News Digest — 7/29/22

The Price Of Incitement: Israel Revokes Licenses For Schools In Eastern Jerusalem

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton on Thursday (28th) revoked the operating licenses of six schools in eastern Jerusalem, after serious incitement was found in the textbooks used in them.

“Incitement against the State of Israel and IDF soldiers in children’s school textbooks is an intolerable phenomenon that will be dealt with severely.  Every educational institution which is found to be inciting and using hate speech against the State of Israel and its symbols – its license will be revoked.  Incitement and hatred – not in our schools,” clarified Shasha-Biton.

The inciting content was discovered during an enforcement operation conducted by the Ministry of Education in the region.  The directors of the educational institutions in question were summoned to a hearing, after which the decision was made to revoke the permanent operating license they held.

The Ministry of Education stated that the inciting textbooks contained content that included the glorification of terrorists, various plots against Israel and claims Israel is massacring Palestinians.

One of the quotes released by the Ministry of Education from one of the textbooks included the following: “The greatest racist disaster that struck the Palestinian people occurred in 1948, when armed Zionist gangs occupied 77% of Palestine and carried out a massacre against the Palestinians, destroying 531 Palestinian villages, and causing the emigration of a million Palestinians to be refugees in what was left of Palestine.”



Palestinian Gunmen Open Fire On IDF Post In Southern Nablus

IDF fighters from Battalion 636 returned fire after a shooting attack on a military post at the entrance to the city of Nablus in the West Bank on Thursday night (28th), according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

A squad of armed Palestinians arrived in a vehicle at one of the southern entrances to the city, got out and fired at a military post in the area.

Fighters from the 636th Battalion who were operating in the area returned fire and hit several of the gunmen, one of the militants was arrested and sent for medical treatment.

One gunman was killed by IDF fire, according to Palestinian reports.

The others that were hit by IDF fire fled in a vehicle, after which another vehicle arrived, collected the weapons and fled the scene.

There were no casualties among IDF troops.

The head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, congratulated Shomron Brigade Col. Roi Zweig for thwarting the attack.

“Another attempt at an attack in the Shomron, God willing, thanks to the correct and quick action of the soldiers of the Shomron Brigade, under the command of Col. Zweig, a serious incident was avoided.  The residents of the Shomron and the entire people of Israel thank you.”



IDF Operating In Nablus After PA Failed To Keep Terror In Check – David Isaac

Ibrahim Nablusi, the leader of an Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade cell, whom Palestinian admirers have dubbed “The Lion of Nablus,” managed to flee as Israeli forces closed in on the terrorist’s hideout on Saturday night (23rd).  He has participated in several attacks on Israelis in recent months.

Yoni Ben Menachem, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told JNS  that Nablusi is not the type to surrender and definitely will be killed.  “Four members of his cell have already been killed,” he said.  He dismissed Palestinian attempts to lionize Nablusi as propaganda to drive recruitment.

“Nobody takes it seriously.  Only the young generation, the 13- and 14-year old kids who don’t understand anything, believe these people are heroes.  Nablusi doesn’t stand a chance against the special units of the IDF, who are very well trained and considered the best in the world.”  The terrorists “should be very worried, because the Israel Security Agency has very accurate information concerning their whereabouts.  It knows how to reach them even in the heart of Nablus.”

“Among Arabs living in northern Samaria there has always been a tradition of armed struggle,” said Ben Menachem, “especially in Jenin, the capital of terrorism.” 

“The real issue,” he said, “is that the past two years Israel has allowed the problem there to fester, giving the terrorists time to rebuild their infrastructure.  They are now 500-600 strong, and the various Palestinian terror groups work together.”



How Israel Has Strengthened The U.S. – Yoram Ettinger

“Israel did not grow strong because it had an American alliance.  It acquired an American alliance because it had grown strong,” professor Walter Russell Mead said recently.  Since 1967, Israel has emerged as the most effective, reliable and democratic ally of the U.S., as well as a formidable force multiplier.

After the 1967 Six-Day War, 25 U.S. military experts went to Israel to study the lessons of the war and examine captured Soviet military systems.  Their findings upgraded the performance of the U.S. armed forces and defense industries.  In 1966 and 1989, Israel acquired MIG-21 and MIG-23 Soviet combat planes through defecting Iraqi and Syrian pilots.  The planes were shared with the U.S.

In 1969, an Israeli commando unit snatched an advanced Soviet P-12 radar system from Egypt.  The Soviet radar was studied by Israel and transferred to the U.S., as were additional Soviet military systems, enhancing the capabilities of U.S. intelligence, special operations forces and defense industries.  After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, 50 American experts arrived in Israel, collecting information that benefited the U.S.

The late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, who served as chairman of the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, said the scope of intelligence Israel shared with the U.S. exceeded the intelligence shared by all the NATO countries combined.

The writer is a former ambassador and head of Second Thought: A U.S.-Israel Initiative.



Half Of All Jews Now Live In Israel, And That Is A Source Of Strength – Prof. Vernon Bogdanor

→ A hundred years ago, in 1922, there were 14,400,000 Jews in the world.  The centers of Judaism outside the U.S. were in central and eastern Europe – Berlin, Warsaw and Budapest.  There seemed grounds for optimism.  In 1922, the League of Nations awarded Britain the Palestine British Mandate, which confirmed the legitimacy of Britain’s promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 of a national home for the Jews.  “The wandering Jews will at last have a home,” the London Times declared in April, 1920.

→ By 1939, the world Jewish population had increased to 17 million.  But Jews on the continent faced a precarious future with the spread of antisemitism and the rise of Hitler.  Many sought to emigrate, but most countries closed their doors.  And in 1939, the British government in its White Paper severely limited immigration into the national home – proposing to end it entirely. 

→ In Chaim Weizmann’s words, “the world was now divided between countries in which Jews were not allowed to live and countries in which Jews were not allowed to enter.”  By 1945, after the Holocaust the world’s Jewish population had fallen to 11 million.

→ Today it is just over 15 million.  Jews have not made up the losses of the Holocaust.  Between 1939 and 2022, by contrast, the population of the world has increased by 250%.  In the absence of the Holocaust, given a natural increase of population, there would perhaps now have been a world Jewish population of 40 million.

→ Following the creation of Israel, the geographical balance of the world Jewish population has altered radically.  In Palestine in 1939, there were only 450,000 Jews – 3% of the world’s total.  Today, nearly seven million Jews, almost 50% of the total, live in Israel.

→ Jews emerged from powerlessness then, to become authors of their own destiny now.

The writer is Professor of Government, King’s College, London.



Israeli Archaeological Dig Begins At Site Believed To Be Joshua’s Tomb

Archeologists have begun digging at Khirbet Tibnah, a site where humans have settled for about 4,000 years and which is believed to be where the biblical Joshua lived and was buried, the excavation project at the site announced on Monday (25th).

The dig is being held by Dr. Dvir Raviv and students from Bar-Ilan’s department of Land of Israel Studies and Archeology, alongside volunteers from Israel and abroad. 

Khirbet Tibnah is located on a hill in the southwest of the Samaria region, east of Shoham near Halamish.  The site was populated from the Bronze Age until the beginning of the Ottoman period, according to Bar-Ilan.

The site is also identified as Timnath-heres or Timnath-serah, a town which, according to the Book of Joshua, was given by the Israelites to the leader and was where he lived and was buried.  The Tomb of Caleb is also believed to be at the site.

The site was surveyed in the 1800s and is mentioned in a number of historical documents. Remnants from the Biblical period, the Hasmonean period, the Roman period and the Ottoman period were found at the site throughout the 1900s.

A Detailed mapping of the site was conducted by Raviv in 2015, sketching the tombs, collecting fragments of pottery and documenting various remains and burial caves, showing proof of the existence of a Jewish settlement in the area in the past.

Last week, during preparations and surveys conducted at the hilltop site ahead of the opening of the excavation season, archeologists found a number of artifacts.

“This area is the largest and most accessible of its kind in the space between Jerusalem and Samaria.  In addition, it is the capital of a district and was once an important fortified site throughout many periods,” said Raviv.  “In general, it is not obvious that an Israeli archeologist will excavate in Judea and Samaria these days.  Today there are only a few who do so.”

“My goal in this project is to understand the archeological outline of the settlement: Is it indeed fortified as described in the sources?” Raviv added.  “Who lived there in the pre-Hasmonean period?  Did the settlement spread beyond the top of the mound, towards the slope?  It seems that [Khirbet] Tabna is expected to yield significant and interesting findings.”