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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why J Street was rejected

The Times of Israel has the full story of why J Street didn't get in to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Here's the key part.
But they emphasize that J Street was rejected not by the “Left or Right” or a “right-wing minority” but by the overwhelming voting consensus of the 50-member organization. Moreover, the sources say, J Street supporters were in a smaller minority than initially apparent because just two voting blocs controlled 8 of the 17 yes votes.
When you read the entire article, it's readily apparent that those two blocs were the Conservative and Reform movements.
Read the whole thing.

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Meanwhile, back in the real world....

From here.

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And again: Terror in (and around) Jerusalem

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

I'm going to open with a story I have not seen reported elsewhere, but heard about throughout the Sabbath.

On Friday night, just before 2:00 am, a 'Palestinian' snuck up from a nearby Arab village and opened fire on a group of boys who were sitting in a park in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.

Fortunately, the Arab missed, and the boys all escaped.

Police have been searching for suspects all day on Saturday (if you live in northern Jerusalem, that's all the helicopters you heard in the middle of the night and during the day on Saturday) and rumor has it that some arrests have been made.

Some of you might recall that Joe Biden went ballistic over an announcement that Jewish housing was being built in Ramat Shlomo while Biden was here in 2010.

Meanwhile, a car was hit by two bullets near Adam, just north of Jerusalem on Friday afternoon.
An Israeli citizen reported Friday afternoon to the Binymin Region security hotline that shots had been fired at his car as it traveled near the community of Adam.
Large IDF forces arrived on the scene and a forensics team identified two bullets that hit the car. The forces bergan combing the region for suspects.
But peace is at hand....

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Shabbos, a music video

Shot on location in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem, Sam Glaser gets his chassidic brother, Rabbi Yom Tov Glaser and family members in on the act. Co-starring Sam and Yom Tov's parents Harriet and Manny with Yom Tov's family and friends on one of Glaser's classic songs from his first Jewish album, Hineni.

Sam roams the planet to over fifty cities each year making Shabbat come alive in Jewish communities. The Sabbath is perhaps the most important single contribution of the Jewish People to the world...why not celebrate it in style?

For more information:

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Mrs. Carl).

Shabbat Shalom everyone.

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Z Street to get its day in court with the IRS

From time to time over the past four years, I have covered the IRS's refusal to grant tax-exempt status to Z Street, a pro-Israel organization. This week there was a breakthrough and the IRS will be forced to answer the charges against it.
On Tuesday, Federal Judge Ketanje Brown Jackson issued the first substantive ruling in any suit that challenged the IRS’s pose of political neutrality under the Obama administration. The case concerns Z Street, a Philadelphia area-based pro-Israel organization that filed for tax-exempt status in December 2009 because of its role in educating the public about Israel and the Middle East conflict. The group’s founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus wrote in the Jewish Press this week about what followed:
On July 19, 2010, when counsel for Z STREET spoke with the IRS agent to whom the organization’s application had been assigned, that agent said that a determination on Z STREET’s application may be further delayed because the IRS gave “special scrutiny” to organizations connected to Israel and especially to those whose views “contradict those of the administration’s.”
Z Street subsequently sued the government and rightly argued that its constitutional rights had been violated because of the “viewpoint discrimination” that the IRS agent had openly displayed. Now after years of delays, Judge Jackson has ruled that by asserting that Z Street had no right to sue, the government had tried to “transform a lawsuit that clearly challenges the constitutionality of the process … into a dispute over tax liability.” She similarly dismissed the government’s claims of sovereign immunity.
What has this got to do with the Tea Party and its complaints? Plenty.

As the Wall Street Journal editorial page noted yesterday:
This ruling will force the IRS to open its books on the procedures it used and decisions it made reviewing Z Street’s tax-exempt application, procedures it has tried to keep shrouded. As the case proceeds, Z Street’s attorneys can seek depositions from many who have been part of the larger attempt to sit on similar applications by other conservative groups.
In other words, this case may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of the IRS’s politically prejudicial policies. If an IRS agent can reject or stall a pro-Israel group’s application on the grounds that “these cases are being sent to a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies,” then no group, no matter what its political orientation or cause is safe from being subjected to a political litmus test designed by any administration of either political party.
Bring it on. Too bad it's taken so long to reach trial that Obama's term will likely be over before we know what happened. 

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Border police foil suicide bombing, IDF looks for terror cell behind it

The border police foiled a suicide bombing at the Tapuach junction in Samaria on Friday morning, and the IDF is now searching for the three-member terror cell they believe to be behind the bombing. This is from the first link.
The suicide bomber wore heavy clothing on a hot day and walked in a strange manner, arousing the suspicions of Border Police officers at the junction. After being forced to lie on the ground and reveal 12 pipe bombs wrapped around his body and connected by wires. Border Police called in a bomb disposal team, which dismantled the belt. 
The Palestinian was then arrested and taken for questioning while a bomb squad dismantled the explosives and submitted the devices for further inspections to determine the explosive material which was used.

The terrorist was identified as a Palestinian man in his 20's, who arrived at the junction from Nablus area. Security forces believe that the bomber intended to strike the soldiers at the check point but are also investigating other possibilities
And the search....
The assumption at this stage is that the suicide terrorist who was captured wearing a bomb belt was brought to Tapuach Junction by three other Arab terrorists, reports Walla!.
The three terrorists reportedly gave the apprehended terrorist clear instructions as to how to detonate the bomb belt.
IDF forces suspect that the three terrorists may have more bomb belts or other weapons, lending a true urgency to the pursuit.
The information likely was provided by the captured terrorist who was brought in for investigation, after refusing IDF orders to remove his unseasonably large coat at Tapuach Junction and then lying on the ground.
And if you're wondering why this guy wasn't a suspect a long time ago....
A senior military official said that the terrorist who was apprehended had no past history of connections to terrorism. The source added that the terrorist said in investigation that he was supposed to detonate the explosive himself, as opposed to some other terrorist detonating it remotely.
 No, the war is not over yet.

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'I froze 'settlement construction' but Obama made me do it'

Prime Minister Netanyahu admitted on Thursday that he froze all 'settlement construction' in Judea and Samaria, but claimed that the Obama administration forced him to do it.
In the night-time meeting at the Prime Minister's Office, whose details were reported on Friday by journalist Ariel Kahane of Makor Rishon, nearly all the leaders of the regional councils were present, as well as Dani Dayan, Chief Foreign Envoy of the Council of Judea and Samaria, and Ze'ev Haver, the chaiman of the Amana housing organization.
Netanyahu acknowledged that American demands led to the cancellation of high planning council meetings of the IDF's civil administration that manages the Judea and Samaria region.
The prime minister reportedly requested that the Housing Ministry freeze new construction projects in Judea and Samaria earlier in the month, despite the collapse of peace talks, and despite the fact that he chose to release jailed terrorists instead of freezing building as a condition of the talks.
In the meeting the prime minister did not deny having giving the order to freeze construction, but claimed to the representatives of Judea and Samaria residents that he wasn't aware of the results of his actions on the region.
On the way out of the meeting, the representatives looked for Prime Minister Netanyahu's backbone. No word yet on whether they found it.

But in all fairness, if Netanyahu had accepted the 'settlement freeze' and not released the terrorists, the 'Palestinians' would have said that releasing terrorists is crucial to the 'peace process' and they cannot go ahead without it.

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Obama-Kerry recognize Hamas-Fatah 'unity government'

The Obama-Kerry administration has recognized the Hamas-Fatah terror coalition as the 'government' of 'Palestine.' They have invited the new 'Prime Minister' to Washington.
According to a report by Maariv on Friday, a Palestinian official stated that the invitation is decleration of American recognition for the unity government . The official added, "The visit will take place in June, during which [Rami] Hamdallah will meet with American president and visit the US Congress."
Head of the Fatah reconciliation team , Azam al-Ahmad said that, "The US administration has renounced its previous disapproval of the national unity government and will no support the new government."
Washington has previously announced that it expects any Palestinian government to  refrain from violence as well as recognize Israel and agreements.
They also said that they were reconsidering US assistance to the 'Palestinian Authority.' I wonder whether that is still on the table.

What could go wrong?

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A very different Presidency?

With the announcement that Prime Minister Netanyahu has now endorsed Likud MK Ruby Rivlin for President (yes, that's yours truly with Rivlin when he was Knesset speaker in 2004 - thanks David C), Israel may have a very different President than Shimon Peres come June 10.
On the day that President Shimon Peres hosted Pope Francis, the frontrunner to succeed Peres made clear he does not share their vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But in an interview with The Times of Israel, the Likud’s Reuven Rivlin also promised that, if elected president, he would not seek to intervene in the decisions of Israel’s elected politicians on peacemaking or anything else.
Israelis and Palestinians are “destined to live together,” Rivlin told The Times of Israel Monday. But “I’m a utopianist,” he said. “I have a vision that suddenly all the Jewish people [from around the world] will come to live here… And if there were 10 million Jews here, we wouldn’t have to give up on anything.”
Rivlin was speaking to The Times of Israel in a short telephone interview timed to coincide with Wednesday’s Jerusalem Day, which he lamented was no longer a “consensus” day of festivities but, rather, had come to be celebrated “only by kipa-wearing [Orthodox] Israelis.”
He was reluctant to discuss the June 10 Knesset vote in which he hopes his 119 colleagues will elect him as Israel’s 10th president. “I think I have the support of most of them,” he said, and he stressed that, if elected to succeed Peres, his fellow MKs know that “I won’t intervene in Knesset decisions. [The MKs] will decide Israel’s borders, and its [policies on] peace. The president is a bridge to enable debate, to reduce tensions, to alleviate frictions.”
The presidency is a largely ceremonial position, but some presidents — certainly including Peres — have made no secret of their political and diplomatic preferences while in office. “It’s not for the president to determine the arrangements between Israel and the Palestinians, and the Arab world,” Rivlin elaborated, “but to be the bridge between opinions, and to facilitate dialogue and understanding.”
What a refreshing change that would be. 

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Rolling Stones concert pushed to 9:15 pm to attract religious fans

The Rolling Stones concert in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night has been pushed to 9:15 pm so that religiously observant fans can make it (the holiday of Shavuoth ends around 8:25 pm on Wednesday). The city had to waive an ordinance forbidding noise after 11:00 pm to make it happen. Incredibly, it sounds like there are still tickets available.
An announcement released by promoter Shuki Weiss said that following many requests from observant fans, his office and the Tel Aviv Municipality agreed to to extend the 11 p.m. curfew on public performances.
Opening act Rami Fortis will hit the stage at 8 p.m and the Stones will follow at 9:15 p.m.
One possible explanation for the late-breaking arrangements is to generate more ticket sales to the show, which some reports have as being sluggish. Whether a surge from religiously observant Israelis deciding they can now get to the show in time will do the trick and fill the park is in the hands of fate.
It would still be almost impossible to make it to the park in time from anywhere outside the Tel Aviv area. 

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Oh my: Jimmy Carter calls Obama incompetent

Yes, Jimmy Carter - for now America's worst ex-President - has called Barack Obama incompetent.
Now, things have gotten so bad for Obama that former president Jimmy Carter has called President Obama incompetent in the family-friendly pages of Parade magazine.
“He’s done the best he could under the circumstances,” Carter said of Obama in an interviewed published on Thursday. “His major accomplishment was Obamacare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.” (RELATED: Jimmy Carter: America no longer has a functioning democracy)
Yes, but at least Americans 34 years ago weren't stupid enough to reelect Carter. 

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Shimon Peres' legacy

The saddest part about this Caroline Glick column is that most of the world still sees Slimy Shimon Peres as an angel in disguise and not as the sleaze bag he really is. Shimon Peres' legacy is a nuclear-armed Iran.
Peres’s legacy will be Iran’s nuclear arsenal.

For years, many Israelis as well as Israel’s supporters in the US, the Sunni Arab states in the Persian Gulf and even the French have been scratching their heads wondering why Israel hasn’t struck Iran’s nuclear installations yet. Over the past few months, we received our answer.

The ongoing police investigation into allegedly illegal conduct by then-IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has revealed the source of Israel’s paralysis.

Apparently led by Peres, the triumvirate of security chiefs serving between 2008 and 2011 – Ashkenazi, then-Mossad director Meir Dagan and then-Shin Bet director Avi Dichter – colluded to undermine Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s and then-defense minister Ehud Barak’s legal authority to order Israel’s security forces to take action against Iran.

According to a Haaretz report on Wednesday, between 2008 and 2011, the four men leaked plans and discussions of possible Israeli strikes on Iran to the media in order to prevent them from being carried out. The four men opposed an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations and stridently rejected any Israeli operation not coordinated with the US.

Ashkenazi and his associates are being investigated by the police for crimes associated with criminal insubordination to Israel’s elected leadership. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the police probe in January after information unearthed by the media and by the State Comptroller’s Office raised strong suspicions of a conspiracy led by Ashkenazi to usurp the powers of the government.

According to media reports of the investigation, the police have discovered tape recordings of numerous telephone conversations between Ashkenazi and Peres. According to Channel 1 and Haaretz, Peres’s attorney requested that Weinstein prohibit the publication of the details of phone conversations.

Haaretz’s report didn’t specifically state that the conversations in question related to actions by Peres and the security chiefs to prevent military operations against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But the same day the report appeared, Amir Oren, Haaretz’s senior commentator, published an article praising Peres for preventing Israel from attacking Iran.

Oren wrote, “Peres’s involvement in blocking the Iranian adventure [i.e., a military attack against Iran’s nuclear installations] is… the most important action he took as president.”

As Amnon Lord wrote last December in Makor Rishon, Peres’s role in the security chiefs’ conspiracy to prevent Netanyahu and Barak from ordering a strike against Iran’s nuclear installations was to provide “pseudo-constitutional and pseudo- moral support” for their unlawful subversion.
The four men were very likely not acting by themselves. Lord argued that the Obama administration was a fifth partner in this criminal conspiracy.

The US was represented in its efforts by the then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen. Mullen visited Israel almost every month during this period and constantly praised Ashkenazi’s leadership publicly.

As Lord noted, these trips were reciprocated by Ashkenazi and then-Military Intelligence commander Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin who flew regularly to Washington.

For the Americans, Lord wrote, the point of cultivating these ties was “to influence the IDF’s high command and cut it off from the political leadership of Israel.”

In the case of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, as in the case of the phony peace process, Peres’s motivation, like that of Ashkenazi, Dichter and Dagan, was clear and crass. He wanted power.

The facts already established by the Ashkenazi et. al. conspiracy probe reveal that from his earliest days as chief of staff, Ashkenazi was preparing the ground for a post-IDF run for prime minister. His will to rule distorted his perception of his place in the chain of command. Instead of viewing Netanyahu and Barak as his commanders, as the law stipulates, he saw them as his political rivals, and behaved accordingly.

As for Peres, he had been searching for a leftist politician who could defeat Netanyahu. Ashkenazi was his knight in shining armor.
Read the whole thing.

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Pope Francis to visit Uman?

Too good to not share. It looks like Pope Francis is going to Uman.

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Stop acting wimpy!

Mordechai Kedar writes that Israel's approach to Turkey has been all wrong since the Mavi Marmara incident four years ago this weekend.
To my mind, there is no bigger mistake than the way in which Israel dealt with the Marmara affair. From day one, Israel should have said loudly: "The Marmara was a terror ship that wanted to break a legal siege on a terrorist entity, and everyone on the ship is a terrorist. The nation that sent the ship is terror-supporting and its prime minister encourages terror. Israel acted as would any normal nation when attacked by terrorists. Therefore, Israel's actions were justified. There is no obligation to compensate families of terrorists, no other nation in the world does that."
At the same time, Israel could have ceased – and still can cease - acting like a wimp and start giving as good as she gets. Israel has to raise world consciousness as to the many terrible events in which Turkey's present and past governments have been involved: illegal occupation of North Cyprus since 1974; ethnic cleansing of the Greek minority from northern Cyprus; persecution of the Kurds in Turkey and wholesale abrogation of that minority's human rights; an illegal and illegitimate war against the Kurdish population of northern Iraq; abrogation of rights of Christians in Turkey; legitimization of one-sided turning of churches into mosques; killing of Turkish citizens taking part in protests; aid to Jihadist organizations like al Qaeda who are fighting in Syria – and many more crimes in which the Turkish government is involved up to its neck.
And in case anyone has forgotten, in WWI the Turkish army committed genocide against the Christian Armenians who had lived in the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years.
Several weeks ago, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu announced that Turkey will not reimburse the Greek refugees that she expelled from northern Cyprus to the south of the island after her illegal occupation of the area, despite the decision of the EU Court of Human Rights that Turkey must grant them reparations. Israel can use that as a precedent and say clearly: "Turkey is not paying reparations to peaceful, decent citizens. And we should pay reparations to families of terrorists?" Israel can also turn to Interpol with a complaint against Erdogan and his forces for the murder of citizens in last year's demonstrations in Istanbul's Gezi Park.
Israel, however, does nothing to embarrass the Turks, because we behave like softies and try to pacify them, even though every thinking person knows that when one gives in to blackmail, that does not lower the blackmailer's demands. The opposite is true: the more the blackmailer succeeds in squeezing his victim, the larger his appetite becomes and with it, the level of his blackmail.
Read the whole thing

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

The world ignores Hamas

As 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen continues to try to save his foreign aid by persuading the all-too-willing United States and Europeans that his reconciliation deal with the Hamas terror organization will advance the 'peace process,' Hamas has been singing a very different tune. Khaled Abu Toameh reports that Hamas is looking forward to launching terror attacks on Israel from the 'West Bank,' and to dragging the dead carcasses of 'collaborators' through the streets of Ramallah. 
Earlier, Abbas, in the context of his efforts to calm the U.S. Administration and EU governments over the unity accord, declared that the new Palestinian government would recognize Israel and reject violence. His remarks, however, have been strongly denied by Hamas leaders, who say their movement intends to pursue "jihad" against Israel.
Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy chairman of Hamas's political bureau, announced that his movement would never recognize Israel. "This is a red line that cannot be crossed," he said.
In other words, Hamas is telling everyone not to believe Abbas when he says that the Palestinian unity government will renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist.
This week, further evidence emerged that Hamas has no intention of changing its ideology in the wake of the unity agreement with Abbas's Fatah faction.
Hamas's two most senior representatives, Khaled Mashaal and Mahmoud Zahar, have both made it clear that their movement is planning to continue "resistance" actions against Israel even after the formation of the unity government. They also emphasized that Hamas has no intention of dismantling its military wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, as part of the unity accord.
Asked about the possibility that Hamas would disarm, Zahar said: "Who is this crazy guy who would be able to go to the resistance groups and and ask them to hand over their weapons? Who would dare to do so?"
Zahar also disclosed that Hamas is planning to take advantage of the unity deal to move its terror attacks against Israel to the West Bank. Worse, he declared that after its men set foot in the West Bank, Hamas will target Palestinians who "collaborate" with Israel. "Who said that those who are conducting security coordination with Israel would remain forever?" he asked, referring to the Fatah-dominated security forces in the West Bank.
Zahar, who also said that Hamas would pursue the fight against Israel until the "liberation of all Palestine," is in fact sending a warning message to the Western-funded Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank. "We believe in what was mentioned in the Quran: that Palestine, all of Palestine, will be liberated," he added. "The Israeli entity should expect more from Hamas after our rockets reached Tel Aviv."
And the reaction of the Americans and Europeans to this inconvenient piece of news?
The international community does not seem to be listening to what Hamas is saying.
Ignoring Hamas's declared intentions will pave the way for the movement to use the unity agreement to seize control over the Palestinian Authority and many parts of the West Bank. It will also facilitate Hamas's plans to launch terror attacks from the West Bank against Israel.
It now remains to be seen whether the U.S. Administration and EU governments, by blindly endorsing the new unity government, will help Hamas to achieve its goals.
What could go wrong?

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Haaretz's newest blood libel

Some bald and unsubstantiated allegations from Haaretz, arising out of the alleged killings of two 'Palestinians' in Beitunia ten days ago.
Even the Palestinian Authority, despite its declarations, is not hastening to assist in finding out the truth. After two weeks, the Palestinian security forces have yet to hand over to the IDF the bullets removed from the bodies of the two young men during the autopsy in the Ramallah hospital.

And still, the shooting of rubber bullets, for which the soldier was suspended, reveals a few things about the conduct of the army during violent clashes with demonstrators. The soldier was suspended from his job, and a Military Police investigation was opened against him, because the firing of rubber bullets was not part of his assignment during the demonstration. Although he was trained as a combat soldier, his job (the precise nature of which cannot be disclosed due to a military court gag order,) is connected primarily to communications.

The Border Policeman and the other soldiers who fired rubber bullets during the demonstration were authorized to do so; the communications soldier was not. His suspension, which under ordinary circumstances would not have aroused any interest, attracted media attention because it took place in the wake of an incident that was to a great extent documented by security cameras and television cameras. Had it been a matter of soldiers who killed unarmed Palestinians in undocumented incidents — which take place almost on a monthly basis on the West Bankthere probably would have been no news coverage.

But the soldier is not so exceptional. A fact that is not widely discussed is that for quite a few soldiers who participate in dispersing demonstrations it’s a chance to take part in the “action” - firing shots, albeit it with non-lethal ammunition, in the midst of the chaos, and the adrenaline rush of a confrontation. We can reasonably assume that the soldier was seeking an exciting experience, or an escape from boredom, and that the Border Police acceded to his request to allow him to fire rubber bullets at the demonstration.

In recent years, most of the clashes between the IDF and the Border Police on one hand, and Palestinian demonstrators on the other, take place at times and in locations that the two sides have chosen in advance — what the army dubs “focus points of friction.” Although the encounter takes place repeatedly, sometimes on a weekly basis, the commanders do not have total control over the soldiers. There is always a possibility that a soldier will violate the rules of engagement, without his commanders knowing exactly what he is up to during the demonstration.

The potential for damage is exacerbated when the shooter is a soldier attached to a force and is not part of an organic unit. In the IDF there are many such job-holders — drivers, dog handlers, intelligence operatives and others — who wander among the units and join them for a few hours or a few days. This is potentially dangerous because the soldier is not part of the regular chain of command. The operational commander in the field didn’t know him before they were teamed up for the assignment, whereas his commanders are at the base and are unable to supervise him and to make sure that he is following orders.

During the years of the second intifada there were several incidents in which non-combat soldiers who found themselves in the line of fire caused problems for the unit to which they were attached, whether by firing irresponsibly on civilians or by operational mistakes (and even firing inadvertently at other soldiers). This is a weak point which almost invites mishaps, although judging by what the investigation has found until now, the soldier from the communications unit is not connected to the killing of the demonstrators.
The items I highlighted in bold reflect unsubstantiated allegations by Haaretz. The first paragraph (that I quoted - there were a couple of others before it) and the last half sentence reflect reality. And with good reason: There is no proof thus far that the IDF is responsible for the alleged killings.

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Oh my....


Pope Francis asks Yair Lapid if the cross he's wearing bothers him. Lapid answers that the yarmulka bothers him more....

The person who sent it asked to remain anonymous.

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Finally: Barack Obama tells the truth

Sad, isn't it?


The Battle for Ammunition Hill

One of the (if not THE) key battles for Jerusalem in 1967 was the battle for Ammunition Hill. Ammunition Hill, which we pass on our way to the Old City - it's probably a five-minute drive from our house - is a small hilltop which was a system of bunkers filled with weapons. The IDF had to conquer it in order to make it to the Old City of Jerusalem and the eastern part of the city. It sits practically on the green line.

After the war, this song about the battle was written and performed by an IDF choir. I am posting two versions of it, one which has no subtitles, but shows the scenery on the hill and some of the men (really boys) who were killed in the battle. The other has subtitles in both English and Hebrew.

Let's go to the videotapes.

Today, Ammunition Hill is a museum and memorial to those who were killed in the battle for Jerusalem.

From the first time I heard this song, it always bothered me how the commander - apparently knowingly - sent 'Eitan' (whose full name and picture appear in the first video) to his death.... Obviously, he felt that the alternatives were worse.... 

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014


B'Tselem has released their full video of the Naqba day incident in Beitunia in which two 'Palestinians' were allegedly killed. The video is about an hour long. 

As you will see in this clip, at least some of the video is definitely Pallywood. How much more? I can't tell you yet.

But let's go to the videotape.

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'Of course we're still interested in the peace process'

The White House is denying that President Obama's decision to leave the 'peace process' out of a major foreign policy address means that the United states is no longer interested in the 'peace process.'
"This was a speech focused primarily on security issues," the official said. "The fact that the president wasn’t able to mention every single issue the United States is involved with doesn’t mean that the issue isn’t important."
In September, Obama referred to the Middle East peace process as one of his two greatest foreign policy priorities going into his final three years as president.
His speech on Wednesday, at the United States Military Academy in New York, was an attempt by the president to lay out a broader US foreign policy moving forward.
"We continue to believe a lasting peace is in the interest of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians.  The door is open if the parties demonstrate a willingness to come back and address the difficult issues," the official said.
 Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

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'Palestinian' high tech develops new kind of 'protester'

The 'Palestinians' have finally gone high tech. They have developed a new kind of 'protester' who doesn't bleed when shot.
If accurate, this assessment reflects a major technological innovation, as until now, the bodies of protesters and rock-throwers have not been known to function without a comprehensive circulatory system. Since every Palestinian claim is accepted by large swaths of the media and society as reliable, the operating assumption of the analysts has been that in fact live ammunition was in use at Beituniya. Israeli assertions and evidence that the border police were only using rubber-coated bullets, which do not pierce the skin at the ranges involved, do not adequately explain the outcome, experts say, since such evidence would not portray the IDF as murderous thugs bent on executing teenagers.
As such, say the analysts, the only reasonable conclusion at the dramatic lack of blood involved in the death of the demonstrator remains that Palestinians have developed a more advanced model of protester. The lack of blood makes it easier for other rock-throwers and demonstrators to offer assistance where the sight of blood might otherwise frighten them.
Additionally, say experts, as greater and greater numbers of the model are rolled out, it will take significantly less effort to have the demonstrators fall, as if injured, and more plausibly claim to have been shot by IDF soldiers. The compliant media will continue to take the Palestinian version of events at face value, driving up the number of apparent Palestinian casualties while not actually subjecting demonstrators to bona fide wounds. Ideally, the same protester, variously attired, can stage multiple incidents in the space of a single afternoon.
Read the whole thing.

Here's the video from 'Naqba day' that proves it.

Let's go to the bloodless videotape of the 'deaths' of two 'protesters.'

Pallywood? Ya think? More from Elder here.

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Assad forces destroy oldest synagogue in Syria

The picture above is just one of several exclusive pictures published at the Daily Beast showing the destruction of the Eliyahu HaNavi synagogue in Damascus, the oldest synagogue in Syria. The synagogue was destroyed by forces loyal to dictator Bashar al-Assad.
This week’s attack, though the final blow, was not the first time the Syrian regime had bombarded the Jobar Synagogue. An Israeli news report from April 2013 noted that the synagogue had been “looted and destroyed,” although later photos proved that the synagogue had taken only moderate damage from a mortar shell.
Last December, photos emerged in another Israeli news report showing that many of the synagogues most precious artifacts were intact. The report stated that the bulk of the synagogue’s artifact collection was being held safely in the hands of local leaders.
Before the conflict, the synagogue held thousands of religious and cultural treasures, including hundreds years old Torah scrolls, historical texts, precious dining ware, and ancient Judaica of all sorts. Some of the items were reportedly looted in the early days of the war. Some were reportedly placed in safekeeping. Many remained in the building until its destruction.
The Eliyahu Hanabi Synagogue, built to honor the prophet Elijah, had existed at least since medieval times. The site has been a destination for Jewish pilgrimage for centuries. It was said to have been built atop the cave where Elijah hid from his persecutors. The Prophet Elisha, who allegedly built the synagogue, was said to have anointed King Hazael on its steps, now gone.
 Read the whole thing.

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Why Jerusalem was liberated

It's widely known that Israel had a deal with Jordan's King Hussein in 1967. Jordan would stay out of the upcoming war with Egypt and Syria, and Israel would not touch Jerusalem and the 'west bank.' The government ministers  - principally from the Labor party and (to their eternal shame) the National Religious Party - opposed taking Jerusalem's Old City, saying that they didn't want to rule over the Middle East equivalent of the Vatican.

It's also widely known that Jordan violated the deal and attacked Israel. What's not widely known (and I don't even recall reading an account like this in Michael Oren's seminal book on the war - which I read a few years ago) is why.

Moshe Feiglin tells the story of why Jordan broke the agreement. If you didn't believe until now that God was behind the entire war, this story ought to convince you.

The story is in Hebrew and there is an English translation. But it loses a lot in translation so if you can, read the Hebrew.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Israel's high tech leader... no, it's not Tel Aviv

10 years ago tonight, son # 5, child #8 was born (you may notice a small change to my profile to account for that event).

47 years ago tomorrow night, I sat with my parents z"l (of blessed memory) and my brother watching television reports in Boston that Israel had liberated the Temple Mount and the remainder of Jerusalem. It was a heady time.

Tonight and tomorrow are Jerusalem Day, marking the day on which the 'eastern' part of the city of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is more than Israel's spiritual capital. It's also the country's leading high tech center and one of the most optimistic places on earth.
While Israeli hi-tech, so central to the nation's economy, is often linked to the central coastal region, revenue from the industry in Jerusalem is in fact nearly 12 billion shekels (around $3.5 billion), almost as much as the revenue Tel Aviv (6.7 billion shekels) and Haifa (7 billion shekels) combined.
Jerusalem is also leading Israel in attracting olim (new immigrants). The city absorbed 2,335 new olim in 2013, making 13% of the national total of olim, and over twice as many as Tel Aviv (1,060) or Haifa (1,130).
The capital has also been attracting young people, as 30,000 people young people have moved to the city in the last four years. 51% of those moving to Jerusalem in 2012 were between the ages of 20 and 34.
While the Central Bureau of Statistics reported 88% of Jerusalemites are happy, the Municipality figures found 92% of residents are happy with their lives, as compared to an 88% national average. Tel Aviv came in at 86% and Haifa at 81%.
Jerusalem residents were also found to be the most optimistic in Israel: 63% felt their lives would be better in the future, a rate higher than the national average (59%), Tel Aviv (57%) and Haifa (54%).
 Happy Jerusalem Day!

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Israeli victims in Belgium were targeted for 'intelligence work'?

Haaretz is reporting that two Israelis who were killed in Saturday's terror attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum may have been specifically targeted due to their 'intelligence work.' Since Haaretz is behind a paywall, this is from the London Daily Telegraph.
"It's possible that the murder in Brussels was not a hate crime or an anti-Semitic attack, but a targeted assault ... a battle in a covert war, though perhaps there was a misidentification of the intended victims," [Amir Oren] wrote in Haaretz.
But he denied they were spies, and described their tools as "numbers and computers, not cloaks and daggers."
"Both were accountants who were employed separately by government bodies."
Mr Riva, 54, had worked in the finance ministry as well as at an organisation called Nativ – which was founded in the 1950s to covertly encourage Jewish education in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and to drive immigration to Israel. Once accused by the KGB of spying, Nativ falls under the remit of the prime minister's office.
Now Nativ's mission is to encourage immigration to Israel among Russian-speaking Jews living in western Europe, particularly in Germany.
His wife Miriam, 53, worked for an unspecified "government agency," Haaretz said.
"There, and also when she was stationed at one of the agency's missions in Europe, her post was solely administrative.
"She wasn't Mata Hari," it added, referring to the Dutch-born dancer, seductress and spy who was executed by a French firing squad during World War I. 
The Israeli defence ministry denied the couple had been working for them, while the prime minister's office declined to comment on the report.

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In case you have forgotten

Yes, it is.

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Jewish Funders

Dry Bones gets it right again.

And the answer to the question is that Soros owns the media.

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What Netanyahu told the Pope at the terror victims' memorial

On Monday, I reported that Pope Francis I had visited the terror victims' memorial on Mount Herzl. What was more significant was what Prime Minister Netanyahu - who got this one right - said to the Pope while they were there.

Let's go to the videotape.

And for those who couldn't make out the words in the video....
At a Jerusalem memorial for terror victims, Netanyahu told the pope, “When my son was ten years old, his best friend was a girl, a beautiful Ethiopian girl, who sat next to him in class. One day she didn’t come. She was blown up in a bus not far from here because there was no fence, no wall.”
After the pope responded with prayers for peace and a harsh condemnation of terrorism, Netanyahu elaborated further.
“I’m grateful for your words today. Israel wants peace. Here we have a hospital, Hadassah Hospital. Palestinians come to this hospital. With the wall, they come. We cannot go to their hospitals, they come to our hospitals,” he said. “We don’t teach our children to plant bombs. We teach them peace. But we have to build a wall against those who teach the other side. But it cannot prevent the incitement to hate and terror and the destruction of Israel that permeates so much of the society on the other side of the fence. If that changes, then the walls could come down and we will have peace.”
Too bad that the media outside of Israel seems to have ignored this part of the visit. 

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Don't hold your breath on a reconciliation with Turkey

More than a year after President Hussein Obama promised that reconciliation between Israel and Turkey was at hand, and after numerous false starts, the Turks may have brought the reconciliation prospects to an end on Monday. A Turkish court asked Interpol to issue a red notice for the arrest four retired senior IDF officers in connection with the May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. The four are former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former Navy chief V.-Adm. (res.) Eliezer Marom, ex-Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, and former Air Force intel chief Avishai Levi. On Tuesday morning, Israel reacted the only way it could have reacted, telling Interpol that the arrest request is political. Under Interpol's rules, that should end any prospect that the four will be arrested... by Interpol.
The former Israeli commanders were tried in absentia at the Istanbul 7th Court of Serious Crimes, reported the Hurriyet Daily News, adding that Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying “the judiciary process is ongoing” and “the ruling is being examined by law experts.”
Interpol statutes state that proceedings related to political or military affairs are not ones in which Interpol may intervene, so it is more than likely that they will not put out international arrest warrants for the four officers.
The move came after months of negotiations between Turkey and Israel to end a diplomatic crisis over the commando raid on the Turkish ship challenging Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, run by Hamas.
Yet another Middle East problem botched by Obama....

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Pope's 'man of peace' says murdering Jews not a crime

At the same event at which Pope Francis I called  'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen a 'man of peace,' the peaceful man had some choice comments about murdering Jews. This is from Tom Gross.
(4) There is also concern in Israel that the Pope called Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas a “man of peace” today at an event where Abbas, in the Pope’s presence, repeated his demand that any Palestinian who murders an Israeli must not be punished at all.
Gross also has some comments about the infamous picture of the Pope praying at the 'security fence.'
But none of the Western media I have seen have drawn attention to the exact spot that the Pope chose to pray: in front of large graffiti comparing Bethlehem to the Warsaw Ghetto.
The photo above is from the main EU-funded Palestinian media outlet, the Maan news agency.
(There is another version of this photo below.)
A few comments:
(1) Comparing Israel with Nazi Germany forms part of the working definition of anti-Semitism formulated by the EU and others.
(2) Bethlehem is a relatively prosperous town where restaurants and juice bars are packed, and BMWs, Mercedes and Humvees compete for parking spaces in the center or town. By contrast, 400,000 Jews were herded into the Warsaw Ghetto and those who weren’t beaten or starved to death there, were taken to be exterminated at nearby camps.
(Yes, there is of course a political problem between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and one day, one hopes, the security barrier can be removed without its removal leading to increased terrorism, but this has nothing to do with the Warsaw Ghetto. One wonders why the Pope’s Vatican handlers were eager to choose that spot – or are so insensitive as to allow the Palestinian Authority to guide the Pontiff to that spot.)
(3) The Pope represents an organization, the Vatican, which even today, after seven decades of repeated appeals, is still refusing to make public its wartime archives detailing the full extent of its collaboration with the Nazis before, during and after the Holocaust.
 Read the whole thing.

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We need to get in the mood for this astounding post first.

Let's go to the videotape.

An astounding 88% of Jerusalem residents say they are happy with their lives despite rampant unemployment and poverty.
Jerusalem’s population at the end of 2012 stood at 815,300 people – making it the largest city in Israel, according to a report released on Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of Jerusalem Day.
There are 515,200 residents, comprised of Jewish, non-Arab Christians or other religions, marking 63 percent of the total city population; while the Arab population stands at 100,300, or 37% of the city's residents.
Among the Jews residing in the city, 35% defined themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 18% as religious, 12t as traditional-religious, 14% are traditional but not very religious and 20% defined themselves as secular.
According to the findings, the percentage of people who "feel poor" in Jerusalem was the highest among all major cities in Israel. Some 28% of people felt poor in 2013, 18% of the Jewish population and 45% of the Arab population. In comparison, in Tel Aviv and in Haifa, less than 10% felt poor.
However, the report cited that of the adult population (aged 20 years old and above) in Jerusalem, 88% said they are satisfied with their lives, compared to 85% of the population of other cities - 90% of Jews and 85% of Arabs, compared to the national average of 88% and 70% respectively.
Furthermore the report indicated that 64% of Jerusalem residents believe that in the coming years their lives will improve, 58% of Jews and 76% of Arabs.
 Who is happy? He who is satisfied with his lot.

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Here's a different perspective on Pope Francis' prayer stop at the 'security fence' in Bethlehem.


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For the first time a 'Palestinian Nakba' event is disrupted (at St Johns Wood church)

Here's the video maker's description:

I went along to this nakba event with two signs. 'Palestinian christians are persecuted by palestinian muslims how can this church support this?' The other saying 'If you dont believe me ask Christy Anastas' (A palestinian christian who is pro Israel and exposes the PA and Hamas. Those two girls confronting me. Imagine how they would be treated dressed like that under hamas control? Or being harassed by men who go unpunished in the PA?! Yet they want to blame Israel, where Palestinians in Jerusalem have applied for Israeli citizenship I wonder why?!

Let's go to the videotape.

I'm amazed he wasn't lynched.

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The picture that ought to be juxtaposed to the picture of the Pope at the 'security fence'

You will recall that on Sunday, the mainstream media was kvelling over an unscheduled stop by the Pope to pray at the 'security fence' in Bethlehem.

Although I doubt the media will give it anywhere near as much play, Prime Minister Netanyahu came up with an appropriate counterpoint:

The Pope made an 'unscheduled stop' at the request of PM Netanyahu at the memorial to victims of terrorism on Mt. Herzl.

Waiting for accusations that Netanyahu is politicizing the Pope's visit in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1....

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#BDS_Fail Golan Heights Winery sales up 20% in Europe

Despite being targeted by the BDS movement, sales of Golan Heights Winery wines rose 20% in Europe last year.
"Despite the opposition and the attempts to boycott, that doesn't interest the European consumers that are looking for quality wine. There's a roughly 20% rise in sales in Europe; European customers don't care about pro-Palestinian organizations opposing wine from the Golan Heights," reported Harel.
Harel pointed out another trend, notably that customers are shifting to higher quality wines: "there's a transition by consumers to quality wines, even if the wine costs a little more money."
White wines can't be produced fast enough to keep up with the consumption, indicating a great demand which is also shared by "brut" sparkling wines, according to Harel.
"We at the Golan Heights Winery are preparing for the holiday of Shavuot, when the focus is on white and bubbling wines," he beamed.
"Just now in time for the holiday we've come out with a rose wine made from red Syrah grapes; the grape skin is soaked for a short amount of time, causing the wine to be pink," related Harel. "We're always short of white wines, and that's not because we produce less, but rather because of the high customer demand."
Harel remarked that his winery recently introduced an exclusive sparkling rose wine which is appropriate for unique events. "The demand comes from consumers who are looking for something interesting and prestigious," he said.
"Bubbling brut wine is another niche in the world of wines that we believe will develop in the coming years," concluded Harel.
The Golan Heights Winery is not the only one having to deal with the issue of European boycotts.
 I wonder whether Scarlet Johansson would like to work for them too....

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1967: Chief Rabbis said Israel should control Temple Mount

Despite the sign above, which stood at the entrance to the Temple Mount for many years (I'm not sure it does anymore), Israel's Chief Rabbinate advocated Israeli control of the Mount in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War.
According to the document, then chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim said that Jews should oversee the site – either alone or in cooperation with other religions – because it belongs to the Jewish people.

Then-chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman was quoted as saying, “the site of the Holy Temple should belong to the rabbinate. As for the mosque…we will not give up ownership of the land on which the mosque was built.”

Chief Rabbinical Council member Rabbi Eliezer Goldschmidt suggested that an honor guard made up of rabbis protect the entrance to the Temple Mount.

“If supervision of the mosque will be in their [Muslims’] hands, it will mean it belongs to them again,” Goldschmidt said.

The rabbis agreed, however, that the site is too holy for Jews to enter.
What a surprise (not). Too bad Moshe Dayan decided on his own to give control of the Mount to the Wakf. This morning. Israel Radio reports that the Pope was treated to a speech by a Mufti on the Temple Mount who accused 'settlers'  of breaking into the mosques and attempting to establish separate prayer times as has been the case in the Machpeila Cave in Hebron for the last 20 years.

Aside from the fact that the Mufti is lying, the hostility toward acknowledging any Jewish claim to the Mount shows that peace is most definitely not at hand.

I wonder if the Pope is sharp enough to realize that if Jews don't have a narrative on the Temple Mount, neither do the Christians (whose narrative presupposes a Jewish Temple on the Mount).

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Les Miserabbis - A Jewish musical you don't have to be Jewish to love

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD A GLOSSARY OF WORDS USED HERE: http://www.djcoleman.co.uk/Les_Misera...

A family which doesn't go to synagogue very often, arrives to celebrate the son's bar mitzvah. But, alas, the boy was taught the wrong parsha (reading). Mum is dressed inappropriately and Dad's mobile phone gets involved at the wrong moment.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Videos of Brussels terror attack released

Brussels police have released three videos of Saturday's terror attack at the city's Jewish museum. The videos came from security cameras. All three of them are below.

Let's go to the videotapes.

Arutz Sheva adds:
An Israeli tourist couple and a French woman died from gunshots to the face and neck after a man apparently acting alone fired two successive rounds into the museum on Saturday afternoon before escaping minutes later on foot.
A fourth victim, a Belgian who did volunteer work for the museum, was critically injured and later pronounced dead.
Belgian police on Sunday released chilling video footage of the attack. The man, whose face is not clear under a dark baseball cap, can be seen entering the building, taking a Kalashnikov automatic rifle from a bag and opening fire through a door on his victims -- an Israeli couple, a French woman and a young Belgian man.
Police described the man as of medium height and athletic build. He carried out the attack deliberately and unhurriedly, leaving the scene on foot.
French President Francois Hollande, who along with Netanyahu had a phone conversation with the Belgian premier, said he had no doubt about the "anti-Semitic character" of the attack.
Netanyahu, welcoming Pope Francis in the Holy Land, hailed the pontiff for his "determined stance against anti-Semitism, especially in light of the growing hatred of Jews that we are witness to in these days."
 How does our Prime Minister reconcile that last sentence with the Pope's warm embrace of 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen on Sunday?

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King David's tomb now Judenrein, arrested Jews denied legal counsel

Israel Police cleared King David's tomb of Jews on Sunday morning to ensure that there would be no opposition to Pope Francis' visit to the tomb on Monday (photo credit). 26 Jews were arrested in the expulsion, and they are now being denied legal counsel to ensure that they will not be able to return to the tomb before Monday.

This is from the second link followed by the third link.
26 people were arrested at the site of David’s Tomb in Jerusalem, after they formed a stronghold in protest against the police’s decision to evacuate the area in preparation for Pope Francis’s visit.
Among those taken into custody was a soldier who threatened an officer with his weapon, in an attempt to prevent the arrest of someone else. 

The Haneinu organization claim that the 26 people taken into custody on Sunday at the site of David’s tomb including many youths as young as 14-years-old and that the arrestees have been denied legal counsel.
The organization also claims that police officers exerted much violence against the suspects and even inexplicably broke into a yeshiva (Torah academy) dormitory located at the site of David’s Tomb.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Slimy Shimon to protest the arrests. He's too busy packing his bags to go pray at the Vatican. His forebears  - who were Orthodox Jews - must be rolling over in their graves at the prospect.

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The mainstream media is kvelling

A short while ago, Pope Francis prayed at the separation fence near Bethlehem. The mainstream media is kvelling! Here are a couple of samples:

Tomorrow, we will undoubtedly see side-by-side pictures with the Pope praying at that other wall. But the real quid pro quo is supposed to be the Pope laying a wreath at Herzl's grave, something that has infuriated the 'Palestinians.' In the meantime, they're getting about $1 billion worth of free advertising for their cause.

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And again and again: Two (Three?) Jews stabbed in Paris, one in Djerba

Hours after four Jews, including two Israelis, were murdered at the Brussels Jewish museum, two or three more Jews were stabbed outside a Paris synagogue. It is also now being reported that another Jew was attacked by a Muslim mob on the island of Djerba in Tunisia on Thursday.

This is from the third link.
The two men, brothers in their 20s, were heading to an office located in Chaare Tsion Synaogue on Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. They were about 200 meters away from the synagogue when they noticed that they were being followed.
Shortly after, one of the brothers was struck with a metal object. The object that attacked the second brother was not identified.
The attackers fled on foot and by bike.
The victims suffered multiple contusions, but not life-threatening injuries. They were taken to Henri Mondor Hospital in Créteil.
The French minister of interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, announced on Sunday in a statement that he condemns the act "with the utmost severity." He instructed all neighborhoods to immediately increase security related to protecting the Jewish community.
I believe that 8:30 pm is still daylight in Paris in May. That means that - like the Brussels attack - it was awfully brazen.

Arutz Sheva adds:
Two Jewish men were attacked outside Paris Saturday night, French Interior Minister Bernard Caseneuve announced Sunday, as they were leaving a Creteil synagogue. 
Caseneuve ordered police around France to increase security at Jewish houses of worship and other Jewish establishments, the Ministry stated. He condemned the attacked with "utmost severity." 
Very few details are available on the attack. Sources told Israeli small-time news site 0404 Sunday morning that three French Jews were attacked - not two - and identified them as the synagogue's treasurer and his two sons. All three have been hospitalized, according to the report.
Meanwhile, in Djerba, another Jew barely escaped with his life from a Muslim mob on Thursday. 
Masked Muslims entered the main market in Djerba on Thursday, and stabbed Gabriel Ozen, 38, a Jewish jeweler and father of four.
Passerby stated that the assailants yelled, "the nation of Mohammed is coming back to take revenge" shortly before the attack. 
Ozen fought the Muslim attacker, but was still stabbed in the chest, authorities said. He was rushed to intensive care in local hospital and is in serious, but stable, condition. 
According to local media reports, merchants on the scene were able to apprehend the perpetrator and turn him in to local police. Justice will not be served, however; more than a hundred masked men surrounded the police station and threatened to burn it down if the terrorist was prosecuted.
The police released the assailant immediately. 
This is the second anti-Semitic attack in Tunisia this month. Muslim terrorists attacked Morris Bachiri, a Jewish merchant from El Hara El Kabira, on Passover Eve; Bachiri suffered minor injuries. 
They want us all to move to Israel so that they may murder us more efficiently. May their names and memories be wiped out. 

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