News Digest — 12/3/21

Hamas Praises ‘Heroic’ Mob That Attacked Israelis In Ramallah

Gaza-based terror group Hamas issued a statement praising  a “heroic” mob that attacked two Israelis who accidentally drove into Ramallah, stoning their vehicle and setting it on fire.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the violent attack “an act of national heroism,” and slammed the PA police for protecting the Israelis and turning them over to Israeli security forces.

The PA officers should “focus on protecting our people from settler violence,” Barhoum said, and “should not have safeguarded and returned the Israelis to the enemy.”

Adding that he hoped the violent incident would inspire more attacks on Israelis in the future, he said, “this must continue with force and spread all across Palestine.”

On Wednesday evening (1st), two ultra-Orthodox Jews unfamiliar with the area took a wrong turn, which led them to a life-or-death confrontation and a dramatic rescue from the near-lynch by local police.

“We stopped at a gas station on the way to the grave of Matityahu  Kohen Gadol, near Modiin.  We asked the attendant how to get there, because we do not have [navigation app] Waze,” one of the victims told Israeli security forces.

The pair thought they followed the directions correctly, but “in the middle of the trip, we realized we were not in the right direction and then what happened, happened – cinder blocks, stones and Molotov cocktails.”

After locals hurled projectiles at the car, it was set on fire.  The Israelis escaped with minor injuries after being extricated from the mob by Palestinian Authority police.

Esther Sharabi, the mother of one of the victims, told Army Radio that her son’s “condition is just fine.”

“There’s no doubt that there was a very big Hanukkah miracle here.  I would like to thank the Palestinian police.”



In Turkey, Hamas Leader Calls For ‘Plan To Bring Down’ Abraham Accords

Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh urged the terror group on Thursday (2nd) to fight against the normalization agreements Israel has established with neighboring states.

Last year’s Abraham Accords brought about a series of agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and others, where states agreed to establish full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

Haniyeh spoke out against the deals during a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, and called to take action to undermine them.

“We must have an integrated plan to bring down normalization, which, unfortunately, has taken the character of military and security alliances with some countries,” he said, according to a Hamas press release.  

In November, Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed a memorandum with Morocco’s defense chief, which would establish a foundation for security cooperation between the two states.

His visit marked the first official trip by any Israeli defense chief to the country – a visit made possible after Morocco normalized ties with Israel through a deal that followed the Abraham Accords.

Haniyeh outlined three objectives for the Islamist faction’s agenda – focusing on the status of Jerusalem, supporting what Hamas refers to as Palestinian “resistance,” and fighting against normalization agreements with Israel.

During his speech, the chairman also alleged that the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan would lead to additional retreats, and said the incident would weaken Israel.



Mossad Chief: ‘Iran Will Never Have Nuclear Weapons’

“Iran will never have a nuclear weapon, not in the coming years, not ever, that’s the commitment of the Mossad,” Mossad chief David Barnea said on Thursday (2nd) at an award ceremony, in reference to nuclear deal talks between Iran and other world powers in Vienna.

“It’s clear that there is no need for 60% purified uranium for civilian purposes, there is no need for three sites with thousands of centrifuges active, unless there is the intention to develop nuclear weapons,” said Barnea.

“The agreement is terrible, I hope it doesn’t come to this, it’s barely tolerable,” Barnea said of the Iranian deal and attempts to reinstate it.  “Iran strives for regional hegemony, operates the same terrorists that we are tackling everyday worldwide, and continuously threatens the stability of the Middle East.  Therefore our eyes are wide open, we’re ready, and we’ll act with our colleagues in the defense establishment to do what is needed to distance the threat to the State of Israel, and thwart it in any way.”

The intelligence chief’s comments were made at an award ceremony for 12 Mossad agents that received certificates of excellence.  Four agents were field operators, four cyber operatives, and four staff.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stressed that Iran is conducting “nuclear blackmail” as a negotiation tactic and called on world powers to immediately halt the talks and take strict steps against Iran.

Earlier on Thursday (2nd), The Jewish Chronicle reported that the Mossad was responsible for destroying the centrifuge hall at the Iranian Natanz nuclear facility in April, and did so by secretly recruiting a team of Iranian nuclear scientists.

Iranian media and officials had already accused Israel of being behind the incident.



Israel: The Most Legitimate State On Earth – Liel Leibovitz

→ Any way you look at it, Israel is the most legitimate state on Earth.  A nation is the product of the collective culture of a group with its own unique languages, history, traditions and beliefs.

→ The Jews had the world’s first nation-state, setting “a precedent for all the states that followed,” as David Goldman has written.  “It united a group of tribes around a common religion and priesthood with a universal God, eschewing the worship of family or clan gods that otherwise was universal in the ancient world.  Tribes, clans and even city-states may unite for self-defense, as did the Greek city-states, but no other nation like the biblical Israel arose in the ancient world with a unified monarchy, a unified legal system and unified religion.”

→ Give or take a few differences – instead of a monarchy, for example, a raucous democracy – modern Israel remains a legible embodiment of the ancient idea.  Israel’s citizens, the first indigenous people in recent memory to return to their ancestral homeland, cultivate a stretch of the Earth over which they can claim ownership by summoning everything from the Bible to reams of archeological discoveries empirically confirming it had once belonged to their forefathers.

→ Jews with roots in Vienna and Jews whose grandmothers were born in the Atlas Mountains and in the deserts of Yemen all see themselves belonging to the same extended family.  The family speaks the same language and, with varying degrees of observance, practices the same faith.  Everything in Israel springs naturally from a national culture shaped by a collective narrative and shared traditions.

→ Israel’s existence, and its continuing success, are an intimation that the light unto the nations may shine not from the embrace of universalist dogma, but rather from a small nation that insists on living by its own traditions and happy to simply lead by example.

→ To those who despise the idea of national sovereignty and national character, to those who want us all to obey the same regulations and standards of virtue promulgated by a single authority, there can be no greater threat than the continuing existence of a strong, prosperous, and free Jewish state with its capital in Jerusalem.



Ohio’s Governor Addresses Campus Anti-Semitism In Hanukkah Letter

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed campus anti-Semitism in a Hanukkah letter sent to university presidents, calling on them to take action to keep Jewish students safe.

The letter was sent at the beginning of Hanukkah, the Cleveland Jewish News reported.

“This week, as Ohio’s Jewish communities celebrate Hanukkah, I ask for you and your campus communities to be mindful of issues facing our Jewish students across Ohio,” DeWine wrote.  “Our campuses strive to be places to study, grow and develop.”

Noting that “sadly, for too many of our Jewish students today, that is not the case” due to increasing incidents of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel behavior on campuses, he wrote that “we cannot stand by and accept these alarming trends.”

“My administration will be working closely with Chancellor Randy Gardner [of the Ohio Department of Higher Education], our Jewish community partners, and each of you in the days and weeks ahead to develop comprehensive action items to collectively confront this issue.  I look forward to your thoughts and ideas about how to make our campus life inclusive and safe for everyone.”

He added: “No student should be afraid on a college or university campus – especially because of their race or religion.”

DeWine called for university presidents to reach out to campus Jewish communities, work with their campus chiefs of police to ensure that Hanukkah celebrations are safe, and to commit themselves to the issue of speaking out against campus anti-Semitism.