News Digest — 3/10/23

Shooting Attack In Tel Aviv – At Least Three Injured

At least three people were injured by gunshots in a shooting attack near a cafe on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening (9th).

The injured were evacuated to Ichilov Hospital.  One of the injured arrived in critical condition after being shot in the neck.  Another injured arrived in moderate condition while the third was slightly injured by shrapnel, according to the hospital.

According to the Tel Aviv district police commander, one terrorist was critically hurt and rushed into surgery in Ichilov Hospital, where he died.  The search for other possible terrorists is still on.

Early reports and footage indicated there were two terrorists with guns.  Videos from the scene appeared to show at least one terrorist firing on Israeli civilians, with one of the terrorists eventually being shot and a possible second terrorist escaping.

While the first injured were being treated, more shots were heard from a different location on Dizengoff Street, a Magen David Adom first responder told N!2 News.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he was at Shin Bet headquarters getting regular updates at the time of the attack.

“I want to wish the injured people a speedy recovery, in my name and my wife Sara’s name,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from Italy.  “We strengthen the work of security forces against terrorists.  I’m sure that these incidents won’t ease up, as this is part of our work for building up the country.”

“A difficult evening in Tel Aviv,” wrote opposition leader Yair Lapid on Twitter.  “A terror attack in the middle of a commercial area.  I send wishes of a speedy recovery to the injured and strength to the police and security forces in their efforts to restore peace in the streets.  Against terrorism, we need to operate with a strong hand with no hesitation.”

“A difficult terror attack in Tel Aviv, said National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.  “At this difficult moment, I pray the best for the injured and wish them a speedy recovery in the name of all the people of Israel.”

“The shooting terror attack in Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv is an initial response to the crimes of the occupation, the last of which was the murder of three young people this morning, [Thursday, 9th]” said Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Kanua.



Netanyahu Informed Of Tel Aviv Shooting While Speaking To Rome Jewish Community

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was informed of the terrorist shooting attack in Tel Aviv Thursday night (9th) while sitting in the main Sephardic synagogue in Rome, where he is on a diplomatic visit.

Military Secretary Avi Gil whispered the report of the attack in the prime minister’s ear shortly after  he delivered an address to the Jewish community of Rome.

Netanyahu responded briefly and said: “I send my wishes of recovery to the wounded and strength for the security forces.”

He later arose and told the congregation of the attack.  “We will continue to build our nation, we will continue to deepen our roots, and to build our common future as brothers and sisters,” he said.

Rabbi Riccardo Shmuel Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome, said: “We heard that there was an attack in central Tel Aviv.  This only strengthens us as one nation.  We all need to unite against terrorism.”

The congregation sang Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, after they were told of the shooting attack.

In his speech to dozens of members of the Jewish community of Rome, before being informed of the attack, the Prime Minister referred to the speech given by Israeli President Isaac Herzog and the need to reach compromises on the government’s planned judicial reforms.

“We must remember that especially these days, days of argument and debate within Israel – we must remember we are one nation with a common future,” Netanyahu said, adding that he welcomes “all initiatives” for finding a negotiated solution to the crisis.



Russia To Host Iranian, Syrian And Turkish Diplomats For Meetings On Syria

Russia will host the deputy foreign ministers of Turkey, Syria and Iran for a meeting next week, according to reports coming out of Ankara.  This is an important meeting because it is yet another sign of Syria being drawn into the mix of ministerial meetings.  Since 2016, Russia has been encouraging a process, named after Astana in Kazakhstan, that brings together Russia, Iran and Turkey for this purpose.

The Astana process was designed by Russia to exclude the United States.  Moscow intervened in Syria in 2015 and has backed the Syrian regime ever since.  Iran has been involved in the war-torn country for many years, backing the regime as well and moving weapons through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

After the US pulled back from its threats to attack Syria in 2013 over its use of chemical weapons, Russia stepped in to make sure the regime would survive.  Today, the Syrian regime is thriving on new normalization in the Arab region, with recent visits to Oman and numerous hostings of diplomats from the Gulf.

Russia’s goal now is to raise the profile of the Syrian regime with hopes that this can lead to a Turkish reconciliation with Damascus.  Turkey has backed Syrian rebel groups over the course of the Syrian civil war.  In recent years, it has sought to use those groups as proxies to fight Kurdish groups in Syria.

The US plays a key role in Syria as well, backing the Syrian Democratic Front (SDF).  Russia’s goal is to make sure the US loses-out in Syria – and hopes that Iran and Turkey will help it in that process.  The Syrian meeting also comes as Russia has increased its attacks in Ukraine.

Turkey also recently hosted Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.  According to a report from Al-Arabiya, “[Turkish Foreign Minister Mavlut] Cavusoglu said Abdollahian wanted to join the talks between  Turkey, Syria and Russia, and Turkey happily agreed.”

Turkey stands in opposition to the American role in Syria and recently summoned Us Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake to reprimand the US for a visit by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to eastern Syria.

“Astana is the only surviving format to address Syria.  We are planning a meeting between the four foreign ministers,” Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with Amir-Abdollahian.  This means that Turkey and Iran are interested in working more closely with Russia.  Meanwhile Turkey is heading to elections in May and has suffered a massive earthquake, so it is not clear if Ankara will change its Syrian policy before then.

It remains to be seen if the meeting with Russia will increase ties between Syria’s regime and Turkey.  Recently, Iran and the Syrian regime slammed Israel for what they claimed was an airstrike on Aleppo Airport.

Turkey and Israel have begun to reconcile relations in the last year.  However, regarding Syria, it is not entirely clear how Turkey wants to work with Russia and Iran on issues and whether Ankara will change its Syria policy.



The Truth Behind The Palestinian “Catastrophe” – Sol Stern

Every year on May 15, the Palestinians commemorate Nakba (Catastrophe) Day to protest Israel’s creation.  Palestinian leaders have been insistent that their people were innocent victims of a historically unprecedented crime in 1948, one that is frequently mentioned in the same breath as the Holocaust.  Their account is an example of the “big lie.”

In the event of an Arab victory in 1948, Palestinian Arab leaders planned to carry out a real Nakba for the Jews of Israel – not just a wave of refugees but mass murder.  As Israeli novelist Amos Oz, a leader of the peace movement, describes in his classic memoir on the War of Independence as he experienced it in Jerusalem: “All the Jewish settlements that were captured by the Arabs in the War of Independence, without exception, were razed to the ground, and their Jewish inhabitants were murdered or taken captive or escaped, but the Arab armies did not allow any of the survivors to return after the war.”

Oz also cites Azzam Pasha, the secretary general of the Arab League, who vowed in 1948 that “this war will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades.”  And, according to Oz, “the Iraqi Prime Minister, Muzahim al-Bajaji, called on the Jews ‘to pack their bags and leave while there is still time,’ because the Arabs had vowed that after their victory, they would only spare the lives of those few Jews who had lived in Palestine before 1917.”

Israel should never apologize for winning the War of Independence and avoiding another Holocaust.



U.S. Should Stop Subsidizing The Murder Of Americans – Mitchell Bard

The Oslo Accords were predicated on Yasser Arafat’s commitment to renounce “the use of terrorism and other acts of violence.”  Since Oslo, more than 1,600 Israelis have been slain by Palestinians, including 71 American citizens.  Another 81 Americans have been injured.  How much carnage will it take before the U.S. wakes up to the fact that the Palestinians have no interest in any solution in which a Jewish state exists?

Palestinians are being nurtured by hate in their homes and schools, and by the incitement of their leaders.  Generation after generation has been indoctrinated with the virtue of martyrdom and encouraged to maim and murder as many Jews as possible.  In June 2022, 56% of Palestinians said they supported armed attacks against Israelis inside Israel, while only 28% supported a two-state solution.

The Palestinian Authority rewards the killers of Americans and Israelis with monthly stipends.  This pay-to-slay policy provides incentives for murder.  By providing tens of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, American taxpayers are indirectly subsidizing a program that rewards Palestinians who kill Americans.  If the Palestinians need help, the wealthy Gulf states can easily meet their needs.  However, those countries have reduced their funding because they are fed up with Palestinian intransigence, incompetence and ingratitude.



Israeli Maestro Opens Celebrations Of Country’s 75th Anniversary In Romania With Special Concert

A special concert conducted by Maestro Nir Brand opened the celebrations for Israel’s 75th anniversary in Romania last month.

The concert was organized by the Embassy of Israel in Bucharest in collaboration with the National Radio Orchestra which performed, led by Brand.  Attending the event were about 1,000 special guests including Romanian Culture Minister  Lucian Romascanu and other government officials.

“We are opening a series of events celebrating the 75th anniversary since the establishment of the State of Israel, as well as 75 years of uninterrupted collaborative relations between Israel and Romania,” said Reuven Azar, Israel’s ambassador to Bucharest, as reported by the local TV station Antena 3 CNN.

Even under the Communist regime, Romania maintained its diplomatic ties with Israel and even facilitated the emigration of Romanian Jews to Israel.  This long standing relationship has led to a strong cultural and economic partnership between the two nations.

“Historically speaking, Romania has been the only country in Eastern Europe that has had uninterrupted relations with Israel,” Azar added.  “Israel has over one million citizens of Romanian descent.  We have many things in common and they must be celebrated.”

At the beginning of the concert the orchestra performed both the Israeli and the Romanian national anthem.