December 20, 2018

Netanyahu Visits Site Of Terror Attack, Pledges To Strengthen Settlements

At the makeshift memorial at Givat Assaf where IDF soldiers Yosef Cohen and Yovel Mor Yosef were killed last Thursday (13th), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday (18th) that Israel will strengthen the settlements “even more.”

Netanyahu went to the site after holding security consultations at the IDF headquarters in Binyamin.

He stressed that security forces were hunting for the terrorist who killed Cohen and Mor Yosef.

“There were 100 arrests over the weekend, and another 36 on Monday (17th),”  he said. “It is only a matter of time before we find this murderer as well, just as we found the others.”

Netanyahu said that terrorism will not uproot a Jewish presence from the “heart of our homeland.”

Israel, he said, will “strengthen the settlements even more every time, as we did now, and we will take all measures, including additional steps against terrorism.”

Netanyahu declared that Israel will not tolerate terrorists, neither from the Gaza Strip nor from the West Bank.  He praised the residents of the settlements “for their resilience and strength in the face of this murderous terrorism,” as well as the IDF officers and soldiers “who protect the citizens of the country around the clock.’

Netanyahu was accompanied at Givat Assaf by the Bet El local council head Shai Alon.



Netanyahu: Israel Developing Missiles ‘No Other Country Has’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday (17th) said that Israel is developing missiles with “special capabilities that no other country has,” during a visit to state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries.

“They are developing offensive missiles here that can reach anywhere in the area and any target,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office.  “This is the offensive power of the State of Israel, which is very important for us in all sectors.”

“They are developing weapons systems here with special capabilities that no other country has,” he said after he toured an IAI facility and was updated on the defense contractor’s latest projects.

Netanyahu, who was appointed Defense Minister on Tuesday (18th) by the Knesset, did not elaborate on his comments, which came a day after he said Israel infiltrates Iran periodically for intelligence-gathering purposes.

“IAI knows how to get anywhere it decides and anywhere we need for the good of the country,” he said.  “The sky is not the limit.”

Netanyahu also praised the IAI for its involvement in space exploration, saying it was a “huge sphere” that Israel was entering.

The prime minister’s visit came as IAI scientists wrapped up preparations to launch the country’s first spacecraft to the moon, which, if successful, would be a breakthrough for both Israeli technology and commercial space travel.



Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi: Israel Must Help Palestinians Arrested For Selling Land To Jews

The chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Jerusalem has made an unusual  halachic ruling that Israel has an obligation to do everything possible to help free Palestinians who have been imprisoned for selling land to Israelis.

In a letter to Brig Gen. Baruch Yedid, head of the Arab Affairs desk at the Zionist movement Im Tirtzu, Rabbi Aryeh Stern wrote that it was as important to free Palestinians jailed for that reason as it was to free imprisoned Jews.

Palestinian law bars selling land to “a hostile state or any of its citizens,” and requires the permission of the Palestinian Authority for all land sales in east Jerusalem.

In early October, east Jerusalem resident Issam Akel, 53, was arrested by the Palestinian General Security Service on suspicion that he had sold land to Israelis.  In response to Akel’s arrest, Israel arrested the governor of the Jerusalem District of the Palestinian Authority, Adnan Ghaith, and another senior Palestinian security officer.

Last week, Palestinian real estate agent Ahmed Salameh, suspected by Palestinian authorities of acting as an intermediary in selling West Bank lands to Israelis, was fatally shot on his own doorstep.  He was evacuated to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where doctors declared him dead.

Stern wrote, in part, “Efforts must be made to free abducted Issam Akel, because he is suspected of selling property to Jews, and anyone who deals with that plays a part in the commandment to settle the land of Israel.  Efforts to secure his release will encourage others not to be deterred or refrain from selling land, because they will know that they will be protected from anyone who seeks to harm them.”

Yedid welcomed the chief rabbi’s letter, saying, “This is a step of historic and national significance, a brave step on the rabbi’s part.  For the first time, a major figure in the rabbinical institution is intervening on behalf of the Palestinians who have become hunted targets by the PA in the capital.”



Mahmoud Abbas Contradicts The Palestinian Narrative On Refugees – Dore Gold

→It has been axiomatic for the Palestinian narrative that as a result of the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, the Palestinian Arab refugees were forcibly expelled by Israeli forces from their towns and villages.

→Despite the fact that the 1948 war was caused by the invasion by five Arab armies into the nascent State of Israel, the emerging Palestinian narrative put the blame squarely upon the Israeli side.

→That is why the recent words of Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas, at the PLO Consultative Council on December 9, 2018, are so significant.

→Looking back historically, Abbas declared: “Everyone started to speak in our name, in our absence.  Therefore we could do nothing. And you recall, if you remember, that in 1948, when the ‘Nakba,’ or catastrophe, took place, we weren’t a party to it.  We were taken out, and we were told, ‘after a week we will return you.’”

→Moreover, in March 1976, Abbas told Falastin El-Thawra, published in Beirut, that the Arab armies forced the Palestinians to emigrate and to leave their homeland.

→Of course there were cases in which Palestinians left as a by-product of the war.  But as Israel historian Benny Morris argued in Ha’Aretz on July 29, 2017, Israel had no “expulsion policy” in 1948.

Amb. Dore Gold, former director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center.



UN Condemns ‘Severe’ Human Rights Violations In Iran

The UN General Assembly on Monday (17th) approved a resolution urging Iran to stop its widespread use of arbitrary detention, expressing serious concern at its “alarmingly high” use of the death penalty.

The Canadian-drafted resolution was adopted by a vote of 84-30 with 67 abstentions.

The resolution “strongly urges” Iran to eliminate discrimination against women in law and practice and expresses serious concern about ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.

It singles out violations including harassment, intimidation and persecution against religious minorities including Christians, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith – and urges the release of religious leaders.

The resolution also called on Iran to end “widespread and serious restrictions” including on freedom of assembly of political opponents, human rights defenders, labor leaders, environmentalists, academics, journalists, bloggers, social media users and others.

After the measure passed a preliminary vote at the General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee last month, an Iranian diplomat dismissed the Western-backed resolution as a political “charade.”

Deputy UN ambassador Eshagh Al Habib said that while “deficiencies may exist,” he said it was “not for those who traditionally, historically and practically supported colonialism, slavery, racism and apartheid to lecture Iranians on human rights.”