IN DC, JORDAN’S KING DISCUSSES US EMBASSY IN ISRAEL, ISIS, SYRIA

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Jordan’s King Abdullah is the first Arab leader in Washington for talks with the Trump administration.

Abdullah held a private breakfast with US Vice President Mike Pence and then met US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon.

Pence and Abdullah discussed a range of issues from speeding up the fight against Islamic State, the crisis in Syria, and efforts to reach an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, the White House said.

Abdullah also raised the issue of potential changes to the US embassy in Israel, the White House said in a statement.

Abdullah has just finished a visit to Russia where President Vladimir Putin thanked Jordan for supporting the Syrian peace process. Jordan is part of a US-led military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria.

Less than a week into his presidency, Trump said in a television interview on Wednesday that he would “absolutely do safe zones in Syria” for refugees fleeing violence and that Europe had made a mistake by admitting millions of refugees from Syria.

The creation of safe zones would ratchet up US military involvement in Syria and mark a major departure from former President Barack Obama’s more cautious approach. Increased US or allied air power would be required if Trump chose to enforce “no fly” restrictions, and ground forces might also be needed to protect civilians in those areas.

Abdullah’s visit comes as Trump signed an executive order that would include a temporary ban on all refugees, and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran.

Jordan has been overwhelmed by the influx of refugees since the Syrian conflict began. The vast majority of refugees referred by the UN refugee agency to the United States come from Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq.

Trump is expected to greet Abdullah at a prayer event in Washington on Thursday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer separately told reporters in a daily briefing.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

 

No, Muslim Refugees Are Not Jewish WWII Refugees. Here Are 5 Reasons Why.

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In a desperately misguided attempt to placate the palpable fear of allowing thousands of Muslim refugees into United States without proper security screenings just days after an Islamic terrorist attack, several left-leaning media outlets have fallen back on comparing the Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust to Muslim refugees fleeing a chaotic Middle East.

The false analogy is incredibly offensive, not only to the victims of the Holocaust but history itself. Here are 5 reasons why Muslim refugees are not Jewish WWII refugees:

1. There was no threat of Jewish terrorists infiltrating the United States. The same cannot be said about Muslim terrorists.

As an ethno-religious group, Jews suffered tremendously under the genocidal programs of Nazi Germany. The West’s resistance to absorbing refugees was not informed by the actions of Jews themselves, but rather pre-existing isolationist policies developed as a consequence of WWI. The residue of European anti-Semitism may have been a factor as well.

In contrast, the threat of Islamic terror is self-evident. The litany of attacks against Western assets by Muslim fanatics cannot be overlooked.

“Jews who came to America were not themselves violent. They did not strap bombs on themselves and blow themselves up in theaters; they did not go into restaurants and execute diners, one by one,” notes American Thinker, adding, “they did not attempt to set up a caliphate wherever they moved to, although they did tend to dominate the deli, bagel-making, and stand-up comedy fields.”

2. Jewish victims of the Holocaust had nowhere else to go. Muslim refugees do.

Arab states have been notoriously resistant and outright hostile when confronted with an influx of Muslim refugees at their gates. “There are at least two dozen Muslim countries, many of them wealthy gulf states, who could easily afford to take in refugees. During the Holocaust, there was no Jewish state that could take in Jews. That’s a big difference,” asserts American Thinker.

At the time, there was no Jewish state of Israel or safe havens for Jews to flee to. Today, there are scores of Muslim-majority states and even Islamic theocracies that celebrate religious brotherhood with hypocritical zeal. Relatively stable Arab states even exploit the grievances of Muslim refugees from neighboring failed Arab states to deflect attention from human rights abuses at home.

Arab autocrats are heavily invested in the perpetuation of Muslim refugee crises; it gives them an excuse to blame the West and Israel for all the world’s ills, including hardships inflicted upon Muslim-majority populations by Arab leaders themselves. It’s far easier to blame the West and, of course, the Jews for crumbling infrastructure and poverty than address the problems head-on. Arab petro-dictators are far more inclined to raid the coffers of their own country’s wealth and maintain a regressive economic model that allows for corruption to flourish unchecked than welcome modernity and all of its potential benefits for the wider population.

3. The proliferation of Muslim refugees is a result of an intra-religious, Islamic civil war dating back to the founding of Islam in the 7th century. Judaism’s theological disputes are solved with the pen, not the sword.

Islamic religious apologists are selectively blind to the macabre history of Islam. Academic, historical, and scriptural accounts of the religion’s development all attest to the fact that Islam was indeed founded upon tribal schisms and bloodshed. The primary driver of violence in the Middle East today is Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence, a conflict stemming from the early days of Islam when warring factions quarreled over the rules of succession following the death of Muhammed.

As Leftist apologists are quick to point out, ISIS’s main victims are other Muslims. What they deliberately leave out, however, is the fact that ISIS is a Sunni-Salafist organization that targets non-Sunnis, including Shiites, Yazidis, Kurds, apostates, and anyone else they consider outside the framework of Muhammad’s carefully articulated framework of Islamic piety. Indeed, ISIS’s assaults are highly calculated and vindictive, attacking targets that have sought out revenge against Sunnis in the past, like Iraqi Shiites, or Westerners that have dared to question or criticize Muhammad.

Unlike Islam, Judaism, as a religion, has solved its theological disputes through intensive scholarship and oral arguments. The Talmud is the living testament of Jewish debate and exegesis. Contrary to their Islamic clerical counterparts, Rabbinical authorities have refrained from inciting violence in name of religion and have instead encouraged textual analysis and philosophical inquiry for the greater part of Jewish history and into the modern era.

4. Muslim refugees are far more religious (with many submitting to Qur’anic literalism) than Jewish refugees during WWII, an ethno-religious block that was predominately secular, assimilated into Western society, and already integrated into the mainstream European social fabric.

One of the main prejudiced complaints Hitler and the Nazis leveled against the Jews of Europe was that they were too integrated into society. Hitler sought a wholesale separation between Jews and Aryans based on eugenics-dependent racial lines. While anti-Semitism was still pervasive in Europe before the rise of the Third-Reich, the Jews nonetheless managed to thrive in a variety of fields, including the arts, literature, science, finance, and medicine. The Jews that were Orthodox practiced their faith in peace and privacy, without imposing their religion on wider society.

Today’s Muslim refugees come from relatively unstable, Islamic-centric societies where religion is both a public and private exercise. The wall of separation between personal Islamic faith and public Islamic law is virtually non-existent in Muslim-majority countries. Islam encompasses every aspect of life from marital relations to government administration.

As a result, Muslim refugees may have sympathies and views antithetical to Western values. According the a recent Pew Research Center poll highlighted in The Daily Caller, a significant proportion of Arab Muslims endorse sharia law as the ideal legal code for society and favor harsh punishments for non-believers that violate the tenets of Islam:

86 percent of Muslims in Pakistan, 84 percent in Afghanistan, 81 percent in the Palestinian territories, 80 percent in Egypt, 65 percent in Jordan, 57 percent in Iraq and 54 percent in Malaysia and Bangladesh favor stoning as a lethal punishment for adultery. A majority of Muslims in several countries also support the death penalty for Muslims who convert away from Islam, including in Afghanistan (79 percent), Egypt (88 percent), Pakistan (75 percent), the Palestinian territories (62 percent), Jordan (83 percent) and Malaysia (58 percent).

Ian Tuttle of The National Review explains the value-gap between Jews of the WWII era and Muslim refugees today, citing, “A recent Arab Opinion Index poll of 900 Syrian refugees found that one in eight hold a “to some extent”-positive view of the Islamic State (another 4 percent said that they did not know or refused to answer). A non-trivial minority of refugees who support a murderous, metastatic caliphate is a reason for serious concern. No 13 percent of Jews looked favorably upon the Nazi party.”

5. Muslim immigrants have disproportionately contributed to racist attacks against other minority groups, notably Jews. European Jews are still victims, rather than perpetrators, of anti-Semitic, white and Islamo-Supremacist, acts of harassment, bullying and intimidation.

According to the latest Pew Research Center polls, the majority of anti-Semitic attacks directed against Jews are initiated by members of the Muslim immigrant population. This is unsurprising given the culture of rampant anti-Semitism in the Arab world, particularly in Palestinian territories. “While European views towards Jews have become more negative, the deepest anti-Jewish sentiments exist outside of Europe, especially in predominantly Muslim nations. The percentage of Turks, Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Pakistanis with favorable opinions of Jews is in the single digits,” documents Pew.

Global Jewry’s numbers are dwindling dramatically, while Muslim populations across the world are skyrocketing. Muslims are one of the fastest growing groups in the world. In the West, Muslim birth rates are far higher than Christians, Jews, and the unaffiliated.

“The Muslim share of Europe’s total population has been increasing steadily,” cites Pew. “Muslims are younger than other Europeans. In 2010, the median age of Muslims throughout Europe was 32, eight years younger than the median for all Europeans (40).” The influx of Muslim refugees flooding the West will exacerbate this demographic shift as the overwhelming majority of migrants are male.

These male migrants import anti-Semitic ideologies and beliefs that may harm existing minority populations, especially Jews. When the Charlie Hebdo Islamic terrorists finished slaughtering French cartoonists they went straight to a kosher super-market to butcher Jews. The anti-Semitism of the Obama administration obscured the fact that the kosher super-market attack was religiously motivated. In a moment of shame that will live on in the historical annals of anti-Jewish bigotry, President Obama called the attacks “random,” as if random Islamic terrorists happened to randomly stumble upon random Jewish folks in randomly kosher super-market to commit mass slaughter.

Original Article: The Daily Wire

‘Despicable’ Antisemitic Cyber Attack at Tennessee Campus Outrages Jewish Student Community

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The Jewish community at Vanderbilt University in Nashville expressed “outrage” over a cyber attack on campus which caused some of the school’s printers to churn out antisemitic fliers, the capital city’s main daily The Tennessean reported on Tuesday.

Vanderbilt Hillel Executive Director Ari Dubin condemned the “despicable” fliers — the content of which resembled that of similar incidents at Princeton, Brown and other colleges, for which a white supremacist hacker took credit — and thanked the university for its “rapid response…and efforts to stop these kinds of hacking attacks from occurring in the future.”

In those cases, network printers began printing fliers adorned with swastikas and asking whether “[you] white men [are] sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country.”

Vanderbilt University Police are investigating the incident, the report said, and federal authorities have been notified. The perpetrator behind the cyber hack has yet to be identified.

The Nashville-based university is home to a vibrant and growing Jewish community. The school ranked 15th on The Algemeiner’s inaugural list of the “15 Best Colleges for Jewish Students 2016.”

Original Article: Algemeiner

Fordham U. blocks Students for Justice in Palestine chapter

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College bars formation of chapter of anti-Israel group, says singling out single nation not permitted.

Fordham University will not allow students to form a Students for Justice in Palestine group because it does not allow groups that solely promote one country’s interests.

According to a Tuesday statement from Fordham, a Jesuit school in New York City, an SJP group would act more like a political lobby than a traditional campus club.

“Fordham has no registered student clubs the sole focus of which is the political agenda of one nation, against another nation,” the statement read. “The narrowness of Students for Justice in Palestine’s political focus makes it more akin to a lobbying group than a student club. Regardless of the club’s status, students, faculty, and staff are of course free to voice their opinions on Palestine, or any other issue.”

There is also no pro-Israel student group at Fordham. There is a Jewish students’ club, but its description does not mention Israel.

Palestine Legal, a pro-Palestinian legal advocacy group, sent a letter protesting the decision to Fordham President Rev. Joseph M. McShane. The letter says that denial of an SJP chapter could constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.

Fordham’s decision “not only violates the free speech, associational and academic freedom principles to which Fordham claims to adhere, but also raises civil rights concerns,” Palestine Legal’s letter read. “Fordham has betrayed principles of free speech to which it promises to adhere.”

Original Artricle: Arutz Sheva

Trump’s UN ambassador blasts world body’s anti-Israel bias

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Nikki Haley will blast the global body over its treatment of Israel at her Senate confirmation hearing.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, will blast the global body over its treatment of Israel at her Senate confirmation hearing, according to prepared testimony seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

“Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel,” Haley will say in the opening remarks for her appearance on Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers,” the speech says, according to Reuters.

Noting that the United States contributes 22 percent of the UN budget, far more than any other country, Haley’s speech says, “Are we getting what we pay for?”

She also promises to work with U.S. lawmakers to pursue what she described as “seriously needed change” at the United Nations, according to Reuters.

The UN’s anti-Israel bias is well-known and was even acknowledged by its former Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, before he stepped down at the beginning of this month.

Ban also admitted the UN’s anti-Israel bias during a 2013 session with Israeli students, though the comments were not widely reported by Israeli media at the time.

Despite his admission of the bias, the global body just recently passed a series of anti-Israel resolutions during its annual “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”.

Haley’s hearing comes weeks after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 which was critical of Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

Some Republican lawmakers, led by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, have threatened to cut U.S. funding for the UN following the anti-Israel resolution.

Graham and fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas last week introduced a law that would block taxpayer dollars from going toward the UN, in response to Resolution 2334.

Original Article: Artuz Sheva

Michigan Latest US State to Pass Anti-BDS Legislation

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Michigan has become the latest state to pass legislation aimed at combatting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The bipartisan legislation prohibiting Michigan from contracting with businesses that boycott a “strategic partner” was passed last month by both the state house and senate, and signed Tuesday by Governor Rick Synder. The bill intends to protect the state’s economy from efforts to restrict trade with Israel, a central goal of the BDS movement.

According to the bill, state agencies “may not enter into a contract with a person to acquire or dispose of supplies, services, or information technology unless the contract includes a representation that the person is not currently engaged in, and an agreement that the person will not engage in” boycotts of allies.

The move by Michigan lawmakers was praised by pro-Israel organizations.

Peggy Shapiro, midwest director of the educational and advocacy organization StandWithUs, said the bill defends against the “devastating economic impact that would result from a boycott of Israel. This legislation is good for the future prosperity of the state, the nation and Israel.”

Michigan’s passage of the bill ensures “that holding Israel to a double standard would not be tolerated,” said Josh Block, CEO of The Israel Project.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Michigan for standing beside Israel and refusing to look the other way in the face of prejudice,” Block added.

Original Article: Algemeiner

IDF ARRESTS FORMER PALESTINIAN GOVERNOR AND FATAH LEADER

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Israeli forces reportedly arrest former Tulkarem and Jenin governor, Talal Dweikat, early Wednesday.

The IDF arrested Talal Dweikat, a former Tulkarem and Jenin governor, who also served as a general in the Palestinian Authority intelligence services, early Wednesday morning for allegedly partaking in weapons trade.

“The occupation forces arrested Dweikat after raiding his house and searching his belongings in Askar,” Wafa, the official PA news site, reported.

A Shin Bet spokesman said that Dweikat was arrested “for his involvement in advanced weapons trade,” without elaborating on details.

In addition to Dweikat, the IDF arrested two others in Nablus and raided Dweikat’s brother’s home, Sarhan Dweikat, who also has the rank of general.

Dweikat, who was elected to the Fatah Revolutionary Council in December, formerly served as a head of the PA intelligence services in Nablus in the early 2000s and was appointed as Tulkarem governor in 2006, where he oversaw the rehabilitation of the PA security forces in the aftermath of the second intifada.

In 2012, Dweikat was appointed Jenin governor, serving until 2014 when he accepted a position as an advisor in the PA presidency.

Fatah spokesman Munir Jaghoub responded to Dweikat’s and other Palestinians’ arrests, saying that they confirm Israel’s hostile mentality.

“The Israeli arrests and attacks are intensifying day after day against Fatah’s leadership and cadres all over the homeland, sending a clear message to the Palestinian people and its leadership that the current situation is incredibly difficult and complicated…and that the occupation’s mentality is only that of killing, destruction, arrest, and denying Palestinian rights, requiring all of us to take a serious stand and confront its arrogance,” Jaghoub told Wafa.

The IDF holds that it carries out arrests of suspects, who pose a security threat to Israel.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Security cabinet orders arrests, closure of Jerusalem terrorist’s village

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After truck-ramming attack which killed four, police increase presence in Jabel Mukaber, ministers call to destroy family home as soon as possible.

In response to Sunday’s truck-ramming terror attack, the security cabinet decided late Sunday on a series of measures intended to deter new Palestinian attacks.

After convening Sunday night at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, the committee of 10 ministers voted to deny the release of the terrorist’s body to his family, in order to prevent the family from holding a public funeral at which his actions would be celebrated.

Fadi al-Qunbar, 28, a father of four from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, rammed his truck into a group of IDF soldiers touring the Jerusalem’s Haas Promenade in the city’s south.

Among the responses chosen by the ministers, the Qunbar family home will be destroyed at the earliest possible time — limited only by possible court appeals available to the family.

Standing family — unification requests by members of the Qunbar family to allow relatives from Gaza to come live with them in Jerusalem will be denied.

The neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, from which multiple terror attacks have originated over the past year, has been encircled by security forces, who placed a cordon on the village and begun carrying out security checks for anyone leaving the area toward other parts of Jerusalem.

The cabinet also ordered the security services to detain and investigate anyone found praising or celebrating the attack, after claims surfaced that some residents of East Jerusalem cheered and distributed sweets to passersby after the attack.

It also gave permission for security agencies to place anyone who expresses support for Islamic State, as Qunbar reportedly did, in administrative detention, a controversial counter-terror measure that allows the indefinite detention of terror suspects without trial.

Nine people were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the attack, including five family members of the terrorist. Police carried out multiple raids into Jabel Mukaber in the afternoon and evening hours.

Palestinian media reported that Qunbar was affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a secular terror group, but Qunbar’s family insisted he was “religious,” and Israeli intelligence believes he supported the Islamic State jihadist group.

The four soldiers who were killed in the attack were named on Sunday evening: Yael Yekutiel, 20, Shir Hajaj, 22, Shira Tzur, 20, and Erez Orbach, 20. All will be buried on Monday at military cemeteries around the country. Sixteen more people were injured, two of them very seriously.

Original Article: The Times Of Israel

HAMAS HOLDS RALLY IN GAZA TO CELEBRATE TERRORIST RAMMING THAT KILLED 4 ISRAELIS

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“The message of our Islamic party Hamas is a message of encouragement and support for every jihadi who carries out an attack that puts an end to the acts of the Zionist enemy.”

Thousands of Hamas activists and supporters took to the streets of Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza on Sunday night to rally against Israel and praise the terrorist ramming attack in Jerusalem which killed four Israelis.

Earlier on Sunday, a Palestinian rammed his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers on a popular promenade in Jerusalem, killing four of them in an attack which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had likely been inspired by Islamic State.

Chanting anti-Israeli slogans the protesters marched to the rally where sweets were handed out in celebration.

“The message of our Islamic party Hamas is a message of encouragement and support for every jihadi who carries out an attack that puts an end to the acts of the Zionist enemy,” Hamas leader Fathi Hamad, who led the rally, told Reuters.

The Palestinian Islamist group routinely praises those who carry out street attacks against Israelis.

The Palestinian attack in Jerusalem was the deadliest in months and targeted officer cadets as they disembarked from a bus that brought them to the Armon Hanatziv promenade which has a panoramic view of the walled Old City.

The military said an officer and three officer cadets were killed and that 17 others were injured.

Police identified the truck driver as a Palestinian from east Jerusalem and said he was shot dead. His uncle, Abu Ali, named him as Fadi Ahmad Hamdan Qunbor, 28, a father of four from the Jabel Mukabar neighborhood.

Following the attack, Netanyahu said that access limitations were imposed in and around the east Jerusalem neighborhood and that further actions will be taken by Israel.

Late on Sunday, police were seen patrolling the area and stopping vehicles for checks. Palestinians threw fireworks at the forces, but no casualties were reported.

Actions inspired by Islamic State in Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem have been rare and only a few dozen Arab Israelis and Palestinians are known to have declared their sympathy with the group.

A wave of Palestinian street attacks, including vehicle rammings, has largely slowed but not stopped completely since it began in October 2015 and 37 Israelis and two visiting Americans have been killed in these assaults.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu calls to pardon Elor Azaria after Hebron manslaughter conviction

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“IDF soldiers are everyone’s sons and daughters,” the prime minister wrote in his Facebook post.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterized the manslaughter conviction handed down Wednesday to Elor Azaria for killing a neutralized terrorist as a “difficult and painful day.”

Netanyahu said he supported a pardon for the soldier.

“This is a difficult and painful day for all of us,” he said in a statement that came some eight hours after the conviction, long after many other politicians had already reacted. “First and foremost for Elor and his family, IDF soldiers, and many citizens and parents of our soldiers, myself included.”

“I call on all citizens to behave responsibly toward the IDF, its officers and the chief-of-general staff,” he said. “We have one army which is the foundation of our existence. IDF soldiers are everyone’s sons and daughters and they must remain above all disagreements.”

Netanyahu has come under criticism over the last nine months for various comments he made on this issue, initially criticizing the soldier, but later calling the family to express support.

Immediately after the incident, Netanyahu issued a statement that “the IDF expects its soldiers to behave with composure and in accordance with the rules of engagement,” adding that the incident in Hebron does not “represent the values of the IDF.”

Two days later he wrote a Facebook post saying, “The IDF is a moral army that does not execute people. IDF soldiers have absorbed with their bodies the terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and deserve support.” He said he trusted that the IDF would conduct a thorough and fair investigation “as it always does.”

Nevertheless, he called Azaria’s father shortly afterward. Months later he defended that phone call, saying he told Azaria’s father to have faith in the army.

“You know what I told him? Word for word: Place your trust in the IDF, in the chief of staff, in our commanders and soldiers and our justice system,” Netanyahu said. (He went on to compare Azaria’s parents to those of soldiers who die or go missing in combat, a statement he later apologized for following a public outcry.)

In April, Netanyahu said, “Our soldiers are not murderers. They act against murderers, and I hope that the way will be found to balance between the action and the overall context of the incident.”

The next day he said that he was certain that the military court would take into account all the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“As a father of a soldier and the prime minister, I want to say again that the IDF backs up its soldiers,” he said. “In my familiarity with the military justice system, I am convinced that the court will consider all circumstances regarding the incident.”

The trial of Azaria, who was caught on film in the March 24 incident, has divided the nation, as was evidenced by the violent clashes between police and Azaria supporters outside the courtroom.

A panel of three judges determined after the contentious eight-month trial that Azaria’s shooting of Sharif was not justified. Sentencing was due to be handed down at a later date.

The judges rejected Azaria’s claims that he had acted in self-defense, fearing that Sharif may have been wearing an explosives vest.

They pointed to testimony of several people on the scene that Azaria had originally said that Sharif needed to be killed out of revenge for stabbing a soldier. Only later did Azaria’s defense come up with the story that he feared Sharif may still be dangerous, the judges said.

The judges took more than two hours delivering their verdict, shooting down the defense’s claims one after the other.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Fatah: ‘Bloodshed will follow if Trump moves US embassy to Jerusalem’

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“I believe that any American act of stupidity will ignite the Palestinian territories,” says senior Fatah official.

The Palestinians will start a new violent uprising if Donald Trump’s incoming White House administration relocates the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a senior Fatah official indicated this week in an interview translated by MEMRI.

“I believe that any American act of stupidity will ignite the Palestinian territories,” Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu al-Einein told Egypt’s Alghad TV on Sunday.

Al-Einein, an aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also pointed to Israeli “arrogance” and settlement activity along with the potential US maneuver as provoking Palestinian violence.

“We must prepare for a confrontation with the new US administration, which has clearly and audaciously declared that Israel and its settlements are legitimate and legal,” he asserted.

The Palestinian official charged that Washington and Jerusalem “will bear responsibility for the return of the bloodshed in the Palestinian territories.”

The Trump team has said that the US president-elect considers moving the embassy a “very big priority.”

Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Trump repeatedly said he would move the US Embassy if elected – a political promise past US presidents have frequently made, yet has never been held.

Longstanding US policy is to treat the status of Jerusalem as an issue to be settled in final-status negotiations with the Palestinians.

Trump’s pledge to move the mission has been met with mixed reactions from Israeli officials.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has questioned whether it would be wise for Trump to prioritize moving America’s embassy upon taking office. Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer has backed the potential move as “a great step for peace.”

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Trump slams Obama for his ‘disdain’ and ‘disrespect’ toward Israel

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The United States last week abstained from wielding its veto power at the UNSC, allowing an anti-settlement resolution to pass.

US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday took to social media to rail against the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel, criticizing the White House’s foreign policy decisions and its most recent move at the United Nations.

“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” Trump wrote on Twitter hours before US Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to give a speech on Middle East peace.

He continued by stating: “[Israel] used to have a great friend in the U.S., but… not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)!”

Shortly after Trump issued his remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the incoming American commander-in-chief for backing Israel.

“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.

The social media exchange ensued after the United Nations Security Council on Friday passed a motion condemning Israel’s settlement construction, after the United States abstained from casting a vote over the controversial decision. The US had previously been expected to yield its veto power as a permanent member of the 15-state body over the issue.

Jerusalem has expressed outrage over the resolution, calling the decision “shameful.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later said that the United States had worked “behind the back” of Israel.

Kerry’s speech is expected lay out his vision for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and address the abstention decision later on Wednesday.

The speech, less than a month before US President Barack Obama leaves office, is expected to be the administration’s last word on a decades-old dispute that Kerry had hoped to resolve during his four years as America’s top diplomat.

It could also be seen in Israel as another parting shot at Netanyahu, who has had an especially acrimonious relationship with Obama since they both took office in 2009.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post