News Digest — 3/1/19

Israel Arrests Former Terrorist Leader, Citing ‘Serious’ Current Terror Activities

Israeli security forces on Wednesday (27th) arrested Zakaria Zubeidi, a former Palestinian leader long sought by Israeli law enforcement, on suspicion that he was engaged in “serious and current terrorist activities,” the Shin Bet said.

In addition to Zubeidi, Israeli forces also arrested on similar charges the attorney Tarek Barghouti, who often represents terror suspects.

“This morning, in a joint operation by the Shin Bet security service, Israel Defense Forces and Israeli Police, Zakaria Zubeidi and Tarek Barghouti were arrested in connection with their involvement in serious and current terrorist activities,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

The two men were arrested in the Ramallah area of the central West Bank.

During the Second Intifada, Zubeidi served as the commander of the Jenin region of Fatah’s military wing, the al-Aqsa Martyr’ Brigades.  He was also suspected of being one of the chief architect’s of several terror attacks during the early 2000s.

Also Wednesday morning (27th), security forces arrested 22 other Palestinians including Jerusalem Governor Adnan Gheith and Mohammad Mahmoud, an attorney representing the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.

On Tuesday (26th), Channel 12 reported that PA security forces arrested a six-person Hamas cell in the PA city of Nablus that was preparing to carry out terrorist attacks with explosive devices.

According to the report, the cell was receiving its orders from the Gaza Strip as well as from Lebanon.  After the leader of the cell was arrested he said he received $50,000 from the deputy chairman of Hamas’ politburo Saleh al-Arouri to carry out the attack.



Suitcase GPS Sets, Transforming Hezbollah Rockets Into Precision Missiles

Israeli military sources recently expressed alarm over Hezbollah’s plan to retrofit conventional rockets with global positioning system (GPS) kits, turning the terror group’s massive collection of around 150,000 projectiles into a deadly arsenal of precision-guided missiles.

Senior Israeli officers spoke about the threat during recent interviews with The Daily Beast, discussing the Iranian-backed Hezbollah threat, which spans Syrian and Lebanese territory.

While Iran has transferred advanced weapons to Hezbollah throughout Syria’s bloody civil war, the IDF has continued to pound Iranian positions near its border, carrying out over 200 strikes in the last two years alone.

Notwithstanding Israel’s attempts to beat back the Islamic Republic and its terror proxies, the Iranian presence still looms in Syria and Lebanon, with the introduction of Hezbollah’s GPS “suitcase” missiles ramping up the threat level.

According to The Daily Beast report, Iran has been forced to stop transporting heavy weapons due to Israeli strikes, with the Jewish state’s air force now focused on cutting off the flow of GPS components, which appear to be the key to Hezbollah’s ability to strike precise targets deep within Israel.

The unnamed officials who spoke to The Daily Beast warned that Hezbollah’s “dumb guided rockets” are being transformed into “smart precision-guided missiles” with daunting accuracy.

Unlike heavy weaponry, GPS components can even be smuggled into Lebanon via civilian flight routes, a phenomenon Fox News exposed last year.



Palestinians And The Disastrous Politics Of Rage – Joshua Berman

→Palestinian victimhood knows no reconciliation with Israel because central to identity politics is the conviction that permanent victim status must be maintained.

→Palestinian identity politics hamstrings Palestinian aspirations for a better life.  Grassroots criticism of the Palestinian leadership is disallowed because it threatens the collective Palestinian identity.

→Failing to establish the institutions of a functioning state, Palestinian leaders turn to globetrotting in a look-busy-while-doing-nothing action plan of self-righteousness.  They insist the world must come and save them.

→Palestinians pluck the chords of European colonial guilt in order to receive generous aid, discouraging Palestinian self-agency and personal responsibility.

→Palestinians routinely call for “days of rage,” where the rage is an end in itself that fuels an identity predicated on victimhood.

→The narrative of victimization loosens moral standards.  When a Palestinian murders a Jew, it is explained and excused as “a natural outcome of the occupation.”  Ironically, Palestinians ignore just how racist their own narrative of victimization really is.

→To maintain that any Israeli Jew is a fair target for murder simply because he is an Israeli Jew –  is racist. To maintain that any Palestinian has license to murder simply because he is Palestinian – is racist.

→Palestinian leaders will “keep the conversation going” about reconciliation interminably because of the capital they accrue with world leaders by doing so.

The writer is a professor of Bible at Bar-Ilan University and at Shalem College and a fellow at the Herzl Institute, Jerusalem



Argentina Rabbi Recounts Horrific Attack: ‘I Begged Them To Let Me Breathe”

“I have nine broken ribs, but I’m calm, I’m not afraid, I’m not angry or looking for revenge, I’m one of those people who forgive,” commented Argentina’s Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich on Tuesday (26th)

Davidovich spoke to Argentina’s largest newspaper Clarin from Buenos Aires, where he is slowly recovering from serious injuries he sustained during a vicious beating in the early morning hours on Monday (25th) in his home.

“They hit me, they jumped on me, they kicked me while I was on the floor, then I do not remember anything else,” he added.  “I’m weak and taking a lot of medication.”

In addition to broken ribs, the 60-year-old rabbi’s face was badly bruised during an encounter in which thieves reportedly covered his face, kicking and striking him until he lost consciousness.

“I begged them to let me breathe,” the rabbi recounted.

The assailants also attacked the rabbi’s wife and demanded to know where the couple’s valuables were stored, while shouting that they knew that the rabbi is a Jewish community leader.

Based on statements such as these, anti-Semitism is among the motives being investigated in the attack.

The attack followed another anti-Semitic crime over the weekend in Argentina where a Jewish cemetery in San Luis was vandalized.  A local Jewish community leader said the cemetery’s security cameras were broken before nine gravestone were destroyed.

While Argentina passed anti-discrimination legislation over three decades ago, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the South American nation.



Violent Attack On Elderly Jew In London “Definitely A Hate Crime”

A well-built man in his 30s asked an elderly man if he was Jewish before launching a savage assault on Tuesday afternoon (26th) at Highbury Corner in north London.

Witness Marian Kennedy said the attack was totally unprovoked.  She was still shaking two hours later, the Islington Gazette reported.

“He was punching him violently and right in the face with a closed fist,” she said, according to the Gazette.  “The older gentleman was utterly defenseless.  He was being really hit hard, and my instinct was to jump between them but there was so much rage and violence.”

“There was nothing I could do.  The older man was not retaliating at all.  He was just standing as the guy repeatedly swung.”

Kennedy tried telling the assailant to stop.  He replied that the victim had hit him.

“Blood was pouring from the old man’s mouth and his body took a lot of blows.  The attacker finally ran off. He was manic,” she said. The older man said he’d never seen him before.  It was a random attack.”

A Passerby, Brittany Russell, told the Gazette: “The old man told us that he was standing there to catch his breath when the man came up and asked him if he was Jewish.”

Russell said several people stayed with the victim while another person flagged down a police van.

The attacker was last seen running from the scene.

“Officers are investigating the incident as a racially aggravated offence,” a police spokesperson stated.