Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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suicide bomber vestJerusalem, May 24 - The Joint List alliance of mostly-Arab parties in the Knesset issued its condemnation of Monday night's bombing outside a concert in Manchester, England, after ascertaining that the terrorist attack everyone was discussing was not aimed at Jews or Israel.

List chairman Ayman Odeh contact the British ambassador in Israel Tuesday morning to convey his condolences to the people of Britain, following extensive consultations with fact-checkers and communications personnel to determine that it was acceptable to issue such condolences, and that he would not, heaven forbid, thereby imply that it was a bad thing when Israelis are targeted for terrorism.

"In a conversation with David Quarrey, the Ambassador of Britain, I expressed my sincere condolences to the families of Manchester; Daesh are the enemies of all humanity," Odeh tweeted, noting to his staff that the conversation and tweet took place so many hours after the attack because it would not do to express such condolences to Jewish Israelis facing Palestinian terrorism.

"When a Palestinian resistance fighter sneaks into a Jewish teenager's room and slits her throat as she sleeps, we cannot be seen as condemning that without qualification, or even expressing condolences, let alone 'sincere' condolences," he explained. "It's a totally different situation from a Salafi jihadi strapping a bomb packed with nails to himself and detonating it outside an Arianna Grande concert where lots of kids were in attendance. That of course must not be confused with a heroic Palestinian resistance fighter doing the same thing at a cafe or night club full of Israelis, including children. So I had to make very sure the terrorist attack everyone was talking about in fact took place not in Israel, and not against Jews or Israelis, but Britain. That verification took some time, which is why it was only this morning that I was able to talk to the ambassador to offer unqualified sympathy."

Still, Odeh's message to Britain did not satisfy some members of his political alliance. "I saw no mention of Palestinian suffering under occupation," observed MK Haneen Zoabi. "Does our chairman wish to imply that there is a context in which bringing that up is out of place? I hope not. He must realize that the project of liberating the oppressed Palestinian people involves leveraging every single interaction to maintain awareness and centrality of the Palestinian cause, ad nauseam. We cannot do that if the world is distracted even for a few moments by such trivialities as the suffering of non-Palestinians."



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From Ian:

Israel Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem
Israel on Wednesday celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the reunification of its capital city, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was secured by Israeli forces on June 7, 1967, corresponding to the 28th day of the Jewish month of Iyar, after two days of fighting with Jordan.
In an account of the battle to retake Jerusalem, journalist Abraham Rabinovich wrote that when the Six Day War first broke out with Egypt, Israel had sent a message to Jordan’s King Hussein asking him not to join the fighting. But Hussein, who had entered into a defense pact with Egypt, instead chose to put his forces under the command of an Egyptian general.
Although Jordanian forces began firing against Israeli positions, Israel did not attack Jordan until Jordanian forces broke into Israeli-held western Jerusalem and that Radio Cairo reported that Mount Scopus — which remained in Israeli hands after the 1948 War of Independence —
was captured. While the report turned out to be false, it was seen by Israel as an expression of Egypt’s intent.
After two days of fighting, Israeli troops surrounded the Old City of Jerusalem, the last Arab position in the city. At 9 AM the following morning, the Israeli cabinet approved an operation to retake the Old City. Israeli forces entered through the Lion’s Gate and made their way to the Temple Mount, facing little resistance.
Yom Yerushalayim
Today Israel celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem on the 28th of Iyyar 5727 (June 7th 1967) after nineteen years of Jordanian occupation.
Among the buildings in the Old City of Jerusalem that were destroyed during the Jordanian occupation was the Hurva Synagogue.
“On May 27, 1948, Jordanian soldiers forced entry into the side of the 84-year old Hurva synagogue by detonating a 200-liter barrel of explosives. They came back and blew up the entire synagogue two days later. […]
Destroyed as described in the 1948 War of Independence, various reconstruction plans were shelved until the new millennium. Finally, followed the ruling of leading Halachist rabbi Shalom Elyashiv (1910-2012), it was rebuilt to its former design and magnificence.
Indeed, the keen observer should be able to trace where the original masonry is lovingly incorporated into the synagogue’s eastern wall.”
An American in war-torn Jerusalem witnesses the battle for the Temple Mount
Abraham Rabinovich is an American journalist and author of several books on recent Israeli history. The following is a firsthand account of his experiences in the battle for Jerusalem during the Six Day War.
The background murmur of news from the Middle East had suddenly taken on a different pitch. It was mid-May 1967; Egypt was moving its army into the Sinai desert, expelling UN peacekeepers and closing the Tiran Straits to Israel-bound shipping. I had started work a few months before at a new daily on Long Island. On the last Sunday in May, I drove out of New York City and spent an hour walking up and down a country road to think it through. Should I? Could I? What would happen if?
The next morning, I told my editor that I had decided to fly to Israel to witness whatever was going to happen. If it were possible to consider my absence as two-week annual leave, I said, I would appreciate it. He agreed, even though I had not been there long enough to be entitled to leave time. “Two weeks,” he said. “War or no war.”
On May 31 I flew to Tel Aviv on a two-week ticket. Apart from yeshiva students returning to studies, one of the few passengers on the plane was Mandy Rice-Davies, who had been involved four years before in the Profumo sex scandal that rocked the British government. She was married now to a Tel Aviv nightclub owner. A yeshiva student pointed her out to me and she agreed to a brief interview. When I asked whether she realized that she was flying to a country that might soon be at war, she replied with British pluck. “Yes. That’s where I should be. I live there now.”

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The PFLP terror group in Gaza held a rally where they declared that they were not terrorists.



And what was happening on top of that truck?

They were simultaneously shooting, hanging, stabbing and beheading an effigy of the US President. While wearing masks.



They got a nice crowd, too.

Here's the full video:


(h/t Yoel)




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The terror attack in Manchester reminded me of a different attack. There too young people left their homes to have a good time and ended the night in the hospital, or worse. There too we saw parents frantically searching for their children, not knowing if they were dead or alive.

The attack in Manchester was one for the people of Britain, the attack in the Dolfinarium was one of many for the people of Israel. We’ve seen this happen again and again but for the children of Israel the world does not stop. Tears and prayers don’t help much but it is more than what the children of Israel receive. For some reason their lives, our lives, matter less.

While the media is focused on Manchester I want to tell you a story from Tel Aviv. From Manchester to Tel Aviv and back again we see that terror is terror.

On June 1, 2001 a Hamas terrorist walked into a Tel Aviv dance club and blew himself up murdering 21 young Israelis and injuring 132.

Jenya Dorfman was 15 years old.

The story below is not her story. 

Jenya’s story is that of a happy, dancing girl. A regular teenager.
This is the story of a pure gesture on night of horrors, the story of humanity and kindness on the deepest and most basic level.

From Manchester to Tel Aviv and back again we may not be able to prevent horror from entering our lives but we can choose to be like Faina and Frank.

The events of a single night created an unbreakable connection between Faina and Frank. Two people, from worlds apart, they would normally never have met but that night was no normal night. Their story is not that of a romance but it is a story of love. Theirs is a story of humanity and kindness on the deepest and most basic level.

It was a Friday night. Frank Eggmann, assistant to the Ambassador of Switzerland posted in Israel was in his room. Suddenly he heard the sound of an enormous explosion. A suicide bomber had blown himself up in the midst of a crowd of teenagers waiting to enter their favorite disco, the Dolfinarium.

Frank ran down the street to the Dolfinarium to see if he could help. He was witness to untold horrors. Youth blown to bits. Frank searched for someone he could help. Frank approached a boy who was lying on the ground but as he drew near he realized that the boy was dead; there was nothing Frank could do for him. A girl lying on the ground caught his eye. She was severely wounded, bleeding from a head injury. Frank knew he lacked the medical skills needed to assist Jenya so he did the only thing he could think of doing. He sat on the ground next to her and held her hand.
Meanwhile, Faina, Jenya’s mother, was at a birthday party. Jenya usually went with her to such events but Faina understood when her daughter said she’d rather go out with her friends that night. At the party Faina ate and talked with her friends. Faina never dreamt that at that very moment her beloved only child was on the ground, holding the hand of the assistant to the Ambassador of Switzerland as she lay dying.

Frank sat with Jenya while she bled. All he could do was be with her. Frank and Jenya were surrounded by ugliness and pain, screaming and blood, life pouring out on cement. The two of them, an island of prayer in a sea of madness.

That night one terrorist directed his life’s blood to killing children, to causing pain to as many people as possible. The terrorist sacrificed his humanity on the alter of hatred. Frank, in contrast, placed all of his humanity in the hand of a fifteen year old girl.

Faina did not have a good time at the party and she didn’t know why. She felt an enormous weight on her heart and she desperately wanted to go home. Someone told Faina that there had been an attack at the disco. At first she wasn’t worried but when Jenya did not answer her cell phone Faina started to become nervous. Friends drove Faina home; she prayed the whole way.

Faina hoped to find Jenya safely at home but the house was empty. A neighbor said that three wild-eyed and shaking teenagers had come looking for Faina, to say that Jenya was hurt and taken to the hospital. The hospital emergency phone lines were swamped so Faina did the only thing she could – she got a friend to take her to the hospital in search of her wounded child. It was probably hope that took Faina to Wolfson hospital where they treat the “mild” to “moderate” cases. Faina fought through a hellish scene of frantic families, friends, ambulances, police cars, sirens and shouting only to be given the terrifying news – Jenya was at Ichilov hospital, where the “serious” cases are taken. When Faina finally found her daughter, Jenya had already slipped into a coma. For 18 long days Jenya retained her fragile hold on life but while Faina was at her side all day, each day Jenya was already gone. Faina never got to talk to her beloved child again. Simply to hold Jenya’s hand and feel her squeezing her back would have meant the world to Faina.

The day after the attack Frank had scanned the papers for Jenya’s picture. He was pleased that he didn’t see her face amongst those of the dead children. Frank searched for her in the hospitals but didn’t find her. Something drove him on and on in his search. Frank went from hospital room to hospital room, visiting with the wounded and their families. Over one hundred teenagers were wounded in the attack and Frank saw most of them. Amongst so many faces and stories it was Jenya that was seared into his mind. Frank wanted very much to find her, to find her family.

Faina had heard that Frank had been at the scene of the attack and that he had done everything in his power to comfort a dying girl. Faina wanted desperately for it to have been Jenya. A mother had spent fifteen years raising her child, taking care of her, enjoying her personality, watching her dance and laugh and when her baby needed her she wasn’t there to protect her. With all her soul Faina yearned for there to have been someone there to make things a little less horrible for her precious child.

The day after the attack, a picture was published of Jenya with Frank next to her, holding her hand as she lay bleeding. Faina heard about the picture and wanted to see it so that she could find out if it was Jenya Frank had been with or not. There was great reluctance to send the picture, the organization that had it was afraid to further traumatize a bereaved mother by showing her such a difficult picture. It was five months before Faina saw the picture, before she discovered that it was Jenya’s hand that Frank held that night.


Frank had cut-out and kept the photo of him with Jenya. He wanted to find her mother and tell her about her daughter’s last moments.

When they finally met face to face, Frank told Faina everything he could remember about that night. Faina was grateful to hear the details, for her it was like extending Jenya’s life by a few extra moments.

It comforts Faina to know that Frank was with Jenya. A beautiful, dancing, pixie child like Jenya should never have had such violence and hatred directed at her. Thanks to Frank Jenya’s last experience was that of kindness and compassion, not horror. Etched into his heart and mind, Frank cannot forget Jenya and through her, Faina. The slaughter of innocents brought them together, kindness created a bond between them.

Two people from different cultures, with different languages and backgrounds, living on different continents, are connected by an unbreakable bond. No amount of time or distance will change this for it has nothing to do with the amount of contact or communication between them. Theirs is the bond of kindness, of a hand holding a hand in a night of terror. The purity of this gesture on a night of horrors tells the story of humanity and kindness on the deepest and most basic level. This gesture did not stop at Jenya, it was passed on, through her to Faina who became its beneficiary. The strength of this seemingly small gesture is that which is given by what some would call God and what I call Love. A child can be murdered but even a small act of Love lives on.





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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

In April, Hamas executed three men for supposedly being "collaborators" with Israel.

Amnesty International condemned this, but only after the fact. As far as I can tell, Human Rights Watch remained silent.

Now Amnesty has advance notice that Hamas plans to execute three more men tomorrow for allegedly being involved in the assassination of a Hamas leader Mazen Fukaha last March. They were sentenced to death only on Sunday.

It is scheduled for 5 PM on Thursday. Two men will be hanged and a third shot by firing squad. Hamas' Interior Ministry announced this, saying that there is no reason to wait, as the "public" is insisting on the executions..

Hamas' announcement said that the executions would be witnessed by "official human rights bodies, community notables and mayors."

I have not seen a word about this on the Amnesty or HRW websites or Twitter feeds. Nor have I ever seen a word from them about how Hamas pretends that executions are compatible with their "human rights" groups.

One would think that the most prominent players in international human rights would be appalled at this.

Will Amnesty or Human Rights Watch jump into action to pressure Hamas before the killings - or will they wait and only act upset afterwards? Will they email and tweet their tens of thousands of supporters to flood Palestinian and Hamas agencies and social media to act against the executions? Is this an emergency for them, or will Amnesty only issue a statement of fake outrage afterwards? They know the value of an intense public campaign - will they issue any press releases today?

Let's see what they do for three people whose lives are scheduled to be ended, with advanced notice.




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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Commenter Larry K. wrote an obituary foe EoZ on a remarkable woman who passed away this week at the age of 100, Shula Kishak-Cohen.

Shula Kishak-Cohen, a most extraordinary Israeli spy, passed away quietly this past Sunday in Jerusalem.  Her gripping 1980 biography "Shula: Code Name The Pearl", tells the story of a young girl who was married off in an arranged marriage at age 16 to Lebanese wholesale trader Joseph Kishak-Cohen with whom she had 7 children. Her career as spy did not begin until 11 years later in 1947, already pregnant with her 6th child,  when she overheard some chatter about military placements in Lebanon which she passed to to her family.  This led her to be contacted by the Mossad who asked for her help smuggle a Jew named "Winkler" from Beirut via boat to Israel, which lead to more assignments, mostly smuggling Syrian Jews through Beirut to Israel through her growing network of contacts, sometimes squirreling away up to 500 refugees at a time amongst the Jews of Beirut, providing them with illegal identity papers, procured through bribing officials.

Joseph, while not directly involved in Shula's operations, often loaned her the money she needed for expenses, which was reimbursed later from Israel at the other end. Notably Shula herself did not accept payment for her activities.  Not only did Shula deal in refugees she also wound up dealing in information which led her into an uneasy alliance with several rather nefarious members of the Lebanese underground as well as Arab inter-intelligence rivalry. Amazingly, at one point one of her Syrian intelligence contacts arrives to abduct her to Syria - and she convinces him to allow her to escape by plane to Rome arguing that if she is tortured she will incriminate him as well.  A week later after visiting with her elder children who were by now living in Israel she returns to Beirut.

 Eventually this balancing act caught up with her in August of 1961 when  Shula and several of her confederates, including Joseph were arrested by the Lebanese authorities..  Shula is convicted of espionage as well as attempting to overthrow the Lebanese state.  However in consideration of the fact that she was a mother of 7 children the sentence is commuted to 20 years  hard labour beginning 1963, then reduced to 7 years on appeal with Joseph being released.  In 1967 the State of  Israel managed to trade her for some Lebanese prisoners, but this was the end of her career as a spy.  The couple settled in Rehaviyah where Joseph became treasurer of the local community council and Shula became the manager of an antique shop down the road from the King David.

May her memory be a blessing.  

I found this dramatization of her life from a Christian TV show called Against All Odds - Israel Survives. (The person being "interviewed" isn't her, but an actress.) It looks like they took some liberties.







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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From CBS LA:

 A 74-year-old rabbi was attacked as he walked to morning prayers in the Fairfax District, and police are asking for help Tuesday to find the man behind the attack.

The beating – which was captured on security video – happened at about 8:40 a.m. Monday on Oakwood Avenue, west of La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison.

The attack is not being investigated as a hate crime. “We believe it was a random act of violence,” Madison said.

Security video shows the victim being punched repeatedly and falling to the ground.

The suspect, believed to be a transient, was described only as a white man in his 40s.
The attacker was loitering in the area for a minute before this attack where synagogue goers would be passing by at the same time every morning. It does not look random.





But let's talk more about Islamophobia.





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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


These were the most substantive speeches of President Trump's trip to Israel.



Netanyahu:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This museum tells the story of Israel. Mr. President, you’ve just gone through a fast-paced visit through our past, our present and we work together to fashion the future. Here you can see Hebrew texts of the Bible that are 2,000 years old. You can see the seals and coins that bear witness to nearly 4,000 years of our presence in this land. You can see the menorahs we lit, the synagogues we prayed in during our long exile.

But the story of Israel is not simply the story of the past. It’s the story of a nation reborn, of a barren land brought back to life, of an ancient language revived, of an exiled people who returned, of Jewish sovereignty restored. We have a saying, Mr. President, “The Jewish people lives.” The State of Israel lives on, alive as ever: a thriving democracy; a powerful army; an innovative, free economy; and a proud, resilient people.

Mr. President, over the years Israel has had many friends, but Israel has never had and will never have a better friend than the United States of America. That friendship is reflected in the overwhelming support of the American people, strong bipartisan support of the American Congress and the support of American presidents from Harry Truman to Donald Trump. Thank you, President Trump, for your steadfast friendship to the Jewish people and the Jewish state. It is deeply, deeply appreciated.

Mr. President, I believe that the alliance between America and Israel is more important than ever. Together we must defeat those who glorify death and protect those who celebrate life. Together we can defeat the forces of militant Islam who seek to destroy the civilized world. And together we can and we must defeat the forces of terror. Terrorism, the deliberate slaughter of innocents, must be equally condemned and equally fought, whether it strikes in Europe, in American or in Israel – or for that matter, anywhere else. And as you said this morning, Mr. President, funding and rewarding terrorism must end.

Standing next to you, President Abbas condemned the horrific attack in Manchester. Well, I hope this heralds a real change, because if the attacker had been Palestinian and the victims had been Israeli children, the suicide bomber’s family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. That’s Palestinian law. That law must be changed.

I hope that President Abbas heeds the principles, the clear, strong, moral and practical principles that you enunciated today, President Trump: Stop rewarding terrorists, stop glorifying murderers.

I believe that this is the first and the crucial step towards the road towards a genuine peace that Israel seeks and that I believe that – together with you – we can achieve. President Trump, working with you, I believe we can advance a durable peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, as well as the Palestinians, because of the common danger that the Arab world and Israel face from Iran, and because of the leadership that you bring to this process.

Ultimately, around the world, I have no doubt that freedom will defeat fear, that light will vanquish darkness, because that is the story of America, a nation that has defeated the forces of tyranny, that is the beacon and hope of all humanity. And that is the story of Israel, a nation that has overcome unimaginable horrors and impossible odds, and is the hope of the Jewish people.

Mr. President, thank you for your historic visit, for your unbelievably moving gestures in a concentrated 36-hour period in Israel. You’ve touched the core and the stones of our being: in the Kotel, the Western Wall, yesterday, now in Yad Vashem and now in our wonderful museum. You, First Family, First Lady Melania Trump, your family and your delegation, you’ve shown a great commitment to Israel’s future and to its security. I want to thank you, Mr. President, for standing up for Israel at the United Nations and everywhere else, and I thank you for your unrelenting support and a friendship that comes from the heart to the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Thank you, President Trump.

God bless you, God bless Israel and God bless the United States of America.

Trump:

Thank you very much.  It's very nice.   And thank you to Prime Minister Netanyahu.  And I also want to thank Sara for hosting us last night in really a very unforgettable dinner.  We had a great time.  We talked about a lot of very, very important things.  And thank you to Ambassador David Friedman and Mrs. Friedman for joining us, along with a number of very good friends who have come from our country to yours, as we reaffirm the unshakable bond between the United States of America and Israel.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  

I'd like to begin my remarks today by sending the thoughts and prayers of the entire American people to the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester.  You know -- you've all been watching.  You've seen just a horrible thing going on.  I want to send our condolences to the many families who lost their loved ones.  Horrific, horrific injuries.  Terrible.  Dozens of innocent people, beautiful young children savagely murdered in this heinous attack upon humanity.  I repeat again that we must drive out the terrorists and the extremists from our midst, obliterate this evil ideology, and protect and defend our citizens and people of the world.  (Applause.) 

All civilized nations much be united in this effort.  This trip is focused on that goal:  bringing nations together around the goal of defeating the terrorism that threatens the world, and crushing the hateful ideology that drives it so hard and seems to be driving it so fast.

It is a privilege to stand here in this national museum, in the ancient city of Jerusalem, to address the Israeli people and all people in the Middle East who yearn for security, prosperity and peace.   

Jerusalem is a sacred city.  Its beauty, splendor, and heritage are like no other place on Earth.  (Applause.)  What a heritage.  What a heritage.  The ties of the Jewish people to this Holy Land are ancient and eternal.  (Applause.)  They date back thousands of years, including the reign of King David whose star now flies proudly on Israel’s white and blue flag.

Yesterday, I visited the Western Wall, and marveled at the monument to God’s presence and man’s perseverance.  I was humbled to place my hand upon the wall and to pray in that holy space for wisdom from God.  I also visited and prayed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a site revered by Christians throughout the world.  I laid a wreath at Yad Vashem, honoring, remembering, and mourning the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.  I pledged right then and there what I pledge again today:  the words "never again."  (Applause.)  

Israel is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people.  From all parts of this great country, one message resounds, and that is the message of hope.  Down through the ages, the Jewish people have suffered persecution, oppression, and even those who have sought their destruction.  But, through it all, they have endured and, in fact, they have thrived.  I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish people, and I make this promise to you:  My administration will always stand with Israel.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.    

Through your hardships, you have created one of the most abundant lands anywhere in the world -- a land that is rich not only in history, culture, and opportunity, but especially in spirit.  This museum where we are gathered today tells the story of that spirit.  From the two Holy Temples, to the glorious heights of Masada, we see an incredible story of faith and perseverance.  That faith is what inspired Jews to believe in their destiny, to overcome their despair, and to build here -- right here -- a future that others dared not even to dream.

In Israel, not only are Jews free to till the soil, teach their children, and pray to God in the ancient land of their fathers -- and they love this land, and they love God -- but Muslims, Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience, and to follow their dreams, right here.

Today, gathered with friends, I call upon all people -- Jews, Christians, Muslims, and every faith, every tribe, every creed -- to draw inspiration from this ancient city, to set aside our sectarian differences, to overcome oppression and hatred, and to give all children the freedom and hope and dignity written into our souls.

Earlier this week, I spoke at a very historic summit in Saudi Arabia.  I was hosted by King Salman -- a very wise man.  There, I urged our friends in the Muslim world to join us in creating stability, safety and security.  And I was deeply encouraged by the desire of many leaders to join us in cooperation toward these shared and vital goals. 

Conflict cannot continue forever.  The only question is when nations will decide that they have had enough -- enough bloodshed, enough killing.  That historic summit represents a new opportunity for people throughout the Middle East to overcome sectarian and religious divisions, to extinguish the fires of extremism, and to find common ground and shared responsibility in making the future of this region so much better than it is right now. 

Change must come from within.   It can only come from within.  No mother or father wants their children to grow up in a world where terrorists roam free, schoolchildren are murdered, and their loved ones are taken.  No child is born with prejudice in their heart.  No one should teach young boys and girls to hate and to kill.  No civilized nation can tolerate the massacre of innocents with chemical weapons.

My message to that summit was the same message I have for you:  We must build a coalition of partners who share the aim of stamping out extremists and violence, and providing our children a peaceful and hopeful future.  But a hopeful future for children in the Middle East requires the world to fully recognize the vital role of the State of Israel.  (Applause.)  And, on behalf of the United States, we pledge to stand by you and defend our shared values so that together we can defeat terrorism and create safety for all of God’s children.  (Applause.)

Israelis have experienced firsthand the hatred and terror of radical violence.  Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knives and bombs.  Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities where schoolchildren have to be trained to hear the sirens and run to the bomb shelters -- with fear, but with speed.  ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, and storefronts.  And Iran’s leaders routinely call for Israel’s destruction.  Not with Donald J. Trump, believe me.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  I like you too.  (Laughter.)   

Despite these challenges, Israel is thriving as a sovereign nation, and no international body should question the contributions Israel makes to the region and, indeed, the world.  Today, let us pray for that peace and for a more hopeful future across the Middle East.

There are those who present a false choice.  They say that we must choose between supporting Israel and supporting Arab and Muslim nations in the region.  That is completely wrong.  All decent people want to live in peace, and all humanity is threatened by the evils of terrorism.  Diverse nations can unite around the goal of protecting innocent life, upholding human dignity, and promoting peace and stability in the region. 

My administration is committed to pursuing such a coalition, and we have already made substantial progress during this trip.  We know, for instance, that both Israelis and Palestinians seek lives of hope for their children.  And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis, which has dragged on for nearly half a century or more.

As I have repeatedly said, I am personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement, and I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace.  I know you’ve heard it before.  I am telling you -- that’s what I do.  They are ready to reach for peace.

In my meeting with my very good friend, Benjamin, I can tell you also that he is reaching for peace.  He wants peace.  He loves people.  He especially loves the Israeli people.  Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace.

Making peace, however, will not be easy.  We all know that.  Both sides will face tough decisions.  But with determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal.  

But even as we work toward peace, we will build strength to defend our nations.  The United States is firmly committed to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias.  (Applause.)  So we are telling you right now that Iran will not have nuclear weapons.  (Applause.)

America’s security partnership with Israel is stronger than ever.  Under my administration, you see the difference -- big, big beautiful difference -- (laughter and applause) -- including the Iron Dome missile defense program, which has been keeping the Israeli people safe from short-range rockets launched by Hezbollah and Hamas, and David’s Sling, which guards against long range missiles.  It is my hope that someday, very soon, Israeli children will never need to rush towards shelters again as sirens ring out loud and clear.

Finally, the United States is proud that Israeli Air Force pilots are flying the incredible, new American F-35 planes.  (Applause.)  There is nothing in the world like them to defend their nation, and it was wonderful to see these mighty aircraft in the skies over Israel recently as you celebrated the 69th anniversary of Israel’s independence.

But even as we strengthen our partnership in practice, let us always remember our highest ideals.  Let us never forget that the bond between our two nations is woven together in the hearts of our people, and their love of freedom, hope, and dignity for every man and every woman.  Let us dream of a future where Jewish, Muslim, and Christian children can grow up together and live together in trust, harmony, tolerance, and respect. 

The values that are practiced in Israel have inspired millions and millions of people all across the world.  The conviction of Theodor Herzl rings true today:  “Whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will rebound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind.”  

As we stand in Jerusalem, we see pilgrims of all faiths coming to this land to walk on this hallowed ground.  Jews place the prayers from their hearts in the stone blocks of the beautiful Western Wall.  Christians pray in the pews of an ancient church.  Muslims answer the call to prayer at their holy sites.  This city, like no other place in the world, reveals the longing of human hearts to know and to worship God.

Jerusalem stands as a reminder that life can flourish against any odds.  When we look around this city -- so beautiful -- and we see people of all faiths engaged in reverent worship, and schoolchildren learning side-by-side, and men and women lifting up the needy and forgotten, we see that God’s promise of healing has brought goodness to so many lives.  We see that the people of this land had the courage to overcome the oppression and injustice of the past and to live in the freedom God intends for every person on this Earth.

Today, in Jerusalem, we pray and we hope that children around the world will be able to live without fear, to dream without limits, and to prosper without violence.  I ask this land of promise to join me to fight our common enemies, to pursue our shared values, and to protect the dignity of every child of God.

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the State of Israel.  And God bless the United States.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)



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From Ian:

Ben Shapiro: The West Must Stop Pretending Palestinian Terrorism Against Israel Is Different From Other Muslim Terrorism Against The West
After news of the Manchester Islamic terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert broke, President Trump spoke from Bethlehem, Israel while standing next to master terrorist Mahmoud Abbas. Trump labeled the terrorists “evil losers.”
He should have added Abbas under that rubric.
Abbas is currently in a unity government with terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad; he heads the terrorist Palestinian Authority, which is responsible for the murder of hundreds of Jews. He was a member of the terrorist Fatah, led by master terrorist Yassar Arafat, and he was the financial source behind the 1972 Palestinian Munich massacre of Israeli athletes. He has named streets after Palestinian terrorists, and he finances their families. He paid tribute to Abu Jihad, the founder of Fatah and terrorist behind the hijacking of a bus and murder of 37 civilians, including 12 children, among many other terrorists to whom Assad has paid homage. Abbas regularly encourages terrorist attacks. In 2015, he stated, “Each drop of blood … spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood, as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every martyr will be in heaven.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly states that if the Manchester terrorist had been Palestinian, Abbas would have signed a check to him.
Yet there Abbas was, nodding along, as Trump ripped terrorism. There was Trump, saying the possibilities of peace remain good, and deeming Abbas a force for peace in the process.
This is all thanks to the latent anti-Semitism implicit in the notion that Islamic terrorists who murder Jews in Israel are differently motivated than Islamic terrorists who murder citizens of the United Kingdom or Germany or France or the United States. They aren’t. But the West is unwilling to face the true specter of radical Islam, which threatens Jerusalem the same way they threaten New York — or more so, considering that Jews are under attack from Muslim terrorists literally every day in the holy city.
WATCH: Sarsour Berates White Student For Quoting Her Tweet Saying Women Who Disagree Shouldn't Have Vaginas
On May 12 at Dartmouth College, a young white male student confronted Linda Sarsour, the leader of the Women’s March and a rabid Israel-hater, about her malevolent 2011 tweet in which she referenced female genital mutilation survivor Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel, an Arab Christian who strongly supports Israel, both of whom have openly criticized Islam.
Sarsour’s 2011 tweet looked like this:
The young man confronted Sarsour:
Hi. So, um, this question is really important because I believe that women’s rights are also human rights. So I really want to know: under what circumstances it’s acceptable to say that “I wish I could take their vaginas away. They don’t deserve to be women.” Just to give that context, that’s one of the tweets off your Twitter.
There was a long pause while Sarsour decided how to mitigate the effect of the truth being thrown at her. She finally responded by evading the question:
So, let’s give some context here, because, y’know, we have — Uh, this is an event organized by an Asian American, right? Let’s just get — let’s get some context to what is going on here. Celebrating a community, right? Talking about communities of color who are being directly impacted by this moment and I have a young white man in the back who is not directly impacted by any of the issues I mentioned.
That elicited applause from the supine audience, which apparently didn’t care about the massive hypocrisy of a woman posing as a fighter for women’s rights who had called for literally ripping away the vaginas of women that she hated.

  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Orthodox Union:
The number of countries that produce kosher certified products has grown to 104, according to kashrus sources.
The Orthodox Union (OU) operates in all of these countries and significantly now includes the Gulf states of Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Kashrus sources estimate that nearly 1500 mashgichim (kashrus supervisors) oversee the production of kosher products around the world with nearly 1,000 working for the OU, according to Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the OU Kashrus Division. The major source of mashgichim is Chabad emissaries stationed around the world. It is not uncommon for some of the mashgichim to work for more than one agency. One rabbi told Kosher Today that he works for two national agencies as well as the local Vaad.
The addition of Dubai and Saudi Arabia by the OU is a reflection of the changing geopolitical situation where these countries have warmed considerably to Israel as a result of their confronting a common enemy, Iran. Many of the countries that now produce kosher are anxious to penetrate markets in the US and Europe but are faced with the reality that so many of these markets require kosher certification.
In the US, for example, many of the larger companies are kosher certified and cannot use ingredients that are not kosher. Another motif for many of the countries is to do business with Israel and its growing food industry.
 This is mind-blowing.

I wish I knew which companies these were. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries import nearly all of their food as of 2014 exports must be a tiny percentage of their economies. But there are a couple of exporting food companies.

Unless they turned around their food production with some serious Israeli know-how.

Which is no less crazy an idea as Muslim nations going out of their way to accommodate kosher.

(h/t Martin Dunn)




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  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


A consortium of Gaza terror groups have been protesting Trump's visit to the region, but their rhetoric makes it sound more like they are scared.

At a rally with leaders of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad's Mohammed al-Hindi said "We stand today in front of a dangerous historic crossroads for targeting the Palestinian resistance and the liquidation of our just cause."

Hindi said that Trump's visit comes at a time of collapse of the Arab and Islamic region - meaning a collapse of support for terror groups.

Hindi complained that Arab leaders have given up all of Palestine and are embracing the vision of Israel as a new ally and partner in shaping the region and addressing "so-called terrorism."

The terror leader expressed astonishment at the Riyadh summit  that welcomed Trump, saying that it put the "resistance" on trial and upset that Hamas was called a terror group instead of a freedom movement.

He whined, "They did not talk about Palestine and the prisoners in the prisons of the enemy" calling the Arab governments "conspirators."

In this case, Trump is accomplishing more in a couple of months than Obama did in eight years. And it is really a vindication of Bibi's vision of the Middle East actually coming true, where the Palestinian issue is marginalized and the Palestinian terror groups ostracized.



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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Iconoclast in the Promised Land
Israelis are greeting US President Donald Trump with cautious optimism. Their optimism stems from President Trump’s iconoclasm. Trump won the US presidential election based on a campaign of rejecting the prevailing narratives on US domestic and foreign policy that have long held sway among the elites. These narratives dictate and limit the boundaries of acceptable discourse in the US. Unfortunately, their relationship with facts and truth was never more than incidental. Indeed, in recent years that incidental link has vanished altogether along a wide swath of policy areas. On the domestic front, the most obvious examples of this disconnect between the prevailing narratives that dictate policies and the facts that guarantee the failure of those policies relate to US immigration policy and US healthcare policy.
American voters elected Trump because whether or not they supported his specific immigration and healthcare policies, they appreciated his willingness to state openly that the policies now in effect are having devastating impacts on American society.
As far as foreign policy is concerned, Trump’s willingness to buck conventional wisdom was most in evidence in his full-throated rejection of the foreign policy establishment’s refusal to acknowledge the obvious link between Islam and Islamic terrorism. Likewise, his rejection of president Barack Obama’s nuclear and financial appeasement of the Iranian regime worked to his electoral advantage. The elite media, and much of the foreign policy community, along with Democratic lawmakers, willingly joined Obama’s echo chamber and peddled the narrative that the nuclear deal would empower so-called “moderates” in the Iranian regime against so-called “hardliners.”
In stark contrast, the majority of the American public recognized that empowering your enemy both financially and militarily is a recipe for disaster.
PMW: What should the world believe?
PA Chairman Abbas and other PA leaders often reiterate to foreign audiences that they desire peace with Israel and that they support and want to implement the two-state solution. Today Mahmoud Abbas told US President Donald Trump:
"Once again, we reassert to you our positions of accepting the two-state solution along the borders of 1967, the state of Palestine with its capital as East Jerusalem living alongside Israel in peace and security." [The New York Times, May 23, 2017]
However this is contradicted by numerous statements by PA leaders to their own people and even to Palestinian children. PA religious leaders have even taught recognizing Israel is prohibited by Islam.
Most recently Khaled Mismar, member of the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the PLO, stated that "everyone knows" that despite agreeing to less, the real Palestinian goal is to eventually take all of Israel:
Palestinian National Council member Khaled Mismar: "The revolution broke out in 1965 (i.e., first Fatah terror attack) in order to liberate all of the land of Palestine (i.e., all of Israel), but circumstances didn't permit it... We have fought, and we have withstood everything, all the plots, but we will realize our goal. True, we agreed to receive only 20 or 22 percent of Palestine (i.e., West Bank and Gaza Strip), but a right is never lost as long as someone demands it. Every one of us knows what our goal is (i.e., to 'liberate all of Palestine')." [Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, May 15, 2017]


The Manchester Arena and the Western Wall
As long as the Jews cannot enforce their claim to Jerusalem and to the site of the ancient Temple, much of the Muslim world believes, their presence can be regarded as temporary, and the humiliation as tolerable--a punishment from Allah for insufficient devotion to Mohammed's revelation. Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem is not compatible with the prejudice that Israel has been replaced as God's people. That is why Jerusalem has been the wedge issue in Mideast diplomacy for the past several years, and why President Trump's presence at the Kotel represents such a dramatic change.
If the Manchester atrocity responded to Trump's actions in Jerusalem as well as Riyadh, why attack England rather than the United States? An attack on America in response to a well-received and popular intervention by an American president would galvanize American opinion behind Trump. But the British are squishy. Britain voted for Resolution 2334 while America abstained, to appease its large Muslim population and to foster its residual influence in the Muslim world. France and Russia also voted for 2334, and all of Western Europe supported it.
Postmodern Europe has long since abandoned religion; to profess faith in a personal God is prima facie evidence of mental defect among the European elite. Europe thinks the Muslims are crazy, to be sure, but there are a lot of them, and the path of least resistance is to mollify them. Why should we suffer for the religious delusions of the Jews?, the Europeans ask themselves. The Manchester bombing, I surmise, is an attack on the soft underbelly of the West, whereas a frontal attack on the United States would elicit a decisive response. The Europeans, who want to manage their long, sickening decline without too much trouble, tend to blame Israeli intransigence for their problems. If only Israel were more like Denmark or Luxembourg, the Europeans tell themselves, none of these terrible things would be happening. The appeaser hopes the crocodile will eat him last.
Postmodern America--the America of Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, of campus speech codes and safe spaces and progressive virtue-signalling--agrees with the Europeans. So does the shrinking, isolated Israeli left. But most of America senses an existential bond with the State of Israel; in contrast to Europe, where Israel ranks next to Iran as the world's least-regarded country, Americans support Israel against the Arabs by a margin of more than 4:1. America's sense of identity is imprinted with the image of Israel.
Barack Obama appeased the terrorists, most abjectly Iran. Donald Trump declared war on them and came in person in an unprecedented action to stand by Israel. We should not forget that this is a war, and we are in its early stages.



The Palestine Orchestra (later changed to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) was founded in 1936, and was envisioned not only as contribution to the cultural life, but also as a rescue operation for musicians persecuted by the Nazis. Arturo Toscanini conducted the first concerts -- and established the orchestra's international stature:


Time Magazine reported on the Palestine Symphony Orchestra's first performance in its January 4, 1937 issue:
As a full Palestine moon rode one evening last week over Tel Aviv, exclusively Jewish city, the Hebrew Sabbath ended and thousands of Jews began to move toward the Levant Fair Grounds. There they packed the Italian Pavilion to capacity to hear great Arturo Toscanini lead Palestine's first civic orchestra through its first performance. Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the British High Commissioner, brought with him a party of notables. Open-shirted German immigrants gathered in rowboats on the adjacent Yarkon River. A few Arab fishermen paddled quietly toward shore, listened respectfully outside the pavilion walls which are still pitted by Arab bullets.

...The Palestine Symphony Orchestra now numbers 72. Germans make up about half the number, the rest are Poles and Russians. Six are natives of Palestine which has several competent music schools but welcomes the new orchestra as its only permanent symphony. So many first-desk musicians are playing in it that critics expect the Palestine Symphony to rank soon among the first four orchestras in the world...
The word "Palestinian" was as much a designation of Jews as Arabs, and so there was no reason to use the word to distinguish one group from the other.

But neither was happy with the word either.

Bernard Lewis notes that neither the Jews nor the Arabs in Palestine wanted to be associated with it:
With the British conquest in 1917-18 and the subsequent establishment of a mandated territory in the conquered areas, Palestine became the official name of a definite territory for the first time since the Middle Ages. To begin with, this designation was acceptable neither to Jews nor to Arabs. From the Jewish point of view it restored a name associated in the Jewish historic memory with the largely successful Roman attempt to destroy and obliterate the Jewish identity of the land of Israel. It was a name which had never been used in Jewish history or literature, and the very associations of which were hateful. From the outset, Jews living under the Mandate refused to use this name in Hebrew but instead used what had become the common Jewish designation of the county勇retz Yisrael, the land of Israel. After a long battle it was agreed that the official designation of the country in Hebrew on postage stamps, coins, etc., would be Palestina, transcribed into Hebrew letters but followed by the abbreviation aleph yod. For Jews, this was a common abbreviation for Eretz Yisrael. To Arabs it could be presented as standing for Eretz Ishmael, the land of Ishmael.
That explains the Hebrew on this coin from the British Mandate:


photo


Below the name "Palestine" in Arabic and in English, there is the word Palestine in Hebrew, followed by the abbreviation in Hebrew for Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. It was used on both coins and stamps.

The Jews were not the only ones who felt that way about the name Palestine:
For Arabs, too, the term Palestine was unacceptable, though for other reasons. For Muslims it was alien and irrelevant but not abhorrent in the same way as it was to Jews. The main objection for them was that it seemed to assert a separate entity which politically conscious Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere denied. For them there was no such thing as a country called Palestine. The region which the British called Palestine was merely a separated part of a larger whole. For a long time organized and articulate Arab political opinion was virtually unanimous on this point.
That larger whole was Syria.

That is why Arab historian George Antonius wrote:
Except where otherwise specified, the term Syria will be used to denote the whole of the country of that name which is now split up into the mandated territories of (French) Syria and the Lebanon and the (British) Palestine and Transjordan.
So what changed? Why do the Palestinian Arabs now call themselves Palestinians?

Again, Bernard Lewis:
With the rise and spread of pan-Arab ideologies it was as Arabs, not as south Syrians, that the Palestinians began to assert themselves. For the rest of the period of the British Mandate, and for many years after that, their organizations described themselves as Arab and expressed their national identity in Arab rather than in Palestinian or even in Syrian terms.

The emergence of a distinctive Palestinian entity is thus a product of the last decades and may be seen as the joint creation of Israel and the Arab states葉he one by extruding the Arabs of Palestine, the others by refusing to accept them. According to pan-Arab or even pan-Syrian ideologies, Palestinian Arabs moving to Lebanon, Syria, or Jordan should still have been men in their own country, moving from one province to another. The bitter experience of the past twenty-seven years has shown that this is not so and, as so often before, deprivation has created a new sense of identity based on shared experience, desperation, and aspiration.
And that is born out by the following graphs:

The first graph shows the usage of the words "" and "" in books published in English from 1800 to 2008.


While the phrase "Palestinian Jew" was common from about 1825, back then the phrase "Palestinian Arab was practically unknown. That began to change around 1915 -- during WWI and increased during the British Mandate and spiked following the 1967 Six Day War.

The next graph illustrates that as the phrase "Palestinian Arab" became more common, so too did the word "Palestinian" which we know today is associated with the Palestinian Arabs in particular.



The Arab world may have failed in their plan to destroy Israel, but they were uniquely successful in creating a Palestinian people.








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  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

President Trump, in his statement following his meeting with PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, said a very important thing that the Arab media ignored:
Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.  We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice. 
Unfortunately, Trump extemporized a comment about the Manchester bombing immediately beforehand, so the Palestinians can pretend that this statement was not directed towards them and their policy of tolerating, funding and rewarding terror. And indeed, in the official report on the meeting, the official Wafa news agency did not mention a word about this key paragraph meant to be a direct rebuke to the Palestinians.

Abbas was not so subtle in his speech.
Dear friend President Donald Trump , I am delighted to welcome you in Palestine, the cradle of Christ, which set off the message of love, peace and tolerance to the world.
Abbas attempts to co-opt Netanyahu's constant referring to Trump as a friend.
Let me condemn the heinous terrorist act in the British city of Manchester, which claimed the lives of dozens of dead and wounded. I extend warm condolences to the Prime Minister of Britain and the families of the victims and the British people .
Even though I pay millions of dollars to families of people who perform the exact same kind of attacks.

The meeting with you in the White House earlier this month, giving us the Palestinian people and sent a lot of hope and ambition in the possibility of achieving a long-awaited dream in a long-awaited peace based on justice.
"Justice" is a code word for no compromise - Palestinians believe that they deserve everything they demand. And only they can decide when they have received "justice," something they do not accept until Israel is ultimately erased.

The achievement by the Palestinian people 's freedom and independence is the key to peace and stability in our region and the world... We reaffirm our commitment to cooperation for peace - making a historic peace between us and the Israelis, as we reiterate our readiness to continue to work with you as partners in the fight against terrorism in our region and the world .
Abbas is subtly threatening that if there is no peace deal acceptable to him, then Palestinians will continue to kill and try to kill, and they will be happy to be the excuse that ISIS and Al Qaeda use for their own terror attacks.

Manchester would have happened if there was a Palestinian state or not. It is time to call out the liars who pretend otherwise.

We assure you once again to our adoption of a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, with the State of Palestine and its capital in East Jerusalem, living side by side with Israel in security, safety and good-neighborliness, and resolving the permanent status issues on the basis of international law and international legitimacy, respect for the signed agreements, paving the way for the application the Arab peace initiative, as has been re-emphasized in the recent Arab summit in Jordan.
Abbas can't directly call for "right of return" in this statement, but his reference to the Arab peace initiative is meant to include that demand.

As seen Yesterday during the historic visit of the holy places in the occupied East Jerusalem and today in Bethlehem, the conflict is not between religions, Respect for religions and the Apostles is an integral part of our beliefs and we are keen to open the door to dialogue with our neighbors, the Israelis, in order to promote confidence and create a real opportunity for peace .
Abbas is seizing on Trump's visit to the Old City without any Israeli officials to emphasize that it is "occupied."

Note that he does not refer to Bethlehem as "occupied" even though Palestinians insist it is.

And he has no respect for Judaism.
Our real problem is with the occupation and the settlements and Israel's failure to recognize the State of Palestine, as we recognized them, which undermines the achievement of a two-state solution.
Israel offered peace which would include recognition. Many times. Abbas rejected it. but he is demanding Israel recognize "Palestine" before negotiations, not afterwards.

On the issue of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for more than a month, a few meters away from here next to the Church of the Nativity and everywhere in Palestine, suffering mothers and families of prisoners are not able to visit their children, in a humane and fair way, and I call upon the Israeli government to respond to these legitimate humanitarian demands.
The prisoners aren't demanding family visits. They are demanding more family visits, family visits from distant relatives,  and photos being allowed to be taken, These demands have nothing to do with humanitarianism.

Achieving peace, Mr. President, will open the horizon and wide to the advancement of our economy and the completion of our national institutions, on the basis of the rule of law in the spirit of tolerance and coexistence, and spreading the culture of peace and non-violence and incitement, and build bridges instead of fences inside our territory.
Here, Abbas says that he won't accept co-existence with Jews until he gets all his demands, There are lots of European projects on co-existence that have floundered since Abbas rejects any talks with Jews outside of accepting his demands as "normalization," a curse word to the Arabs.

That's why there is no peace.
Once again I greet you best greetings, His Excellency accompanying you and the delegation of President, I welcome you in Palestine, the Holy Land, wishing you success in the importance of your tour which you will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis, who we appreciate for his dedicated efforts for peace, wishing you success of the American people, friendly good health.
Here is where Abbas insists that every Jewish holy site is Palestinian.

This was not a speech of peace, but one of demands and threats and lies.

Even so, Palestinian media is saying that Abbas' speech was notable for what he didn't say: no insistence on a settlement freeze or prisoner release before talks with Israel.

They also note the absence of the prime minister of the PA., Rami Hamdallah.  That is something that may be worth watching.




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