October 31, 2018

Palestinians Say Israel Killed Boys Catching Birds, So They Want To Bomb Tel Aviv – Ryan Jones

This is why the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is unlikely to come to an end, regardless of how lucrative U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” turns out to be.

All it takes is one little rumor, no matter how ludicrous or easily debunked, to set off another major round of violence.

That’s what is currently happening in the Gaza Strip, where the news of the day is that Israeli soldiers callously shot and killed three Palestinian Arab children who were innocently setting traps near the border to catch birds to feed their starving families, Sunday (28th).

That sounds absolutely horrible.  No doubt any one of us would demand justice, if not vengeance, following such an atrocity.  A mass demonstration in Gaza City called for as much when it urged Hamas and the other terrorist groups operating out of the coastal enclave to “bomb Tel Aviv.”  And, as the recent Grad rocket missile strike on Beersheva demonstrated, Hamas has the weaponry to fulfill the people’s wish.

The only problem is that the story fueling this fire is about as reliable as the tale of a young girl named Goldilocks and her unfortunate encounter with a family of bears.

The reality is that the three Palestinian “children” were in fact young men, no doubt doing the bidding of older men, and while they were setting traps, they weren’t for birds.  Unless “birds” is some new slang for “Israeli soldiers.” In that case, yes, they were setting traps for birds.

For those of us who appreciate a more direct form of expression, the three Palestinians in question were shot after Israeli soldiers discovered them planting explosives along the Gaza security fence.  The reason for doing so? To kill Israeli soldiers. So, yes, basically this was an act of self defense.

And that’s how we got to a mob chanting “The people want to bomb Tel Aviv.”

So long as such willful ignorance rules the emotions of those involved in this conflict, no deal regardless of its prominence of name, is going to bring genuine peace.



Jewish Doctor Led Team That Treated Synagogue Shooter

Dr. Jeff Cohen, a Jewish doctor, heads the hospital that treated the Pittsburgh mass shooter.  Cohen is also a member of the Tree of Life synagogue where the massacre took place.

“I looked at him and I wanted to understand, why did he do this?  And I had no answers,” Dr. Cohen, president of Allegheny General Hospital, told CNN’s Alex Marquardt.

“I asked him, ‘How are you feeling?’  And he was sort of groggy. And he said, ‘I’m feeling OK.’  And I introduced myself as Dr. Cohen president of Allegheny General,  And I left,” he said.

“The FBI agent in charge looked at me and said, “I don’t know how you did that because I’m not sure I could have,” Cohen added.

Dr. Cohen said the hospital team “took very good care” of the shooter, Robert Bowers.

Bowers attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Saturday morning (27th).  He used an AR-15 style rifle and three handguns to shoot and kill 11 synagogue goers and wound six others, including four police officers.

Bowers surrendered after being shot several times and was taken to Allegheny General Hospital.



Muslim Groups Raise Over $115,000 For Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Victims And Families

A crowdfunding campaign by two Muslim groups has raised more than $115,000 for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting – both for the injured and the families of those killed.

The campaign was organized by Muslim-American non-profit organizations CelebrateMercy and MPower Change.

“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” the groups said in describing the campaign on its crowdfunding page.  “The Muslim-American community extends its hands to help the shooting victims, whether it is the injured victims or the Jewish families who have lost loved ones.”

“No amount of money will bring their loved ones back, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way,  Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that their is no place for this type of hate and violence in America.  We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.” the groups said.

The money is intended to help with immediate, short-term needs of the injured, such as medical bills, and the families of those killed, with funeral expenses.



After Netanyahu’s Visit To Oman – Abdulrahman al-Rashed

→The nonchalant reactions of the Arab public and media over the Omani announcement that they received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat, Oman’s port capital, illustrates how much the region has changed from the past.

→The non-pragmatic way of dealing with the conflict has harmed the Palestinians and hasn’t deterred the Israelis.  The Arab culture of rejecting relations and normalization with Israel is deeply rooted and still alive, but what’s new is that it is no longer the engine moving the policies of Arab governments.

→Israel has played an important role in hitting Iran’s growing influence in Syria.  It took up roles that Arab countries couldn’t achieve. With this, a military balance in the region was achieved, and Israel became integral to regional security after it was once considered a poisonous apple that everyone avoided dealing with.

→Iran’s strong involvement in the Syrian war is what prompted Israel to enter and become a major player, especially when both America and Turkey failed in the face of the Iranian regime’s expansion and hegemony in Syria, after it was clear that it is building an empire with chaotic militias.

→Even those who reject Israel in the context of the Palestinian cause found themselves compelled to welcome the intervention of Israeli air forces which dramatically changed the situation in Syria and curbed Iranian threats in the region.

→Without Israel’s intervention, stopping the Revolutionary Guards’ expansion – that succeeded on the back of the Russian military and political presence – would not have been possible.

The writer is former general manager of the Al Arabiya news channel and a former editor-in-chief of Asharq al-Awsat.



Brazil’s Pro-Israel Candidate Wins Presidency

Congressman Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidency Sunday (28th) on promises to make several changes in Latin America’s largest nation, one of which is to foster closer relations with Israel.

He won just over 55% of the vote Sunday (28th), compared to under 45% for the rival Workers’ Party.

Bolsonaros’ supporters were seen reveling in the streets, many of them waving Israeli flags.

Considered pro-Israel, Bolsonaro has vowed to move the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and has said he would close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.  Inaugurated in 2016, the embassy is the Palestinians’ first diplomatic mission in the Western hemisphere.

“Is Palestine a country?  Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here,” Bolsonaro declared in August at the National Congress.

“You do not negotiate with terrorists,” he added.

He told an Israeli interviewer that a visit to the Jewish State would be his first diplomatic mission as president.