News Digest — 7/13/21

Hezbollah Releases New Footage Of Incident That Triggered 2nd Lebanon War

Hezbollah on Monday (12th) released new footage of the 2006 cross-border raid that triggered the Second Lebanon War.

The move, clearly a psychological warfare ploy, comes as Israel marks 15 years since the fatal abduction of two Israeli soldiers took place.

Reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were patrolling the Israel-Lebanon border fence when they were abducted by Hezbollah terrorists on July 12, 2006.  Three other soldiers were killed in the attack, and three more were seriously wounded.

The incident triggered a 34-day military conflict between the Jewish state and the Iranian-backed Shiite terrorist group, during which the IDF crippled Lebanese civil infrastructure.  On August 11, 2006, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1701, declaring the end of hostilities.

Two years later, on July 16, 2008, Goldwasser and Regev’s remains were returned to Israel as part of a prisoner exchange deal brokered with the Iranian-backed Shiite terrorist group, which saw Israel release five Lebanese terrorists, including infamous murderer Samir Kuntar, as well as the bodies of 199 terrorists captured in Lebanon or Israel.



Israel Approves Freezing Of ‘Terrorism Funds’ To PA, Deducts 600 Million Shekels

The Israeli Security Cabinet on Sunday (11th) approved a report, submitted by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, on the freezing of funds transferred by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and their families, the Israeli government announced in a press release.

According to the report which was prepared by the Defense Ministry Economic Counter-Terrorism Staff, the Palestinian Authority transferred 597 million shekels ($183 million) in indirect support of terrorism in 2020. 

Pursuant to the approval of the report, these funds, transferred monthly to the Palestinian Authority, will be frozen.

In 2018, the Knesset approved a law stipulating that the monthly deduction of funds to the PA would be according to the amount of money that it transfers to terrorist operatives and their families.  The vote passed with a majority of 87 supporters with only 15 opponents.

Palestinian leaders condemned the law, vowing to continue paying stipends to terrorists and their families.

A year ago, the opposition slammed the government of then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following reports that Israel had failed to stop the transfer of hundreds of millions of tax money to the Palestinian Authority that it uses to pay convicted terrorists and their families according to its ‘pay-for-slay’ policy.



Czech Republic Becomes Ninth State To Boycott Durban Conference

The Czech Republic will not participate in the Durban Review Conference in New York in September, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek said Monday (12th), citing concerns about anti-Semitism and targeting Israel.

“I’ve taken this decision due to historic concerns regarding anti-Semitism and the misuse of the platform for attacks against Israel,” he tweeted.  “We will continue to fight racism and discrimination and promote human rights.”

The conference in September, also known as Durban IV is meant to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Racism in the South African city.

Anti-Semitism was rife at the 2001 Durban Conference’s NGO forum, where copies of the anti-Jewish conspiracy theory “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” were distributed, Israel was accused of genocide, an participants considered whether Hitler was right.

Israel was the only country singled out for racism in the statement made by the UN member-states participating in the conference.  The US and Israel walked out.

In 2009, 10 countries boycotted Durban II, and 15 opted out of Durban III in 2011.  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust an “ambiguous and dubious question” at Durban II in 2009 and a “pretext” for oppressing Palestinians.

Last week, Austria and the Netherlands announced they would not take part in Durban IV due to the anti-Semitism at past conferences.

The US, Israel, Canada, Australia, the UK and Hungary also said they would boycott the event in September. 



Some Care About Palestinians Only When They Can Blame Israel – Simon Rodan Benzaquen

The situation in Gaza has only deteriorated since Hamas violently overthrew the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in Gaza in 2007 and installed an Islamist regime that not only terrorizes Israeli civilians but also oppresses the Palestinians it governs.  As for PA Leader Abbas, he has not turned out to be the champion of freedom and democracy some had hoped for.

In recent weeks thousands have protested across the West Bank as Palestinian civil society activists and journalists have been intimidated and arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces.  Yet the traditional champions of the Palestinian cause in the West, who vehemently protested Israel’s actions in Gaza during the most recent conflict with Hamas, have remained silent.

Why do individuals who identify themselves as supporters of the Palestinian people have this incredible blind spot?  How can we explain the lack of interest in human rights when Israel is not involved?  What is at play has less to do with the world of politics than the world of psychology, and less to do with Israel than with those obsessed with Israel.

The writer is Managing Director of American Jewish Committee (AJC) Europe.



Biblical-Era Pottery Relating To Book Of Judges Found In Israel

Archaeologists excavating in southern Israel uncovered a piece of inked pottery bearing the name Jerubbaal, the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced on Monday (12th).  It was the first time an inscription from the time of the Biblical Judges and relating to the Book of Judges has been discovered, the IAA said.

Jerubbaal was the lesser-used name of the Judge Gideon.  He is best known for routing a Midianite army with 300 men as described in the Book of Judges, chapters six and seven.

The shard was found in Khirbat er-Ra’i, near Kiryat Gat, inside a storage pit that was dug into the ground and lined with stones.  According to the IAA, the shard dates from around 1,100 BCE, making it approximately 3,100 years old.

The IAA said the letters were deciphered by George Washington University expert Christopher Ralston.

The inscription “clearly shows the letters yod (broken at the top), resh, bet, ayin, lamed, and remnants of other letters, indicating that the original inscription was longer,” the IAA said.

According to the Antiquities Authority, “inscriptions from the period of the Judges are extremely rare and almost unparalleled in Israeli archeology.  Only a handful of inscriptions found in the past bear a number of unrelated letters.  This is the first time that the name Jerubbaal has ever been found outside the Bible in an archeological context – in a stratum dated to around 1,100 BCE, the period of the Judges.”

Hebrew University Professor Yosef Garfinkel, one of the excavation directors, stressed that the shard may not necessarily have belonged to the biblical judge Gideon himself, but the possibility cannot be ruled out that the jug belonged to him.  In any event, the name Jerubbaal was evidently in common usage at the time of the biblical Judges,” he said.

Gideon the judge was also referred to as Jerubbeshet in II Samuel 11:21.



Church Of England To Apologize For Medieval Expulsion Of The Jews

The Church of England will apologize for the first time for the expulsion of Jews from medieval England, reported the Telegraph.

Bishops confirmed to the newspaper that the apology will take place, and that the Church of England will offer an “act of repentance” ahead of the marking of the 800th anniversary of the anti-Semitic 1290 Edict of Expulsion.

The edict was a royal decree issued by King Edward I of England on July 18, 1290 that expelled every Jew from the kingdom.  

In the order, the king notified the sheriffs of every country that all Jews were to be expelled by November 1.

The expulsion was not overturned until 1657 when Oliver Cromwell allowed the Jews to return to England.

King Edward’s expulsion was the culmination of a period of 200 years of increasing anti-Semitism in England, including frequent cases of blood libels and pogroms, including the infamous York massacre of 1190 in which over 100 Jews were killed.

In 1218, King Henry III issued the Edict of the Badge forcing all Jews to wear a yellow badge, and taxes were increased to unbearable levels on the Jewish community during the era.