News Digest — 4/5/24

Thousands Of Police Deploy In Jerusalem’s Old City For Last Friday Of Ramadan

Israeli police deployed in large numbers throughout Jerusalem’s Old City for the final Friday (5th) of Ramadan, with large numbers of worshipers attending prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque atop the Temple Mount.

Police said some 3,600 officers are guarding the area and numerous roads are closed to traffic.  An enhanced police presence will also be on hand at night for Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest night of the year in Islam and considered particularly sensitive in terms of security concerns.

Despite heightened worries this year of potential unrest stemming from the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza, which was triggered by the group’s shock October 7 attack, Friday  afternoon prayers for Ramadan at the Temple Mount have passed peacefully over the past three weeks.

The Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism, where two biblical Temples once stood, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third-holiest shrine in Islam, making the site a flashpoint of the Israel-Arab conflict.

Also Friday (5th) Iran and its allies are commemorating Quds (Jerusalem) Day, which they have marked on the last Friday of Ramadan each year since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, claiming it is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians.

On Quds Day this year, a funeral ceremony is being held in Tehran for several Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members killed in a strike in Damascus that Iran has blamed on Israel. Among those killed were the IRGC’s top commander in Syria, leading the Israeli military to go on high alert following Iranian vows of retaliation.

Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli intelligence chief, said Iran may choose Friday (5th) to respond to the Damascus strike, either directly or through a proxy. 



IDF Spokesman Hagari: ‘IDF Forces Are Ready, We Can’t Be Complacent’

IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari addressed the press on Thursday (4th) and spoke about the panic-inducing warnings by the head of the IDF Intelligence Directorate about a response to the elimination of senior figures of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“For the past half year, we have been in a multi-front war and on high alert on all fronts.  We look at the threats and foil them all the time.  We are constantly assessing the situation and we take everything that the enemy says seriously,” Hagari stated.

He added: “We bolstered the preparedness of the combat units as needed, we reinforced the defense arrays, and we have planes ready for defense and offense in a variety of scenarios.”

“IDF forces are spread out well in defense and offense arrays on all borders.  We cannot be complacent and at the same time, it is important to emphasize that there has been no change to the Homefront Command’s instructions.  If there is a change we will update you about it.  My only recommendation is to be vigilant and responsible and to follow if there are changes,” he emphasized.

Hagari noted that “in the past few days we proactively activated GPS blockers, this is to help neutralize some of the threats.  We are aware that these disruptions cause discomfort.”

Regarding remarks by the head of the IDF Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliya that it is not certain that the worst is behind us, Hagari stated: “We are contending with many threats, and in recent days threats were launched at Israel from several fronts, most of which were products of Iran.  We intercepted a high percentage of them using both our defense arrays and the U.S. Military’s arrays. We have a multi-layered defense and we have planes in the sky around the clock.  We are ready for all the scenarios.  It has been happening for almost a year, and still, when we need to bolster preparedness, we bolster, and when we need to sharpen preparedness, we sharpen.”



Lidor Levy, 34, Dies Of Wounds From Gan Yavne Terror Stabbing

A victim of Sunday’s (3/31) terror stabbing in Gan Yavne died of his injuries Thursday morning (4th) at Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Lidor Levy was a 34-year-old computer engineer.  He leaves behind a pregnant wife, an 18-month-old daughter, parents and a brother and a sister.

Levy was seriously wounded on Sunday (3/31) when a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree at a local mall.  Another man was seriously injured and a teenager was moderately injured.  All three were rushed  to Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod, with Levy later transferred to Ichilov for neurosurgery for a penetrative head injury.

“Lidor was an exemplary father, spouse, brother and son.  He was a person full of love, nobleness, and generosity … we are left with a large hole in our hearts.  We will continue to live our lives according to the values he inculcated in us as a way of memorializing him,”  his family said in a statement issued by the hospital.

The attacker, a 19-year-old Palestinian from Dura in the southern West Bank, was shot dead by security officers who responded at the scene.

Levy was previously seriously wounded in 2009 during his service with the IDF Combat Engineering Corp in Gaza.  Despite his subsequent exemption from reserve military duty, he tried to get the army to call him up during the current war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Following the Gan Yavne attack, Hamas released a statement praising it as a “heroic operation” and calling on Palestinians to “escalate” attacks on Israelis.  



Former Ambassador Friedman: ‘There Is Not One Israeli Who Isn’t Suffering Today

Former US Ambassador to Israel David Freidman took to social media on Thursday (4th) to dispel the narrative regarding Israeli suffering.

“With few exceptions, the media is misleading the public on the Israel-Hamas war.  They have created a perception that while Israelis suffered on a single day, since then all the pain has been inflicted on Palestinians.” Friedman opens his post.

The former Ambassador explained that “Israelis indeed suffered on October 7, in brutal ways that defy adequate description.  But they have also suffered every day since.  Thousands are wounded and in pain, families have been torn apart, tens of thousands of residents in the south and in the north have been displaced with no idea when they will return home, children are mourning for their parents,  and parents mourn for their children.  Other parents of soldiers barely sleep, in constant fear of devastating news.”

He remarked: “This is Israel today – a nation in trauma.  They don’t want to kill Palestinians, they just want the hostages released,  and Hamas to lay down its arms.”

“There is not a single Israeli who is not suffering today, deeply and personally.  This is the untold story in the media and it is one reason that public opinion is moving away from Israel’s just cause,” he concluded.



Son Of Hamas: ‘There Is No Difference Between Hamas And Palestinian People’

Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of infamous Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, in an interview with Dr. Phil and two-Palestinian activists on Tuesday, said (2nd) that after October 7, there is no difference between Hamas and the Palestinian people.

Yousef began the interview by discussing the hatred of Jews within wider Muslim society after Dr. Phil asked him what he was taught as a child in Palestinian society.  Yousef responded, “There’s lots of hatred in that culture against the Jewish people.  It’s not a secret.  In fact, the Muslim belief system has a fundamental problem with the Jewish people.”

“They don’t have a reason except for the ideological reason, and in some Islamic texts, they say that Muhammad had a problem with the Jews, and Muhammad is their Prophet, so they follow his footsteps.  But in reality, Muhammad did not write a word that says anything against the Jewish people,” Yousef explained to Dr. Phil.

The Green Prince argued that October 7 was a religiously motivated attack and said, in the eyes of many Muslims, it is  a “holy war.”

Dr. Phil then played a short film displaying UNRWA teachers indoctrinating Gazan children to hate Jews.  The video also showed children, as young as eight years old, undergoing military training.  Several children in the interview talk about a desire to kill Jews.  When asked what is the right of return, one boy said, “it means throw stones at Jews, and also to slaughter the Jews.”  Yousef said parents encourage their children to die in pursuit of this goal.

Dr. Phil than panned out to a video of pro-Palestinian protests and stated, “Americans nationwide have been appalled by the leadership of these supposedly highly sophisticated schools that are so busy virtue signaling that words are violence, but violence – horrific inhumane violence is social justice –  they have forgotten that it is their job to teach their students to think and to test reality.”

Yousef commented on the protesters, calling them “idiots” because “they don’t know what they are supporting.”  He said that he does not fully understand the “black hole’ of Hamas, even though he was born into it.  He said that these activists are supporting a “monster” that is “pushing the entire Middle East towards a global war.”  He claimed that none of the pro-Palestinians have condemned the atrocities of Hamas on October 7.  He said that Hamas is the enemy of civilization.  He said he is outraged, and that the pro-Palestinian activism is “insanity.”

Dr. Phil then spoke to Two pro-Palestinian activists, asking them if they endorsed Hamas’ attack on October 7?  Both activists refused to condemn the October 7 atrocities and expounded Hamas distorted facts and propaganda.

Dr. Phil responded that if they didn’t want to answer the question, that’s an answer in itself. One activist responded by saying that “condemning the attack on October 7 would be hypocritical, because Palestinian suffering is not recognized.”

After she spoke, Dr. Phil. said, “There are some things that are just fundamental human decency, and when I asked you if what happened on october 7 is something you condemn and you say, well, you have to look at that by looking at hundreds of years of conflict – no you don’t – that’s either right or wrong, and it was wrong and I don’t need a hundred years of conflict to know it was wrong … let me tell you something.  When somebody comes over a fence and goes into someone’s house and burns their infant in its crib, I don’t care why they did it – it’s wrong.”

Yousef concluded the interview, by pointing and shouting at the pro-Palestinian activists.  “You only speak on the Authority of Hamas propaganda, because if you were decent human beings, you would say that the thousands that were killed on October 7 was a crime against humanity – that it was genocide.”



The Indigenous Sovereignty Movement Called Zionism – Joseph and Laralyn Riverwind

Ateret Shmuel of Indigenous Bridges, a nonprofit organization that builds bridges between Jewish people and other indigenous cultures worldwide, states: “We define an indigenous nation as a nation [that] has an ethnogenesis within a specific land space.  So they came into existence as a people within a specific land who have historical ties to that land that predate colonial contact.”

History recorded in Jewish writings over the centuries, as well as in the continuous accounts from neighboring nations, both friend and foe, attest to the existence of the Jewish tribes, their ties to the Land of Israel, their origin in ancient Judea, their international commerce dealings, the devastating chronicle of wars, diplomatic relationships between countries, storied of kings, scholars, historians, and the existence of a powerful kingdom.

Enemies of Israel purport that Jews are colonizers, not indigenous to the Holy Land.  Our question is: Where are the Jews indigenous to, if not Israel?  Another question: Does every people-group around the world have a place to which it is indigenous except the Jews?  Of course not.  The word Jew comes from Judah, son of Israel (Jacob), a patriarch for whom the nation is named – long before Judea was renamed “Palestine” by Roman conquerors.

We recognize the Jewish people as the indigenous people of Israel.  Moreover, Israel is the prime example of hope for other displaced indigenous tribes worldwide.  Israel stands as the original land-back and decolonization model.  An ancient tribal people, the Jews, have been restored to the place of their origin, to the locations of their sacred places.  This is the dream of any indigenous person: to return home to the land of their ancestors, to the origin place of their traditions, customs, beliefs, and language.

Zionism is the essence of being indigenous, Israel stands as a beacon of hope not just to Jews around the globe but to all indigenous people.

Chief Joseph Riverwind and Dr. Laralyn Riverwind are co-founders of the Indigenous Embassy of Jerusalem



White House: Israel Is Living Next To A Genocidal Threat From Hamas

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said Wednesday (3rd): “While we take issue with aspects of how [IDF] operations [in Gaza] are being conducted…we also continue to believe and continue to act on the belief that Israel has a right to defend itself against a still-viable threat by Hamas.  They still have every right and responsibility to their people to eliminate that threat after the 7th of October.  And so, that support for Israel continues.  No country should have to live next door to a threat that is truly genocidal, as Hamas has been … Israel is going to continue to have American support for the fight that they’re in to eliminate the threat from Hamas.”

“Israel has a right to defend itself.  Maybe not everybody believes that, but they do.  And maybe not everybody believes that they’re living next to a genocidal threat, but they are.  And so, we’re going to continue to support them.  No country should have to live like that.  No country should have to be attacked, like they were on the  7th of October, with 1,200 people slaughtered.”  (White House)