News Digest — 11/29/21

Israel’s Ties To Hebron Undeniable, Herzog Says At Cave Of Patriarchs

The historic ties of the Jewish people and the State of Israel to the biblical city of Hebron are beyond dispute, President Isaac Herzog said on Sunday evening (28th), as he marked the first night of Hanukkah by lighting a candle in the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

“My brothers and sisters, today too, with all the complexities – and I am not ignoring these complexities for a moment –  the historical affinity of the Jewish people to Hebron, to the Cave of the Patriarchs, to the heritage of our matriarchs and patriarchs, is not in doubt,” Herzog said. “Recognition of this attachment must be beyond all controversy.”

Hamas threatened violence in the wake of Herzog’s visit to the Cave.  The Arab League condemned the “provocative” move, charging that it disregarded the feelings of Muslims.  In the downtown Palestinian areas of Hebron, activists clashed with the IDF.

Herzog has been a strong advocate of the Jewish connection to the city.

On Sunday, (28th) he stood in one of the tomb’s small Jewish sanctuaries and spoke of those roots and his own family’s five-generation history with the city.

Herzog recalled that the biblical ancestors were buried there and that its sale to Abraham was recorded in the Bible.

Herzog said the Tomb of the Patriarchs could be a bridge of peace rather than a source of strife. 

“We are not the only ones whose roots branch out from the tomb,” Herzog said.  “Today, of all days, here, of all places, in this site sacred to all Children of Abraham, we must continue to dream about peace between all religions and faiths in this land, and to denounce all forms of hatred and violence.”

The Palestinian Authority and the Hebron Municipality said that they viewed the tomb, which also houses the Ibrahimi Mosque as solely a Muslim site.

Hebron has a population of close to 200,000 Palestinians and a Jewish community of 1,000.

Former PM Benjamin Netanyahu worked to strengthen Israel’s connection to the city, including a visit to the city, where he delivered a speech on the plaza outside the Tomb.

Herzog’s predecessor, President Reuvin Rivlin also visited Hebron.



New York Times Features Video By Anti-Israel Propaganda Group – Rick Hollander

The New York Times is featuring a video on its website, “Mission: Hebron,” that portrays Israel’s military presence in the city as inherently evil.  The protagonists/interviewees are seasoned employees, former employees, and activists with Breaking the Silence (BtS), whose mission is to slander Israel in the international public arena with hearsay and uncorroborated stories of villainy.  Those credited with providing footage include the International Solidarity Movement, that supports deadly terrorist attacks against Israeli Jews.

The New York Times fails to acknowledge that this is, at its core, a BtS film.  Breaking the Silence is a European-funded Israeli NGO established in 2004 that peddles anonymous tales of IDF wrongdoing, rather than report alleged incidents of military misconduct to the proper authorities.  Fact-checking investigations by even sympathetic journalists have shown that most BtS claims are either entirely false or grossly exaggerated.

The film conceals the affiliations of the interviewees.  The primary interviewee, Ron Zeidel, is Deputy Director and Chief Research Officer for BtS.  Another interviewee, Dean Issacharoff, served as BtS Spokesperson.  Interviewee Nadav Gigelman was on BtS’s staff for nearly six years.  Interviewee Nitzan Ron is employed as Director of Activities by Peace Now, a founder of BtS.

Moreover, what is concealed is that Hebron is the second holiest of Judaism’s four holy cities and the site of the world’s oldest Jewish community, referred to dozens of times in the Hebrew Bible.  Jews have prayed and, with few interruptions, have lived in Hebron continuously since biblical times.  In 1929, Arab mobs destroyed the longstanding Jewish community in Hebron.

In 1968, after Hebron came under Israel’s control, Jews re-established  a community in their holy city but were frequently subject to violent and deadly attacks by Arabs.  Jews are confined to under 20% of the city, while Palestinians have access to the entire city.

The writer is senior media analyst at CAMERA.



Iranian Brig.-Gen. Urges Destruction Of Israel Prior To Nuke Talks

The spokesman for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces, Brig,-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, on Saturday (27th) urged the total elimination of the Jewish state during an interview with an Iranian-controlled media outlet.

“We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter.  We want to destroy Zionism in the world,” Shekarchi told the Iranian Students News Agency.

Shekarchi’s genocidal anti-Semitic remarks come just days before the nuclear talks are set to restart in Vienna Monday (29th) on curbing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s illicit nuclear program.  The United States and other world powers are seeking to provide Tehran with economic sanctions relief in exchange for temporary restrictions on its atomic program.  Israel and other countries believe Iran’s regime seeks to build a nuclear weapons device.

The Iranian general also blasted Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel, terming the diplomacy “intolerable” for Iran’s clerical regime.  

“Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and other countries considered as Muslims, for us they are part of the Zionist regime,” said Shekarchi.

Shekarchi has previously lashed out at Israel, saying that Iran’s regime can “level Haifa and Tel Aviv in the shortest possible time.” 

Sheina Vojoudi, an Iranian dissident who fled the Islamic Republic and now lives in Germany told the Jerusalem Post that “A normal Iranian government, made by the Iranian people, would try to normalize ties with Israel.  We could have great deals which can help both nations.  Israeli water technology can help us to pass a serious water problem, but the Islamic Republic instead of solving all its problems, plans for the destruction of Israel and shoots people who ask for water.”

She added, “This regime is ruining Iran and making the region a war zone.  Our people don’t even know they hate Israel, and will be happy to use Israeli water technology, instead of destroying Israel.  We must save our country from this evil regime.”



At UN, Syria/Iran Prioritize Hate For Israel Over Global Food Security

Israel last week presented the United Nations with a resolution on agriculture technology for sustainable development, aimed at promoting global food security.

The resolution passed with a vote of 140-1 and 34 abstentions, with the Arab block either abstaining or opposing it, leading Israel Ambassador Gilad Erdan to state the fact that “they prioritized anti-Semitism over such a crucial issue.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, Syria was the sole opponent to the resolution during last week’s vote, with a Syrian delegate to the meeting claiming that the Jewish state “lacked the moral authority” to present the resolution “given the atrocities it has committed against the Palestinian and Syrian people.”

The Iranian representative at the meeting abstained, saying, “We don’t recognize the so-called State of Israel, so we didn’t vote against or in favor of this resolution.”

Erdan thanked the countries that supported the resolution, which he said “will impact nations across the world, from the island states suffering, to the African nations combating food and water security.”

He criticized the envoys that abstained in the vote, saying “There are still member states, such as Syria and Iran, that choose not to support it out of anti-Semitism and contempt.

“These member-states choose hate and petty politics over the betterment of mankind.  Voting against a resolution simply because it was proposed by Israel was more important for them than voting for a brighter future for their citizens.”

The envoys of Jordan and Egypt, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan – Israel’s partners in the Abraham Accords – abstained from the vote.  Morocco was absent.



The Palestinians Must Acknowledge Their Role In The Holocaust – Mark Regev

Had the Axis-Military-Advance not been stopped in 1942 by the British Army at El Alamein in Egypt, there can be little doubt what Nazi occupation would have meant for the half a million Jews living in Mandatory Palestine. 

In German-occupied territories where the populace was either supportive of the genocide or indifferent to the fate of their Jewish neighbors, such as occupied Ukraine and the Baltic states, the destruction of the Jews was often near total.  There can be little doubt that in Mandatory Palestine, the Germans would have found a collaborationist leadership eager to enlist the local population in the mass killing of the Jews.

At the same time, Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, president of the Supreme Muslim Council, and president of the Arab Higher Committee, was the pivotal figure in the Palestinian National Movement.  He was a hardcore anti-Semite and an infamous Nazi collaborator.  Husseini helped orchestrate the April 1941 pro-Nazi Rashid Ali coup in Iraq and the subsequent Farhud massacre of Baghdadi Jews.  Husseini relocated to Berlin where he became Hitler’s most outspoken Arab advocate, broadcasting Nazi propaganda to the Middle East while recruiting Bosnian Muslims to the Waffen-SS.

Germany’s post war integration into Europe was predicated upon taking full responsibility for its wartime actions.  It is high time the Palestinians did the same.

The writer is a former adviser to the prime minister and currently a senior visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies..