‘Pro-Palestinian’ Thugs Attack Jews on U.S. Campuses

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And strangely, it’s a distant country that wants to do anything about it.

Front Page Magazine, by P. David Hornik, Aug. 18, 2016:

Israel has a history of helping, sometimes saving, Jewish communities in distress. The idea that Israel is responsible for all Jews has a special place in the Israeli ethos.

This week the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset held a meeting to discuss the case of a Jewish community in distress. The bipartisan meeting was jointly called by MK Anat Berko of the right-of-center Likud Party and MK Nachman Shai of the left-of-center opposition party Zionist Union.

Strangely, the Jewish community in question was not one living in a failed state or an oppressive dictatorship. Instead, the focus of the meeting was on the United States—specifically, the Jewish students at its universities.

American universities are, of course, a major arena of anti-Israeli activity including Israel Apartheid Weeks, BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) advocacy, and the silencing—often through violent disruption—of Israeli or pro-Israeli speakers.

The Knesset members were told that:

· Jewish students in institutions such as NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, Connecticut College, the University of Oklahoma, Harvard, Claremont College in Los Angeles, Vassar College in New York, and many others have been subjected to harassment by BDS and Students for Justice in Palestine activists, including the taping of eviction notices to their doors. Jewish students who have approached campus administrations for help say they avoid taking action. In one case, at NYU, some anti-Jewish students who had posted “eviction notices” were expelled.

· Students for Justice in Palestine has been compiling lists of Jewish students on American and Canadian campuses with details of their dorm addresses, raising real concern about the students’ safety.

· The universities claim to oppose anti-Israeli and antisemitic activity—and, of course, abuse of any kind on a racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual-orientation basis, to the point of providing “safe spaces” and the like for students who feel they have been offended. Yet, in reality, it’s open season for students who engage in such activity as long as it’s directed at Israel or Jews. At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students and former students tied to Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association have praised Hitler, threatened violence, incited violence, and endorsed terror organizations in social-media posts. Jewish groups in Tennessee have expressed “anger, disappointment and worry” at the university’s “tepid response” to complaints.

· Out of 941 reported antisemitic incidents in the U.S. in 2015, 90 occurred on university campuses. Those 90 marked an increase of almost 100% from 47 in 2014. Amnon Goldstof, head of an Israeli reserve-soldiers NGO call Reservists on Duty that has recently toured the U.S., told the Knesset committee that “Jewish students are the most persecuted minority on [U.S.] campuses.”

· MK Berko said that it has become almost impossible for Israeli or pro-Israeli speakers to address students at U.S. campuses. She told the committee that “when she was supposed to give a lecture on a US college campus, it had to be moved because protesters blocked the hall where it was supposed to take place.” Also attending the meeting was Tzahi Gabrieli of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, who “said the physical intimidation of the sort Berko faced is the most common on campuses.”

The latter part of the meeting, in which Gabrieli detailed the Strategic Affairs Ministry’s approach to countering the anti-Jewish phenomena, was held behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, New Jersey governor Chris Christie has signed a law prohibiting the state’s public worker pension fund from investing in companies that boycott Israel and support BDS.

New Jersey thereby becomes one of over a dozen states that have passed anti-BDS laws this year. This is a welcome and laudable development. It is, though, strangely discordant with a situation where “pro-Palestinian” activists are allowed to attack Jews on U.S. campuses. Even stranger is that a distant, foreign country—Israel—is taking upon itself the task of doing something about it.

The time for the U.S. authorities to crack down on these thugs is now.

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ISRAEL’S NEXT HEZBOLLAH WAR

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Philos Project, by Andrew Harrod, Aug. 12, 2016:

Between Israel and Hezbollah, “another conflict is all but inevitable,” wrote retired Israeli Brigadier General Yakov Shaharabani. “It will be far more destructive and harmful than any other war Israel has fought in recent memory.” The former Israeli Air Force Intelligence chief thus introduced a sobering Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies report a decade after Israel’s last clash with the Lebanese terrorist organization.

Shaharabani said that the July 2006 Lebanon War “was the longest Israel had experienced since its War of Independence in 1948,” but any future clash with Hezbollah will make those destructive 34 days pale by comparison. According to his FDD coauthors, the Israeli government estimates that Hezbollah has approximately 150,000 rockets today as opposed to the mere 14,000 it possessed prior to the 2006 conflict. Writing for the Weekly Standard, Vanderbilt University law professor Willy Stern said that this gives Hezbollah a “bigger arsenal than all NATO countries – except the United States – combined.”

Stern elaborated that Hezbollah’s state sponsor Iran has “supplied its favorite terrorist organization with other top-of-the-line weaponry,” including advanced Russian-made anti-tank and anti-ship missiles and air defense systems. The FDD report noted that sanctions relief for Iran under the recent nuclear agreement will only darken this picture, for “Iran’s massive windfall is expected to trickle down to its most important and valuable proxy: Hezbollah.” Additionally, “Hezbollah has gained significant experience during five years of fighting in Syria” for the embattled Bashar Assad dictatorship.

Israeli Defense Forces leaders have presented Stern with grim scenarios in which “elite Hezbollah commandos will almost certainly be able to slip into Israel and may wreak havoc among Israeli villages in the north.” Given Hezbollah’s “capacity to shoot 1,500 missiles per day, Israel’s high-tech missile-defense system will be ‘lucky’ to shoot down 90 percent of incoming rockets, missiles and mortars.” Accordingly, “IDF planners quietly acknowledge that ‘as many as hundreds’ of Israeli noncombatants might be killed per day in the first week or two of the conflict.”

The FDD report documented Shaharabani’s prediction that the “next Lebanon war could actually devolve into a regional war.” With Hezbollah’s expanding into Syria, “Hezbollah and Iran plan to connect the Golan Heights to the terror group’s south Lebanese stronghold – to make it one contiguous front against Israel. Iran can also unleash violence on Israel through its Palestinian proxies,” meaning, for example, that Hamas rockets “could force the Israelis to divert Iron Dome and other anti-missile batteries to the southern front with Gaza.” As Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “was already embedded with Hezbollah during the last conflict, there is the very real possibility that Iranian forces could join Hezbollah in battle during the next confrontation.”

The FDD report noted that recurrent Israeli airstrikes against Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria raise the dangers of killing Russian advisers or coming into combat with Russian warplanes now supporting Assad against the Syrian rebels. Israeli consultations with Russia seek to avoid these clashes, but scholar Michael Doran warned at his Hudson Institute’s July 26 panel discussing the report that the “potential for friction there is enormous.” Recent American coordination plans with Russia in striking jihadist groups like the Islamic State would enable the Assad coalition to approach Israel’s borders, implicating an Israeli “red line” concerning the IRGC there.

Experts agree that a future Hezbollah-Israel conflict’s havoc will engulf as well Lebanon, termed at the Hudson Institute as “Hezbollahstan” by the Israeli embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission Reuven Azar. “The IDF no longer distinguishes between the sovereign nation of Lebanon and Hezbollah,” Stern has written, now that the Shiite-based organization has expanded its influence beyond its south Lebanon stronghold to countrywide domination. Simultaneously, “Hezbollah cleverly places its arsenal where any Israeli military response – even legal, carefully planned, narrowly targeted, proportionate measures – will lead to huge civilian casualties among Lebanese.” As report author Jonathan Schanzer noted at a July 25 FDD event, Hezbollah has “turned Shia villages into essentially missile silos.”

“We are not in the business of trying to provoke a new round,” Azar said, echoing certain arguments in the FDD report, yet several factors indicate that Israel will accept a decisive challenge with Hezbollah if it comes. While report author Tony Badran noted at the Hudson Institute that Hezbollah “is not even comparable to what it was in 2006,” the coming years “risk seeing a Hezbollah that is infinitely more capable in terms of its weapon systems. This time period of the Iran nuclear agreement also portends an Iran that is unleashed, that is probably by that point a threshold nuclear state with a legalized industrial scale program and recognized regional primacy in Iraq and Syria.” As the FDD report stated, the nuclear deal “has placed Iran on a patient pathway to a nuclear weapon. The clock is ticking. Israel’s window of opportunity to defeat Hezbollah in the shadow of the nuclear deal cannot be ignored.”

Not surprisingly, the FDD report cited Israeli assessments of Hezbollah as Israel’s greatest threat, a view confirmed by Schanzer’s past three years of meetings with Israeli officials. While Shaharabani at FDD discussed how Hezbollah would view not losing a future conflict with Israel as a victory, Israel would desire a short, yet decisive campaign against a growing threat, however contradictory these two goals. As he wrote, “Israel may find out very quickly that deterring Hezbollah is not a sufficient strategic goal. Therefore, defeating Hezbollah (or forcing it to leave Lebanon) might become its strategic objective.”

Although Shaharabani’s remarks noted that the more extensive Israel’s actions against Hezbollah, the likelier the intervention by Iran and others, the FDD report remained resolute. “Should war break out, the United State should actively delay the imposition of a premature ceasefire in order to buy the Israelis as much time as needed to complete their military campaign,” it read. This no substitute for victory approach makes eminent sense if, as Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar Joseph Bahout judged at FDD, Israel’s war with Hezbollah is unavoidable, only the “question is when and under which circumstances.”

Report: Pro-Palestinian Group Compiling Names Of U.S. Jewish College Students

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Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, Aug. 16, 2016:

A U.S. based pro-Palestinian organization is collecting names of Jewish students on college campuses across North America, reports Israel Radio.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is reportedly putting together lists of Jewish college students which includes details like their dorm addresses.

According to The Times of Israel, the report surfaced as Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee met on Tuesday to talk about Israel’s boycott initiative at U.S. colleges.

The head of the committee, Likud MK Avi Dichter, says Israel “has a commitment [to protect] to every Jew when they are attacked for being a Jew.”

The Jerusalem Post reports the meeting began with NGO Reservists on Duty, active members in various reserve units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

who are part of an effort to fight misconceptions about IDF soldiers, put forth a report regarding intimidation of Jewish college students in the U.S. as a result of activists calling for boycotts of Israel.

One such example presented was the eviction notices posted on the doors of Jewish students at Connecticut College earlier this year and posted on the doors Jewish students at NYU in 2014 by the SJP.

Reservists on Duty’s research director Amnon Goldstof said anti-Semitic incidents on American college campuses nearly doubled in 2015 to 90 from 47 in 2014.

“Jewish students are the most persecuted minority on campuses in the US,” Goldstof remarked. “It’s an outrage. It’s part of their intimidation tactics against Jewish students on campus. It’s not acceptable that they do this. They can’t win the argument on the facts. So they’re trying to intimidate the Jewish students from speaking out.”

“We’ve seen in history of compiling Jewish names and it’s unacceptable,” Farley Weiss, President of the Council of Young Israel, told The Daily Caller Tuesday.

“There’s been an extraordinary upsurge in violence against American Jewish students in the last year and it’s mainly from [SJP] and it is something that the universities need to be clear that the free speech of Jewish students need to be protected,” Weiss added.

Oren Segal, Director of ADL’s Center on Extremism, however, says the organization has not seen evidence of lists of Jewish students being compiled by SJP.

“According to our research, there is no evidence pointing to Students for Justice in Palestine compiling specific lists of Jewish students. However, we have long expressed our concerns over SJP’s campus efforts, which have resulted in troubling tensions between students and have fostered a hostile atmosphere for pro-Israel and Jewish students,” said Segal in an e-mail statement.

Israel Hatred at the Olympics

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Will the IOC take action?

Front Page Magazine, by Ari Lieberman, Aug. 15, 2016:

Egyptian judoka, Islam El Shahaby, disgraced himself and his country at the Rio games this past Friday. The disgrace was not the result of his failure to medal nor was it the result of his loss to Israeli judoka, Or Sasson. The disgrace was the result of extreme unsportsmanlike conduct exhibited by the Egyptian. Following his loss, El Shahaby walked away without bowing to his opponent – an act unheard of in the sport – and then refused to shake the Israeli’s outstretched hand.

The disgraceful conduct drew jeers from the crowd and the referee ordered El Shahaby to return to the mat area and bow. The Egyptian complied but rather than bowing, gave a pathetic nod with his head prompting additional booing from the audience. Or Sasson brushed off the insult and went on to claim the bronze for his nation.

Sasson said that he expected that the Egyptian would snub him but decided to extend his hand nonetheless to show his opponent “respect.” He added that bowing and showing respect for an opponent is something that he “was educated to do.”

El Shahaby’s ignominious conduct is not an anomaly but rather reflects the norm among athletes from Muslim nations. They routinely engage in conduct that brings disrepute to themselves and the nations they represent.

At the start of the Rio games, the Lebanese delegation refused to allow members of the Israeli team to board the same bus. The Israelis were then forced to find alternate transportation. Following that incident, a Saudi judoka faked an injury in a deliberate effort to avoid a match against her Israeli counterpart. In June 2016, a Syrian boxer forfeited a match against an Israeli during the world boxing championship in Azerbaijan thus forfeiting any chance of qualifying for the Rio games.

In June 2013, in one of the most bizarre incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct, an Egyptian wrestler exhibited traits associated with a rabid dog by biting her Israeli opponent in the back and drawing blood. The Egyptian was suspended while the Israeli, Ilana Kartysh, captured the gold.

The incident involving El Shahaby at Rio was identical to an incident involving another Egyptian judoka during a 2011 tournament. Ramadan Darwish refused to shake hands with Arik Ze’evi, his Israeli opponent, after the Israeli trounced Darwish. Like El Shahaby, he also refused to bow. Darwish’s crass behavior prompted the referee to recall him to the floor and only after repeated requests did Darwish return, only to direct his bow toward the referee and not toward his opponent thus compounding the indignity. The disgraceful spectacle can beviewed in this clip.

In a 2010 weightlifting tournament, the Iranian runner-up refused to shake the hand of the Israeli winner, Sergio Britva. The Iranian was then forced to endure listening to the Israeli national anthem while the Israeli flag was raised but quickly bolted from the podium immediately following the conclusion of the anthem.

As long as the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and other governing sports bodies remain passive in the face of these repeated egregious transgressions and fail to ban the offending nations from all international sporting events, these outrages will continue. Only drastic action in the form of expulsion will serve to modify the offending behavior.

But the phenomena of misbehavior and unsportsmanlike conduct by the athletes of Muslim nations represents a far greater problem that transcends sports. Xenophobia and anti-Semitism have become part and parcel of much of the Muslim world. In that medieval world, hatred of Jews and Israel permeates every field including politics, education, religion, art, culture and sport. Hate is taught to children from birth and passed along from generation to generation. It is amplified by official government institutions through the various education and religious ministries and trickles its way to every facet of Muslim life.

The damage caused by years of relentless brainwashing and institutional racism will take decades, if not generations to reverse and, with few exceptions, it does not look like any Arab or Muslim nation is making any meaningful effort to address this deleterious trend. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Most Egyptians approved of El Shahaby’s disgraceful conduct, and his critics within Egypt limited their criticism to the fact that he didn’t forfeit the game.

Unless the IOC and other governing international sports bodies take decisive action against the offenders, Israeli sports figures will unfortunately have to endure this boorish behavior for the foreseeable future. Israel however, can take solace in the fact that it sent its largest ever Olympic delegation to Rio and its athletes continue to score success on the international stage.

Israeli athletes in Rio endure ‘shocking’ hostility, taunting by Muslim nations

Israel’s Yarden Gerbi reacts after winning the bronze medal of the women’s 63 kg judo competition at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. (Rex Features via Associated Press)

Israel’s Yarden Gerbi reacts after winning the bronze medal of the women’s 63 kg judo competition at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. (Rex Features via Associated Press)

Washington Times, by Valerie Richardson, Aug. 10 2016:

The 2016 Olympic Games have been billed as an opportunity to put politics aside in the spirit of international camaraderie, but that’s not necessarily how it’s working out for Israeli athletes.

Animosity toward the 47-athlete delegation has already triggered a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee and alarm from Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League, which issued a statement this week decrying anti-Israel “hostility” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Shocking but not surprisingly, the Lebanese and Saudi delegations obviously have the wrong idea about the Olympic games,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel group Stand With Us, in a Wednesday statement.

“Instead of using the events to forget animosity and promote peace between people, they have brought their brainwashed minds to Rio,” she said. “How unfortunate that they could not implement the good, peaceful intentions of the Olympics, and instead have used it as a forum to spread hate and continued rejection of peace.”

The confrontations with delegations of nations traditionally hostile to Israel have marred an otherwise successful Olympics for Israel. Two days ago, judo athlete Yarden Gerbi won the bronze, making her the nation’s first medal winner since the 2008 Olympics.

On Sunday, however, the IOC issued a reprimand to the head of the Lebanese Olympic delegation after he blocked Israeli athletes from entering a bus that the teams were supposed to share in order to reach the opening ceremonies.

Instead, Olympic organizers placed the Israeli athletes on a “special vehicle,” said Israeli sailing-team trainer Udi Gal.

“The bus driver opened the door, but this time the head of the Lebanese delegation blocked the aisle and entrance,” said Mr. Gal on Facebook. “The organizers wanted to avoid an international and physical incident and sent us away to a different bus.”

He said he was “enraged and shocked by this event,” adding, “How is it possible that they let something like this happen and on the opening night of the Olympic Games?”

The Lebanese delegation head, Saleem al-Haj Nacoula, who was reportedly hailed in Lebanon as a hero, told Arabic media he was “surprised to see the Israeli delegation approaching and trying to get on.”

“I told the bus driver to close the door but a trainer who was with the Israelis prevented him from doing so,” he said, as reported by the Times of Israel. “I had to physically stand at the door and block him and the rest of the delegation from boarding, knowing that some were trying to force their way through and were looking for trouble.”

Days later, Joud Fahmy of Saudi Arabia forfeited a first-round judo match Sunday in what the Hebrew press described as a tactic to avoid facing Israel’s Gili Cohen in the second round.

The Saudi team disputed the charge, insisting on Twitter that Ms. Fahmy had sustained injuries to her arms and legs during training, although episodes of Arab athletes refusing to compete against Israelis are relatively common in international sports.

In June, for example, Syrian boxer Ala Ghasoun refused to participate in an Olympic qualifying match against an Israeli, saying that to do so “would mean that I, as an athlete, and Syria, as a state, recognize the state of Israel.”

“I quit the competition because my rival was Israeli, and I cannot shake his hand or compete against him while he represents a Zionist regime that kills the Syrian people,” Mr. Ghasoun said in Arab media, according to Jerusalem’s i24 News.

During the 2012 London Olympics, Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoud withdrew from a match against Israeli Arik Ze’evi. While Mr. Mahjoud cited health concerns, he had previously admitted to throwing matches in order to avoid facing athletes from Israel, according to the ADF.

Israel’s critics say the Jewish nation is not blameless in violating the spirit of the Olympics. Before the Rio games, the Palestinian Olympic committee accused Israel of holding up deliveries of its uniforms and equipment, which Israeli authorities have denied.

Shortly before the Olympics, several media outlets, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, reported that Palestinian swimmer Mary al-Atrash was unable to train at a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool as a result of Israeli travel restrictions.

“There is no Olympic-sized swimming pool in the Palestinian territories that Palestinians are allowed to use, so Atrash practises at the YMCA in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem,” the CBC said in its Aug. 1 article. “The pool is 25 metres long, half the length of the facility she’ll compete in at Rio.”

The reports drew a heated response from the Tablet’s Liel Liebovitz, who dismissed the Palestinians-have-no-pool story as a hardy perennial in Olympic years, even though he said the territories have several 50-meter pools at which she could train.

Mr. Liebovitz also pointed to a statement in July by an Israeli agency saying the swimmer would have been welcome to train in Jerusalem if she applied for a permit, which “like Palestinian athletes before her, she refused to do.”

Fans of the Israeli team were also indignant last week after Facebook failed to post the Israeli flag on its Olympics page. After a complaint by the Olympic Committee of Israel, the flag was added.

“We experienced a short-lived technical issue that prevented the Olympic profile frames for some countries from being displayed correctly in the profile picture selection menu,” said Facebook in a Wednesday statement. “We’ve since fixed this and now all countries should show up in that list.”

While the string of incidents has left supporters of Israel indignant, none comes close to the horror of the 1972 Munich Olympics, in which 11 Israeli athletes were kidnapped and killed by Palestinian terrorists.

“These days, anti-Israel vio­lence at the Olympics has been replaced by pol­i­tics,” said the ADF in a Monday statement, “with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from coun­tries hos­tile to Israel going to great lengths to avoid any inter­ac­tion with Israeli athletes.”

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Israeli-Saudi Ties Warming; Hizballah and Iran Livid

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

PJ MEDIA, BY P. DAVID HORNIK, AUGUST 7, 2016:

The Israeli society that I encountered embraces a culture of peace, has accomplishments it wants to (protect), wants coexistence, and wants peace.

Those words weren’t spoken by an enthused congressman after a trip to Israel. They were spoken to BBC Arabic by Abd al-Mujid al-Hakim, director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Policy in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, and a member of a Saudi delegation that recently visited Israel.

The delegation, which included academics and businessmen, was led by Dr. Anwar Eshki, a retired Saudi general and former top adviser to the Saudi government. About a year earlier Eshki had shaken hands and shared a stage in Washington with Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold—seen as a major breakthrough at the time. But a public visit to Israel of this kind, which could only have been carried out with the approval of the highest level of the Saudi government, is a historical first and still has a taste of the surreal to it.

During the visit Eshki met again with Gold; with Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, responsible for Israeli administration of the territories; with Palestinian officials in Ramallah; and with opposition Members of Knesset.

One of those opposition MKs, Issawi Frej of the far-left, mostly Jewish Meretz Party, said:

The Saudis want to open up to Israel. It’s a strategic move for them. They want to continue what former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat started (with the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty). They want to get closer with Israel, and we could feel it clearly.

What’s going on?

Israeli commentator Yossi Melman, while noting that the visit marks a new plateau in the increasingly overt Israeli-Saudi ties, points out:

[O]n a covert level, according to foreign reports, the ties being cultivated are even more fascinating. Intelligence Online reported that Israel is selling intelligence equipment, as well as control and command centers, to the Saudi security forces. Previously, it had been reported in the foreign media that the heads of the Mossad, the organization responsible for Israel’s covert ties, met with their Saudi counterparts. Media outlets affiliated with Hezbollah even reported that officers from the two countries’ armies had met.

What’s going on, in other words, is that Israel and Saudi Arabia have common enemies in the region, and with American power withdrawing, Israel’s power constantly growing, ISIS threatening, and the Obama administration having paved a path to nuclear weapons for Iran, the Saudis—like Egypt, Jordan, and other Sunni states—are casting their troubled gaze toward Jerusalem.

Or as Melman puts it:

Israel and the Saudis share a fear for Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s efforts to increase its influence in the region. They also both have an interest in weakening the standing of Hezbollah, “the forward headquarters” of Iran on Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks often of Israel’s ties with the “Sunni Bloc,” and hints that the Saudis are included in this group.

It appears that he need hint no more.

Last week’s Saudi visit to Jerusalem—a dramatic, even stunning confirmation of Israel’s cooperation with that bloc—did not go unnoticed, of course, by the rival Shiite bloc. And they’re not happy about it.

Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah accused the Saudis of “normalizing for free, without receiving anything in return…. It seems the future of Palestine and the fate of its children have become a trivial matter for some Arab states recently.”

The Saudi visit, he said, “couldn’t have taken place without the agreement of the Saudi government. We know how things work there. In Saudi Arabia a person will be lashed for so much as tweeting.”

But if Nasrallah is not pleased with this development, his boss—Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei—is even less thrilled.

As Khamenei tweeted on Monday: “Revelation of Saudi government’s relations with Zionist regime was stab in the back of Islamic Ummah.”

None of this means that the Sunni Arab part of the Ummah is ready to warmly embrace Israel. While in Israel last week, Dr. Eshki—like Egyptian and Jordanian officials before him—said that real “normalization” would have to await a resolution of the Palestinian issue. It’s code for: “We’re not really ready to accept a Jewish state in our midst.”

Still, considering that Israel and Sunni Arab states used to fight wars every few years, a reality of nonbelligerency and pragmatic ties is a major improvement for Israel. Whoever is the next U.S. president might want to cooperate with the Israeli-Sunni alliance against Iran instead of giving the mullahs a “sunset clause” leading to nuclear night.

Israel’s let-down: Putin-Erdogan hook-up with Iran

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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report, August 9, 2016:

The talks between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Reccep Erdogen in St. Petersburg scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 9, are causing trepidation among Israel’s policy-makers and military leaders. Their summit takes place on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, concluding nine months of hostility between the two capitals that was sparked by Turkish jets shooting down a Russian SU-24 warplane over the Syrian border on Nov. 24, 2015.

The feud was put to rest on July 17 – two days after Erdogan suppressed the attempted military coup against his rule. The Turkish ruler decided there and then to exploit the episode to expand his strength and use it not only for a massive settling of accounts with his critics, but also as a springboard for parlaying his reconciliation with Moscow for a strategic pact with Russia.

In Israel, the worry is that while turning his back on the United States and NATO, Eerdogan will go all the way to bond with Russia to which Iran is also attached as a partner. Indeed, Erdogan has scheduled a trip to Tehran and a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani a few days after his talks with Putin.
The Turkish president’s latest moves look like spawning another new Middle East bloc that would consist of Turkey, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and indirectly the Lebanese Hizballah terrorist group.

This prospect would upend Israel’s key policies for Turkey and Syria.
The Israeli détente with Ankara in recent months hinged on Turkey’s continuing to maintain its close military and intelligence ties with the United States and its integration in an anti-Iran Sunni alliance in partnership with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

But the Putin-Erdogan meeting Tuesday threatens to throw American, Israeli and moderate Arab rulers’ plans to the four winds. Turkey appears to have opted to line up with a Russian-Shiite front led by Tehran in preference to an anti-Iran Sunni alliance.
Therefore, the expanded military and intelligence cooperation which the Israeli-Turkish rapprochement was to have heralded will be low key at best for two reasons:

1. Israel will beware of sharing its military technology with Turkey lest it find its way to Iran. During the talks with Ankara for patching up their quarrel Israel was constantly on the lookout for indications that Turkey was prepared to break off its ties with Iran.

2. For the sake of keeping Iran and Hizballah away from its borders, Israel entered into arrangements with Russia, some of them never published, at the start of Moscow’s military intervention in Syria last September. Those arrangements included coordination of their air force operations over Syria.

Now, Israel finds itself suddenly up against a Russian-Turkish partnership aimed at strengthening Iranian domination of Syria – the exact reverse of the Netanyahu government’s objective in resolving its dispute with Ankara and forging deals with Moscow.

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Israel charges UN employee with aiding Hamas in Gaza

Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, an engineer with the UN's Development Program, accused of using his position to aid the Hamas terrorist organization on August 9, 2016. (Shin Bet)

Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, an engineer with the UN’s Development Program, accused of using his position to aid the Hamas terrorist organization on August 9, 2016. (Shin Bet)

The Times of Israel, by  August 9, 2016:

Israel on Tuesday accused a United Nations employee of taking advantage of his position to assist the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, the third such allegation in less than a week.

According to the Shin Bet security service, Wahid Abd Allah Borsh, 38, an engineer in the UN’s Development Program, both funneled resources to the terrorist group and kept Hamas out of trouble with the international organization.

In July, Shin Bet officers arrested Borsh, a resident of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, as he made his way into the coastal enclave through the Erez Crossing, the security service said.

During his interrogation, Borsh told investigators that in 2014, he was directed by Hamas to “focus on his work in the UNDP in a way that would allow Hamas to extract the greatest possible benefit from him,” the Shin Bet said.

“This investigation also demonstrates how Hamas exploits the resources of international aid organizations at the expense of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip,” the security service said.

The UNDP did not have an immediate response to the allegations, but said it planned to release a statement “within the hour.”

Hamas, meanwhile, denied the allegations in an official statement. The group’s spokesperson Sami Abu Zurhi called the accusations “false and baseless,” and said they were aimed at helping Israel strengthen its “siege” of Gaza.

If Israel persists in its policy of accusing aid organizations in Gaza, it would face “dangerous consequences,” Zurhi said.

The UNDP has operated in the West Bank and Gaza since the late 1970s. In recent years, its Gaza branch has focused on rebuilding the homes and businesses destroyed in the conflicts between Israel and Hamas.

In light of the allegations, the Foreign Ministry demanded the United Nations carry out an “immediate investigation of the incident in order to ensure that an organization that is supposed to work toward peace and calm is not supporting a murderous terrorist group,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in a statement.

“Along with that, we must increase the oversight of the moneys that flow to human rights organizations, which are repeatedly used to transfer money to terrorist groups,” she said.

In addition to directing material support to Hamas, Borsh allegedly helped the group keep its weapons and materiel after they were found in UN locations.

“For example, when weapons or terrorist tunnel openings were discovered in houses being handled by the UNDP, Hamas would take control of the site and confiscate the arms and other materials,” the Shin Bet said.

“This violates clear UN procedures according to which UNMAS is supposed to be immediately notified as the United Nations Mine Action Service is the UN body in charge of dealing, inter alia, with explosive remnants of war,” it said.

Through his work as an engineer, Borsh allegedly directed the UNDP to work on projects that would benefit Hamas.

Read more

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The First Weapon Against Lone Terrorists: Big Data Analytics

cyberby Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
August 5, 2016

European security and intelligence agencies are scrambling to regroup and reorganize following a steady, growing flow of jihadist atrocities. They have a steep learning curve ahead of them when it comes to thwarting terrorism.

To do so, European governments will need to greatly expand budgets for domestic and overseas intelligence operations, create international security cooperation, and enable real-time intelligence sharing, on a scale not seen before. They will also need to deploy wide-reaching signals intelligence capabilities that will build up a database of leads, for monitoring and arresting suspects. Such tactics work very well against transnational terror networks which involve ISIS command centers in Syria and Iraq dispatching cells to the West, or with localized cells in Western cities acting under the influence of ISIS ideology.

Yet even a country like Israel, which arguably has the biggest scope of counter-terrorism experience on Earth, has not been able to prevent a different type of terrorism, which led to a succession of Palestinian attacks that began last year. In most cases, alert security forces and members of the public responded quickly to neutralize the attackers, but the fact remains that Israel’s vaunted intelligence services had not been able to thwart these attacks, and for good reason.

The vast majority of “successful” terrorism that got through Israel’s security net is of the “lone-wolf” kind. These are Palestinian attackers who woke up one morning, and, influenced by a potent concoction of jihadist incitement to violence and personal triggers, decided that would be the day that they open fire, run over, or stab their victims and die in the process.

The organized kind of terrorism has reared its head rarely in Israel in recent months and years, due to the nightly arrests and 24-7 intelligence-gathering work that thwarts these threats, and prevents Israeli cities from turning into perpetual war zones.

Organized terrorist cells leave behind tracks, such as instructions via phone calls or internet communications, the transfer of money, suspicious purchases of chemicals and weapons, and other warnings signals that can be picked up by a well-funded, hi-tech national intelligence agency with good human intelligence coverage on the ground too.

The lone attacker, on the other hand, does not usually communicate with others and can easily move under the radar of national security forces, at least until now.

Israeli security officials have begun employing a new weapon in the war against lone attackers: Big data analytics. This new counter-terrorism measure could prove to be equally useful and life saving in the West, where cities are increasingly being attacked by lone terrorists inspired by ISIS’s murderous ideology.

Although it is still under development, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency and other security groups have begun using advanced algorithms to sift through a vast volume of social media activity. Their goal is to search for the small – yet deadly – needles in a haystack of online information, and find warning signs pointing to an individual who is primed to strike.

The old thinking, that lone attackers do not communicate with others, may have been wrong, it turns out. They may, in fact, be communicating with the entire world through social media, and if anyone cares to listen to them attentively enough, their murderous intentions might be foiled. The precise details of this technique remain classified, but it is being used on an increasing basis by Israeli security agencies monitoring Palestinian threats.

The internet remains the prime recruitment tool used by ISIS to convert Muslims in Europe into terrorists, and ISIS has expressed a preference for those keen on carrying out acts of jihad to do so on their Western home turf, rather than travel to the caliphate.

Within Israel’s battle against Palestinian terrorism, big data analytics have begun to work, and for the first time, a number of lone attackers were arrested before they could pounce, according to security sources.

Security forces have recently issued warnings to individuals marked as potential future lone attackers, making clear the repercussions of such acts on their families. After terror attacks, the government of Israel often orders the army to demolish the home of the perpetrators.

The number of lone attackers has decreased in recent months for a variety of reasons, and big data countermeasures appear to be among them.

Security forces have begun monitoring Facebook pages of young people who have praised past acts of murder and express desire to become martyrs. Most of those who express jihadist sentiments do not go on to the action stage, but a minority of suspects do, and the correct algorithms can help identify them.

The system remains far from perfect, and security sources say much more work is needed to improve results. It is, however, the first time that technology is being used not only to break up budding, organized terrorism cells, but also to track down and arrest the lone wolves before they pounce.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books, 2011), which proposes that jihadis on the internet established a virtual Islamist state and sought to upload it in failed states. The book was published four years before ISIS declared a caliphate.

Also see:

Israel Approves $30 Million From Qatar To Hamas Employees In Gaza; Action Undercuts Years Of Work Against Global Muslim Brotherhood Charities

hamas2By on July 28, 2016

In a deal approved by Israel, Reuters has reported that Qatar will be providing $30 million to help pay the salaries of thousands of Hamas public servants in the Gaza Strip. According to the report:

Jul 23, 2016 –  DOHA — Qatar said on Thursday it would give $30 million to help pay the salaries of thousands of Gaza Strip public sector workers left without a full wage package since 2013.

The donation was welcomed by Hamas, the Islamist group that dominates the enclave who said it would help ease the wage shortages — that have tested already strained relations with the US-backed Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian Authority or Israel, who have long been suspicious of Qatar’s regular donations to Hamas and other Islamist groups across the region.

The emir of the wealthy Gulf state, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, said the payment of 113 million riyals was meant to ‘alleviate suffering and financial distress’, according to Qatar’s state news agency, QNA.

….

The Hamas-hired public servants have grown restive and in 2014 protested over their lack of payment which is partly due to a continued blockade imposed on Gaza by both Israel and Egypt.

‘The July payment will be made in full immediately once the Qatari financial fund is received,’ Youssef Al Kayyali,  Hamas’ deputy finance minister said.

Qatar, which hosts the largest US air base in the Middle East, has for years preserved influence with Islamist forces across the region it believes are the long-term future.

The breadth and resilience of Qatar’s links to Islamist groups including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has suffered a crackdown in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, fuels suspicions in other Gulf states.”

Israeli media has further reported that the Qatar/Hamas deal was approved by Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority. According to a Jerusalem Post report:

July 24, 2016 Qatar coordinated its decision to pay the July salaries of Hamas public sector employees with both the Palestinian Authority and Israel, according to a source speaking to the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Quds.

“The Qatari emir and foreign minister discussed this issue with President Mahmoud Abbas in their meeting in Doha during Ramadan and President Abbas did not express any opposition, especially since the transfer will take place in an official manner via the Palestinian Authority,” the source said.

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The source added that Doha coordinated the decision with the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

“Qatar informed Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordecai and after Israel studied the proposal, it offered its approval,” the source revealed.

As for how the transfer of funds will take place, the source said that a European party will assume responsibility for their delivery from Qatar to Gaza.

The Times of Israel adds that the Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, widely viewed as among the most “hawkish of Israeli politicians, personally “waved through” the Qatari cash infusion:

July 25, 2016…Haniyeh forgot to thank another important apparent benefactor: the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, which has reportedly waved through the Qatari cash infusion. Liberman, who once threatened to have Haniyeh assassinated within 48 hours of becoming defense minister, is understood to have agreed to the transfer of some 113 Saudi riyal ($31 million) to Hamas. Incongruous as it may seem, after less than two months in Tel Aviv’s Kirya military headquarters, Liberman appears to be a changed man, apparently tolerating an initiative that he opposed vehemently only a few years ago, during his stint as foreign minister.

Since at least 2003, criticism of groups that were funding Hamas, even if ostensibly for charitable purposes, was based on the notion of “fungibility”, that money received by Hamas for charitable purposes essentially freed up the same amount of money for terrorist purposes. As a former FBI analyst has written:

In 2003, then  Secretary of State E. Anthony Wayne told a congressional committee “if you are funding the organization [Hamas] even if there are many charitable activities going on, there is some fungibility between funds. You are strengthening the organization.” It is precisely this ease and readiness with which which Hamas transfers money from putatively charitable or political funds to military ones that belies any moral separation between the organizations various branches. Hamas’ ability to shift funds across its various ways is critical to its mission, because it facilitates the organization’s most effective means of raising funds for terrorist purposes; through humanitarian channels. The mixing of funds across different Hamas wings also shields the groups terrorist activities under a veil of political and humanitarian legitimacy

By allowing Qatar to transfer a large sum of money to Hamas, the Israel government has pulled the rug out from under those, including this publication, who for many years have criticized Global Muslim Brotherhood charities such as the Union of Good (UOG) and INTERPAL for their funding of Hamas. It is not clear to the GMBDW on what basis such entities or indeed even the Gaza flotilla movement can be now be criticized if they are essentially doing exactly what the Israel government has approved in the deal with Qatar.

The Qatari/Hamas deal comes on top of the “reconciliation” between Turkey and Israel in which Israel once again apologized for the deaths of passengers involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces during the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla incident. Despite the substantial evidence of Turkish government involvement in the planning and preparation for the flotilla, no responsibility appears to have been accepted by Turkey. As we wrote in our post on the Israeli/Turkish agreement, this evidence is fully known by Dore Gold, essentially the Israel Foreign Minister, who headed the organization that commissioned the report on the subject:

As the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) at that time, Dr. Gold was responsible for the 2011 JCPA report authored by the GMBDW editor titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla” which demonstrated that the Global Muslim Brotherhood, including at that time its Turkish components as well as the Turkish government and AKP ruling party, was deeply involved in the planning and preparation leading up to the first Gaza flotilla that was involved in the violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. (In 2011, JCPA also published an article on the role of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the unsuccessful second Gaza Flotilla.) Therefore Dr. Gold is aware not only of the Turkish government’s own culpability in the 2010 flotilla but also that since 2006, Turkey has become a new center not only for Hamas but also for the Global Muslim Brotherhood which is implacably opposed to the existence of the Jewish State. Furthermore, the JCPA report detailed Erdogan’s own ideological ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood network, ties which date back to Erdogan’s affiliation with WAMY in the 1970s making it unlikely that he will ever accept the existence of the Israeli state.

As we also wrote in that post:

The GMBDW fails to understand why the Israel government would choose at this time to bolster the Erdogan government as that very same government systematically continues to persecute and imprison more and more journalists and moves ever closer towards one-person rule. There have been suggestions that a potential natural gas pipeline through Turkey to Europe may be one of the motivations but that would simply would allow Turkey under Erdogan to hold Israel economic hostage whenever it chose, further compounding the strategic perils for Israel. Erdogan’s lifelong involvement with Hamas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood strongly suggest that any short-gains arising from a deal with Turkey are highly unlikely to endure and would only serve to bolster both Mr. Erdogan and Hamas. If Turkey under Erdogan  is willing to make a deal with Israel, it is a likely a sign of Turkish desperation and an opportunity to hasten Erdogan’s downfall instead of prolonging his rule.

Only two years ago it was being reported:

Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Egypt are angry with US Secretary of State John Kerry for pushing a cease-fire plan they believe was influenced by Turkey and Qatar. This reaction shows again Ankara and Doha’s unwelcome position in the region because of their unqualified support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The latest Qatari/Israel deal only adds adds to our confusion as it appears to further strengthen not only Hamas but the Hamas/Turkish/Qatari axis as well and therefore the entire Global Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey has already been involved in a recent aid shipment to Gaza  and the Qatari action only enhances the prestige of Qatar, deeply involved in the funding of Global Muslim Brotherhood projects around the world. Perhaps worst of all, and as already noted, the deal strikingly undercuts the efforts of many years to criticize and ultimately halt the flow of funds to Hamas, an effort largely involving the Global Muslim Brotherhood which aims at the destruction of the Israeli state as well as eventually the West itself. The apparent rationale for the Israeli action is the long argued position that engaging with groups such as Hamas is preferable to what are seen as the alternative, namely Al Qaeda and now ISIS despite that Hamas itself shares the same view that the West is the enemy of Islam and despite the political cooperation between Hamas leaders/supporters and designated terrorists, the subject of a forthcoming GMBDR report. In this sense, Israel joins the Obama Administration, the European Union, and a wide variety of other actors severely hampering the efforts to combat the Global Muslim Brotherhood. That Israel should join these ranks is perhaps the greatest surprise to the GMBDW since we started this publication.

DNC Speech: Hillary Clinton Deletes Foreign Policy Disasters as Secretary of State

Getty Images

Getty Images

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, July 29, 2016:

PHILADELPHIA – Notoriously missing from Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech here at the Democratic National Convention was a list of any significant accomplishments from her time as Secretary of State.

The words “secretary of state” only appeared twice in her speech.

One of those times she stated, “I have to tell you, as your Secretary of State, I went to 112 countries, and when people hear those words – they hear America.”

Here, she seems to be brandishing her foreign travel as a signature achievement while she was one of the nation’s highest serving diplomats.

The second and final direct mention of her former State position came when she exclaimed, “As you know, I’m not one of those people. I’ve been your First Lady. Served 8 years as a Senator from the great State of New York. Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.”

When she did briefly mention her record, Clinton mostly spoke in generalities and she seemed to be combining her time as  a Senator and Secretary of State.

She stated:

Look at my record.  I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people.  And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.

I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.

I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.

I’m proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.

While she didn’t outline her role in the talks with Iran that led to the nuclear agreement with Tehran, Clinton did tangentially mention the Iran deal. “I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.”

Absent from her DNC speech was Clinton’s central role in the U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, a military campaign that directly resulted in the destabilization of that country and its subsequent descent into chaos. Islamic extremists have since taken over large swaths of Libya, and have used the country as a staging ground to attempt to infiltrate Europe.

Islamic terrorists infamously carried out deadly attacks on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Clinton did not bring up her State Department’s role in denying security requests to the woefully unsecure U.S. facility.

Clinton further failed to mention her strong support for the so-called Arab Spring, including the toppling of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, a staunch U.S. ally, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s resultant rise to power there until a military coup in 2013.

Clinton referenced the threat of the Islamic State without explaining that the global jihadist group has taken up sanctuary in countries that were destabilized during her tenure as Secretary of State.

She stated:

I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS. We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country. It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

ISIS Joins with ‘Moderate’ Hamas for Terror in Sinai

Screen-Shot-2014-03-25-at-1.14.12-PM.sized-770x415xcPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 19, 2016:

Earlier this month I reported here at PJ Media on growing incidents of terrorism by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. I noted the arrest of an IED terror cell composed of Muslim Brotherhood members in Alexandria who had been attacking government and military targets since January.

Now, Egypt is facing escalating threats in the Sinai from the Brotherhood’s affiliate in Gaza — Hamas. Multiple reports in recent weeks place Islamic State (ISIS) figures with Hamas officials in Gaza, and claim Hamas is training ISIS troops with heavy anti-tank weaponry.

The Washington, D.C. foreign policy “smart set” continues to describe Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood as “moderate” jihadists who serve as a firewall between “violent extremist” groups like ISIS.

News reports placed ISIS-Sinai leaders in Gaza meeting with Hamas officials on June 2nd:

The Times of Israel reports:

Top Islamic State commander in Sinai Shadi al-Menii met with Hamas officials in Gaza Thursday in order to discuss cooperation between the two terrorist groups, according to a Channel 2 report.Al-Menii, who belongs to one of the Bedouin tribes in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, fled to the Gaza Strip in May of 2015 after his organization attacked a military base and killed an Egyptian soldier,Haaretz reported. A bounty worth one million Egyptian pounds was placed on his head.

According to Channel 2, al-Menii’s branch of IS in Sinai were to help Hamas operatives smuggle arms into the strip via tunnels in return for sophisticated weapons.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that heavy weapons training and the free flow of weapons between the groups was documented back to 2015:

Egypt shared intelligence with Israel last year about cooperation between Sinai Province and members of Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, according to a Western official. Israel was surprised to learn of the ties given previous clashes in Gaza between Hamas and Islamic State sympathizers, the official said.Israeli officials said they learned in April of 2015 that Hamas was allowing Sinai Province fighters to be treated in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital. The hospital declined to comment.

Later last year, Hamas operatives spent a month in the Sinai region teaching the militants how to fire antitank missiles, Israeli officials said. The officials declined to provide more details. Hamas subsequently received Russian-made antitank missiles via the smuggling network Sinai Province controls, an Israeli defense official said.

Some analysts were noting the cooperation between the two groups last year:

Israel military officials are taking the ISIS threat from Sinai seriously:

With the borders of Gaza locked down by both Israel and Hamas, the only way for ISIS fighters and officials to enter the area is through the Hamas-controlled smuggling tunnels:

Islamic State fighters have recently arrived in the Gaza Strip to train with their Hamas counterparts, a senior IDF official said in an Arabic interview published Friday.The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai told the Saudi news website Elaph that IS members entered the Gaza Strip from the Sinai Peninsula through smuggling tunnels maintained and controlled by Hamas.

The fighters entered the Hamas-controlled territory in coordination with Sa’id Abed al-A’al, a resident of the Gaza Strip city of Rafah connected to Hamas, he said.

Mordechai, the head of the Defense Ministry body responsible for the Israeli border crossings with the Gaza Strip and Civil Administration in the West Bank, said the military cooperation between the Islamic State and Hamas is unfolding with the full knowledge and consent of Hamas’s leaders.

Reports of Hamas fighters jointing up with ISIS have circulated all year.

Remarkably, a letter from one ISIS fighter in Sinai to ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi published on social media earlier this year — helpfully translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) — details the cooperation between the two groups:

“Allow me, Caliph of Muslims, to inform you of some aspects of the suspect ties between Sinai province and Hamas:”1. Sinai province is smuggling weapons for Hamas in Gaza, because of the province’s fighters’ expert knowledge of the [smuggling] routes from Libya, Sudan, and Egypt.

“2. Sinai province depends very much on Hamas and Al-Qassam for weapons and for explosives and ammunition. There are direct and continuous supply routes from Hamas to Sinai province. The Al-Qassam factories operate assembly lines for manufacturing explosive devices and bombs for the Sinai province, but do not stamp the Al-Qassam logo on them, as they usually do.

“3. Sinai province leaders are regularly visiting the Gaza Strip, and holding cordial meetings with Hamas and Al-Qassam leaders, even [Hamas] government [representatives]. Animals are slaughtered for them, feasts are held, and they are embraced in Gaza.

“4. Hamas and Al-Qassam are accepting all wounded Sinai province [fighters], and they are treated in Gaza Strip hospitals under Al-Qassam’s direct protection.

“5. Hamas is providing wireless communication hubs for Sinai province, because of the difficulty of operating them in Sinai and because they are vulnerable to swift destruction by the Egyptian army.

The ties between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and militants in the Sinai now operating as the official ISIS affiliate go back to the beginnings of the Arab Spring.

Sheikh Nabil Naeem — one of the founders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad who I interviewed exclusively at his office in Cairo for PJ Media — reported that jihadists in Sinai were funded by a deal with Khairat al-Shater (deputy supreme guide for the Muslim Brotherhood), Hamas, and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the previous incarnation of the ISIS Sinai affiliate.

Immediately prior to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi’s election as president, reports surfaced that Hamas ordered rocket attacks from Sinai by militants there targeting Israel at the request of the Muslim Brotherhood to bolster his election prospects.

Once elected, attacks in Sinai under the one-year Morsi administration subsided somewhat, particularly the targeting of the gas pipeline from Sinai to Israel and Jordan that came to a halt:

While the low level attacks continued in Sinai under Morsi, they spiked drastically after he was ousted from the presidency in July 2013, following mass protests demanding his resignation on the anniversary of his first year in power.The gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel and Jordan, has been attacked often since 2011. There were more than 17 attacks on the pipeline between February 2011 and June 2012 and between July 2013 and February 2014. Morsi’s time in office was the only period in which the gas pipe attacks halted.

As soon as Morsi was deposed by the military after massive protests against his administration, Egyptian authorities were killing and arresting large numbers of Hamas fighters operating in Sinai.

The mounting evidence about the direct cooperation between ISIS in Sinai and Hamas comes as Republican congressional leaders continue to obstruct companion bills — S. 2230 and H.R. 3892 — calling for the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, as many U.S. allies in the region, most notably Israel last November, already have.

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Anthropology and Anti-Semitism

anthropologistsMEF, by Philip Carl Salzman
The Daily Caller
June 7, 2016

One of the core principles of modern anthropology is cultural relativism, the idea that researchers must not make value judgements about the societies they study. Anthropologists think of themselves as setting aside their biases and preferences in order to see a society and culture “from the native’s point of view.” Whether studying the raiding activity of Bedouin tribal nomads, witchcraft by African villagers, or head-hunting by grieving Philippine tribesmen, anthropologists embrace the sentiment that “nothing human is alien to me.”

Except when it comes to Jews. Once again, Jews and the Jewish state have been uniquely selected for official opprobrium by the American Anthropological Association (AAA). A motion to boycott Israeli academic institutions, an initiative reminiscent of anti-Jewish boycotts of the 1930s, was presented this spring to the membership, which voted online. The resolution, which claims that “the Israeli state has denied Palestinians – including scholars and students – their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonization, discrimination, and military occupation,” was defeated, according to the official tally released on June 6, by a vote of 2,423 against and 2,384 in favor.

Once again, the Jewish state has been singled out by the American Anthropological Association.

By the narrowest of margins, AAA will not formally join the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This was surely a great disappointment to its Middle East Section, which has long been obsessed with defaming Israel. While the U.S.S.R. was invading Afghanistan and slaughtering its people in 1979, the Middle East Section discussed only Palestine, and condemned only Israel.

It is true that followers of the postmodern turn in anthropology have taken up a more critical approach to society and culture, in some cases siding with the underprivileged, such as women, untouchables, and native minorities. But until now the AAA has not considered boycotting a particular people or country. It has not considered boycotting Turkey for its military invasion and occupation of Cyprus or its war against its Kurdish minority. It has not considered boycotting Lebanon for keeping Palestinians as stateless pawns. It has not considered boycotting Gaza, although Hamas shot 12,000 rockets at Israeli civilian targets. It has not considered boycotting Saudi Arabia for its suppression of human rights, or Iran for hanging homosexuals from cranes in public places, or Russia for invading Ukraine, or China for its military occupation of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang Uigur Turkestan, and Tibet.

The AAA has not considered boycotting any other people or country.

Indeed, even Palestinian suffering merits action only when Jews are the alleged victimizer. This year the Middle East Section awarded its book prize to an excellent ethnography describing the marginalization and sufferings of Palestinians in Lebanon, but no boycott of Lebanon has been proposed.

Meanwhile, all around the Jewish state, in the Middle East and the Islamic world, are taking place the vilest atrocities of monumental scope. Next door to Israel, some 400,000 or more have been murdered in Sunni-Shia warfare, while the recently formed Islamic State has revived the Islamic practice of enslaving “infidels,” Christians and other minorities, gang raping the girls and women, and selling them (even on Facebook!) as sex slaves, while beheading any opposition and those not sufficiently conforming.

Notwithstanding the membership’s rejection of the boycott this year, the AAA Executive Board is moving ahead with a number of measures to punish the Jewish State, such as issuing a “statement of censure of the Israeli government” and sending a letter to the American government “identifying the ways in which U.S. resources and policies contribute to policies in Israel/Palestine that violate academic freedom and disenfranchise Palestinians.”

Remarkably, this compulsion to punish the Jewish state comes at a time when Palestinian youth, incited by the Palestinian authority and media, are engaged in a “stabbing intifada,” killing Jewish mothers, children, and elders. Palestinian Hamas, formally dedicated to destroying Israel and killing its Jews, continues to build tunnels from Gaza to attack Israel.

But for the AAA Executive Board and half its membership, only the world’s sole Jewish state is worthy of condemnation and denunciation. There is only one word for this selective demonization: anti-Semitism.

Philip Carl Salzman is a professor of anthropology at McGill University and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. This essay was sponsored by Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Three Killed, More Wounded in Shooting Attack in Central Tel Aviv

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Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, June 8, 206:

TEL AVIV – At least three people were killed and five or more were seriously wounded in a suspected terrorist shooting attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, an upscale food and shopping center in the heart of central Tel Aviv.

Police confirmed that two attackers were arrested, and one was shot.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported one suspected terrorist was neutralized on Haarba’a Street, located about a quarter mile from the market.  Police officials were quoted as saying that the neutralized suspect is still alive and will be interrogated.

The Jerusalem Post cited unconfirmed reports from police sources saying two assailants had dressed up as ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Ynet added:

At first assessment, it appears that the terrorists sat at the popular restaurant Max Brenner before they set out on their shooting spree. One of the terrorists shot with a modified weapon that he left behind when he fled, though he was soon shot.

One bystander was quoted as saying “many shots [were] fired.

“We heard many shots. We understood it was terrorists,” another bystander reportedly said.

One witness told Israel’s Channel 2 that there was gunfire from “several” different directions.  Another said one shooter was carrying a “large” weapon.

Israel’s Defense Ministry is reportedly convening an emergency meeting, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to attend when he lands in Israel from a trip to Russia.

Sarona is located near one of the busiest intersections in Tel Aviv. It’s around the corner from an entrance to Israel’s Ayalon Highway and about three city bloccs from the Israel Defense Forces main headquarters in Tel Aviv.

***

Also see:

Iran’s Chess Board

official_photo_of_hassan_rouhani_7th_president_of_iran_august_2013

How the Islamic Republic is strategically dominating the Middle East — and the U.S. is assisting.

Front Page Magazine, by Caroline Glick, June 3, 2016

Reprinted from jpost.com.

Strategic thinking has always been Israel’s Achilles’ heel. As a small state bereft of regional ambitions, so long as regional realities remained more or less static, Israel had little reason to be concerned about the great game of the Middle East.

But the ground is shifting in the lands around us. The Arab state system, which ensured the strategic status quo for decades, has collapsed.

So for the first time in four generations, strategy is again the dominant force shaping events that will impact Israel for generations to come.

To understand why, consider two events of the past week.

Early this week it was reported that after a two-year hiatus, Iran is restoring its financial support for Islamic Jihad. Iran will give the group, which is largely a creation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, $70 million.

On Wednesday Iranian media were the first to report on the arrest of a “reporter” for Iran’s Al-Alam news service. Bassam Safadi was arrested by Israel police in his home in Majdal Shams, the Druse village closest to the border with Syria on the Golan Heights. Safadi is suspected of inciting terrorism.

That is, he is suspected of being an Iranian agent.

There is nothing new about Iranian efforts to raise and run fronts against Israel within its territory and along its borders. Iran poses a strategic threat to Israel through its Hezbollah surrogate in Lebanon, which now reportedly controls the Lebanese Armed Forces.

In Gaza, Iran controls a vast assortment of terrorist groups, including Hamas.

In Judea and Samaria, seemingly on a weekly basis we hear about another Iranian cell whose members were arrested by the Shin Bet or the IDF.

But while we are well aware of the efforts Iran is making along our borders and even within them to threaten Israel, we have not connected these efforts to Iran’s actions in Iraq and Syria. Only when we connect Iran’s actions here with its actions in those theaters do we understand what is now happening, and how it will influence Israel’s long-term strategic environment.

The big question today is what will replace the Arab state system.

Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Libya no longer exist. On their detritus we see the fight whose results will likely determine the fates of the surviving Arab states, as well as of much of Europe and the rest of the world.

Israel’s strategic environment will be determined in great part by the results of Iran’s actions in Iraq and Syria. While Israel can do little to affect the shape of events in these areas, it must understand what they mean for us. Only by doing so, will we be able to develop the tools to secure our future in this new strategic arena.

Until 2003, Saddam Hussein was the chief obstacle to Iran’s rise as the regional hegemon.

US forces in Iraq replaced Hussein until they left the country in 2011. In the meantime, by installing a Shi’ite government in Baghdad, the US set the conditions for the rise of Islamic State in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province on the one hand, and for Iran’s control over Iraq’s Shi’ite-controlled government and armed forces on the other.

Today, ISIS is the only thing checking Iran’s westward advance. Ironically, the monstrous group also facilitates it. ISIS is so demonic that for Americans and other Westerners, empowering Iranian-controlled forces that fight ISIS seems a small price to pay to rid the world of the fanatical scourge.

As former US naval intelligence analyst J.E. Dyer explained this week in an alarming analysis of Iran’s recent moves in Iraq published on the Liberty Unyielding website, once Iranian- controlled forces defeat ISIS in Anbar province, they will be well placed to threaten Jordan and Israel from the east. This is particularly the case given that ISIS is serving inadvertently as an advance guard for Iran.

In Syria, Iran already controls wide swaths of the country directly and through its surrogates, the Syrian army, Hezbollah and Shi’ite militias it has fielded in the country.

Since the start of the war in Syria, Israel has repeatedly taken action to block those forces from gaining and holding control over the border zone on the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s surprising recent announcement that Israel will never relinquish control over the Golan came in response to his concern that in exchange for a cease-fire in Syria, the US would place that control on the international diplomatic chopping block.

A week and a half ago, Iran began its move on Anbar province.

On May 22, Iraqi forces trained by the US military led Iraq’s offensive to wrest control over Fallujah and Mosul from ISIS, which has controlled the Sunni cities since 2014. Despite the fact that the lead forces are US-trained, the main forces involved in the offensive are trained, equipped and directed by Iran.

As Iraqi forces surrounded Fallujah in the weeks before the offensive began, Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds forces, paid a public visit to the troops to demonstrate Iran’s dominant role.

The battle for Fallujah is a clear indication that Iran, rather than the US, is calling the shots in Iraq. According to media reports, the Pentagon wanted and expected for the forces to be concentrated in Mosul. But at the last minute, due to Soleimani’s intervention, the Iraqi government decided to make Fallujah the offensive’s center of gravity.

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