News Digest — 4/23/21

Israeli Group Demands Transfer Of Temple Mount Following Muslim ‘Desecration’ At Holy Site

Several clips recently posted on social media sites showing Muslims playing ball games on the Temple Mount have prompted an Israeli organization to demand the prosecution of the offenders and the transfer of control of the holy site from the Muslim Waqf to a Jewish authority.

The shocking videos featuring Muslims desecrating the holy site with soccer games, with the ball landing at times right near the Dome of the Rock, and parkour pranks, “evoke deep horror in the heart of every Jew,” the Temple Mount Organizations Administration stated Wednesday (21st).

“This is a terrible desecration of the sanctity of the place, especially when it happens in the Dome of the Rock plaza, the site of the Jewish Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount,” the organization said.

Following the publication of the videos, they appealed to the police and demanded the arrest of the offenders and their prosecution in accordance with the law.

Assaf Fried, spokesman for the organization, stated that “the despicable behavior of the Muslims on the Temple Mount proves that beyond the Mosque next to it, the Temple Mount is not sacred to Arabs, except the sanctity of robbing it from the Jews.”

“It is obligatory to immediately remove the Waqf from the Temple Mount, and hand over the responsibility for the holy place to a Jewish body, for which the sanctity of the Temple Mount is important,” he said.

The Temple Mount Organizations Administration noted that according to High Court rulings, soccer games are banned on the Temple Mount.

The organization said that these clips also prove the importance of the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. 

“If police know that Jews are on the Temple Mount, they invest efforts to prevent soccer games there, so as not to hurt their feelings.  However, it is apparent that when Jews are not there, the Muslims do not maintain the sanctity of the place, and film videos that injure every Jewish heart,” it said.

“And if this is the equation, then it is another reason to open the Temple Mount to Jews around the clock, every day of the week,” they said.

Jewish visits to the Temple Mount are currently limited in time and numbers.



No Strings Attached: 330 US Lawmakers Call For Full Funding Of Aid To Israel

In an overwhelming rebuke to recent calls by liberal-leaning Democrats to place conditions on US military aid to Israel, 330 US lawmakers – two-thirds of the House of Representatives – urged the House Appropriations Committee to continue its “strong support” for “the full funding of security assistance to Israel,” in a letter sent Thursday (22nd).

Representatives were roughly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

“One program that enjoys particularly strong bipartisan backing and for which we, Democrats and Republicans, urge your continued strong support is the full funding of security assistance to Israel as authorized in the 2016 US – Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),” the letter said.

The 2016 MOU on US, foreign defense aid to Israel was signed during the Obama administration and provides $33 billion in total aid over 10 years.  Another $5 billion is provided for ballistic missile defense.

The letter also spoke of the many benefits accruing to the US from Israeli military prowess and regional strength.

“As America’s closest Mideast ally, Israel regularly provides the United States with unique intelligence information and advanced defense weapons systems.  Israel is also actively engaged in supporting security partners like Jordan and Egypt, and its recent normalization agreements with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco will help promote regional stability and deal with common challenges from Iran and its terrorist proxies,” the letter noted.

“Just as foreign assistance is an investment in advancing our values and furthering our global interests, security aid to Israel is a specific investment in the peace and prosperity of the entire Middle East,” it said.



Editorial: Sarah Halimi Murder, No Excuse For Killing, Hating Jews  

The tragic murder of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish doctor, has gone unpunished in France. The murder was carried out by a man named Kobili Traore who not only shouted “Allahu akhbar,” a religious declaration often used by Islamist extremists when killing non-Muslims, and then claimed to have “killed the Satan.”  The murder was a gruesome one by any standards, with Dr. Halimi being beaten brutally and thrown out her apartment window.

Yet the perpetrator has not faced a trial, because in France if a person uses a small amount of marijuana or other drugs before committing murder, he gets to walk free.

To his credit, French President Emmanuel Macron has called to change the law.  “Deciding to take drugs and then ‘becoming mad’ should not, in my eyes, remove your criminal responsibility,” Macron told Le Figaro in an interview Sunday (18th).

One wonders though why a Jewish person had to pay the price for laws like these that always seem to enable the killing of Jews with impunity.  It leads us to wonder whether, had this been an elderly woman from a different faith or family, French law would have found a way to imprison the murderer.

Jewish blood is often cheap in Europe, and it has been that way for 2,000 years, which is one of the reasons we have Israel, a country where elderly Jewish women can be sure that they have the highest protection to live securely, as much as the state can provide them.

The fact that the man shouted a religious slogan during the killing provides evidence that this was not just a random drug-fueled murder.  Throughout history Jews have been murdered for blood libels, hacked to death by Crusaders, and stuffed into gas chambers and crematoriums.  In recent years, French Jews have often been targeted by Islamist extremists.  For instance, in 2012 a Jewish school in Toulouse was targeted by a murderer who filmed the killing of a teacher and children.  Mohammed Merah, the murderer, shouted “Allahu akbar” while killing others during his campaign of terror.

Then in 2015, four people were killed at a kosher supermarket in Paris.  That attack was dismissed as a “random shooting.”  One wonders again whether, had they not been Jews but another minority group, in a unique traditional food store, it would have been labeled “randon.”

It was not random when France’s “Gang of Barbarians” murdered Ilan Halimi in 2006, by torturing him and dragging his body through the streets.  He was targeted for being Jewish, and during the trial, the ringleader of the murderers claimed “all the Jews in the world are enemies,” a statement that Jews have heard many times before.

Unfortunately, in France, there is a long list of wannabe Hitlers who have targeted our people, from Ilan Halimi, to Sarah Halimi.  The difference is that now the law has decided in France that so long as people have taken a bit of drugs, they are no longer responsible for their murderous actions.  Any “angry” person can now murder a Jew in France and claim he took drugs beforehnd and have a reasonable chance of walking free.

While it is a positive step that Macron has called for the law to change, it is years too late.  Macron has said that he wants to assure the family and relatives of the victim and all fellow citizens of the Jewish faith that they have his support.  Then why do they keep getting murdered in France?

Jews make up a small, historic minority in France.  Many have left the country over the years for Israel, the United States or Canada, seeking to build a new life.  They shouldn’t have to flee for safety or put up more bars and walls around their synagogues to feel safe.

It’s not enough to change a failed law that enables people to murder so long as they are “high.”  Society in France should have been educated long ago not to hate Jews and not to call Jews “Satan.”  Crimes of people shouting “God is Great” while killing members of another faith should be prosecuted as religious-inspired hate crimes.  The excuses have to stop.



Israel’s UN Envoy Blasts Security Council For Ignoring Threat Posed By Iran

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan castigated the UN Security Council on Thursday (22nd) for failing to address Iran’s behavior while wasting its time on endless discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Iran’s relentless attempts to acquire military nuclear capabilities, its terrorist proxies that continue to destabilize the region, and its grave human rights violations remain the most substantial threat to peace and security in the Middle East,” he said during the council’s quarterly debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

He stated that “this council does not take the steps necessary to stop Iran.  It continues to ignore the most pressing matter in the Middle East and instead, wastes these debates recycling useless discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the fact that the Abraham Accords have clearly proven that this is not the issue – Iran is.”

Erdan said, “If the council wants to play a conducive role in bringing stability to the region, it must not cling on to approaches that have failed time and time again because of Palestinian rejectionism.”

He stressed that returning to the Iran nuclear agreement would be a serious mistake.

“Just like in 2015, the fanatical ayatollahs will use sanctions relief to fund their terrorist activities and continue to secretly develop their military nuclear program.  All they will have to do is wait for the agreement to expire in 2030.  Then they will have international legitimacy to have thousands of advanced centrifuges enriching uranium and their breakout time will be almost down to zero, as [former US] President Barack Obama himself admitted.”

Erdan stressed that “for Israel, Iran poses an existential threat.  That is why we will not see ourselves bound by any agreement that does not fully address the threat against the existence of the State of Israel.  And every one of you would do the same if you were in our shoes, particularly in light of the Holocaust.”



Israel Intensifying Air War In Syria Against Iranian Encroachment – Suleiman Al-Khalidi

Israel has dramatically expanded air strikes on Iranian missile and weapons production centers in Syria, Western and regional intelligence sources say.

“We are trying to hit targets with a strategic impact,” said Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, ex-head of the research wing of Israeli military intelligence.  “We want to prevent Iran turning Syria into an Iranian base close to Israel that may bring a drastic strategic change in the situation….That’s why we keep pounding Iranian bases so they don’t take control of the country.”

A Syrian military source said, “There are fortifications underground that Israel cannot reach….We have warehouses dug into the mountains and equipped to be resistant even to bunker busters.”  Residents of Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zor region said dozens of decoy rocket launchpads and deserted farm barracks with Iranian militia flags now dot main highways in efforts to divert Israel away from genuine targets.

Israeli and Western officials said that if Israel had not escalated its air campaign, Iran would have carved out a strategic staging ground close to Israel’s doorstep by now.  

“Had Israel not intervened, the situation could have been 10 times worse.  The Iranians are paying an ongoing price with many weapons being destroyed.  Of course it has an impact on their activities, but it does not solve the problem,” Kupperwasser said.