News Digest — 7/25/19

Palestinian Media Calls Jewish Mourning Period ‘Dangerous Judaization Season’

Palestinian Authority official daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida described the season following the Jewish fast day of the 17th of Tammuz as “the most dangerous season of Judaization,” Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported in a Wednesday (24th) press release.

Judaism marks the three weeks from the 17th of Tammuz until the 9th of Av as a mourning period.  On the 17th of Tammuz, 69 CE, the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem in their eventual destruction of the Second Temple on the 9 of Av.  The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians also on the 9th of Av in the year 587 BCE.

Calling the destruction of the Temples “alleged,” the newspaper warned of Jewish people visiting holy sites in Jerusalem during the period.

Likewise, in a recent song aired on the official Palestinian Authority Radio station, Tunisian singer Saber Rebai calls on Arab armies to come and fight the “Zionists” who “defile mosques and churches.” 

“Haifa, Ramallah, Gaza and occupied Jerusalem call to you,” Rebai sings.

Nazi collaborator and war criminal Amin al-Hussein, one of the early figures of Palestinian nationalism, believed that the Temple of Solomon and the Temple of Ezra and Nehemiah did exist, yet as a religious Muslim he believed the divine mandate was given to the “new” Muslim nation.

In recent years, PMW reported, the official Palestinian Authority opinion changed, and the existence of a Jewish site of worship on the Temple Mount is now denied, despite irrefutable historical and archaeological evidence, including the Arch of Titus in Rome, which depicts the Roman destruction of the Temple.



U.S. House Condemns BDS In A Rare Show Of Bipartisanship

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday (23rd) opposing an international effort to boycott Israel, a rare bipartisan vote as Democrats try to tone down increasingly heated political rhetoric over differences with their long-time U.S. ally.

Democrats have been wrestling with the issue all year.  Liberal lawmakers, most notably Reps. Ilan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., two newly elected Muslim Americans, have spoken out in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, known as BDS, as they criticized Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians.

Democrats were eager to vote to show support for Israel and to resist having the party be defined by its most liberal members.

The resolution passed by a vote of 398-17.

“We must reject the blatant anti-Semitism injected throughout BDS,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY, a sponsor of the measure.

The resolution also had been pushed by AIPAC, the influential Israeli lobby in Washington.



Exposed: Iranian Intelligence Effort To Recruit Israeli Arabs, Palestinians

Israel says it has uncovered “a network to recruit people from Israel, Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip for Iranian intelligence.”

A statement issued by the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, says it discovered the network while working together with the IDF, Israeli Police, and additional security elements in recent months.

“The network was based in Syria under Iranian guidance and was led by a Syrian operative nicknamed ‘Abu Jihad,’” said the statement.  Preliminary recruitment attempts were made through fictitious Facebook profiles, and later by messaging apps, said Shin Bet.

Israel authorities say that this case joins other recent events in which terrorist elements, including those from Hamas and Hezbollah, have established contacts with Israeli Arabs and Palestinians over the Internet in order to recruit them for intelligence-gathering and terrorist activity.

Recruits are asked, says the Shin Bet, to collect information on military bases, sensitive security installations, VIPs, police stations, hospitals, and among other crucial details, “to prepare targets for terrorist attacks in Israel at the behest of Iran.”

“The counter-operations have shown that the clear majority of Israeli citizens who were contacted refused to cooperate with their would-be recruiters, due to suspicions that their interlocutors were from a hostile source. As a result, the would-be recruits broke off ties with the terror operatives,” said Shin Bet.



U.S.: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Will Not Be decided By International Consensus Or International Law – Jason D. Greenblatt

Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason D. Greenblatt told the UN Security Council on Tuesday (23rd):

→“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not end on the basis of an ‘international consensus.’…Those who continue to call for international consensus on this conflict are doing nothing to encourage the parties to sit down at the negotiating table and work for peace.  In fact they are doing the opposite – allowing people to hide behind words that mean nothing.”

→“Let us not forget that day when the United Nations could not even find a way to build an international consensus behind the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization that relentlessly attacks Israelis by incendiary balloons, missiles, attack tunnels and other means, sometimes while hiding in residential neighborhoods filled with Palestinian families. Hamas which ghoulishly holds the remains of Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul as bargaining chips.  Hamas, which…continues to vow to destroy Israel.”

→“And how is it we can’t find an international consensus that the Palestinian Authority rewarding terrorism and the murder of Israelis using public funds, some donated by countries in this very room, is abhorrent and must be stopped?”

→“This conflict is also not going to be resolved by reference  to ‘international law’ when such law is inconclusive There is no judge, jury or court in the world that the parties involved have agreed to give jurisdiction in order to decide whose interpretations are correct.”

→“The same holds true for the status of Jerusalem.. No international consensus or interpretation of international law will persuade the U.S. or Israel that a city in which Jews have lived and worshipped for nearly 3,000 years and has been the capital of the Jewish state for 70 years, is not – today and forever – the capital of Israel.”

→“Let us not lose sight of the fact that Israel has already conceded at least 88% of the territory captured by Israel in a defensive war it had no choice but to fight in 1967.”

→“The dispute over the territory is a question that can only be resolved in the context of direct negotiations between the parties.  And I am focused on how to get those parties back to the table.”



Israel Among Top 10 Most Innovative Countries – Global Index

Switzerland is the world’s most innovative country for a second consecutive year, while Israel made the top 10, a global indicator showed Wednesday (24th).

The annual Global Innovative Index – compiled by World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University and INSEAD – ranks 129 world economies on 80 parameters including research technology and creativity.

Switzerland was followed by Sweden, the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Finland, Denmark, Singapore and Germany, with Israel rounding out the top 10.

The Jewish state placed 11th in 2018, 17th in 2017, 21st in 2016, and 22nd in 2015.

India,  where the announcement was made, was ranked 52nd but has leaped up the rankings in recent years, WIPO assistant director-general Naresh Prasad said.

The report came as the International Monetary Fund downgraded global growth and warned of a “precarious 2020” amid trade tensions, continued uncertainty and rising prospects for a no-deal Brexit.

The report’s authors said spending on innovation was still growing and appeared resilient despite the slowdown.

But they also warned of signs of waning public support for research and development in high-income economics usually responsible for pushing the innovation envelope, and increased protectionism.  “In particular, protectionism that impacts technology-intensive sectors and knowledge-flows that pose risks to global innovation networks and innovation diffusion,” the report said.

“If left uncontained, these new obstacles to international trade, investment and workforce mobility, will lead to a slowdown of growth in innovation productivity across the globe.”



Historic Jewish Cemetery In Poland Vandalized A Month After Rededication

A Jewish cemetery in southern Poland was vandalized a month after it was rededicated, following two and a half years of renovations.

“Jews eat children.”  “Jadowniki eats Jews,” was painted on the wall of the cemetery in Tarnow.  Jadowniki is a village near Tarnow.

A group of Tarnow residents said this week that they would paint-over the vandalized wall.

Natalia Gancarz of the Committee for the Protection of Monuments of Jewish Culture in Tarnow said the vandalism was a “result of anti-Semitism and deep depravity.”

Established in 1581, the cemetery in 1976 was added to the registry of protected monuments.

Upon the cemetery’s reopening in June, Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich, praised the cooperation of Tarnow Jews living around the world, with local residents.

“This is a sign of how the impossible becomes possible when there is cooperation,” he said.

The renovation cost $800,000 and was paid for by a subsidy from the EU.  It included repairs to the wall and about 100 gravestones, as well as the building of a driveway for the disabled and the installation of lighting.  An exhibition about the history of Tarnow Jews was mounted in the pre-burial building.