UN Security Council passes anti-settlement resolution, US abstains

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After the United States abstained from voting, the UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution demanding Israel stop building settlements on Palestinian territory, a reversal of US practice to protect Israel from United Nations action.

The resolution was put forward at the 15-member council for a vote on Friday by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal a day after Egypt withdrew it under pressure from Israel and US President-elect Donald Trump. Israel and Trump had called on the United States to veto the measure.

It was adopted with 14 votes in favor, to a round of applause. It is the first resolution the Security Council has adopted on Israel and the Palestinians in nearly eight years.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Thanks to Israel, I Can Have a Merry Christmas

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Leader of the Aramean Christian community Father Gabriel Nadaf explains why a Jewish and democratic Israel is crucial for Middle Eastern Christians.

The following article was published prior to Christmas in 2014. As the world continues to see the heart breaking pictures from Aleppo, Iraq, and other war torn areas throughout the region, it is without a doubt that the message of this article is as applicable as ever.

Right now, while Christians the world over are celebrating Christmas, entire communities of the followers of Christ cannot rejoice. The Middle East and parts of Africa continue to drown in rivers of blood, with various minorities being targeted by radical Islamic organizations such as ISIS, Hamas, Jabhat al-Nusra, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and others.

The Christians there are stuck in the middle of a maelstrom of genocide and ethnic cleansing occurring on a daily basis through horrific acts of rape, crucifixion, theft, expulsion, destruction, burning of churches, forced conversions, abduction of nuns and the murder of priests, children, women and the elderly. Sometimes the murderers slaughter whole families, sometimes they murder some in front of the rest and then let the others live with the nightmare. People who can flee to the west, and those who can’t leave or who wish to remain must live with the danger.

The Middle East is effectively being cleansed of Christians. In the beginning of the 20th century, Christians constituted some 20% of the population in the region. Today, it’s 4% and falling. 77% of Iraq’s Christians have fled since 2000, in addition to the thousands who were murdered or forcibly expelled. 450,000 Christians have fled Syria since the civil war began in 2011, for fear they would share the same fate.

Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, had a clear Christian majority. Since 1995, when Israel handed the city to the Palestinian Authority, Christians have been leaving in droves. Today, Christians are only 15% of the population, some say it’s even less. Elsewhere in Palestinian controlled areas, Christians are also leaving, and in Hamas controlled Gaza, the situation is even worse.

Middle Eastern Christians are not just targets for abuse and murder, but are also regularly treated as second class citizens and coping with racism and religious, economic and social discrimination. All because they adhere to Christianity, which espouses peace and goodwill to all mankind.

This bears repeating again and again: Christians in Arab countries live as second class citizens, without rights, with their property stolen, their honor trampled, their children sacrificed and the slaughter ongoing.

Amid the chaos of the Middle East, only one island of sanity can be found where Christians are not persecuted, where they enjoy freedom of religion and ritual, freedom of expression, and where they can live in peace without fear of genocide. That island is the State of Israel. The state in which I and my Christian brothers were born allows Christians complete freedom. Jews and Christians live in Israel in peace and as good neighbors. This is not just because Jesus was born in Jewish Bethlehem and was born a Jew, but because Christians and Jews share a common heritage and a shared hope for a peaceful coexistence.

Israeli Christians are an inseparable part of the population’s fabric, and as its citizens they may elect and be elected to its parliament and local municipalities, rights they use regularly. As a demographic group, they are the most educated community in Israel, are integrated in the legal system as lawyers and judges, serve as officers in the police and the IDF, and occupy various positions in government offices and institutions. You can find many of them as students and faculty in universities, in the health system, on sports teams, in culture, and throughout the private sector. The churches, monasteries, and Christian sites are preserved and run by the various churches entirely freely.

Middle Eastern Christians were always taught that the Arab nation is as one, made up of Muslims and Christians: “We are brothers with a common enemy – the State of Israel,” so they told us. But in recent years, Christians have woken up from the lie which accompanied them for decades, encountering instead a reality of discrimination, persecution and death. This reality has brought Christians in the State of Israel to search for our true identity and return to our authentic roots, before the Arabs and Islam came to the region.

We, the Christians of the State of Israel and the Middle East, are not Arabs, but Arameans in our heart and soul. Jesus Christ spoke Aramaic, one can find Aramaic Holy Books in Middle Eastern churches and before the Muslims invaded, most of the Middle Eastern Christians spoke Aramaic.

This year, the State of Israel recognized the Aramean nation in the population registrar, and is in fact the first state in modern history to recognize this nation, thus allowing Christians to return to their historic identity which was blurred in the Middle East with a nation not their own over the centuries. Unfortunately, the world is not aware of this fact and does not thank the State of Israel which protects Christians and allows them a life of freedom. To the contrary, many in the international community have chosen through ignorance, anti-semitism and incorrect information to criticize Israel with the clear intent of harming and weakening it.

A few months ago, I held a number of meetings with senior officials from the European Parliament and at the European Commission in Brussels. When I told them about the freedom of Christians in Israel, I was shocked to learn that some of them knew nothing about this, and some even admitted that this was the first time that they had received such information on Christians in Israel. The reason for this is that the information that does reach the European Commission on a regular basis is partial and distorted, portraying Israel as a persecutor of Christians.

To me, this is a double crime. Those who choose to lie and distort information passed on to the media, the political establishment or the authorities while hiding the truth and with the sole purpose of hurting the State of Israel for political motives, thus gives aid to extreme elements which strive to destroy the Jews, Christians, Druze, Yezidis and other minorities. Through this illegitimate method, the international community contributes to the worsening of the already difficult humanitarian situation in the Middle East and also bears the responsibility for the situation which forces Christians from their homes. It is time that the world woke up, looked reality in the eye and understood the evil which strives to destroy the Jewish and democratic State of Israel.

The world is trying to weaken Israel and make it easy prey for terrorism. By doing so, they pass a death sentence on Christians in the Middle East and the Holy Land, where Jesus Christ our Lord was born. NGOs and pseudo-Christian organizations, which have not yet freed themselves of the old anti-semitism, who are not familiar with the history of the Holy Land and who disgrace Christianity, act in Israel and the Palestinian Authority and receive millions of Euros from EU countries and institutions.

These organizations adopt a clear anti-Israel policy, sometimes under the cover of “social” and “human rights” activity but with the clear political aim of harming the State of Israel. The results of this activity both directly and indirectly harm the rights of Israeli Christians, who wish to integrate into Israeli society, and harming the delicate fabric of relationships between communities in the State.

Just a few days ago, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) published a report on human rights in Israel in 2014. The report is slanted, manipulative and dangerous. This report, which contains chapters on “Arab minority rights”, “Freedom of Expression” and “Harming of Freedom of Expression During Protective Edge” completely ignores the issue of Christians striving for full integration and which represent true coexistence. The report does not refer once to the Arab incitement, persecution and violence, the attempts to silence us, the intolerance and attempts to harm our freedom of religion and ritual. These have been a regular occurrence over the past two years, including explicit calls for my murder and the murder of my friends from the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum.

The only mention of Christians in this manipulative report is the investigation of a citizen, who as part of an ongoing campaign of incitement published a picture of Recruitment Forum members on his facebook page along with a veiled threat. This is tagged by the report authors as an example of “policing” the internet and harming free speech. This report, which completely ignores our situation, exposes the bias of the ACRI towards anything which doesn’t fit their political agenda. It is a good example of how EU-funded organizations actually harm the rights of Jews and non-Jews in the State of Israel.

The international community must understand that if the Reaper’s scythe reaches the Land of Israel, then no Christians will remain in the birthplace of Christianity. There will no longer be a living basis for the Faith of Christ. Only by standing alongside Israel and understanding that ensuring its Jewish identity will ensure its democratic regime will ensure the continuing flowering of the Christian community here, which looks fated to be the last remnant of Christianity in the Middle East.

Original Article: MiDA

UN Seeks To Target Israeli Settlements, Trump SLAMS

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The Obama administration suggested Thursday that it would refrain from attempting to block an anti-Israel UN security council resolution calling for an end to settlement building activities. Throwing out years of pro-Israel advocacy in the United Nations, the administration’s decision marked a major break from de facto US policy. According to Reuters, “two Western officials said that U.S. President Barack Obama had intended to abstain from the vote, a relatively rare step by the United States to register criticism of the building on occupied land that the Palestinians want for a state.”

The vote on the resolution was scheduled for Thursday afternoon, but Egypt, the country that initially proposed the draft to the resolution, delayed the vote until further notice. Early reports indicate that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi received a call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking him to obstruct the vote. Western diplomats also told Reuters that el-Sisi’s decision was partly fueled by a desire not to prematurely offend President-elect Donald Trump who had vehemently opposed the resolution.

The Egyptian president’s office added that Sisi had spoke to Trump directly about the matter.

“The presidents agreed on the importance of affording the new U.S. administration the full chance to deal with all dimensions of the Palestinian case with a view of achieving a full and final settlement,” stated presidency spokesman Alaa Yousef.

The Trump transition team has signaled a sharp break from the hostile Israel policies of the Obama administration.

Over his nearly eight years in office, Obama has demonized Israel’s settlement building activities in the West Bank, suggesting that Jewish State’s supposedly belligerent behavior is a major impediment to the so-called peace process. Downplaying the terrorism of Palestinian jihadists, the White House once even insisted all future negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis should be based on pre-1967 borders, a provocation that angered Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet.

But President-elect Trump’s choice of David Friedman as the next US ambassador to Israel has pushed all the right buttons in the anti-Israel Left. An ardent defender of settlements and pro-Israel hawk, Friedman has already said that he has plans to take the US embassy in Tel Aviv to its rightful place in the Jewish people’s eternal capital of Jerusalem.

Original Article: The Daily Wire

Trump calls for Obama to veto UN resolution on halting Israeli settlements

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“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis,” says Trump.

US President-elect Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the Obama administration on Thursday to veto a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate halt to settlement building on land that Palestinians want for a state.

Netanyahu took to Twitter in the dead of night in Israel to make the appeal, in a sign of concern that President Barack Obama might take a parting shot at a policy he has long opposed and a right-wing leader with whom he has had a rocky relationship.

Hours later, Trump, posting on Twitter and Facebook, said: “The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.” Trump said that “as the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations”.

“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis,” he wrote.

Egypt circulated the draft on Wednesday evening and the 15-member council is due to vote at 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Thursday, diplomats said. It was unclear, they said, how the United States, which has protected Israel from UN action, would vote.

The resolution would demand Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem”.

The White House declined to comment. Some diplomats hope Obama will allow Security Council action by abstaining on the vote. Israel’s security cabinet was due to hold a special session at 3 p.m. to discuss the issue.

Obama’s administration has been highly critical of settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. US officials said this month, however, the president was not expected to make major moves on Israeli-Palestinian peace before leaving office.

Tweeting at 3:28 a.m., Netanyahu said the United States “should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday”.

Israel’s far-right and settler leaders have been buoyed by the election of Trump, the Republican presidential candidate. He has already signalled a possible change in US policy by appointing one his lawyers – a fundraiser for a major Israeli settlement – as Washington’s new ambassador to Israel.

In 2011, the United States vetoed a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements after the Palestinians refused a compromise offer from Washington.

Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, said on Israeli Army Radio: “In a few hours we will receive the answer from our American friends.” “I hope very much it will be the same one we received in 2011 when the version was very similar to the one proposed now and the US ambassador to the UN at the time, Susan Rice, vetoed it.” The draft text says the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law”.

It expresses grave concern that continuing settlement activities “are dangerously imperilling the viability of a two-state solution”.

The United States says continued Israeli settlement building lacks legitimacy, but has stopped short of adopting the position of many countries that it is illegal under international law. Some 570,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in a 1967 war.

Danon said nothing would change on the ground if the resolution passes. But he said it could spur Palestinians to seek international sanctions against Israel and impede any return to peace talks that collapsed in 2014.

A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

NETANYAHU: New Construction During Trump Reign

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Bayit Yehudi preparing list of demands for Trump era.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his strongest statement in years on Monday in favor of construction in Judea and Samaria, giving hope to settler leaders that massive construction will begin when Donald Trump replaces Barack Obama as president of the United States.

Netanyahu told 60 Minutes last week that he was looking forward to working with Trump on a two-state solution.

But sources close to the prime minister said that neither Netanyahu nor the incoming president see West Bank construction as a hindrance to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Speaking at a Likud faction meeting on Monday, Netanyahu boasted of the success of the deal reached with residents of Amona that will allow more than half of them to remain on the hilltop in a different location. He told the faction that Amona was just the beginning.

“We will continue to strengthen and develop settlements, and I want to make clear: There is not, nor will there be, a government that gives more support to settling and cares more about settling than this government we in the Likud lead,” he said. “This will continue.”

Netanyahu is expected to be questioned about his plans for the Trump era and his support for increased West Bank construction on Tuesday when he meets with the foreign media at a pre-Hanukka event organized by the Government Press Office.

Sources in Bayit Yehudi said the party was preparing a list of what it will demand from Netanyahu after Trump is sworn in on January 20. The sources said the party views the election of a president unopposed to settlement construction and the appointment of settlement-supporting David Friedman as ambassador as a game changer.

“There is a unique window of opportunity now thanks to the changes in America, the weakening of Europe and the disintegration of the Muslim world,” Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett told The Jerusalem Post at the Knesset on Monday.

Bennett said the list included applying Israeli sovereignty to Area C in Judea and Samaria gradually, starting with Ma’aleh Adumim, as well as steps to “naturalize life in Judea and Samaria.”

Sources in Likud and Bayit Yehudi said the settlement regulation bill that would sanction some 4,000 homes built on privately owned Palestinian land would not be brought to its final readings until after Trump takes office.

While there was some doubt last week about whether the bill’s legislation could be delayed, following the deal reached with Amona residents, its postponement is seen as guaranteed. Likud sources said it also helped that the chairman of the committee legislating the bill, Bayit Yehudi MK Nisan Slomiansky, has suspended himself from committee work in the Knesset while he is fighting sexual harassment charges.

Head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan, who attended Trump’s victory party in New York, said he had high hopes for both Trump and Netanyahu.

“Trump will never be more Zionist than the prime minister of Israel,” Dagan said.

“The ball is in the prime minister’s court. It’s a great opportunity after the Obama years. I expect him to build and build a lot. But then again, I think he should have built during Obama’s term, too.”

Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu promised Amona residents that if the High Court does not agree to delay the evacuation of the outpost, a new settlement will be built for them.

Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni lashed out at Netanyahu for cutting funding across the board from cabinet ministries, in part to fund the deal with the residents of Amona.

“When billions are taken out of the public’s pockets from the health, education, transportation and public security budgets to pay the violators of the law in Amona, it means the government thinks Israelis are suckers,” Livni said. “When Israel pays each Amona family a million shekels to keep the law, it can’t be understood any other way.”

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Jewish Hanukkah Boycotters and the Banality of Hypocrisy

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Do you remember when Jewish organizations boycotted events sponsored by President Barack Obama because of his past association with the anti-Zionist, antisemitic Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Or perhaps you can recall when liberal Jewish organizations boycotted an event Obama sponsored because he broke bread at the end of Ramadan with Islamists who were not only anti-Israel, but anti-American?

You don’t remember? Strangely, neither do I. Maybe it was when the administration made more fuss over a Jew building a room addition in a historic Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood than Tehran building a bomb that liberal Jewish organizations boycotted events sponsored by the president. You don’t remember those either? Well, that’s because they never happened. Obama was the president, and disrespecting him would have been unthinkable, if only because of the office he held.

Fast forward eight years to the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump, and 12 groups belonging to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations are boycotting their umbrella organization’s Hanukkah party because it is being held at a Trump-owned hotel.

Hannah Arendt coined the term “banality of evil.” Here we have the banality of hypocrisy. The explanations for not attending the event ring as hollow as Hillary Clinton’s attempts to explain the ethical norms that governed her foundation’s dealings with foreign governments while she was secretary of state.

Let’s cut through the nonsense. These organizations were looking for an excuse, once again, to vent their opposition to the Trump presidency and their refusal to accept that reality.

Their absence will be a blessing. Most of their views are an irritating reminder of the incomparable Pauline Kael, who could not accept that Richard Nixon had won the presidency because from her perch in Manhattan she knew absolutely no one who voted for him.

These people live in their own incestuous bubble, in denial that their mindset is what caused Hillary Clinton to lose the election.

The Democratic Party was once the party of the working stiff, the people I knew as a child growing up in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood, where a Republican was more difficult to find than blooming flowers in Chicago’s brutal winters. These were the people who worked in the steel mills, the factories, the stockyards and the garment district. Few owned cars. Everyone carried a lunch pail and rode the street car, often transferring three times before getting to work. There were no transit stop shelters in those days to block the winter wind that either came off the lake or blew in across the plains from Canada, with nothing to stop it.

These were the people who looked to the Democratic Party to protect them from the exploitation of the rich and powerful. These were union people and proud of it, most of them white immigrants, Catholics and Jews, who worked in large corporations owned by Protestants. Labor conflict had an ethnic characteristic. The Protestants got here first, and they spoke English.

But the Democratic Party forgot about these people as it became the party of identity politics. Everyone had an identity to be celebrated — except members of the white working class, who were vilified as bigots. You know, the folks who cling to their Bibles and guns, as Obama once described them. My grandmothers clung as proudly to their prayer books as our Catholic neighbors clung to theirs. Where was the harm?

Liberal Jews have been at the forefront of identity politics — but not for themselves. Like other liberal Democrats, they champion the cause of every identity except those that the Democratic Party was supposed to protect. But in this election cycle, the white working class decided it had been ignored too long. Just look at the electoral maps for Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Hanukkah boycotters represent the Left-wing of the Democratic Party, and just as they have forgotten the working-class stiff, they have also forgotten Israel. Most of these Hanukkah boycotters have stood behind every anti-Israel policy the Obama administration pursued. Indeed, their feckless response to Obama’s anti-Israel policies doesn’t hold a candle to their defiant protestation over a Hanukkah party in a Trump hotel.

New Israel Fund CEO Daniel Sokatch opined that any organization that would host a Hanukkah party at a Trump hotel is “utterly out of touch with the majority of American Jews.” This is almost funny coming from a man who runs an organization whose NGO network includes Adalah, Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Yesh Din and others that “use their budgets to bombard the UN, the European Union, journalists, academics and others with false allegations of war crimes and apartheid,” according to the watchdog, NGO Monitor.

I doubt if anyone will miss the boycotters. Maybe they can have their own Hanukkah party and exchange stories about how they knew nobody, absolutely nobody, who voted for Donald Trump.

Original Article: Algemeiner

SJP Hijacks an Anti-Trump Rally to Fuel Antisemitism at George Washington University

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During the anti-Trump rally held on November 15 at George Washington University (GWU), I was struck for the first time with the feeling that I may not be safe on my campus.

At the rally — supposedly for peace — I was shocked to hear antisemitic rhetoric, hate, and demonization coming from some of my peers. The list of demands some of the protesters subsequently presented to the GWU administration included a call for divestment from Israeli companies due to “colonialism and apartheid in Palestine” and “escalating state-sanctioned genocide.” While the demands included a statement urging protection of Jewish students from antisemitic behavior, this was proven insincere by the intrinsic antisemitism in the document.

Among the list’s sponsors was Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is known for co-opting rallies around the country in order to promote their hateful anti-Israel message. And that’s what they did with this anti-Trump rally.

SJP has been active at GWU in the past; in February, the group taught students how to boycott Sabra Hummus. This past October, SJP held a general body meeting promoting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS). BDS is nothing more than a tactic to vilify Israel, which has coincided with the rise of antisemitism in Europe. And SJP and other BDS proponents are usually blind to the fact that economically destroying Israel would hurt the very populations they want to save. As Bassem Eid, a well-known Palestinian activist, wrote for The Washington Institute:

Israelis continue to come to the West Bank to do business, and most Palestinians continue to buy Israeli goods. Indeed, if you ask Palestinians what they want, they’ll tell you they want jobs, secure education, and health. And the people who are failing them in this regard are their own leaders: Fatah in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza. The focus of PA leaders is on enriching themselves and their families, rather than serving the interests of the Palestinians.

Why doesn’t SJP condemn this corruption? Acknowledging the reality of life in the Palestinian communities is the first step in helping them.

Politics aside, how is this related to an anti-Trump protest? Unfortunately, it is nothing new to see anti-Israel activists co-opt unrelated protest movements. For example, SJP at CUNY colleges hijacked the Million Student March, blaming “the Zionist [CUNY] administration” for tuition hikes. What’s worse, Jewish students were called names that I refuse to repeat. How is this productive? How does this maintain the safety of all students?

Above all, I am disturbed that SJP’s BDS agenda was included in what was to be a peaceful event. Although the resolution was open-sourced, thirteen GWU organizations still signed their agreement. At the most politically active campus in the US, do we really condone antisemitic and blatantly false rhetoric? As GWU students, we must condemn antisemitism and never permit it at future rallies.

Original Article: Algemeiner

NEW YORK: Evidence of Anti-Israel Indoctrination in Elementary School Event

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Footage showing young children at a New York state elementary school being indoctrinated to hate Israel at an event last year has recently been released following a campaign by the popular blog Legal Insurrection.

The event in question — a “Palestinian human rights” presentation to third-graders at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, which took place in September 2015 — featured two radical anti-Israel activists. One was Bassem Tamimi — infamous for pushing his own children to provoke Israeli soldiers, and then catching the encounters on camera for propaganda purposes. The other, Ariel Gold, has described his personal goal as “delegitimizing Zionism.”

News of the presentation was first brought to light by Legal Insurrection last year, after Gold and another local activist, Mary Anne Grades Flores, “bragged on Facebook how they managed to bring…Tamimi to a third-grade class as part of a presentation on the suffering of Palestinian children at the hands of Israel.” When the story broke, the principal of the elementary school at which the event took place denied that it had involved any improper anti-Israel propaganda.

However, through a New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, Legal Insurrection discovered that the Ithaca City School District had been withholding some key footage of the presentation and — after a long legal battle between the blog and the school district — a court ordered all of it to be released. The event was subsequently condemned by the superintendent of the Ithaca City School district, who in a Letter of Reprimand called the presentation “politically skewed [and] inflammatory.”

One video shows Tamimi presenting the infamous “Janna Jihad” interview, which features his young daughter, Ahed, issuing a “message for the world from the Palestinian children.”

“We don’t like [that] Israel kill us, kill Gaza, kill Palestinian and we don’t like they to kill us [sic],” she is heard saying. “They [Israel] can’t be terrorists. We don’t like them to be terrorists.”

Ahed made headlines in 2012 when she appeared in a video confronting an IDF soldier — prompting Turkey to invite her to the country to receive a “courage” award. In 2015, Ahed once again caught the attention of the international community when she was filmed biting and hitting an Israeli soldier who was attempting to subdue her rock-throwing 12-year-old brother.

A second video shows part of the class discussion which followed the formal presentation. In it, Tamimi tells the third-graders that Israel persecutes Palestinians, especially children. He also says, “Our children is our resources, our children is our future, our children who will fight [sic].”

Tamimi then tells the kids they must “defend” the Palestinian people. “You can do a lot for, and be the freedom fighter for the Palestine [sic],” he says.

During the discussion, the children in the class appear to be receptive to Tamimi’s message. In the video, one participant is heard saying, “Um. So, I think that Israel is wrong to think that Palestine could be theirs because they already have a lot of land and they shouldn’t just take more thinking they own the world.”

Another, referring to Israel’s security barrier — called the “apartheid wall” by anti-Israel activists — says, “I have a question. Can’t they just blow up the wall?”

This is not the first time that Tamimi has been the focus of controversy. As The Algemeiner reported, in October 2015, Tamimi caused an uproar when he accused Israel of stealing the organs of Palestinians. On Facebook, Tamimi shared an image showing the sutured side of a man’s body. The caption read, “When Israelis arrest Palestinian CHILDREN, what is the purpose? To STEAL THEIR ORGANS. The same #Zionists doing this control the #media. So don’t expect to be told this by the #BBC.”

More recently, in March, Tamimi accused the US of revoking his travel visa “to stop [his] efforts against the Israeli occupation.” As an investigation later revealed, Tamimi’s visa was permanently revoked after US immigration officials discovered he had lied on his application about never having been arrested.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Fatah Lawmakers Warn European Parliament of Ongoing ‘Serious Deterioration of Democracy’ in Abbas-Led Palestinian Authority

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A group of Fatah lawmakers recently sent a letter to the European Parliament warning of an ongoing “serious deterioration of democracy” in the Palestinian Authority, The Algemeiner has learned.

In the letter, obtained by The Algemeiner, 13 Fatah members of the Palestinian Legislative Council — including Mohammed Dahlan, an arch-rival of PA President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas — wrote that Palestinians have been “suffering from the increasing human rights violations that the Palestinian presidential institution has been committing against our people, especially against the rule of law and the separation between the executive, legislative and judicial powers.”

Furthermore, the letter claimed, Abbas’ regime — which controls Palestinian areas of the West Bank — has “exploited the world’s silence to commit more and more violations on a daily basis.”

The letter’s signatories called for “direct intervention” by European governments to “monitor the behavior and decisions of the Palestinian presidential institution.”

“Your countries have provided generous financial, technical and legal support for the construction and rehabilitation of judicial and security institutions,” the letter went on to say. “However, these institutions have been repeatedly misused to suppress political freedoms and intervene in political disputes…You provide aid and grants to our people, but the presidential institution and its affiliate institutions use your money to punish and suppress those who disagree with them and speak in favor of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

“We request you to urgently form inquiry committees and to open investigations into the reported violations,” the letter concluded. “This should be preceded by practical steps in the form of clear messages to be addressed to the Palestinian executive authority. We are ready to receive a fact-finding delegation from the European Parliament, and to send a Palestinian delegation to you to discuss the details of these and many other violations.”

The 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council has not met since 2007, the year Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-ruled PA.

The most recent PLC elections took place in 2006, when Hamas won a majority with 70 seats. Fatah holds 45 seats.

Due to the continuing internal Palestinian political deadlock, the 81-year-old Abbas is currently in the 12th year of a four-year PA presidential term that began in 2005.

Last month, as reported in The Algemeiner, Fatah unanimously re-elected Abbas to serve as its leader for another five years.

The Algemeiner also reported last month that Egypt was pressuring Abbas to appoint a successor. The same report said Arab League member-states were seeking to bring Dahlan — currently living in exile in the United Arab Emirates — back into the Palestinian political picture, for the purpose of making him a candidate to take the aging PA president’s place in the future.

Earlier this year, as reported by The Algemeiner, an Israeli expert on Arab affairs said that the PA’s grip on the West Bank was weakening.

Original Article: Algemeiner

IDF Announces: Disbanding of Hamas Terror Cell in West Bank

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Israeli security forces announced Thursday that they had disbanded a Hamas terror cell operating in the Hebron area in October through a joint Israel Defense Forces (IDF), police and Shin Bet operation.

According to the Shin Bet, the Hamas cell planned to carry out kidnappings of and shooting attacks against Israelis “in order to bargain for the release of prisoners.” The investigation also led to authorities seizing weapons and large quantities of ammunition, including two AK-47s, three pistols and a shotgun.

Security officials said the terror cell revolved around its leader Ibrahim Abdullah Ranimat, a 58-year-old Palestinian who is currently serving a life sentence in prison for his role in terrorist attacks during the 1990s, including the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Sharon Adri in 1996.

Ranimat’s three sons — Fadi Ibrahim Ranimat, Muhammad Ranimat and Shadi Ibrahim Ranimat — were arrested by security forces. Additionally, security forces arrested J’ad Sultan, who procured the weapons for the cell; Haitham Hamidan, who stored the weapons; and Rami Rajoub, who was also arrested for plotting with Ranimat while in prison.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Bipartisan Bill to Fight anti-Semitism on American Campuses Heads to House

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Measure also defines ‘demonization, double standard and delegitimization’ as benchmarks for when criticism of Israel crosses into anti-Semitism.
A bipartisan slate of leading House members introduced a bill that would expand how the Department of Education defines anti-Semitism in advising learning institutions on how to identify discrimination.

The bill introduced Friday by Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla., replicates a similar bill passed last week by the Senate, which was sponsored by Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Bob Casey, D-Pa.
Senior House of Representatives members including Reps. Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, both D-N.Y., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., are backing the bill.
The measure expands previous guidelines sent periodically to educational institutions receiving federal funding to define anti-Semitism according to a definition first published by the State Department in 2010.
It adopts the definition set forth by the European Parliament Working Group on Anti-Semitism: “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Both definitions also outline when criticism of Israel crosses into anti-Semitism, citing the “three D’s” first advanced by Natan Sharansky, the Israeli politician and former prisoner of the Soviet gulag: Demonization, double standard and delegitimization.
The Anti-Defamation League, which has led lobbying for the legislation, said the bill, should it become law, “addresses a core concern of Jewish and pro-Israel students and parents: When does the expression of anti-Semitism, anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Zionist beliefs cross the line from First Amendment-protected free expression to unlawful discriminatory conduct?”
A number of left-wing and pro-Palestinian groups have criticized the legislation, saying the Israel-related language is too vague and would inhibit debate on campus about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
“It mis-classifies criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism and aims to ensure that the Department of Education will investigate and suppress criticism of Israel on campus,” said a statement by Open Hillel, a loose network of campus groups that rejects restrictions on engagement with other students that exist under the aegis of the more established Jewish student umbrella, Hillel.
Original Article: HAAETZ

GERMANY: Chancellor Merkel’s party labels BDS antisemitic

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The anti-BDS motion is a setback for BDS activists.

Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party on Wednesday passed a resolution opposing the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement because the anti-Israel action is antisemitic.

“Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews. That is nothing other than coarse antisemitism,” the CDU said.

The CDU likened BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the “new clothes of the 21st century” as anti-Zionism, the party said.
“The German CDU declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as antisemitic. The CDU will decisively oppose every hostile action that Israel faces. The CDU professes its deep friendship toward Israel and continues to work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” the resolution read.

Uwe Becker, the chairman of the CDU branch in Frankfurt, which formulated the resolution and submitted it at the CDU conference, said he was pleased with the result.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was nominated at the convention to run as the party’s candidate in next year’s federal election. The CDU’s resolution appears to be the first German party motion to reject BDS and classify the anti-Israel movement as antisemitic.

Last week, Israel’s ambassador to Germany criticized BDS activities in the state of Lower Saxony.

Writing in the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung daily, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman said: “In Oldenburg a teacher agitates against Israel in an official way; in a magazine of the GEW labor union [the Education and Science Workers Union]. This teacher publicly spreads the proposal to relocate Israel to Baden-Württemberg” in southeastern Germany, wrote Hadas-Handelsman.

The ambassador cited additional outbreaks of contemporary antisemitism in Lower Saxony and asked: “What is wrong in Lower Saxony?” The administration of the Social Democratic Gov. Stephan Weil in Lower Saxony has been embroiled in state-wide antisemitism scandals since July. Critics say Weil and his government fail to understand new forms of Jew-hatred. Weil refused to meet with the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee to find ways to blunt the activities of modern antisemitism in his state.

Orgininal Article: The Jerusalem Post