who, two and a half years ago, at age 11, was horrifically injured in a firebomb attack by a Palestinian terrorist.

The open letter below, in the body of my article, was written by her mother Ruth, and I would stress that I have translated it and posted it with her permission. — anneinpt)

You may remember that Ayala Shapira was the 11-year old girl who was terribly injured in December 2014 by a Molotov cocktail (i.e a firebomb) thrown by a Palestinian terrorist at the family car. She suffered horrific burns to her face and upper body, and was more dead than alive for a while. She has made a miraculous recovery but still suffers from the burns, has endured many operations and skin grafts, and will have to undergo still many more until she is completely rehabilitated. She has to wear a pressure mask for much of the time as well.

Ayala Shapira before the terrorist attack

Ayala has shown remarkable courage and stoicism in coping with the terrible pain and disfigurement, as well as her missing schoolwork and social life. Her friends (I’m proud to say my own granddaughter is one of her best friends) and her parents’ friends, family and community have been fantastic in helping out, whether practically or giving moral support, and of course the State has given the support that it gives to all victims of terrorism in Israel. Yet none of this compensates for the damage done.

Ayala Shapira in her pressure mask addressing the EU

Ayala recently addressed the EU, recounting the attack and the story of her not-yet-finished recovery, stressing that she is determined to continue her life as normally as possible.

The terrorists were arrested shortly after the attack, and this week the adult terrorist (the second was a minor) Muhammad Badwan, was sentenced in court to 18 years in prison and fined NIS 50,000 ($14,200) for the attack.

If you think that 18 years and a paltry fine is not enough for this attempted murder, you are not alone.

But it is not only the sentence that is infuriating the Shapiras and their supporters. It is the confused response of the Israeli government, that can’t decide whether this attack is a criminal offense or an act of war (which is what terrorism essentially is) which is angering not only them, but all victims of terrorism and their supporters, and probably most Israelis.

Below is an open letter written by Ruth Shapira explaining her thoughts and reactions, (you can read the original letter in Hebrew here) which I translated myself with her permission.

—-

Please share and distribute as much as possible.

After the sentence of the terrorist, I sent an article to all the media outlets in Israel. Unfortunately most of the media are not built for serious articles and therefore the article was cut and distorted. I would be happy for your assistance in distributing the original article:

So why did not I go to court?

Today, the trial ended of one of the two terrorists who threw firebomb that turned our lives upside down.

The defendant admitted to the court two incidents of throwing Molotov cocktails – the first lightly damaged our family car, and the second almost killed Ayala, my eldest daughter.

We often hear from families of victims of crime who came to court to “look the defendant in the eye.” We chose not to come.

The reason for this, we feel, is that the state has not really decided whether this is a specific criminal incident or an event on a national level.

On the one hand, the state recognizes us as victims of hostile acts, finances for us for the (very expensive) medical care and all the accompanying expenses, and supports and accompanies us in the long process of rehabilitation. The media interest in the story also seems to reflect public opinion and the ready spirit that is beating in the heart of the people.

Thus, in effect, the state recognizes Ayala as having been harmed by an act directed against the state, similar to a soldier who was injured during his army service.

(Or in the language of the law: harm from hostile acts by military or semi-military or irregular forces of a state hostile to Israel, from hostile acts by an organization hostile to Israel or hostile acts carried out while assisting one of them, as their emissary or on their behalf or in order to advance their objectives – The Law of Compensation for Victims of Hostilities, 5730-1970).

On the other hand, the same state treats the terrorist himself as a criminal transgressor and not as an enemy soldier and accordingly puts him on trial for “three attempts of murder” (mine, Avner’s, and our daughter Ayala’s) and not (if already) on assisting the enemy.

And the terrorist himself?
He would certainly agree to the language of the law. After all he does not know Ayala personally (in fact, I have difficulty remembering his name) and has nothing personal against her. Did he know, at the time of the act, that she was the one in the car? Definately not. Did he commit “three attempted murders”? He made two attempts to murder as many Jews as possible, with the clear intention of harming the sovereignty of the State of Israel.

But he did not look like a soldier! One of them is even a minor! Well, that’s exactly what “irregular forces of a hostile organization” look like.

How do you distinguish between irregular forces and a “regular” criminal? There are two easy tests:

1. The test of intention: Was the intention to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel or a specific person?

2. The test of the environment: Was the arrest carried out as an ordinary police action, or was it more like a military operation? If there was a need for large forces to stop the terrorist, and there was a fear that someone might try to harm these forces during arrest, well, this is not a regular criminal, but an irregular combatant of a hostile organization (the hostile organization in this case, forms the hostile environment in which he lives).

And me? As a mother, of course I would like to see the terrorist punished. I would like him to suffer as Ayala suffers. That his mother will go mad with worry as he hovers between life and death. That he will writhe in pain even while he is asleep, and the percentage of painkillers in his blood will exceed all imagination. That he will undergo surgery, after surgery after surgery, without knowing when it will be over. Since there is no clause in Israeli law that matches such a sentence, I would have been content with the death sentence or life imprisonment.

But aside from being Ayala’s mother, I am also an Israeli citizen, and I care about the country’s future as well, so I can not come to terms with his being tried on a clause so far from the act he committed.

It is important for me to clarify that I have no complaints against the military prosecution, which does its work faithfully. The problem is with the government, which prefers to escape responsibility for managing the war, and to transfer it to the legal system.

Who is the main victim of this policy?
Well, the answer is easy. The State of Israel is losing a great deal of money, both on the rehabilitation of victims of hostile acts and on the holding of terrorists in prisons, it is losing the international public relations arena, and slowly losing its sovereignty.

So I should look at the terrorist in the eyes?

It is more important and urgent for policymakers to look into the eyes of the people.

Ruth Shapira, Tammuz 5771
4.7.17


(Translated by “anneinpt”).

Another terror attack in Jerusalem

June 18, 2017

Another terror attack in Jerusalem | Anne’s Opinions, 18th June 2017

Border Police Sgt. Hadas Malka Hy’d, murdered outside the Old City

After a few weeks of deceptive quiet, Palestinian terrorists carried out another terror attack on Friday night at their favourite haunting ground, Shaar Shechem (Damascus Gate) outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem. The attack was similar to previous attacks, involving both shooting and stabbing in a coordinated attack, and Border Police Sgt. Hadas Malka was murdered in the attack, stabbed to death as she tried to draw her weapon:

The Border Police officer killed in a coordinated stabbing and shooting attack in two areas in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday evening was identified late Friday as Hadas Malka, 23. The three attackers, all of whom were members of Palestinian terrorist groups, were shot dead in the course of the attacks.

Malka was critically injured in a stabbing attack on Sultan Suleiman Street near Damascus Gate on Friday evening. She was transferred to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in Jerusalem where she underwent emergency surgery but later succumbed to her injuries.

She fought her attacker for several seconds while attempting to draw her weapon, according to a Border Police statement. Nearby troops shot and killed the assailant.

According to the Border Police statement, Malka was part of a group of officers responding to sounds of gunfire near their area of patrol close to Damascus Gate, when she was attacked.

The gunfire was coming from an attack seconds earlier in which two assailants attacked Border Police troops with a homemade Carl Gustav sub-machine gun and knives, at Zedakiah’s Cave in the Muslim Quarter. Some reports said the gun used by the attackers jammed, preventing further casualties. The two attackers were killed.

While on her way to the scene, Malka was accosted by a third attacker.

“Hadas fought her attacker for several seconds, while he stabbed her repeatedly and while trying to reach for her weapon,” the statement read.

Nearby troops opened fire and killed the attacker.

At least four more people were injured in the attacks, including another cop. They all sustained light to moderate wounds and were being treated in hospital.

Hundreds of people attended Hadas’s funeral last night including several politicians and police brass:

Participating in her funeral were family, friends, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union), Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, Border Police Commander Major General Yaakov Shabtai, Human Resources Department Head Major General Gila Gaziel, Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri, and various MKs, regional council heads, police commanders, ministers, and Jews of all stripes and factions.

“Hadas’ memory will never leave us,” Erdan said. “We will do everything to ensure that just as her life was worthwhile, her death will be the same. We will continue to develop our land, and to protect Zion, our home.”

“We will continue to walk in Hadas’ path. We will not surrender and we will not bow our heads before these accursed terrorists. We will pursue our enemies and those who seek our downfall.

“Hadas, you were one of our best fighters.”

“Dear Hadas! Today you join a long list – over 1,460 – of fallen police officers,” Alsheikh began. “Your life and personality were a microcosmos of the entire police force.”

“I learned that you were a different species of fighter. You fought out of a feeling of mission, out of a desire to contribute. You insisted on transferring to the Border Police and becoming one of us. As soon as you finished your mandatory service, you signed on for five years of voluntary service. You wanted to take an officers’ course, and you remained faithful to yourself and to the values you learned at home. Your friends say you were an entire world. You were moral, you loved Israel and its people.

Shabtai said, “Four hundred ninety one Border Police officers have fallen since our founding. Each of these was an entire world. This one is Hadas – a symbol of patriotism and ZIonism.”

“Hadas’ commanders say she was an excellent fighter, who aspired to excellence, and who dotted every i and crossed every t. On Friday night, three evil terrorists came to kill, to kill Jews.

“Hadas and her partners worked bravely to neutralize the terrorists, who were armed with a rifle and knives. Unfortunately, Hadas paid with her life.

Hadas’s friends mourned her as a “true Wonder Woman“:

Hadas Malka, 23, the Border Police officer stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant in a terror attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday evening, had sent a final selfie to her friends just minutes before the attack, wishing “Shabbat Shalom to my loving friends.” Those friends on Saturday remembered her as loving and fearless — a “real-life Wonder Woman,” said one.

Hadas Malka Hy’d

The friends spoke of how Malka had been in the navy, but wanted to be a combat soldier and transferred to the Border Police where she did the rest of her mandatory military service and then extended it 15 months ago and became an officer.

They also recounted how she was never afraid, despite all the attacks that have occurred in and near the Old City in Jerusalem, where she was on duty. “No one will come approach me … They won’t dare even come close to me,” she would tell them, according to Ynet.

Amit Azulai, a friend of Malka’s, told Channel 22 that Malka was “a real-life Wonder Woman… good-hearted and optimistic.”

What a terrible loss to her family, her friends and the people of Israel. May the memory of Hadas Malka Hy’d be for a blessing and may her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

As for the terrorists:

The Shin Bet security service named the three assailants as Adel Ankush, 18, Bra’a Salah, 19, and Asama Ahmed Atta, 19, all from the West Bank village of Deir Abu-Mash’al near Ramallah.

All three had been arrested for or involved in “popular terror activity,” a Shin Bet statement read.

The attack was carried out by “two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a third from Hamas,” Hamas said early Saturday, dismissing a claim of responsibility by Islamic State.

Israeli officials cast doubt on both claims, saying there was no indication of IS involvement, and that the attack did not appear to have been directed by any group.

The ISIS claim, if true, would make it the first ISIS attack on Israel.

But a more important truth hides behind these claims of responsibility, as Israellycool points out:

So here we have IS, Hamas and PFLP claiming the murderers belonged to them, while the father of one of them claims otherwise. Clearly, at least one of the terror organizations is lying, yet they do so because it enhances their reputation.

Imagine that – boasting of killing a woman as being good for business. Sick does not begin to describe it. Yet we are somehow supposed to sit down and negotiate peace with such people?

No, we should negotiate with the PA, you might say. Well, this is what Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah had to say about the attack:

Fatah “condemns the war crime carried out by Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem against three Palestinian teens,” spokesperson Osama al-Kawasme said in a statement. Fatah added that “the international community’s silence emboldened Israel to further spill the blood of Palestinians.”

Back to the terrorists claiming responsibility – IS and Hamas are Islamist terror organizations (the PFLP is secular Marxist). The IS statement makes clear their views on why killing Zionists Jews is a good thing:

“Let the Jews expect the demise of their entity at the hands of the Caliphate soldiers,” it said, calling the attack “revenge for God’s religion and for the violated sanctities of Muslims.”

Nope, not anger and frustration over the so-called “occupation.” This is about Islamic plans to re-establish a Caliphate.

Hamas are the same.

Israellycool then talks about the vile international media response to the attack:

Yet AP ends the report as follows

Palestinians say it stems from anger over decades of Israeli rule in territories they claim for their future state.

Are we surprised? We are not. Are we disgusted? Yes we are! The BBC lived down to its antisemitic reputation as its initial headline read:

This led Donald Trump Jr., the President’s son, to blast the BBC for its bias:

Trump Jr. immediately tweeted back: “You mean after they stabbed a female Israeli police officer to death… right? This is as close to being misleading as possible.”

“Need a new term for this nonsense. Sort of the opposite of victim blaming. How about Culprit Coddling? Maybe Criminal Cozying? Thoughts???,” he tweeted.

The battle was “won” by Binyamin Netanyahu who demanded that the BBC change its headline to accord with reality:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reproach the BBC after the British news channel released what the premier deemed to be a biased report describing Friday’s terror attack, which resulted in the death of a 23-year-old border policewoman.

According to the MFA, prompted by the ministry’s request, the BBC has since changed the headline of the article.

The current headline now reads: “Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem.”

The tweet that the media outlet published on its official handle and which linked to the article with its previous headline has since been removed.

This is not the first time Israel lashes out at the BBC for what it says is a biased coverage of the conflict.

You can read about that spat here – but nothing changes, the BBC, AP and most of the rest of the international media continue with their anti-Israel bias, blaming the victim (Israel) and exonerating the perpetrators, while slanting their headlines and reports to cast Israel into the worst possible light.

It is a fight that never ends, almost like our fight against the terrorists.

Antisemitism Updates

June 1, 2017

Antisemitism Updates | Anne’s Opinions, 1st June 2017

The celebrations and festivities are over (for now) and it’s back to normal programming. I’ve not been online much these past few weeks (family stuff) so it’s time to catch up on all the horrible stuff out there (not necessarily in chronological order).

The worst act of antisemitic violence in recent weeks was the vicious murder of Dr. Sara Halimi, an Orthodox Jewish woman, by a Muslim attacker in Paris. The attack has been compounded by the lackadaisical approach by the French police which has enraged the French Jewish community:

As further details emerge of the brutal murder of an Orthodox Jewish woman in a Paris suburb at the hands of a Muslim assailant last month, French Jews are increasingly worried and angered by what one prominent member of the community called an “organized silence” surrounding the case.

Dr. Sara Halimi Hy’d, murdered by a Muslim terrorist in Paris

Dr. Sarah Halimi — a 66-year-old pensioner living in the Paris suburb of Belleville — was murdered in the early hours of April 4 by Kada Traore, a 27-year-old immigrant from Mali. After breaking into the neighboring apartment of another Malian family at 4:25 a.m. — whose terrified inhabitants locked themselves away as they heard him recite verses from the Quran — Traore jumped over the balcony and forced his way into Halimi’s apartment. As he beat the elderly lady savagely, her screams prompted neighbors to call the police.

Three officers arrived at 4:45 a.m. But on hearing Traore yelling “Allahu Akhbar!” and “Shaitan!” (Arabic for ‘Satan’), they feared a terrorist attack was taking place, and called for backup. Anti-terror officers did not arrive until 5:00 a.m., by which time Halimi had been thrown by her attacker from the window of her third-floor apartment to the ground below. Traore, reported to be a drug dealer and addict with a criminal record, then returned to the apartment of the Malian family where he resumed his prayers, and was not taken into police custody until almost 6:00 a.m.

Shock over the barbaric nature of the murder has been compounded by the reluctance of both the media and French authorities to recognize it as an antisemitic hate crime — even after a silent march of remembrance on the Sunday after the murder was met by local youths chanting “Death to the Jews” and “We Own Kalashnikovs.”

In an open letter to new French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine — a French journalist and expert on antisemitism — charged that “in the advanced decadence that reigns today in the country of (antisemitic comedian) Dieudonné, for whom ‘the Jews are dogs’ (and people laugh hysterically), it seems that a run-over dog deserves more attention than a murdered Jewish woman.”

Laignel-Lavastine also quoted William Attal, Halimi’s brother, who stated, “I have waited seven weeks before I said anything. The absolute silence about my sister’s murder has become intolerable.”

Since the murder, official and media accounts of what transpired have played up claims that Traore was suffering from mental illness, while virtually ignoring the antisemitic element of the crime.

A common theory is that the recent French election encouraged — in the phrase of Michel Gurfinkiel, a leading French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris — an “organized silence” around the Halimi murder.

“Such a story would benefit the Right and the National Front,” Gurfinkiel said. “Everyone is convinced this is why there has been such an organized silence around the story.”

But as more time passes in the wake of Halimi’s murder, the calls to recognize its antisemitic nature are growing. Interviewed by the Le Parisien newspaper last week, the lawyers for the Halimi family, Jean-Alex Buchinger and David Kaminsky, said in no uncertain terms that Sarah Halimi had been “targeted, tortured and killed by her assailant because she was Jewish.”

Halimi’s murder robbed the Jewish community in Paris of one of its most loved figures, known for her work as a doctor and as a kindergarten teacher. “She was very well known and respected, a great person,” Gurfinkiel said. “The tragedy is that she was living in that part of Paris where Jews are gradually leaving, since the security doesn’t exist anymore.”

It also brought forth reminders of the 2006 kidnapping and murder of a young French Jew, Ilan Halimi — no relation to Ruth Halimi — whose body was left for dead by a mostly-Muslim gang who seized him out of the belief that Jews were wealthy and willing to pay ransom money.

“The French police were of no help during the whole (Ilan Halimi) episode, rejecting any idea that antisemitism could have played a role in the affair and preferring to believe the absurd notion that this was the result of some war between rival gangs,” Laignel-Lavastine noted in her letter about Ruth Halimi to French Interior Minister Collomb. “Ten years later, we have reached the same point.”

This story is shocking on so many levels that it’s hard to take in: the viciousness of the attack, the helplessness of the police and the stonewalling by the judicial system are each condemnable in their own right. When taken together, it is an outrageous attack on Jewish human rights. If the French really do not want to see their Jewish community fleeing en masse, they are going the precisely wrong way about it.

May the memory of Dr. Sara Halimi be for a blessing and may her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Moving to the UK, in the wake of the horrific Manchester bombing, in which 22 young people leaving a pop concert were murdered by a British-Libyan jihadi, it did not take long for people to blame a Jewish conspiracy for the bombing:

Whilst politicians urged unity and “#WeStandTogether” trended on social media, people from around the world took to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to claim that the suicide bombing was a plot by Jewish conspirators to fuel wars against oil-rich Muslim states, or some other variant of the depraved conspiracy myths that place Jews at the centre of the world’s every ill.

You can read multiple examples of this virulent antisemitism at the CAA’s post.

Still in the UK, in very unsurprising news, it has been revealed that in 2014, the execrable head of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn visited the grave one of the Munich Olympics terrorists in Tunisia:

Jewish community leaders in Great Britain expressed shock and outrage Monday after it was revealed over the weekend that UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had attended a ceremony honoring a Palestinian terrorist partly responsible for the 1972 Munich killing of Israeli Olympians.

Corbyn posing with Hezbollah flag

Corbyn, who is currently campaigning to become Britain’s next prime minister, reportedly traveled to Tunisia in October 2014 to visit the grave of Atef Bseiso, the former head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization and direct accomplice involved in the Munich terrorist attack.

Jewish leaders called the revelation, reported by the Sunday Times, “beyond the pale,” and demanded Corbyn make his views known about Palestinian acts of violence.

“In light of today’s news reports, it is high time that Jeremy Corbyn clarify his views regarding Palestinian terrorism,” said Simon Johnson, the CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Corbyn had described visiting Bseiso’s grave in a column he had written for the communist- founded Morning Star newspaper, recalling that “wreaths were laid… on the graves of [those] killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991,” while commenting that the day was “poignant.”

This was too much even for members of his own party:

Members of Corbyn’s own party also lashed out at the faction leader, with Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, stating: “It is almost unbelievable that any Labour MP would participate in a ceremony honoring a man involved in the vicious murder of innocent Israeli athletes. Unfortunately, this appears to be part of a very disturbing pattern of behavior, and we are seeking urgent clarification from the leader’s office on this matter.”

My question is why haven’t the Labour Party members thrown out their leader already?

In the international arena, the UN doesn’t give up on its demonization of Israel. Their latest outrageous act was for the World Health Organization (WHO) to ignore a positive report about Israel in order to condemn it once again at the behest of that oh-so-enlightened and civilized and human-rights supporting country – Syria! UN Watch reports:

GENEVA, May 26, 2017 – The U.N.’s World Health Organization “decided to hide a positive report on Israel from the public eye” under pressure from Syria’s Assad regime, according to Israel’s representative, Ambassador Aviva Raz-Shechter, as the world body’s annual assembly adopted a resolution co-sponsored by Syria yesterday that targeted Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

The resolution, which will cost $10 million to implement, renews the annual naming and shaming of Israel by renewing a special agenda item on the country at next year’s session, as well as mandating a report by WHO’s director-general, measures of scrutiny applied to no other country.

In an unusually refreshing turn of events, civilized Western countries sprang to Israel’s defence – only to be ignored:

Confirming Israel’s account, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and 10 other countries (see list below) took the floor to express regret that while Israel co-operated with a WHO mission to the Golan, “the report of that mission was not published, not even the parts which had already been completed.”

“This is clearly due to the Syrian behavior,” said the EU countries, “which we can only condemn in the strongest terms. This is particularly deplorable in view of the abysmal health situation in other parts of Syria. According to the UN, last year alone, more than 300 medical facilities in Syria were targeted.”

WHO hid the positive report “rather than standing up to the brutal Syrian regime,” tweeted Raz-Shechter. In its report, the WHO—falsely, it would appear from the EU statement—blamed its omissions on “time constraints” and “additional information needed.”

The vote to maintain the WHO spotlight on Israel for next year was 98 to 7, with 21 abstentions. (See full voting chart at bottom.)

The UK changed its vote from last year, switching from Yes to No, joining Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel and Togo in the opposition.

Those abstaining were Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, DR Congo, Dominican Republic, Gabon, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, East Timor, and Tuvalu.

“For the U.N. to allow Syria’s Assad regime to influence its focus on health conditions is absurd,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a monitoring group accredited with consultative status at the United Nations.

“It is the height of cynicism for Syria to introduce a resolution on the health of Druze residents of the Golan Heights, who in fact live very well under Israeli jurisdiction, even as Assad bombs his own hospitals, ambulances and medical workers. The U.N. should reject the hijacking of its world health agenda by Arab regimes and allied dictatorships like Cuba and Venezuela.”

“Notably, the UN assembly will not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor will it pass a resolution on any other country in the world.”

“Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item No. 19 against Israel, focuses on a specific country. And the only mention of Syria is not focused on Syria, but rather on Israel.”

“The U.N. discredits itself by enacting a resolution which effectively accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, when in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

It is staggering to think that anyone, even the UN, would bow to Assad’s Syria rather than listen to the EU and other Western countries. This leads me to wonder what hold has Assad got over the WHO? I think an international investigation should be started. It boggles the mind to think that Syria should take precedence over the West – even if Israel is part of that region.

Then again, is anyone really surprised? The UN has no use at all except to promote global warming through all the hot air it generates.

It therefore comes as no surprise at all that the Palestinians should consider the UN the right place to turn to in order to complain about the “Judaization of Jerusalem“. Please stop guffawing. Yes, I know that’s like complaining about the Catholicization of the Vatican or the Islamization of the Ka’aba, but you know the Palestinians – never accepting reality, even when it bites them on the nose.

Since we’re on the subject of compulsive, repetitive antisemitism, here is our old “favourite” the (British) Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) doubling down on their previous resolution in 2011 to reject the then-accepted international definition of Antisemitism, the EUMC working definition of antisemitism. That definition has now been updated into the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition – and the UCU, true to form, has once again rejected it. You see, they obviously know better than the Jews what antisemitism really is – and according to them it has nothing to do with them at all! After all, if they “only” hate Israel, they can’t possibly be antisemitic!

An academics’ union has passed a motion distancing itself from a controversial new definition of anti-Semitism at its annual congress.

University and Colleges Union (UCU), which has 110,000 members, rejected the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition, because it “conflates anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel”.

Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said the motion was “an attempt to discredit the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism” and while “deeply offensive,” he said it came as no surprise.

“UCU has a history of attempting to define anti-Semitism on behalf of the Jewish community as opposed to consulting with them,” he said.

“Thankfully UCU find themselves fighting a losing battle with the IHRA definition having been officially adopted by the Government as well as the Opposition, National Union of Students, the Greater London Assembly, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and numerous other local authorities.

Board of Deputies’ president Jonathan Arkush condemned the motion, calling it “retrograde and deeply disappointing, not least because of similar motions in the UCU in the past.”

“Despite past form, it beggars belief that anyone in the UCU would want to dictate to Jews what constitutes anti-Semitic abuse against them.”

“This resolution seeks to deny victims of anti-Semitic abuse the right to call it out for what it is – particularly when it is dressed up as extremist and dangerous demonisation of Israel or when Jews are harassed or intimidated because of their connections with Israel.”

These smug, self-righteous bigots wouldn’t dream of telling blacks what racism really is, or telling Muslims what Islamophobia is. The only acceptable racism in British academia today is antisemitic racism. And yes, I do include anti-Israel racism in that, for you cannot deny the Jews what is acceptable in any other race: the right to define for themselves what is hatred against themselves.

And to finish off this sad post, academia is no less biased on the other side of the pond, where City University of New York (CUNY) has invited the anti-Israel, pro-terror activist Linda Sarsour to speak at their graduation ceremony:

For its June 1st commencement, The CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy has invited Linda Sarsour. Sarsour’s record is replete with anti-American values, degradation of feminists and others who disagree with her, unbridled hatred of the State of Israel and those who support it, and the promotion of violence. This shocking choice of speaker, by a City University, should be changed.

Linda Sarsour, anti-Semite, anti-Israel, bigot

In the United States, violence and terror are not recognized as legitimate means to accomplish goals. Sarsour’s support of violence and terror include: praise of the intifada- the Palestinian terror war against Jews in Israel, through suicide bombings, car rammings, stabbings, bus bombs and other attacks,—as “invaluable on many fronts;” warm words of endorsement for convicted murderer Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two college students in a supermarket bombing in Israel (Odeh will be deported for concealing her terrorist crimes on her US immigration forms); and admiration of Palestinian youths throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers as “the definition of courage.” In our civilized society, these are the definitions of crimes. Sarsour supports barbaric methods that are incompatible with American law.

Regarding feminism, a woman’s right to bodily integrity is a fundamental right. Yet Sarsour denigrates feminists who speak out against the role Islam plays in tolerating the abuse of women, such as genital mutilation and honor killings. She urges, in a tweet, a “whippin” of Somali human rights activist Aydan Hirsi Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation, who speaks out against Islam’s acceptance of abuse of women. Sarsour tweets Ali doesn’t “deserve to be a woman.” Sarsour’s attempted delegitimization of women who speak out against abuse is incompatible with feminism.

Additionally, Sarsour defends Saudi Arabia’s oppressive treatment of women. In Saudi Aarbia, women cannot vote, study, work, marry, or open bank accounts without permission from male guardians. Women’s clothing is strictly regulated (they must be covered from head to toe, and only eyes and hands may show). Yet Sarsour tweets Saudi Arabia “puts us to shame” by providing “10 weeks of PAID maternity leave … and ur worried about women driving.” Sarsour’s defense of subjugation of Saudi women disqualifies her as a feminist.

Ironically, Sarsour excludes Jews and other Israel supporters from the feminist movement. This is anti-Semitic and spreads a lie about Israel’s treatment of women. There is absolutely no conflict between Zionism and feminism. In Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, all citizens have equal social and political rights, regardless of gender, religion or race. All citizens of Israel, be it Arab, Christian, or Jew, no matter what gender, have equal access to voting, transportation, hospitals, universities, swimming pools, public restrooms, etc. Israeli Arabs are Supreme Court Justices and have seats in the Knesset, and these positions can be held by men or women. Israeli Arab women have won or been runner-ups in The Voice (Israel), Master Chef, and Miss Israel. Moreover, sexism and discrimination perpetrated by Palestinian men against Palestinian women is pervasive, as described in a recent New York Times article, “In Gaza, Bicycles Are a Battleground for Women Who Dare to Ride,” February 22, 2016.

Sarsour’s unbridled hatred of Israel is prevalent. She advocates for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) movement against Israel, which seeks to cripple and delegitimize the State of Israel, while she ignores the world’s many countries with egregious human rights violations. Further, Sarsour tweets: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism;” and “(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is a waste of a human being.” When Sarsour was justifiably criticized for extolling throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, she tweeted, “The Zionist trolls are out to play. Bring it.”

CUNY in particular should be sensitive to anti-Semitism. Last year, Jewish students at CUNY suffered many anti-Semitic incidents. At a CUNY rally sponsored by Students for Justice for Palestine, protestors screamed at Jews to “go back home and get the (expletive) out of my country” and chanted “Jews out of CUNY” and “death to Jews.” Given these recent events, it is all the more appalling that a CUNY school would invite a divisive person with Sarsour’s record to deliver the commencement address.

Knowing all this, CUNY’s refuses to rescind Sarsour’s invitation. It would be atrocious for CUNY to host a commencement speaker with a history of bigotry towards the LGBTQIA community, African Americans, women, or Hispanics. CUNY should treat Sarsour’s hate-mongering towards Jews and Israel in the same manner.

If the above hasn’t sickened you enough, Michael Cohen of the Simon Wiesenthal Center adds more, calling Sarsour “an arsonist in our midst”:

Last September, I stood along with many of my colleagues at a New York City Council Public Hearing on that body’s resolution to officially condemn the BDS movement — a hearing at which all those in favor, including myself, were shouted down as “Jewish pigs” and “Zionist filth” from provocateurs strategically placed in the audience. It was Linda Sarsour who was at the forefront — manipulating the camera shots and sound bites. It was Linda Sarsour who sat for hours listening with great satisfaction to the libelous rants and screamed obscenities alleging that Israelis murder Palestinian babies. It was Sarsour who nodded approvingly and congratulated individuals who were kicked out of the hearing room for being out of order, for walking in front of individuals providing testimony in support of the resolution, and for shouting down our supporters with anti-Semitic slurs — all in the name of protecting free speech.


However, inviting an obvious antagonist of the world’s largest Jewish community outside of Israel, an individual who doesn’t shirk from using controversial tactics against Israel’s supporters, to speak at CUNY is a bewildering act by its leadership sure to inspire only more hate, harassment and confrontations perpetrated against the Jewish student body. CUNY’s invitation to such an individual, an invitation I remind you not requested by students but rather by the administration itself, will provide cover to those seeking to legitimize her message. Her commencement speech belies CUNY’s stated commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.

CUNY owes an explanation and a huge apology to its Jewish students and alumni – but I doubt any will be forthcoming. For shame!

The NYT legitimizes a Palestinian murderer

April 20, 2017

The NYT legitimizes a Palestinian murderer | Anne’s Opinions, 19th April 2017

Now that the Pesach festival is over, normal programming can now resume. The general violence and terrorist activity endemic to the region continued over the holiday, both in Israel and the wider Middle East: from Butcher Assad’s chemical bombing of his own people, President Trump’s bombing of Syrian targets (in which he apparently gave advance warning to the Russians), a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a British exchange student to death on the Jerusalem Light Rail – we send our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Hannah Bladdon who was so viciously murdered – and a massive horrific bombing attacks on two Coptic churches in Egypt in which dozens were killed.

What could be more appropriate therefore for the New York Times than to give the Palestinian mass-murderer Marwan Barghouti a platform (where else?) to spout his evil philosophy.

Palestinian mass murderer Marwan Barghouti – the man that some in the West would like to see as the next Palestinian President

Aussie Dave at Israellycool was spot on with his remark that the NYT “wiped the blood off the hands of a terrorist”:

Describing him as a “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian” – without any reference to his murderous legacy – at the bottom of the piece.

Sure, they later added in this editor’s note:

Editors’ Note: April 17, 2017

This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization. Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy

But only after they were hammered by many prominent people and organizations – or at least those who have a problem with providing a platform for a terrorist without disclosing he is a terrorist.

Just as a reminder, here is more on this “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian”:

Marwan Barghouti is currently serving 5 life sentences for orchestrating three shooting attacks that killed 5 people: one attack in Jerusalem (June 12, 2001) in which Greek monk Tsibouktsakis Germanus was murdered by terrorist Ismail Radaida and another unidentified terrorist, another attack at a gas station in Givat Zeev near Jerusalem (Jan. 15, 2002) in which Yoela Hen, 45, was murdered by terrorists led by Mohammed Matla, and one shooting and stabbing attack at the Sea Food Market restaurant in Tel Aviv (March 5, 2002) in which Eli Dahan, 53, Yosef Habi, 52, and Police Officer Sergeant-Major Salim Barakat, 33, were murdered by terrorist Ibrahim Hasouna. When arrested by Israel in 2002, Barghouti headed the Tanzim (Fatah terror faction). After he was convicted and imprisoned, he was re-elected member of the Palestinian Authority parliament.

It is obvious that the danger in providing such a forum for an evil mass murderer such as Barghouti is that it legitimizes and normalizes this behaviour. After all, if his words appear in such an illustrious organ then they must be OK, right?

Aussie Dave quotes what Barghouti wrote in a self-serving attempt to gain sympathy, and probably to maneuver himself into position for a leadership attempt:

Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike.

Some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have decided to take part in this hunger strike, which begins today, the day we observe here as Prisoners’ Day. Hunger striking is the most peaceful form of resistance available. It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.

Let’s talk about the terrible abuses suffered by those poor innocent murderers and terrorists in Israeli prisons. First, here is a 25 minute Israeli TV channel 2 item on the situation “suffered” (we should all be so lucky) by Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails – which you can watch directly on Israellycool too.

Having watched it, here is Kay Wilson in a blistering attack on Barghouti and his miserable article:

See for yourselves the “hunger strike” because of the “appalling conditions” that Palestinian prisoners are protesting, via the likes of The New York Times – a paper that sees it fit to publish an article by the leader of the hunger-strike, a mass murderer named Marwan Barghouti – defined shamelessly by the newspaper as a “parliamentarian.”

Click on the link at the bottom of this post to see the conditions Israel awards those who murdered, or tried to, murder her innocents.

3’15 – TV with 10 channels in their cell

4’40 – Monthly pocket money from the Palestinian Authority. In addition to an average monthly murder stipend of about 4,000 Shekels that goes to their families.

4’50 – Table Tennis. (Yes, you read that correctly).

5’54 – Private storeroom of food always on hand.

6’30 – Prison official says that they eat this food when on “hunger strike,” and that hunger-strike only means refusing the 3 daily prison meals.

9’15 – Free dental clinic (no such thing for Israelis).

9’20 – Immediate appointments in hospitals should the need arise. (Something that many Israelis can only dream of).

9’50 – Community Islamic prayers.

10’50 – Visits with families and lawyers.

13’01 – Murderers gathering in their cell to tuck into humus and snacks that are always available should the need to hunger strike arise.

15’15 – Library. Terrorists get a free education and study for degrees in jail.

15’45 – Games, BackGammon etc…

15’27 – More food stash, should the need to go on hunger strike arise.

19’17 – One of the most notorious terrorists refuses to be interviewed because “he doesn’t want to be seen as shaved, looked-after and respectable in appearance.” These are his exact words. They have to keep up the public image of Israel supposedly treating them badly.

21’40 – Smaller cell with TV, audio headset, coca-cola, kettle, 2 nice pillows… & despite it all, the terrorist promises that the violence must continue.

By publishing an article by Marwan Barghouti, who lies about the conditions, The New York Times are giving a platform to a murderer, perpetuating lies and hate, and in doing so aiding and abetting more inevitable bloodshed.

See for yourselves.

That paper disgusts me. Shame on them.

Kay also posts some screenshots from the TV program of the “terrible abuses” if you don’t want to watch the entire film. It would take a heart of stone not to cry (/sarcasm):

Really, the TV program should have been entitled “How to get fat while on a hunger strike”.

And in case you haven’t heard enough about this revolting specimen whom the West are always encouraging Israel to recognize as a leader of the Palestinians, here is journalist Tom Gross on Marwan Barghouti’s crimes:

Although Barghouti was convicted on just three counts — of the murder of three Israeli civilians (and wounding of 31 others) in an attack on a Tel Aviv seafood restaurant, of the murder of one Israeli civilian in a terrorist attack on a gas station, and of the murder of a Greek orthodox monk (who was shot dead after being mistaken for an orthodox Jew) — he was (as I know from my time reporting on Barghouti’s terrorism while I was a Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News) also responsible for orchestrating the murder of dozens of other civilians, in a series of acts from which he has expressed no remorse. Not that you would know this from the New York Times’ coverage.

Among his other terrorism, Barghouti also ordered the January 17, 2002 shooting attack of a bat mitzvah celebration at a banquet hall in Hadera, in which six Israelis were killed and 26 injured, including many children. And the shooting spree the following week on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, in which two Israelis were killed, and 37 wounded.

Meanwhile, in its headline today, The Times of London describes convicted terrorist Barghouti as an “activist” while downplaying his terrorist activities.

On his website Tom Gross goes into more detail:

In an article for the Times of Israel, Israeli center-left opposition leader Yair Lapid said of the New York Times:

“The attempt by the New York Times ‘to be balanced’ amuses Barghouti. He understands that this sacred attempt at balance creates equal standing between murderer and murdered, terrorist and victim, lie and truth…

“The reality is that a convicted terrorist is inventing stories about those who imprison him, as prisoners do all over the world, including in the United States.

“Instead of saying to him – as a responsible newspaper should – that if he doesn’t have a shred of evidence to support his stories then they can’t be published, the New York Times published them in its opinion pages and didn’t even bother to explain to its readers that the author is a convicted murderer of the worst kind.”

The Israeli press watchdog Mida also publishes a detailed bio of Marwan Barghouti while Honest Reporting also writes about the New York Times disgrace.

The Israeli prison service has now moved Barghouti to another jail and put him in solitary confinement in response to his incitement to hunger strike.

Watch out for the next NYT article decrying Israel’s mistreatment of the poor innocent murderer.

But in my opinion, if those terrorists really want to go on hunger strike, I say let them! Make sure their not-so hidden stashes of food are confiscated and their benefits removed immediately. I hope they starve themselves to death.

The Paris Piece Conference

January 16, 2017

The Paris Piece Conference | Anne’s Opinions, 16th January 2017



A little piece of this, a little piece of that – until there’s no more Israel. Hence my title.– anneinpt)

Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs illustration: International representatives negotiating now among themselves on a text for Sunday’s #ParisConference. They Should instead push Abbas and the Palestinians to negotiate peace directly with Israel.

While the Paris Peace Piece Conference’s aims were ostensibly to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, it was quite clear from the start that its only intention was to make Israel give up a piece of this and a piece of that (hence my title) in order to weaken it if not destroy it altogether.

The predictions, the declarations – both for and against – and the outcome, were precisely as expected. Binyamin Netanyahu panned the pointless parley as rigged: while the Palestinians of course welcomed it:

“The conference that is convening today in Paris is a pointless conference,” he told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“It was coordinated by the French and the Palestinians and aims to force conditions on Israel that conflict with our national interests,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu has previously claimed the talks were “rigged” against the Jewish state, insisting that direct bilateral talks between Jerusalem and Ramallah was the only way to negotiate a peace agreement.

At the Sunday cabinet meeting, Netanyahu reiterated his position that the Paris-sponsored initiative makes the prospect of peace more as it “hardens Palestinians conditions and keeps them from direct negotiations.”

“I have to say that this conference is among the last remnants of the world of yesterday,” Netanyahu said. “Tomorrow will look different, and that tomorrow is very close.”

Unlike Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed the bid to reaffirm global support for a two-state solution, and will meet French President Francois Hollande in the coming weeks to be briefed on the conference outcome, diplomats said last week.

Paris officials said that Netanyahu declined a similar invitation.

Likud MK and Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara described the conference in a perfectly snarky way:

Translation:

The Paris Conference is an old age home collecting politicians on their way to their retirement from a political career as they step off the stage.

Europe needs to understand that Israel is a strong country that will not tolerate diktats.

Foreign ministers before the meeting in Paris REUTERS/Kamil Zihnioglu

Foreign ministers before the meeting in Paris REUTERS/Kamil Zihnioglu

Despite Israeli fears that the conference would lend backing to UNSC Resolution 2334, Israeli officials cheered the weakened declaration that ultimately issued forth:

Israeli officials on Sunday credited the efforts of the National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry for a “significant weakening” of the text of the final joint declaration issued by the participants of a peace conference in Paris.

The one-day summit came to a close on Sunday evening with a statement, backed by the 70 countries, calling on Israel and the Palestinians to restate their commitment to a peace settlement and to refrain from unilateral actions.

The statement urged both sides to “officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution” and disassociate from voices that reject that goal. It also called for them not to take one-sided actions that could preclude fruitful talks.

The Israeli officials were jubilant that “problematic passages” in a contentious recent UN Security Council resolution on the settlements were not included in the Paris document. Resolution 2334, passed on December 23, harshly condemned the settlement enterprise, declaring that it has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Furthermore, the Israeli officials expressed satisfaction over the fact that no further action against Israeli settlements is planned at the Security Council. US Secretary of State John Kerry had promised as much to Prime Minister Netanyahu in a phone call from Paris earlier Sunday.

The ostensible success, the officials concluded, was the “result of harsh reactions” voiced by Israel against Resolution 2334.

Wrapping up the conference, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters that the purpose of the meet was to convey a sense of urgency about the threat to the two-state solution.

The Elder of Ziyon quibbles with the Israeli jubilation, saying that while the declaration was better than the original draft, it is not much better:

The good part is that the paragraph about the June 1967 lines being sacrosanct is gone, along with the call to essentially boycott any Israeli person or entity beyond the Green Line. That is probably what Israel is happy about.

The bad part is that they took out the language saying that “solutions cannot be imposed” on the parties along with one of the two mentions insisting on direct negotiations. Also the follow-up conference added in the statement will again be more one-sided pressure on Israel.

So it is somewhat better than the draft but not a whole hell of a lot.

Interestingly, in another show of support for Israel, Britain questioned the purpose and the timing of the conference, and sent only a low-level representative to the conference:

Prime Minister Theresa May sent neither her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, nor her envoy to France to the parlay. Britain instead had observer status at the conference.

“We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them– indeed, which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis– and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American President when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement,” a Foreign Office statement read.

For some more commentary on the conference, The Elder of Ziyon links to a series of very interesting related articles.

The Jerusalem Post’s editorial “No tango in Paris” states:

Conferences in Paris will not bring peace. That will only come from negotiations. For peace to happen, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas needs to first come to Jerusalem and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The problem is that Abbas is a known rejectionist. He rejected the peace deal offered to him by Ehud Olmert in 2008 and has since remained intransigent in his refusal to even meet Netanyahu.
While France might be sincere in its desire to see peace come to the Middle East, holding a conference is misguided. Unfortunately, the more the international community supports Abbas’s unilateral diplomatic delegitimization campaign, the more stubborn he will become in his refusal to sit down for real and sincere negotiations.
Our suggestion – cancel the meeting in Paris.

Unfortunately, that – they didn’t.

Since the conference participants were so concerned with international law, Brian of London at Israellycool recalled an earlier article that he had written in which he reveals that the conference actually ignores French law:

(Update: I discovered that I too had written, way back in April 2013, about the same French law!).

Quoting here from Israellycool:

Today in France 70 nations will come together in Paris and blindly ignore the legal ruling of a highly significant French court (Court of Appeal of Versailles) just a few years ago. They will most likely issue a statement which creates the impression that Israel’s activities in Judea and Samaria are illegal.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that there hasn’t been a proper legal case to decide the legality of Jews living in the lands captured back from Jordan in ’67, specifically Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem. I was wrong! There was exactly such a case and, even though I’ve written about it, it has received almost no attention and been buried.

As we first reported here on Israellycool last week, a French court has confirmed some aspects of the legal situation regarding Israel and the hills of Judea and Samaria, especially around Jerusalem.

Now the larger news outlets have had time to think about this and get the opinion of greater legal minds than this humble blogger.

And the answer seems to be, it is a victory, but only if you didn’t know anything about international law and the specifics of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions.

Well I’d say that’s just about everyone on earth and doubly so for everyone who is deluded by BDS campaign lies!

Exactly as I noted then, the legacy media completely ignored this ruling or downplayed it because it didn’t fit their lethal narrative: Jews are illegal settlers in what was once their own land. Nobody in the hostile legacy media has referred to it since (try to google for it).

Jean-Patrick Grumberg (the original reporter I linked to back in 2013 on the story) has now re-published a more detailed account of the technicalities of the case which related to the building, in Jerusalem, of the light rail system which connects both predominantly Arab and Jewish neighbourhoods to the centre of Jerusalem.

This is how Jean-Patrick concludes his post (which also includes the entire court decision in French).

The Court of Appeal therefore sentenced the PLO (and Association France Palestine Solidarité AFPS who was co-appellant) to pay 30,000 euros ($32,000) to Alstom, 30,000 euros to Alstom Transport and 30,000 euros to Veolia Transport.

Neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority nor the AFPS appealed to the Supreme Court, therefore the judgment has become final.

This is the first time that a Court has legally destroyed all Palestinian legal claim that Israel’s occupation is illegal.

But don’t bother trying to confuse the “experts” with facts. Their minds are closed to any arguments that contradict their received wisdom.

In a similar fashion NGO Monitor exposes how the French are funding NGOs that sponsor BDS campaigns and which have ties to terror groups

An international peace summit, spearheaded by the French government, will be held on January 15, 2017, in Paris. In this report, NGO Monitor documents French government support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and with alleged ties to terror groups. This type of financial support casts doubts on the ability of France to serve as an impartial host of a summit dedicated to peace.

The best part of the whole shindig? The support that Israel received outside of the conference. Col. Richard Kemp was at a rally of support, and you can watch him being interviewed on Israeli i24TV:

The demonstration of support for Israel itself, held outside the conference venue drew hundreds of people:

PARIS – Hundreds of people rallied in support of Israel outside of the Jewish state’s embassy in Paris on Sunday as foreign ministers from dozens of nations gathered for a Middle East peace parley in the French capital.

Pro-Israel rally outside the Paris Peace Conference

Pro-Israel rally outside the Paris Peace Conference

Among those present at the demonstration were Israeli and Jewish leaders, including Israel’s ambassador to France and the president of the French-Jewish umbrella organization CRIF.

CRIF President Francis Kalifat told The Jerusalem Post that upon learning of the scheduling of the Paris summit, “we scheduled our own rally, in support of Israel and in support of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

“More than that, we are here today to express our objection to the Paris Middle East Conference, which we consider an anti-Israeli tribunal, similar to the negative decisions adopted by UNESCO and the UNSC [United Nations Security Council],” he said.

Rally attendee Jean B., 25, said that “we are here today to tell our own president that Israel has already reached out to the Palestinians in peace. The Palestinians are trying to internationalize the conflict, instead of accepting Israel’s hand and begin unconditional talks.”

Another participant at the demonstration, identified as Elisabeth, a student at the Sorbonne, told the Post that “we are hoping that our leaders will hear an outcry and listen to it. I know that France wants to advance peace, but they are going about it the wrong way.”

Kol hakavod to all the attendees and supporters of Israel.

But seriously, as the British noted, what was the point of the whole exercise? I’ll give the last word to Prof. Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor: