News Digest — 6/10/21

Poll: Israelis Want To Beat Hamas, Not Negotiate With Terrorists

A new public opinion poll released Wednesday (9th) by a pro-Israel organization showed that a large majority of Israelis wanted to keep fighting Hamas last month after the Iran-backed terror group sparked a military conflict by firing a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem.

Conducted by the respected polling company Midgam Research and Consulting on behalf of The Israel Victory Project, the survey of 503 Jewish Israeli respondents included 22 questions in Hebrew or Russian on May 27-31 with the results having a 4.4% margin of error, Arutz-7 reported.

A majority of respondents, 82%, agreed with the statement that “there can be no appeasing Hamas, only by defeating it unequivocally can we bring this conflict to an end.”  Similarly, 70% of respondents agreed with the statement: “There can be no deals with terrorist organizations, only defeat.  Israel must use all its military, diplomatic and economic means to crush Hamas’ will to continue fighting.”

Despite the IDF reporting that Israel had dealt a severe blow to Hamas, only 35% of respondents said Israel had “won” the conflict even though 51% thought that Operation Guardian of the Walls was more successful than Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Only 20% of respondents supported the ceasefire while the large majority of 68% said that the operation ended too early and should have continued “until Hamas’ ability and will to attack Israel was destroyed and the hostages and bodies in Gaza were returned.”

Almost three quarters of the respondents, 74%, agreed with the decision not to send IDF ground troops into the Strip.

Following pressure from the Biden administration to end the operation, 60% felt that Israel’s security interests were more important than the demands of the international community, while only 33% said those demands should be taken into account.

Israelis are also very hawkish on the Hamas commanders responsible for firing rockets at Israeli towns and cities, with 90% supporting or strongly supporting the assassination of Hamas leaders.  A large majority of respondents  – 76% – want to block monthly donations of tens of millions of dollars in cash to Gaza from Qatar, and 74% are for stopping the transfer of all dual-usage building materials for Gaza reconstruction that in the past have been diverted for use by Hamas.

Run by Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes, The Israel Victory Project says it works in the US and Israel “to facilitate a change in the public discourse towards an Israeli victory that aims to encourage Palestinian leadership and society that their best chance at prosperity will come once they accept that Israel is the Jewish state and that the war to eradicate Israel has ended, and Israel won.”

Middle East Forum Executive Director Greg Roman said the new Israeli government, expected to be sworn in next week, has a “duty to institute a new policy towards Hamas.”

“The poll results demonstrate that the Israeli public wants their leaders to stop managing the conflict and begin working to defeat Hamas, disarm it, and return the Israeli captives,” Roman said.  “Only through an unequivocal victory that can arrive through economic, military and political means, while standing strongly in the face of international pressure, can the conflict be won and finally ended.”



Israel Seizes Thousands Of Terror-Related Items En Route To Gaza

Israeli security forces intercepted thousands of packages en route to the Gaza Strip containing items that could be used for terrorism, Israeli authorities revealed Wednesday (9th).

Border authorities inspecting postal packages at the Beituniya Crossing thwarted more than 1,000 attempts to smuggle dual-use items in recent months.

“Dual-use” products and materials can be used for civilian purposes as well as for terrorist activities.

The equipment included drones, radios, frequency jammers and listening equipment.

The head of the IDF’s Civil Administration Brig.-Gen. Fares Atila, stated that the unit he commands “takes very seriously any attempt to take advantage of the civilian medium of mail deliveries for the transfer of dual-use products that may harm the security of the State of Israel and its citizens.”

Israel’s combined security agencies have been successful in thwarting thousands of attempts to smuggle illicit materials and products into the Gaza Strip in recent years.

Smuggling attempts have increased each year since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

In many of the incidents, the smuggled materials and products are meant for Hamas’ rocket production program or its military buildup.



Unpublished EU Report Finds PA Textbooks Incite To Violence, Hatred Of Jews

An unpublished European Union report on Palestinian textbooks confirmed that the Palestinian curriculum includes anti-Semitic content, incitement to violence, and the delegitimization of Israel.

German newspaper Bild published findings from the report on Tuesday (8th) and asked why they were never published.  The publication noted the report was commissioned in 2019 by then-EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and examined teaching instructions published by the Palestinian Education Ministry between 2017 and 2020.

The report, written by the German Georg-Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, was also seen by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, an Israeli non-governmental organization that has drawn attention to similar offensive content in Palestinian textbooks in the past.

According to IMPACT-se, the institute found the “frequent use of negative attributions in relation to the Jewish people in, for example, textbook exercises that suggest a conscious perpetration of anti-Jewish prejudice.”  It even discovered a textbook chapter that “sends the message that the Jews as a collective are dangerous and deceptive and demonizes them.  It generates feelings of hatred towards Jews.”

The examined material also contained depictions of Israeli violence that “tend to dehumanize the Israeli adversary, occasionally with accusations of malice and deception.”  When discussing violent actions by Palestinians against Israel, the textbooks label them as part of “a heroic struggle” against the Jewish state; in general, portrayals of violence perpetrated by the Israelis present them as “a homogenous entity mostly referred to as the ‘[Zionist] occupation’ or similar epithets.”

“This as yet unpublished EU report into Palestinian textbooks is a damning indictment of the Palestinian Authority’s systematic and purposeful insertion of anti-Semitism, hate, and incitement to violence in its textbooks,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff.

“The question is, will EU policymakers finally take action to condition EU funding to the PA on positive reforms to the curriculum as the European parliament has demanded on several occasions?” he asked.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the findings “prove Israel’s consistent claim that incitement is constantly present in Palestinian Authority textbooks … a claim that Israel has raised with the European Union and its member states for many years.”

“Instead of educating for tolerance, co-existence, peace and non-violence – as is required under UNESCO’s mandatory standards – Palestinian textbooks include anti-Semitic components, deny the existence of the State of Israel, and glorify violence as a method of resolving the conflict,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson also noted that the EU continues to invest millions in the PA’s educational system without monitoring content that appears in textbooks or demanding that it stop “indoctrinating its children to hate and kill.”



France To Open Parliamentary Inquiry Into Murder Of Sarah Halimi

Centrist liberal French political party the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI) announced on Wednesday (9th) that the French Parliament would establish a commission to investigate the killing of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year old French Jew who was brutally murdered by her neighbor.

In April, 2017 Halimi, a former kindergarten director, was beaten in her Paris apartment by her Muslim neighbor Kobili Traore who threw her off the balcony.

In April, 2021, a French court ruled that because Traore was intoxicated on marijuana at the time of the murder, he would not have to stand trial.

The ruling led to national and international outrage.

Shortly after the court’s decision, French President Emmanual Macron stated he would push for the law to be changed, commenting that “deciding to take drugs and then ‘going crazy’ should not, in my opinion, take away your criminal responsibility.”

The committee was the initiative of UDI lawmaker Meyer Habib, a French-Israeli of Tunisian Jewish background who represents French citizens in Eastern Mediterranean nations, including Israel.

The committee’s legislative purview will give it the power to call to testify: police officers, witnesses, judges, ministers and legal experts to examine police practices and the justice system in dealing with the reinvestigation into Sarah Halimi’s murder.  



Sheba Named Among The World’s Best Smart Hospitals

Newsweek in partnership with global data research firm Statista, ranked Sheba as the world’s 13th best ‘smart hospital’ and #1 within Israel.

The listing comes just months after Newsweek/Statista ranked the Ramat Gan hospital as one of the world’s ten best hospitals for the third year in a row.

Sheba is considered the largest facility of its kind in Israel and the Middle East.  The hospital in the Tel Hashomer neighborhood, handles more than a million patients a year, including 200,000 emergency visits, and employs about 1,250 physicians, 2,300 nurses and 1,500 other healthcare workers.

Sheba Medical Center played a vital role in spurring the global ‘smart revolution’ when it created the ARC Innovation Center (Accelerate Redesign Collaborate), nearly three years ago.  Its acceleration was heightened during the recent COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, where telemedicine played a critical role in patient care, thus providing revolutionary digital healthcare solutions that are being implemented on a global scale.

“The pandemic has accelerated a trend that has been years in the making.  Information technology and other tools that make hospitals ‘smarter’ have already become a big differentiator in most healthcare markets,” said Newsweek.  “Technology is not only the best way for hospitals to achieve these goals, it may be the only way.”

“Healthcare systems and hospitals must be prepared for an array of challenges during the next decade.  Thus, hospitals must revolutionize and introduce smart break-through technologies that will enhance patient care, whether in dealing with a pandemic or day-to-day care,” said Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba Medical Center.  “As a Top 10 World’s Best Hospital, Sheba Medical Center continues to redesign the face of futuristic medicine.  I am especially proud to work alongside our top doctors, who have played an integral role in transforming Sheba into a recognized ‘Smart Hospital’ that is revolutionizing healthcare on a global scale.”

“At the top of the list of technologies that hospitals need is telemedicine.  The ability to provide services, monitor patients, and communicate with them remotely proved invaluable during the pandemic,  Telemedicine can benefit hospitals and patients in other ways.  Helping patients while they’re in their homes reduces costs, catches more problems faster, reduces infection and makes healthcare more comfortable and convenient.  And shifting rehabilitation to the home means that patients can be released from the hospital sooner,” added Professor Eyal Zimlichman, Chief Innovation Officer at Sheba.