News Digest — 7/31/19

‘Peace Between Israel And Arabs Is Iran’s Worst Nightmare’

Jason Greenblatt, an envoy for the Trump administration, accused Tehran of ‘exploiting’ the Arab-Israeli conflict for decades, saying the Islamic Republic has been “profiting” from the violence.

In a tweet Wednesday morning (31st), the White House senior envoy said that a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would be Iran’s “worst nightmare.”

“The Iranian regime has exploited the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades – profiting from the chaos and violence to advance its malign activities and influence in the region.  A successful peace agreement would be the Iranian regime’s worst nightmare.”

In an op-ed piece published on Fox News website hours before the tweet, Greenblatt accused Iran’s government of fanning the flames of the Israeli-Arab conflict and promoting terrorism in the region, slamming “Iran’s warped vision for the Palestinian people – one that offers nothing but increased violence, devastation and despair.”

“It is clear that Iran is deeply invested in seeing the conflict continue.  The Iranian regime provides $100 million annually in support to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.  None of these funds go toward humanitarian relief.”

“Iran’s support for terrorism across the Middle East has not only encouraged attacks against Israel, but helped destabilize large swaths of the Arab world,” Greenblatt continued.

“These terrorist groups have enabled numerous deadly attacks originating from Gaza, the West Bank/Judea-Samaria, Syria and Lebanon – including attacks against Israelis, Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula and American citizens.”

The Trump envoy offered the White House’s much-anticipated Middle East Peace Plan as an alternative to Iran’s vision of “terrorism and malevolent voyeurism,” pointing to last month’s economic workshop in Bahrain where portions of the U.S. plan were unveiled.

“The world should be rooting for the Trump administration’s peace vision and the future generations of Israelis and Palestinians who have suffered from this decades-old conflict.  The world should be united against Iran’s illicit business and terror activities.”



Croatian President Wants To Deepen Ties With Israel Despite Canceled F-16 Deal

Despite disappointment earlier this year that canceled a $500 million deal to purchase upgraded F-16s from Israel, Croatia wants to deepen its friendship with Israel and turn it into a strategic partnership, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar -Kitarovic said Monday (29th).

Following separate meetings with President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Grabar-Kitarovic tweeted, “The F-16 Barak project did not come to fruition.  Nevertheless, our partnership with Israel continues and we’ll build our relations and strategic partnership, including in the defense sector.”

This is the highest level Croatian visit since the sale was nixed, a sign that canceling the deal did not irreparably harm ties.  It was Grabar-Kitarovic’s third visit since becoming president in 2015, and she will be coming back in January for a fourth time to take part in a gathering at Yad Vashem which will be attended by numerous world leaders to commemorate 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

Croatia, along with the other former Iron Curtain countries – with the exception of Slovenia – is considered among the more supportive countries of Israel in the European Union.  Croatia has broken with the majority of EU countries on a number of occasions, and either voted for Israel or abstained in international forums.

Croatia is taking over the rotating presidency of the EU in January 2020, and Grabar-Kitarovic said at a media opportunity with Netanyahu that she wants to reassure Israel that “at the first of the year, Israel will have a friend at the helm of the EU.”



Israel Terrorists Live It Up In Israeli Prisons With Workouts, Entertainment, Diplomatic Visits

Security prisoners in Israeli prisons are not exactly languishing as they serve time for terrorist acts, according to a just-released Israel Prison Service (IPS) report.

For example, over a hundred different exercise machines and several entertainment centers were recently distributed among the security wings, it said.

Each prisoner is allowed to subscribe to one newspaper and one magazine “published in Israel.”  This presumably includes pro-Palestinian Arab papers published in Jerusalem.

The report also noted that the names of diplomatic and consular officials who visit these prisoners are not registered – something that has not been done until now.  The security implications of this oversight is completely unknown.

MK Basel Ghattas of the Arab Joint List was sentenced to two years in prison in 2017 for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian security prisoners.

However, visitation rights are more restricted.  While some security prisoners get to see their families twice a month.  Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners are only allowed monthly visits. Since 2017, those from the Gaza Strip get none at all, following an order from Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan that was upheld in January by Israel’s High Court of Justice.

This was done to put pressure on Hamas to release the bodies of two soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and two mentally ill men who went over the Gaza border in 2014 and 2015, respectively. 

Erdan also vowed to limit the terrorists’ water privileges, among other restrictions, as he said they use “five times the amount of the average Israeli citizen” to purposely cause harm to the state, which is constantly short of water.

The IPS was forced to release these details in response to a Freedom of Information petition filed by the pro-Zionist organization IM Tirtzu.  Head of the organization, Matan Peleg told Mako News that prison conditions in Israel resemble a “hotel.”

“It’s shameful to see the great conditions that the terrorists get in Israeli prisons, paid for by the Israeli public,” he said, adding that “it’s time for the government’s approval of the recommendations of Minister Erdan’s committee to stop the terrorists partying in prisons.”



Arab Kids Radicalized In Anti-Israel Summer Camp In The Heart Of Jerusalem

The Palestinian Authority is funding an anti-Israel children’s summer camp in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, Ynet reported Tuesday (30th).

About 100 local children ages 7-12 are being inculcated with Palestinian nationalistic messages, starting with the camp slogan “Our Home, Our Jerusalem,” the news site reports.

Each camp-day starts with the singing of the Palestinian national anthem complete with a Palestinian flag raising.  Counselors who hold Israeli identity cards, meaning Israeli citizenship, teach the campers that Israel’s founding is the “Nakba” (Catastrophe, in Arabic).

They also lead the children in songs that include verses like, “This nation will not die – freedom, freedom, freedom.  This nation wants freedom for our prisoners. We will continue to stand with pride on all our land, without them shaming us on your land O Palestine.”

According to the report, the campers also go to Jericho to train with Palestinian police officers in a popular form of Israeli hand-to-hand combat called Krav Maga.  Jericho is in area A under complete Palestinian control, and by law Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter.

Maor Zemach, head of the “Lach Jerusalem” organization which wants to reinforce Israel’s sovereignty in the capital, called for the authorities to close the camp-center immediately.

“The Palestinian Authority’s incitement in Jerusalem must be cut off quickly and with determination,” he said.  “The education towards incitement and radicalization in eastern Jerusalem must be stopped.”

Issawiya is located at the foot of French Hill, next to Mount Scopus.  Its citizens are considered permanent residents of the city and receive all Israelis benefits, such as social security and national health insurance.

Just a month ago, Israeli forces were attacked by a large mob of Arabs in the neighborhood who threw rocks and live fireworks at them from close range, endangering their lives.  The Police and Border Guard have arrested dozens of suspected terrorists there in recent months.



Israel’s Magen David Adom Conducted Emergency-Response Training In Milwaukee – Adam Hochron

Following recent armed attacks against religious and public institutions in the U.S., Magen David Adom, Israel’s national EMS service, conducted three days of terrorism-and-emergency-response training for civilians, sponsored by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.  The “First 7 Minutes” training course taught participants how to remain safe during a violent incident and how, in the immediate aftermath, to render critical first aid in the seven minutes it typically takes first responders to arrive. Much of the training is also applicable to other emergency situations, such as building collapses, fires and natural disasters.

Because of the sheer number of terrorist incidents that Magen David Adom has seen in Israel, it has emerged as the most experienced mass-casualty-response organization in the world.  While MDA has conducted terrorism-response seminars to first-responder professionals in the U.S., this is the first time it has offered training to civilians. The program will be rolled out across America to any community where institutions fear being targeted for attack.

“Our decision to conduct this training…is about empowering people and providing them with the skills they need to better handle an attack, keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and help save lives should an attack occur.  And we can think of few things more in keeping with the values of our community,” said Moshe Katz, board chair of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.