Israel to Guterres: UN must understand that Iran and Hezbollah must be stopped

From Israel Hayom:

Israel will present U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres with updated intelligence information on Iranian and Hezbollah activity in the region when he visits Israel later this month, Israel Hayom has learned.

Guterres is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He is also scheduled to visit Ramallah, where he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Guterres is expected to visit the Gaza Strip, where he will take a first-hand look at the activities of U.N. agencies. Although Guterres plans to focus on ways to jump-start the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel would like the visit to deal primarily with issues such as Iran’s growing meddling in the region and Hezbollah’s actions in Lebanon.

In Israel, Guterres will meet with senior Israel Defense Forces officials, who will provide him with updated information on Hezbollah’s activity in south Lebanon. According to a recent IDF report, Hezbollah has been operating along the border with Israel for the first time since the 2006 Second Lebanon War. It has disguised its presence by making its structures and positions look as if they belong to a Lebanese agribusiness NGO called Green without Borders.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon has filed an official complaint over this activity, saying it is in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 that prohibits Hezbollah from having an armed presence in southern Lebanon. But the U.N. has yet to act on that complaint. Israelis officials will warn Guterres that letting Hezbollah’s activity go unchecked, particularly its buildup of advanced weaponry in breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions, could lead to an escalation.

Israel has recently shared similar intelligence with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. During her visit to Israel several months ago, Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi gave her a tour of the northern border during which she was briefed on Hezbollah’s efforts to disguise its activities along the border. During Guterres’ visit, Israel is expected to sound the alarm over Iran’s increased clout in the region in light of Islamic State’s losses and the recent de-escalation in the Syrian civil war.

Israel is concerned that Iran will be able to create a “contiguous zone of influence” of Shiite dominance from Iran through Iraq and Syria, which would increase the threat to Israel and the Sunni states in the region. Mossad Director Yossi Cohen said similar things this week when he briefed cabinet ministers on regional developments and said that current trends are not favorable to Israel and that Iran is filling the void left by Islamic State.

Cohen is expected to visit Washington in coming days along with Military Intelligence Directorate head Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi and the head of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau at the Defense Ministry, Zohar Palti, to hold discussions on Iran.

They will ask the Trump administration to take more aggressive measures to check Iran’s activity in the region. A similar message will be conveyed when Guterres arrives, and he will also be asked to see that the Security Council take action to prevent additional Iranian weapon shipments from Iran to Hezbollah via Syria.

Guterres will also tour the southern border with senior officers. He will be shown the hundreds of trucks that go into the Gaza Strip every day with supplies, and will also see one of the cross-border tunnels Hamas dug into Israel. Israel will try to convey the message that Hamas is trying to take advantage of Israel’s humanitarian efforts to build its military strength. Guterres will be given information showing that Hamas has been preventing the United Nations from doing its task by misusing U.N. funds and facilities, preventing their use to improve the welfare of the Palestinian population.

She was ‘taught to hate Israel’, now she’s a Zionist

From YNet News:

Christian convert Sandra Solomon from Ramallah recalls jubilation in Arab society during the intifada ‘even when children were killed’; says prevalence of hateful education and vilification of Israel convinces her ‘Palestinians don’t want peace.’

A Palestinian woman, who is also the niece of one of the founders of the Fatah movement, recently stated her unequivocal disapproval of terror attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israelis, citing violent education as the root cause of the phenomenon’s continuation.

Sandra Solomon, a Palestinian born in Ramallah who converted to Christianity more than ten years ago and became a supporter of Israel, condemned the recent Halamish attack in which a terrorist broke into a home and killed three members of the Salomon family.

“The Palestinian terrorist who murdered a family on Friday evening in Halamish; where did he get the idea to enter a home and kill the people who were in there?” asked Solomon. “The young Palestinians who carry out attacks are already murdered from a psychological point of view by the education that is given to them.”

The 39-year-old Solomon, originally called Fida, is the niece of a Fatah official Sahar Habash who was a close confidant of Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat.

“As a child, I was brought up to hate Israel,” she admitted during a visit to Israel. “The most important thing to us was the liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the liberation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the State of Israel.

“We watched the second intifada on television” she said as she recalled her childhood between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. “After every big terror attack—including when children were killed—candy was given out. The education that was given to me was that only Palestinians are the victims, that they are oppressed in this conflict and that the Zionists are the occupying criminals who took the land for themselves.”

The life changes Solomon underwent and her decision to turn away from the culture of hate instilled within her didn’t take place overnight.

Originally, she made the decision to convert to Christianity due to her criticism of Islam’s treatment and oppression of women and the lack of freedom of expression it offers.

“I didn’t agree to walking around with a Hijab (a veil worn by Muslim women) as women were obligated to do in Saudi Arabia,” she said.

After managing to divorce her husband after being forced to marry him when the two had a baby, she left for Canada with her little boy, where the two continue to live today in Toronto.

“When I explained to my family in Jordan that I had converted, my sister threw her suitcase to the street and threw me out of the house,” she added.

As a result, Solomon remains ostracized by her family as an outcast but the sense of foreboding can never fully diminish. “If they knew exactly where I was today, they would surely kill me. I know that,” she claimed.

During her time in Canada, Solomon was exposed to information about the Jewish people and Jewish history. “I started reading the Jewish bible and I realized that a long time before Muhammad and Islam Jews lived in the area. The power of truth changed me,” she continued.

So inspired had Solomon become from the material she was exploring, she decided to get two prominent tatoos in Hebrew saying, “Jesus is the messiah’ on her right arm and ‘Israel’ on her forearm.

Over the last few days, Solomon has been staying in Ramallah and says that while she has to be vigilant about displaying her tattoos in public, she does not fear the city’s streets.

Nevertheless, she has encountered experiences in which she has been the subject of abuse.

“A young Palestinian who saw my tattoos spat on me, but I’m not scared,” she said before highlighting the hypocrisy in Palestinian society of boycotting Israeli goods while using their essential products.

“Among Palestinians, there are calls to boycott Israeli products, but phones and medicines that are used by them are products of Israel,” she said.

Solomon says she recognizes Palestinians have a right to exists as an equal minority with rights granted under Israeli sovereignty, but she rejects the notion of a two-state solution.

“I don’t believe in a two-state solution because I see what happens in the Judea-Samaria. There are pictures hung in the streets of terrorists who are considered to be heroes. The Palestinian people don’t want peace, they glorify the intifada,” she concluded.

 

Palestinian Authority vows to wage ‘diplomatic intifada’ against Israel

From Israel Hayom:

Palestinian Authority has “lost confidence in the Americans as objective mediators” in the peace process, top Abbas aide says PA is determined to “isolate Israel [diplomatically] and make it as difficult for it as possible under international law.”

The Palestinian Authority is “pessimistic” about the United States’ ability to reignite the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, senior Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the coming weeks to promote the peace talks, which collapsed in 2014.

Arab media on Wednesday quoted several Palestinian officials, including chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, as saying the U.S.’s efforts are “redundant” because the Palestinians “have lost confidence in the Americans as objective mediators.”

Moreover, the Palestinians claim that both American and Israeli officials have essentially agreed that a peace process based on the two-state solution “no longer exists.”

A senior official in Abbas’ office said that the Palestinian president was “deeply disappointed” with Washington’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding that the overall sentiment in Ramallah was that U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoys to the Middle East were biased against the Palestinians and in favor of Israel.

“Washington cannot be an objective mediator. The administration is totally biased in favor of Israel,” a senior Palestinian official said, adding that in the wake of Ramallah’s lack of confidence in the chances of a renewed peace process, the Palestinians plan to refocus their efforts in the international arena.

The Palestinian Authority plans to resume its appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where it plans to claim that senior Israeli leaders and military officers have allegedly committed war crimes, he said, adding that the PA would further pursue joining international organizations — a process that Abbas suspended when Trump was elected U.S. president.

Pledging to wage a “diplomatic intifada” against Israel, the official said the Palestinian Authority was determined to “isolate Israel [diplomatically] and make it as difficult for it as possible under international law.”

Commenting on the Palestinian Authority’s security collaboration with Israel, suspended during the Temple Mount crisis and resumed two weeks ago, Palestinian defense official confirmed coordination has been resumed, but stressed it was minimal.

“There is collaboration on specific issues. Right now, we are not pursuing full security coordination, not even gradually,” one Palestinian defense official said.

Another senior official noted that the Temple Mount crisis and the volatile atmosphere of the past few weeks have caused “deep distrust” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

“In order to renew the diplomatic negotiations the parties must first rebuild trust. The message that will be conveyed to the American delegation is that Israel must first and foremost pursue confidence-building measures vis-a-vis Abu Mazen [Abbas] and the Palestinian Authority, and the Americans will have to guarantee that they are objective mediators and that they will adhere to the two-state vision.

“This is not the situation right now, and we will not stand for it,” he said.

GAZA: Israeli Air Force strikes Gaza terror targets after rocket hits Israel’s south

From Israel Hayom:

The IDF struck Hamas targets in northern Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday morning in retaliation for rocket fire at Israel’s south on Tuesday evening.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement that “the Israeli Air Force struck two targets operated by the Hamas terrorist group in northern Gaza.” It added that as Hamas is sovereign over the Gaza Strip it will be held responsible for any rocket fire emanating from the enclave.

The Palestinians reported that three people were injured, including one critically, in Wednesday’s strike.

A Palestinian security source confirmed two Hamas posts had been hit, saying they sustained significant damage.

The projectile fired from Gaza on Tuesday struck an open area outside the coastal city of Ashkelon, causing no injuries or damage. Moments earlier, air raid sirens sounded in the area.

Security forces canvassed the area but have yet to recover the projectile.

Israel has seen occasional rocket fire from the Gaza Strip in the three years since its last war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers. Most have been claimed by Salafi groups in the territory.

JUDEA-SAMARIA: Palestinians assault 70 tourists by throwing rocks

From YNet News:

Group enters Binamin area near Halamish without receiving required approval from IDF, forcing troops to extricate them from attack by Palestinian rock-throwers; no one injured in incident.

The IDF was forced to extricate the group which, during their tour across Israel, entered the area near Neveh Tzuf, also known as Halamish.

No one was injured in the attack, but some were lightly struck by the rocks and damage was caused to some of the group members’ personal belongings.

According to the IDF, the group submitted a request to tour the area and proceeded to do so despite not receiving the required approval.

Since violent incidents against tourists in the Judea-Samaria are particularly common on Fridays, the IDF demands that groups do not enter the area without prior coordination and approval which includes a protected tour with regional commanders.

ISRAEL: Shin Bet foils international Hamas funding mechanism

From Israel Hayom:

Almost $200,000 transferred to the Judea-Samaria for Hamas terrorist activities since operations began in 2016 • Shin Bet security agency says it will continue to “thwart this terrorist activity orchestrated by Hamas operatives abroad and in the Gaza Strip.”

A large-scale investigation recently uncovered a Hamas money transfer mechanism funneling cash from Hamas headquarters in Turkey and Gaza to operatives in the Judea-Samaria city of Hebron.

The investigation, a cooperative effort between the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet security agency and the Israel Police, was placed under gag order, lifted Thursday.

The investigation revealed that the money transferring mechanism began operating in 2016, set in motion by Muhammad Maher Badr, a senior Hamas official in Hebron and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Badr recruited two messengers, Mussab Hashlamoun, a Hamas operative from Hebron who was sent to Turkey under the pretense of business, and Taha Othman, also a resident of Hebron.

Hashlamoun was instructed to transfer money from Turkey to Hebron to fund terrorist activities in Hebron, with much of the money designated for Hamas members in the Legislative Council. Hashlamoun was also told to transfer money to Hamas terrorists who were released from prison.

Two of Hashlamoun’s colleagues — his brother Yusri and Omar Kimri — maintained ties with Majed Jabah, a Hamas operative in the Gaza Strip, originally also from Hebron, who coordinated the transfer of funds from Turkey. Jabah was released from an Israeli prison in the 2011 prisoner exchange that saw IDF soldier Gilad Schalit freed from Hamas captivity in Gaza.

Hashlamoun and Othman met several times with Haroun Naser al-Din, a Hamas headquarters official in Turkey who was also released in the Schalit deal.

Naser al-Din gave the messengers tens of thousands of dollars to buy goods in Turkey. The two imported the goods through international delivery companies and sold them in Hebron. After deducting their fee, the profits from the sales were then handed to Hamas operatives in Hebron. As part of his operation, Naser al-Din told the messengers to speak to Hamas terrorists in Hebron and offer them money from the headquarters.

The investigation revealed that until it was exposed, the mechanism allowed for almost $200,000 to be transferred to Hebron. The investigation further revealed that Hamas planned to build a multi-million dollar cement factory to launder money for terrorism.

The Military Prosecution is expected to request indictments in the case in the near future.

According to the Shin Bet security agency, the “exposure of this infrastructure illustrates Hamas operatives’ constant motivation to step up Hamas terrorist activity in the Judea-Samaria. Hamas operatives in Gaza and abroad have been recruiting messengers, residents of the Judea-Samaria who travel abroad, for the purpose of transferring terrorist funds to operatives in the field.

“Quite often, Hamas operatives abroad recruit relatives of Hamas members in the field, or enlist the help of merchants and business people, who end up paying a steep personal and financial price for this activity,” the Shin Bet said.

“The Shin Bet security agency, in cooperation with the IDF and the Israel Police, will continue to take action to expose and thwart this terrorist activity orchestrated by Hamas operatives abroad and in the Gaza Strip,” the agency said.

AUSTRALIA: Council Bans Building Of Synagogue For Fear of Triggering Islamic Terrorists

From The Daily Wire:

A local council in Australia has banned the construction of a Jewish synagogue in Bondi out of fear that it could become a target of Islamic terrorism.

“The decision, which has rocked the longstanding Jewish community in the iconic suburb, was upheld in court this week as the nation reeled from the alleged airline terror threat and debate raged over increased security measures at airports and other public places,” reports news.com.au. “The Land and Environment Court backed the decision by Waverley Council to prohibit the construction of the synagogue in Wellington St, Bondi — just a few hundred metres from Australia’s most famous beach — because it was too much of a security risk for users and local residents.”

Adding insult to injury, the council is preventing the synagogue from submitting a plan with aggressive security measures. Their rationale? The measures would risk the “safety and security of future users of the Synagogue, nearby residents, motorists and pedestrians in Wellington Street and the physical measures proposed to deal with the identified threats will have an unacceptable impact on the streetscape and adjoining properties.”

Put another way, a strong security presence wouldn’t look all that great on the street corner.

The council’s campaign to shut down the synagogue has the already besieged Jewish community distraught. Community leaders are livid over what they see as a blatant infringement on freedom of religion.

“The decision is unprecedented,” Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, head of Bondi’s local Jewish community, told news.com.au. “Its implications are enormous. It basically implies that no Jewish organisation should be allowed to exist in residential areas. It stands to stifle Jewish existence and activity in Sydney and indeed, by creating a precedent, the whole of Australia, and by extension rewarding terrorism.”

According to NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff, the “ill-conceived judgment represents a dangerous precedent” because it incentivizes Muslim extremists to double-down on their targeting of Jews. In other words, if Islamo-supremacists believe that the state will shut down expressions of Jewish faith, then they will inevitably continue to increase attacks on Jews to the point where Judaism is forced to go underground.

Palestinian Leader Is Begging Israel For Lung Transplant Surgery That Would Save His Life

From The Daily Wire:

Saeb Erekat has spent the last 25 years of his life as a propagandist for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), slandering Israel with blood libels and accusations of genocide. As the chief negotiator and secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Erekat blamed Israel for all ills and implied that the Israelis are engaged in an active campaign to dehumanize Palestinian lives.

When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called one of Israel’s wars in Gaza a “genocide,” Erekat defended his comments and doubled-down on the accusations. “Naming things by their name is not extreme,” he said in September 2014. “What do you think the actual reality is [for] the thousands of orphans, 91 families that no longer exist anymore in Gaza — that were terminated?” (It goes without saying that defensive Israeli actions — against Hamas terrorists using civilians as human shields — have sometimes led to collateral damage, but that doesn’t even come close to a “genocide”).

But now, after accusing the Jewish State of some of the worst crimes humanly imaginable, Erekat is banking on Israel to save his life.

Currently, he’s being treated for pulmonary fibrosis by Israeli physicians as he awaits life-saving advanced lung transplant surgery in Israel.

“The chief PA negotiator has been receiving additional treatment at a hospital in central Israel, but doctors have warned that his condition cannot improve without an immediate transplant,” reports The Times of Israel, citing a report in Ynet News.

At 62, Erekat’s life is in Israel’s hands. According to doctors, medications prescribed to treat his disease stopped working several months ago. Since then, the Palestinian propagandist’s condition has gotten much worse.

His only hope now is lung transplant surgery performed by talented Israeli surgeons, the same ones who purportedly stay up late at night and drink the blood of non-Jews with their matzos.

 

UNITED STATES: Sets New Sanctions on Iranian Entities Connected to Ballistic Missile Program

From Algemeiner: 

The US Treasury Department slapped new sanctions on Friday on a group of Iranian entities linked to the country’s ballistic missile program, a day after the Tehran regime conducted a successful test of a missile capable of carrying a satellite into space.

The action, the Treasury Department noted, was aimed at “six Iran-based subordinates” of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group — said to be “central” to the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program.

“The US government will continue to aggressively counter Iran’s ballistic missile-related activity, whether it be a provocative space launch, its development of threatening ballistic missile systems, or likely support to Yemeni Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia such as occurred this past weekend,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement on Friday. “These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, and underscore the United States’ deep concerns with Iran’s continued development and testing of ballistic missiles and other provocative behavior.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported on Thursday that President Donald Trump has ordered his national security team to “find a rationale” to deem Iran as being in violation of the July 2015 nuclear deal it agreed to with six world powers.

Earlier this week, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he thought Iran was “taking advantage” of the US and that he believed the Iranians would be found to be “noncompliant” with the nuclear deal when the next 90-day review — mandated by Congress — was conducted.

 

 

FRANCE: Macron Denounces Anti-Zionism as ‘Reinvented’ Anti-Semitism

From The New York Times:

Standing at a site from which thousands of French Jews were sent to their deaths during the Holocaust, President Emmanuel Macron of France on Sunday deplored his nation’s wartime role in abetting murder and pledged to fight a renewed tide of anti-Semitism.

Joined by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, as well as Holocaust survivors, the Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld and others, Mr. Macron commemorated the 75th anniversary of a roundup of Jews at the Vélodrome d’Hiver, or Vel d’Hiv, a Paris stadium.

“It was indeed France that organized” the roundup of 13,000 people at the stadium on July 16 and 17, 1942, he said. “Not a single German” was directly involved.

Some 77,000 French Jews died in Nazi concentration camps or extermination camps before the end of World War II, the vast majority of them at Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland.

For decades, many French have held on to the idea that their ancestors had been either victims or resisters of Nazis, or of the collaborationist regime that was set up in Vichy, France.

France Reflects on Role in Rounding Up Jews for Death Camps JULY 28, 2012

Marine Le Pen Denies French Guilt for Rounding Up Jews APRIL 10, 2017
President François Mitterrand, who worked as a low-level Vichy administrator before joining the Resistance, declared in 1992 that “the French state was the Vichy regime, it was not the Republic.” He argued, as his predecessors had, that the only legitimate representatives of France were in exile with Gen. Charles de Gaulle, who ran the wartime Resistance from London.

Ending decades of equivocation, President Jacques Chirac formally admitted France’s collective responsibility for wartime crimes, declaring in 1995: “the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French state.”

But the issue has not gone away. In April, Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader whom Mr. Macron defeated in a May runoff election, declared that “France was not responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” denying French responsibility and setting off a furor.

Ms. Le Pen later said that she considered the Vichy regime illegitimate, and believed that General de Gaulle had the legitimate power.

Mr. Macron condemned that argument. “Admittedly Vichy was not all of the French,” he said, “but it was the government and the administration of France.”

Mr. Macron’s comments came during a period of resurgent anti-Semitism in France, fueled by right-wing nationalism and by fundamentalist Islam.

Mr. Macron recited the names of victims of recent anti-Semitic and other extremist violence. Among them were Ilan Halimi, a young man who was tortured and killed in 2006; four people killed in 2012 at a Jewish school in southwestern France; and four people slain at a kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015. He also called for an investigation into the death of Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old woman who in April was thrown from the window of her Paris apartment, which some suspect an anti-Semitic motive.

In his remarks on Sunday, Mr. Macron went further than his predecessors in linking attacks on Jewish individuals with attacks against the Jewish state, calling anti-Zionism an updated version of anti-Semitism.

“We will yield nothing to the messages of hatred,” he said. “We will yield nothing to anti-Zionism, because it is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism.”

The French president called on Israel and the Palestinians to renew peace talks and warned that ongoing construction of Jewish settlements threatened the region’s chances for peace.

“I call for a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the framework of the search for a solution of two states, Israel and Palestine, living in recognized, secure borders with Jerusalem as the capital,” Mr. Macron said.

GAZA: FATAH CALLS FOR ‘DAY OF RAGE’

From The Jerusalem Post:

Palestinian leadership are reacting strongly to Israel’s increased security on Temple Mount.

Palestinian terror faction Fatah called on Palestinians to participate in day or rage on Wednesday in protest of Israel’s decision to place metal detectors in front of the Temple Mount.

Fatah Central Committee Member Jamal Muhaisen said that protest is necessary until the metal detectors are removed.

“What is happening in Jerusalem today is aimed at attacking the al-Aksa Mosque,” Muhaisen said at a meeting of Fatah leaders in Ramallah.

Following a shooting attack near the Temple Mount on Friday that left two police officers dead, Israel closed the site, which is holy for Jews and Muslims. Police reopened the site on Sunday, but placed metal detectors in front of its gates, which it says are meant for security.

Days of rage usually include protests in the main squares of Palestinian cities and near friction points with Israel.

However, the Palestinian Authority security forces often prevent protesters from reaching these friction points.

Fatah last called for a day of rage in April to support hunger-striking prisoners’ in Israeli jails.

Interview With Israeli Activist Hananya Naftali, Part II

From the Daily Wire:

In part I of my interview with Hananya Naftali, we talked about serving in the IDF, the possibility of compromise between Israel and the Palestinians, and the biggest misconceptions Westerners have about Israel.

Here’s part II of my exclusive chat with the Israeli social media influencer.

Israel vs. The West

When we spoke about why many in the West — especially in Europe — seem to be so dead set against Israel, Naftali made a salient point, noting that once someone has settled upon their personal “truth,” it’s very difficult to change their mind:

“Years ago, Israel failed to properly explain itself; they failed to project the truth. I’ve heard from a lot a people that they didn’t see the truth in the media — and I’m quoting people who don’t hate Israel. They looked for the truth, and it was hard for them to find it. It was a failure. Obviously, it’s not like that today, but it’s very hard to tell the truth once people think that they know their truth.”

He also placed some of the blame on the United Nations:

“I think that the United Nations is biased against Israel because it is trying to be politically correct. It’s very easy to portray the weaker people as the victims; it’s very right in the eyes of the Western world. I think that’s ridiculous.” He added that “perhaps the U.N. is tending more to the Palestinian side because it’s getting a lot of money from Arab countries.”

Despite the U.N.’s stiff neck, Naftali said that Israel is “very happy to have Nikki Haley at the United Nations to tell the truth and to represent us. Something like that is powerful when it comes from an ally — someone who is not an Israeli, but knows the truth.”

Anti-Semitism

“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is on the rise,” Naftali stated flatly. “Only last week, we heard about the Al Quds march in London, and it’s shocking to hear statements like ‘We are fed up with the rabbis,’ ‘We are fed up with their synagogues,’ and ‘We are fed up with Zionists.’ It’s the most hateful anti-Semitic statement I’ve heard in a while in the streets of a capital city. It is evil.”

Al Quds Day, “which Iran initiated in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and opposition of Israel’s existence…is held on the last Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Speaking further of anti-Israel sentiment, Naftali said that he believes “people are so sure of their truth that they are unwilling to listen to anything else.”

He stated that while “the United States is very stable and strong in its opinion regarding anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism,” other nations are failing to speak the truth:

“If world leaders continue in their political correctness, they will fail to be leaders. They were put in their position to lead, and not be afraid of other peoples’ opinions. A great example of being politically correct — a few days ago, London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, refused to answer a question regarding the Al Quds march, which supports Hezbollah, a well-known terrorist organization. Many leaders behave in this way, and it leads to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.”

“I think it’s time to stop this. People are going to be offended whether you say A or you say B. There will always be people who disagree, so the better choice is to not be politically correct.”

Is Peace Possible?

In a rather unexpected moment, Naftali said he indeed believes peace is achievable:

“I would say that peace is possible. I would also say the fewer countries that get involved, the better, because it’s something that Israel and the Palestinians should resolve themselves. When a lot of leaders get involved, it becomes more complicated, and harder to resolve. There are certain conditions that Israel will not compromise on, such as funding terror. I think that’s a basic demand. That said, I think peace is achievable.”

Change of Heart

Naftali noted that he’s not trying to change hardened hearts, but that his videos are made for “the people who have no opinion; the people that are not sure about what’s happening. I don’t target anti-Israeli people because they tend to be hateful, and not listen to your opinion.”

Incredible Stories

During our nearly hour-long interview, Naftali told me two remarkable stories that left me stunned:

“I have a few interesting stories regarding people who changed their opinion. I once got a message from an Egyptian student who told me that he intended to enter Israel via Jordan, and stab Jews — because that’s what society taught him, to hate Jews. Somehow, he stumbled on my videos, and he told me that his opinion was completely changed. Now he loves the Jews. I was incredibly touched by his story, but he has to keep his change of heart to himself because his society would kill him.”

“Another message I got was from a guy in Ramallah, which is where the Palestinian Authority is based. He sent me a message saying that his society taught him to hate Israel — that’s how he grew up — but he always felt like there was something they weren’t telling him. He found my content on YouTube, and he was fascinated by — first of all, seeing that I’m not a monster like his society portrays me — and seeing that I’m a human being, just like him. I want peace; I want to be loved.”

“He told me that he started to support Israel, but unfortunately, he’s not able to share it with anyone because he knows that as soon as he tells anybody that he loves Israel, that he supports the Jewish nation, he would get himself killed.”

“I’ve gotten messages from Palestinian people, from Egyptian people, from Iranian people. I know that within those countries, there are people that support Israel, but because of their society, they are not able to share it because they need to protect themselves.”

Theocracy?

I made sure to ask about the notion that the Israeli government is at risk of becoming a theocracy — a seemingly common notion among progressives. When I brought up the idea, Naftali was incredulous: “In Israel, there is a complex of people with their opinions, and their cultures. When someone is elected, like Benjamin Netanyahu, he needs to build a coalition. He has to compromise; he has to give a stage to the Palestinian people, the Arab people, the Christian people, and the religious people.”

He noted that the right-wing religious parties could conceivably gain a majority, but even if they did, they would have to compromise, and build a coalition.

The Finale

At the end of our conversation, I left the floor open for Naftali to say anything he wanted. He concluded with a direct and powerful message:

“I’d like to tell your readers not to listen to everything they hear in the media. It’s very easy to twist the truth — to put some videos together, or to take some words out of context. It happens a lot. Israel is the Western world’s base in the Middle East. We share common values. As the Middle East is on fire — with the civil war in Syria, and the terrorist organizations that are building themselves with the help of Iran — Israel remains the most stable country in the region.

“I would encourage your readers to read more about what’s happening in the Middle East because it’s very interesting how Israel is able to remain stable, how Israel is able to remain humane, and how Israel promotes the Palestinians. They live among us, and I, as an Israeli, want their good; I love them, and I cannot hate them because they are human beings, just like me.”

Click the respective links to follow Hananya Naftali on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. I highly recommend it. He’s a strong voice for Israel, and someone who’s presence will make an indelible impact in the coming years.