Thursday, February 04, 2016
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Qatar's support for the entire Al Jazeera operation is in question...
The survey was compiled by the Association of Civil Military studies in Israel [and] polled 500 Hebrew speakers between the ages of 18-65. ...53%, believe the NGO “Breaking the Silence” is driven by political interests not related to the behavior of the Israel Defense Forces in the Palestinian Territories...
...The poll determined that just one in five respondents believe that the findings of Breaking the Silence indicate that IDF soldiers don’t believe they have a place in the IDF to turn to for filing complaints and only 9% said they believe that the findings of BTS indicate that the deployment of the IDF among the Palestinian civilian population has corrupted the army’s morality...
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
An important report has exposed the involvement of a number of "human rights activists", including the field researcher for B’Tselem in the South Hebron Hills, in a sting operation to hand over a person to the Palestinian Authority’s preventive security forces, with the certain knowledge that he would meet a bitter end of torture and death.
The photojournalism report was aired Thursday 14 February 2016, on Israel’s Channel 2 television’s Uvda (Fact) news program. In a video recording produced with a hidden camera, Ezra Nawi, a Jewish far-left activist from the Ta’ayush group, is heard speaking about four Palestinian real-estate sellers, whom Nawi said mistook him for a Jew interested in buying their property.
"Straight away I give their pictures and phone numbers to the Preventive Security Force," Nawi is heard saying in reference to the Palestinian Authority’s counterintelligence arm. "The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot."
In the Palestinian Authority, the penal code reserves capital punishment for anyone convicted of selling land to Jews…
Nawi was also documented obtaining information from a Palestinian who believed Nawi was a Jew interested in purchasing land. Nawi is seen saying he intends to give that information to Palestinian security officials as well. An activist with the human rights group B’Tselem helped Nawi set up the would-be seller in a sting operation in which the seller would be arrested.
As a result, The Israel Police have opened a criminal investigation.
In this context it is important to note that Nawi also had work ties with Breaking the Silence and Rabbis for Human Rights, which paid for his services. These two organizations, like B’Tselem, mentioned above, receive funding from the New Israel Fund (NIF).
Still, despite the grave nature of the actions portrayed in the Uvda report, the New Israel Fund, a major financer and supporter of B’Tselem, chose to defend the organization, stating that the NIF is proud to support it. According to the NIF, "The clarification we received from B’Tselem … revealed that B’Tselem’s investigator, Mr Nasser Nawaja, who appears in the report, was acting on his own behalf as a Palestinian resident of the South Hebron Hills, and not on behalf of B’Tselem."
B’Tselem, whose regional field researcher, as noted above, was also involved in the effort to turn in the "real estate agent" to the Palestinian Authority, chose to support the researcher, claiming that "contacting the sovereign authorities cannot be considered turning someone in."
Furthermore, A.B. Yehushua, a member of B’Tselem’s Public Council, contended that,
"The mechanisms of the PA are those of an official body that we recognize and we are happy that they exist. We want transparency… even in the Palestinian Authority…As for their fate [the would-be sellers], that is another question… they don’t have to torture people who sell land. That must something that is forbidden…but transparency is one thing, torture is another… that is already their business, whom they torture and whom they don’t torture… I think it is a terrible thing for the PA to do, but it’s the PA, it’s their right."
In other words, instead of denouncing the actions of the researcher, the NIF and B’Tselem back his actions, ignore the serious ramifications and are effectively endorsing murder!
In contrast to them, Israel’s prime minister, defense minister and the former head of the Shabak security forces, emphasized the severity of the situation, and sharply denounced the actions:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook on Friday 15 January 2016 that the report "unmasked radicals among us, whose hatred for settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of delivering innocents for torture and execution. Those who encourage murder cannot continue to hide behind the hypocritical pretense of caring for human rights."
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said: "…Over the years I have encountered radical leftist activists, ‘human rights activists,’ whose main activities involve the maligning Israel, the IDF and the security forces, as part of the BDS phenomenon… in the guise of concern for human rights, some inciting against the State of Israel, spreading lies and, as it turns out – also endangering the lives of the Palestinian land sellers…and everything is kosher from their perspective in order to harm the State of Israel, out of hatred and other despicable motives… these people are promoting neither peace nor human rights activists..."
Former Shabak chief, Knesset member Avi Dichter, noted that, "In the past week I was made privy to extremely harsh materials on the covert activities of a number of organizations such as Ta’ayush, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and other organizations that purport to be human rights organizations. Only a few of these organizations were covered in the investigative report on Uvda, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. These are criminal activities that must be investigated by the police and the Shabak."
Thursday, January 21, 2016
In a stunning turn of events amongst the radical American Jewish left, it has just been announced by Rabbi Gordon Tucker of Temple Israel Center of White Plains that he is taking a long sabbatical...
Rabbi Tucker became known recently for his financial support and vocal endorsement of the controversial New Israel Fund and its grantees.
In 2013, he assigned Temple’s discretionary funds to New Israel Fund, and did not inform his congregants that he is a leader of the organization, serving on its International Council. The New Israel Fund backs the boycott of Israel, seeks to delegitimize the IDF and fund efforts to see Israel brought before the Criminal Court at the Hague, to name just a few of what they fund.
Rabbi Tucker is further a prominent supporter and donor to Rabbis for Human Rights, which has been recently linked to payments toward Ezra Nawi, an Israeli activist who admitted to passing names of Arabs who are seeking to sell land to Jews to the Palestinian Authority. Nawi, who was on the payroll of Rabbis for Human Rights, admitted that the people he reported were killed.
After months of news items about Temple Israel, highlighting Rabbi Tucker and his steadfast support of these anti-Israel causes, he is now taking a significant step away from his duties in White Plains.
Sources have informed us that synagogue membership has dwindled. Finally, the members of Tucker’s synagogue have had enough – although he claims to be coming back in May, in hopes that pressure will die down. It will not. His synagogue must not allow him back.
Other American Jewish congregations that fund the NIF include: The Congregants of Temple Beth El of Santa Cruz, CA; Tzedakah Hevra at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, MA; Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun in WI, Kehila Chadasha of Bethesda, MD; Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia, PA; Temple Beth Avodah of Newton Center, MA.; Temple Shalom of Newton, MA.; and Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, CA.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We must not cave into the pressure, [we must] expose the lies and attack the attackers. We shall unite forces in Israel and abroad, expose our enemy’s lies, and fight for the Israeli citizen’s right to live their lives peacefully and safely.”
Those who support a boycott of Israel are wrong.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
- Opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians support an armed campaign against Israel, and want to see Israel destroyed and a State of Palestine built on its ruins. The polls also show a troubling increase in popular support in the West Bank for Hamas, and a decrease in support for Mahmoud Abbas.
- The greatest tragedy of the Palestinians is not 1948, it is 2015. The only thing the Palestinian leadership and terrorist organizations can agree on is their obsession to destroy the State of Israel.
- It is particularly disappointing that we keep trying to defraud the Israelis and Americans with fictitious messages of peace and "two states for two peoples." We assume they have no intelligence at all, do not understand Arabic and cannot read our Facebook pages.
- The time has come to try creating -- for the first time -- a peaceful and demilitarized Palestinian state, which the Israelis have indicated for decades they would be happy to help us achieve.
The leaders of the terror cell arranged safe houses and storage sites, where they set up laboratories to manufacture explosives. They recruited Palestinians -- from Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya and even from Jerusalem, as well as Arabs from the Israeli Negev -- to acquire the chemicals and other equipment necessary for making car bombs for these students, who were getting ready to die as suicide bombers.
The Israeli security forces uncovered the network and arrested its operatives, who had also been influenced by the Palestinian Authority's non-stop incitement of the Palestinian population. The Palestinian Authority (PA) wants to sacrifice our best and brightest to carry out terrorist attacks against Jews.
Unfortunately, recent events herald the end of the concept of establishing an independent state for the Palestinian people. The cracks in the wall of Palestinian history -- which is barely a hundred years old -- are growing wider. The attempts to repair the fabric of Palestinian society with neon colors are a failure. There is also internal friction among the various Salafist organizations (Hamas, ISIS, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the PLO and Fatah and other West Bank terrorist organizations.
There is also the issue of inheritance: which organization will control the PLO? What are the differences in their agendas? The Hamas leadership in Gaza wants first to reconstruct the Gaza Strip and then renew the fighting with Israel. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military-terrorist wing, demands the immediate renewal of attacks and rocket fire against Israel. Both are trying to establish new terrorist networks in the West Bank (like the one recently uncovered). The double objective of both groups is to kill Israelis and topple the Palestinian Authority.
We Palestinians seem incapable of agreeing on even the most basic productive and constructive issues, such as rebuilding houses, education, an intelligent use of the hundreds of millions of dollars received as donations, opening the Rafah crossing and improving relations with the Arab world, especially Egypt. The greatest tragedy of the Palestinians is not 1948, it is 2015. The only thing the Palestinian leadership and terrorist organizations can agree on is their obsession to destroy the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state on the ruins; and even there, they cannot agree on the ways, stages and means.
As long as the Palestinians thought they could get what they wanted through negotiations and intransigence, they concealed their true intentions. Recently, however, when it became clear the Israelis would not waive their demand for the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state or their determined objection to the right of return, Palestinian extremism came out of hiding. That is evident from the results consistently obtained by opinion polls, carried out by Palestinian polling centers, which show that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians support an armed campaign against Israel, and want to see it destroyed and the state of Palestine built on its ruins. The polls also show a troubling increase in popular support in the West Bank for Hamas, and a decrease in support for Mahmoud Abbas and the PA because of their inability to restore all of "occupied Palestine" to the Palestinians.
I wish we Palestinians were only smart enough to learn from the history of the Jews instead of totally rejecting them. We would immediately rid ourselves of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations. But instead we use them, because they kill Jews.
Unfortunately, the late Yasser Arafat thought it would be easier to force the Jews to make concessions if the negotiations were held in an atmosphere of terrorist attacks and to that end, he subcontracted to Hamas.
Hamas, like Frankenstein's monster, grew to become a large terrorist organization, now threatening not just Israel but the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. In consequence, we are forced to collaborate with the Israelis if we want to survive and avoid being swallowed whole by Hamas, as we were in Gaza. That is why the threats from the Palestinian Authority to stop intelligence collaboration with Israel are nonsense. As our rhetoric becomes more and more extremist, some Palestinians suffer from a passive desire to submit to Hamas, and fewer and fewer people dare to challenge Hamas instead of rejecting both it and the Muslim Brotherhood, and gaining the trust of wider, far more powerful backer: the world, the West, and even in some ways the Israelis. We are, instead, soaking up Hamas's destructive extremism. We allow Hamas to brainwash our younger generation with its fanatic -- and unproductive -- web of hate, destruction and death.
The Palestinian leadership has not yet internalized the bitter consequences of our fruitless terrorist attacks against Israel. The leadership uses its media to spread false propaganda about knives, stone-throwing and car ramming attacks, along with threats of another intifada. They do not realize that nothing will move the Israelis. Nothing will make them leave; nothing will make them give up one inch of land -- certainly not terrorism. That only strengthens their resolve. We keep making the awful and perhaps irreparable mistake of educating our children, generation after generation, to hate the Jews and Israelis and to want to destroy the State of Israel. At the same time, we can see that the Israelis and the Americans follow our every move, and document our hate propaganda. Little by little, our credibility is shredded as they lose their trust.
We broadcast children's programs promoting violence and hate on government-funded -- and government-run -- Palestinian TV, and at the same time expect the Israelis to make concessions to us that will compromise their security. How stupid is that?
Then we continually brainwash viewers with the nonsense that, with the help of Allah, the State of Israel is temporary and will eventually cease to exist. Whom or what should the Israelis trust?
The elderly Mahmoud Abbas, without support in his own country, waiting until the younger generation, brought up on hatred and war, pushes him out? We have the program "Children Speak," which declared on November 11, 2015, with absolute certainty, that Israel's end was just around the corner and that all the land of Palestine from 1948, "from the River to the Sea," including Israeli cities such as Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth, "belong to us" and "will return to us." If you were the Israeli government, you would be suspicious too.
It is therefore mystifying why Greece's parliament would now symbolically (non-bindingly) recognize a Palestinian State -- thereby pushing actual Palestinian statehood farther away than ever.
Abbas doubtless goes around trying to pick up such worthless endorsements, no doubt hoping that if he manages to bundle enough of them, stacks of internationally binding agreements will be bypassed and an actual Palestinian state, with no need for any concessions, might magically spring up.
Has no one in the intelligence services of either country noticed that, according to Palestinian TV (December 4, 2015),
some of the Palestinians who have lived on Palestinian land since 1948 did not leave and now defend the land from the abuse of the "racist occupation." The very fact that they still live on our land, despite the occupation's full control, means they preserve Palestinian existence and guard the land as Palestinian, and believe all the land will return to Palestinian control and be part of the state of Palestine.Ahem. "The Palestinians who have lived on Palestinian land since 1948" are what the rest of the world calls "Israeli Arabs."
The above are two examples of official Palestinian propaganda spread by the Palestinian leadership, media and educational system throughout the Palestinian territories every hour of every day.
According to Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, the official Palestinian newspaper, on December 10, 2015, Jihad Jayyusi, the Palestinian Authority's military liaison officer, visited a creative writing class in the Al-Awda girls' school in Bethlehem, and presented them with a plaque of "Palestine," which now includes all the territory of the State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. According to the same newspaper, on November 17, 2015, the prize in a photography contest held by the PLO's "prisoner department" was a map of "Palestine," which included the same territories.
Palestinian Authority leaders, official television, schools and media outlets often display maps showing Palestine stretching from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. The maps do not show the existence of Israel.
It is particularly disappointing that we keep trying to defraud the Israelis and Americans with fictitious messages of peace and "two states for two peoples." We assume they have no intelligence at all, do not understand Arabic and cannot read our Facebook pages, including the page of the Palestinian national security forces, where Acre and Jaffa are called "occupied." We assume that Westerners never read Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, which on November 30, 2015, published a picture of two keys and a map of "Palestine" that included all the Israeli and Palestinian territories and read, "A memory that does not rust" -- or if they do read it, that they do not understand what they are looking at.
If there is to be peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the first step is for the Palestinians to coordinate their own expectations. Our leaders have to understand that the Middle East arena is in a constant state of flux, that descendants of the 1948 refugees clearly will never "return" to the State of Israel, Jerusalem will never be the capital of a state of Palestine, and we will never control the Jordan Valley (because of Israel's unfortunately justified security concerns).
In addition, in a world staggering under the burden of Islamist terrorism, Palestinian terrorism is likely, over time, only to strengthen the West's support for Israel's security and existence.
We should have understood a long time ago that Jews exist in Palestine, that they are here to stay forever, and that murdering them in the streets is not going to change anything. The time has come to try creating -- for the first time in history -- a peaceful and demilitarized Palestinian state, which the Israelis have indicated for decades they would be all too happy to help us achieve. I hope and pray we are not already too late.
*Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East
- Iran with her proxies and allies;
- the Salafi Jihadists, currently dominated by the so-called “Islamic State”;
- the Muslim Brotherhood movement in its various manifestations, including Hamas, supported by Qatar and by Erdogan's Turkey; and
- the “forces of stability”: all those who fear and resist the rise of the first three camps, with Israel an active and important player in this latter camp.
- Iran with her proxies and allies;
- the Salafi Jihadists, currently dominated by the so-called “Islamic State” (IS); and
- the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movement in its various manifestations, including Hamas, supported by Qatar and by Erdogan's Turkey. (Prime Minister Netanyahu has called these groups “branches of the same poisonous tree”).
Sunday, January 10, 2016
|Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 9, 2013.|
...However different [China and Israel] are geographically and culturally, innovation is bringing the two countries together at an unprecedented pace.
The enthusiasm from both sides doesn't come out of nowhere. Chinese investors have began parking their money in world-renowned Israeli high-tech industries at a stunning pace.
About 40 percent of all venture capital flowing into Israel came from China in 2015, according to Ziva Eger, chief executive of the foreign investments and industrial cooperation division at the Ministry of Economy of Israel.
"2016 will be much much bigger than that, (the investment from China) will probably double," Eger told Xinhua.
But it's not merely money that the fund-thirsty Israeli companies are looking for. Seeing the tremendous market in China, Israel is trying to form a long-term strategic relationship with China through academic exchanges, research and development (R&D) cooperation and incubator programs.
About 4,000 miles away from each other, China, with a population of 1.3 billion and Israel, with 8 million, have hardly anything in common.
While China is a giant economy with significant manufacturing power, Israel is widely regarded as the innovation hub of the world, with little interest in manufacturing.
But it's the anomalies that have made Israel and China the perfect match, said Raz Gal-Or, co-founder of weWOWwe, a startup that tries to connect football fans around the world.
"They say opposites attract," the Israel-born, China-educated entrepreneur told Xinhua.
Indeed, Israel excels in fields where Chinese technology eagerly looks for breakthroughs. Modern agriculture, medical devices, and cyber security are sectors that brew the most innovation from partnership.
Alibaba, for example, made its way into the Israeli startup scene by investing in QR code company Visualead in 2015. It then became an investor of the Israel-based venture fund Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), a venture capital firm known for its investment in cyber security.
Fosun International, one of China's biggest private conglomerates, acquired Israeli medical device firm Alma Lasers for 222 million U.S. dollars in 2013.
China's major food manufacturer Bright Food closed a deal in 2015 to purchase a majority stake in Israeli dairy giant Tnuva, a deal the Bright Food executive said would creates synergy in R&D.
The increase in cooperation between China and Israel is not surprising. Partnerships between the two countries can be traced back to the ancient Silk Road, according to Philippe Metoudi, co-author of the book "Israel and China: From Silk Road to Innovation Highway.
While differences exist, the Israelis and the Chinese still have many in common, Metoudi said. Their views on education, family values and appreciation for history, for example, are all shared philosophies that will help further boost long-term cooperation between the two nations.
"We don't speak the same language, but we speak the same 'language' -- we have the same ideas, the same values," Metoudi said.
MORE THAN MONEY
As China transforms into a more innovation-driven economy, it's speeding up efforts to partner with Israel to strengthen its own technological might.
For Israeli officials, helping create a better startup ecosystem in China also benefits local firms.
"It's not only about money," said Ophir Gore, head of the trade mission at the Embassy of Israel in Beijing. "It's getting access to the Chinese market."
In the past few years, China and Israel stepped up academic exchanges and R&D collaboration.
The recent establishment of Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, a partnership between China's Shantou University and the Israel's Technion, is a prime example of the attempt by the two countries to cooperate in higher education.
Platforms such as the Changzhou Innovation Park in southern China provide physical proximity for Israeli firms to get funds and collaborate with Chinese companies in industrial R&D.
Israeli officials are further calling for Chinese companies to build R&D centers and set up production lines in Israel, pledging the best platform and grants from the government.
With growing academic cooperation, collaborative programs, and shared vision from both governments, "the golden age for Israel-China innovation cooperation has come," said Yin Hejun, China's Vice Minister of Science and Technology.