‘Wonder Woman,’ Big-Name Concerts Upstage Cultural Boycott of Israel

By: Adam Abrams; jns.org

As Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” film heads toward $400 million in earnings after debuting in early June, and numerous big-name musical acts line up to perform in Israel this summer, the influence of the BDS movement’s cultural boycott of the Jewish state appears to be waning.

Gadot, who served in the IDF, has drawn ire from anti-Israel activists worldwide for her vocal support of Israel. Yet despite BDS campaigns to boycott “Wonder Woman” in Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria due to the “Zionist” actress’s leading role, Gadot’s Marvel comic superhero movie soared to success—earning $103.1 million in North America during its first weekend—and received overwhelmingly positive reviews.

On the musical front, while leading artists routinely receive BDS pressure to cancel their shows in Israel, the number of star-studded acts scheduled to perform in the Jewish state this summer is unprecedented.

“Most artists understand that boycott campaigns in this case are racist and destructive, and will not lead to peace,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education organization StandWithUs, told JNS.org.

“Not only is the boycott movement against Israel a failure among performing artists, but 21 [U.S.] states have already passed anti-BDS legislation because it is viewed as discriminatory and harmful,” she added.

Steven Tyler, lead singer of rock band Aerosmith, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, as the band makes a tour stop in Israel for a concert, on May 15, 2017. Photo by Rob Ghost/Flash90

In May, the Aerosmith rock band and pop star Justin Bieber both performed at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park, resisting BDS petitions signed by thousands to cancel their concerts in Israel. Adding to their defiance of the boycott movement, the Aerosmith rockers met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem. “You don’t want to miss a thing,” Netanyahu told the band when recommending places to visit in Israel, a reference to the group’s first number-one hit.

“Artists that come to Israel have understood that people are trying to take advantage of them because of hatred and for narrow political needs….[At their performances] they see a young, liberal, open audience…and feel that attempts to make them boycott Israel do not give credit to their intelligence,” Lior Weintraub, vice president of The Israel Project educational organization, told JNS.org.

Besides the Bieber and Aersomith performances, big-name shows hitting Israel this summer include Tom Jones, Armin van Buuren, Britney Spears, the Pixies, Guns N’ Roses, Rod Stewart, Lil Wayne, Radiohead and comedian Chris Rock.

Ahead of Radiohead’s July 19 performance in Tel Aviv, the band publicly clashed with the de facto frontman of the BDS movement, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, over the cultural boycott of Israel.

The public spat was instigated when Waters, along with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, published an open letter on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day demanding that Radiohead cancel its performance in Israel.

The letter, co-signed by dozens of artists, stated, “By playing in Israel you’ll be playing in a state where, U.N. rapporteurs say, ‘A system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people’…Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over.”

Radiohead’s lead singer, Thom Yorke—who rarely speaks with the media—responded furiously to the letter in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Yorke lambasted critics of Radiohead who assumed he and his bandmates were ignorant about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and condemned Waters for “throw[ing] the word ‘apartheid’ around.”

“The kind of dialogue that [BDS activists] want to engage in is one that’s black or white. I have a problem with that,” said Yorke, who added it is “really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years….There’s an awful lot of people who don’t agree with the BDS movement, including us. I don’t agree with the cultural ban at all.”

Creative Community for Peace co-founder David Renzer told JNS.org, “We are pleased to see the continuation of major international artists performing in Israel, despite the ongoing efforts of the BDS movement and artists such as Roger Waters.”

Renzer, whose organization works “behind the scenes” to provide support to artists performing in Israel, added, “Thankfully, artists are recognizing that the arts are a powerful means to building bridges and aren’t allowing themselves to be manipulated.”

 

The UK and Jihad

By: Rachel Ehrenfeld; americanthinker.com

As with the car and stabbing attacks on the Westminster Bridge on March 22, 2017, media reports on Saturday night highlighted the terrorists’ “new tactic” of using cars to mow down a large number of pedestrians, and knives to stab as many as they can. There is nothing new about this tactic. As with other forms of terrorism, the Palestinians used them first on Israeli civilians. Despite decades of advancing Palestinian terrorist tactics in Israel (suicide belts and vests, and car bombs with nails and screws, car mowing pedestrians, and stabbing, to name but a few), the political leadership of most Western nations seemed oblivious to the emerging patterns of Islamic terrorism. They failed to recognize their jihad against Israel for the deadly contagious disease they spread. This has been going on for decades.

Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to stop, Arab and Western nations have been rewarding the Palestinians who employ terrorists and fund their activities with billions of dollars while pressuring Israel for concessions. Incredibly, since the rise of global Islamic radicalism, the Palestinians have successfully managed to falsely argue that the creation of the state of Palestine, an Islamic terrorist state, would somehow influence other radical Islamic groups to give up their jihad. The Saudis and the Gulf States that have been funding the Palestinian jihadists know better, but are finding it difficult to change their longtime habits, they apparently encouraged President Trump to renege on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Israel by relocating the American embassy to the city, while legitimizing the Palestinian leaderships that fund terrorism. (The Saudi agreement to purchase some $400 billion worth of U.S. weapons and technology has probably helped their appeal).

The Saturday night Islamic terrorist car and knives attack in East London should signal the end of multiculturalism in England. But don’t hold your breath.

For many decades, radical Islamist ideology was allowed to flourish in England, mostly under the guise of pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli activities. Those, however, allowed the expansion of Islamic networks with Saudi and Gulf funding of mosques, madrassas, and Islamic centers and with Muslim Brotherhood political guiding laid down a global network. After the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks on America and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan supported by the United Kingdom and Canada, Islamic organizations in Britain, including the Palestinians, have increased their activities, raising money for future widows and orphans and expanded their base through the dawa.

Law enforcement officials privately voiced their concern but there was no political will to confront the problem. Not even after fifteen Islamic terrorist attacks beginning on July 7, 2005, on London’s transportation systems killing 52 and wounding many others.

The threat of Islamic takeover has been clear to many and mostly ignored by British politicians. A few, like Baroness Cox, protested the imposition of Sharia courts in England. In March 2014 she described the Islamic modus operandi: Sharia law, imported from theocracies like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, began to be used here in a strictly limited form, dealing mainly with narrow issues like Islamic financial contracts. But as the Muslim population has grown, and the pervasive creed of multiculturalism has become ever more powerful, so Sharia law has rapidly grown in influence within some communities. ‘There are now estimated to be no fewer than 85 Sharia courts across the country — from London and Manchester to Bradford and Nuneaton. They operate mainly from mosques, settling financial and family disputes according to [Islamic} religious principles.” The government of David Cameron, like that of Tony Blair before, paid little attention and refused to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been collecting funds for Hamas for decades.

Radical Islam spreads in large Muslim communities everywhere in the West. The Islamic ideology is preached and enforced in Mosques and schools, usually with no interference from the local secular authorities. For example, on May 18, 2015, sharia became the law officially in the Muslim-majority Barking & Dagenham Borough in East London, where the Metropolitan Police has been hunting for potential supporters of the latest car and knife attacks this past Saturday night that killed seven and injured at least 48 people, many critically.

At that time, the local council took this step to “welcome our Muslim immigrants and nourish a multicultural society.” Imposing sharia on all residents, Muslim and non-Muslim alike prohibited “the consumption of pork or alcohol. All businesses required to desist all their operation during Islamic prayer time, or else they will incur fines. All women, whether they are Muslim or not required to wear hijabs (the local government [was] in the process of sewing tens of thousands for non-Muslim women)” Representatives of the council saw the move to Sharia “as a natural next step.” Moreover, Linda Gayle, a local representative declared: “It was only a matter of time before Sharia Law became reality in London and we’re happy to be the forerunners of this very tolerant and multicultural governing process. Barking is home to tens of thousands of Muslims, and we could no longer ignore the richness that they have brought to our little part of town. Implementing Sharia Law is honoring all the people of Muslim faith who make this community thrive. Now they will finally feel home!” The Saturday night attacks on the infidels was another bloody reminder that radical Muslims do not honor others.

Prime Minister Theresa May described Saturday’s attackers as bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism.” She went on to say: “It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy, and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam.” She was right. Islam, as taught and practiced today is incompatible with Western values. And unless is it forced to change it will continue to incite for jihad. It’s about time to declare war on all Jihadists.

Four JNF-USA Delegations, One Love for Israel

By: KKL-JNF; jpost.com

Four JNF-USA delegations came for a one-week tour of Israel, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification.

Four JNF-USA Delegations, One Love for Israel. (photo credit:KKL-JNF)

The delegations included key donors, a young leadership group and Christian lovers of Israel. Every group had a different program and different goals, but they are all united in their love for Israel. All in all, there were 200 people across all four groups, and came together on two special occasions: the national Jerusalem Day ceremony held on Ammunition Hill, and a moving memorial ceremony at the 9/11 Twin Towers Memorial in the Jerusalem Park.

The Young Leadership Track delegation included 35 young Americans, the next generation of community leaders. With the Positively Israel: Interfaith Mission group, the focus was on multiculturalism. The President’s Society Mission included about 70 important donors. The Spirit of Israel delegation included 65 participants, among them JNF USA donors and friends.


The delegations were accompanied by JNF-USA executives, such as CEO Russell Robinson, Outgoing President Jeffrey Levine, Incoming President Dr. Sol Lizerbram, and Vice President of Campaigns and Major Gifts Chairman Bruce Gould.


The Positively Israel mission toured Israel for a week. The group members, both from Jewish and general communities in the USA, visited Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Masada, Acre, Atlit, Ein Hod, Caesarea and many other sites. Along the way, they met Israelis of different religions and were impressed by the unique connection between the cultures and faiths.

The delegation was headed by Nora Gonzalez from Texas and Ann Zinman from Arizona. “Ever since I was a little girl in Mexico, I’ve always felt this deep love for Israel” said Gonzalez. “For me, the opportunity to lead a group of Jews and non-Jews in a visit to the Holy Land really means coming full circle. This is a reminder that it doesn’t matter where we came from, and what we believe in, we all have one God. It is very important for us that the Jewish People knows it has many supporters. We want to show the Christians who the Jewish People truly is. We feel connected here not just to the history and roots of our faith, but to Israel’s contemporary challenges as well. It is a privilege to support Israel and be a part of its vision.”

Members of the young leadership group did not come to Israel as tourists here to visit the main attractions of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and Masada. They traveled all over the country, got to know the communities living in Israel’s geographic periphery, learned about JNF USA’s contribution to the development of Israel and also inaugurated new projects.

The delegation visited Ben Gurion’s hut in Sde Boker, the Ramon Crater, the pioneering Haluza communities, the Aleh Negev Rehabilitation Village and Gush Etzion. On their last day in Israel, before returning to their respective homes, the members of the young leadership group planted trees together at Neot Kedumim.

“Planting a tree in Israel is a very special experience, and to me, the trees signify Israel’s future growth,” said Andy Stein, 29 years old from Chicago. “During this past week we’ve learned so much about JNF and we’re in awe of all the wonderful work it does here.”

 

Meet the American women who are flocking to join ISIS

By: Paul Sperry; nypost.com

Jaelyn Young (left), Shannon Maureen Conley and Daniela Greene AP; Barry Gutierrez Photography; Matthew McDermott

ISIS is recruiting an army of AK-47-brandishing women from the West who are just as bloodthirsty as the men they are marrying. Calling themselves “lionesses of Allah,” they are thought to now number more than 600, and they’re bearing the next generation of terrorists, whom they call “cubs of the caliphate.”

Many of these women are true believers who trust that even with horrific gore and bloodshed, they are helping carry out the holy work of Allah in restoring the ancient Islamic caliphate, and that once it’s reestablished, all believers will live in peace and harmony under Islamic rule.

Some of these ISIS brides living in Syria and Iraq have made the terrorist watchlist. Arguably the most dangerous is Sally Jones, 49, a British Muslim convert who goes by the nom de guerre Umm Hussain al-Britani. She is reportedly now on a British special-forces “kill list” after threatening Queen Elizabeth II.

Jones, who in her youth was a guitarist for an all-girl rock band, Krunch,

Sally Jones SWNS.com

has also been implicated in two foiled plots to kill Americans and is training her young son to follow in her footsteps.

She and other Western women are actively recruiting like-minded “si

 

 

sters” to their twisted cause. Their primary duty is “to raise the next generation of lions in Islamic State,” as Jone

s’ good friend, Umm Muthanna al-Britani, another young British woman, put it in a tweet.

And ISIS pays them a generous stipend for each “cub” they deliver

 

($25 for each child per month, plus a $400 maternity bonus, and a $500 marriage bonus). This is a strategic m

 

ove. With more of its men killed in battle, the terror group has to ensure its longevity.

But these moms celebrate death more than life. In fact, they incite their “brothers” to suicidal violence, even reminding them of the supposed heavenly rewards for achieving martyrdom while killing infidels. As Umm Osama, an online friend of Muthanna, once tweeted: “when you get so excited hoping for 7ooris” — the famous “72 virgins” — “remember this n say ‘Marhrah adDugma’ (u can do it).”

They don’t shed a tear if they lose a husband. If he dies in battle, they are “instantly transformed into a hero — the wife of a martyr,” or “shaheed,” Center for Terrorism and Security Studies fellow Mia Bloom said.

ISIS rewards such widows well. “U dnt hav 2 pay 4 ANYTHING if u r wife of a shaheed,” one Western woman in Syria wrote.

Increasingly, the women cadres in ISIS are seeking to enter and die on the battlefield themselves, following in the path of their idol, Tashfeen Malik, who pledged allegiance to ISIS before helping her husband massacre 14 innocent people gathered at a 2015 Christmas office party in San Bernardino, Calif.

Tashfeen Malik  AP

They routinely tweet and message out of Syria and Iraq their fervent desire to be “martyred in the cause of Allah.” This is the overriding ambition of Muthanna, for instance. As she stated in a recent tweet, “I came here to die. I will not leave till I get what I came here for: shahadah [martyrdom].”

In a more recent tweet, she made reference to obtaining a suicide belt to make her death wish come true. “Everyone around me is getting shahadah,” she complained in frustration. “When will it be my turn?”

ISIS women, who are known to watch and share gruesome videos of beheadings, appear to have the stomach for it.

Muthanna, for one, cheered the massacre the group carried out in Paris: “Wish I could have seen the hostages being slaughtered last night with my own eyes. Would have been beautiful.”

“Burn Paris burn,” she gushed in another tweet, adding, “LOL HOW SCARED ARE THESE KUFFAR [nonbelievers].”

More and more ISIS brides are being trained to kill. Last month, ISIS reportedly began deploying a deadly new all-female sniper squad to help fighters in Mosul, Iraq, hold off US and Iraqi forces.

More chilling, ISIS has issued a new marriage certificate allowing brides to carry out suicide missions. Under “condition of wife,” it reads: “If the Prince of believers [ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] consents to her carrying out a suicide mission, then her husband should not prohibit her.”

“This may suggest that the group is looking ahead to a similar transition in using female cadres for suicide missions,” International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism Director Anne Speckhard said.

Women pose a more daunting security threat to the West, because authorities in general do not expect violence from them. So they can pass security more easily, sneaking into public places carrying weapons or wearing bombs without raising suspicions, even strapping explosives around their waists to appear pregnant.

With ISIS now losing territory in Iraq and Syria, America and Europe could see not just more battle-hardened ISIS jihadists returning home, but also young women trained for suicide missions.

More than 45 American women are said to have joined or tried to join ISIS in Syria. Many have been busted marrying or attempting to wed ISIS fighters.

Shannon Maureen Conley was one of the first cases in the US of a female ISIS wannabe. Because the Denver woman seemed to be the quintessential “girl next door,” it shocked terrorism experts.

“I was horrified that she openly admitted to FBI agents that she seriously considered launching a VIP attack right inside the United States,” said Speckhard, who is also a Georgetown University psychology professor.

ISIS is known for sex slavery, mass rape and other brutally misogynistic practices. So what in the world would attract Western women to its fold?

“It seems unfathomable to most of us that a female would want to join ISIS, but their online propaganda has a major focus on twisting the concept of women’s rights,” said Ryan Mauro, a national-security analyst at the Clarion Project. “You’ll see pictures of fully covered women with guns, as if they are treated as equals in jihad.”

Still, Mauro doesn’t buy the conventional wisdom that most of the young female recruits are lonely or angst-ridden and easily seduced into joining ISIS by charismatic male recruiters, who “groom” them much like online child predators.

“It’s not as simple as a girl having a crush on a man. That’s the easy, politically correct answer,” he said. “There’s obviously another critical ideological element involved, because those are issues facing all teenagers.”

In fact, tweet after tweet from ISIS brides reveal they are less victims than willing participants. They show they plainly know their religion and see living under an Islamic theocracy as superior to the secular democracies of the West.

“NO SISTER leaves the comfort of their homes just to marry some man,” suspected American ISIS recruiter Umm Waqqas wrote. “Muslims from all ages are leaving to live in a REAL Muslim country & live under the shades of Sharia,” or Islamic law.

Consider the teen daughter of the Khan family of Chicago. The FBI caught her trying to join ISIS as a minor. Records show she was convinced she had to pack up and join the jihad, even if it meant giving up her comfortable suburban life.

The daughter was well-grounded in Islam — having even earned at a young age the honor of “hafiz,” for memorizing the entire Quran — long before she watched ISIS videos and decided to forsake America. She left a note explaining she could no longer bear to live in “the land who’s [sic] people mock my Allah, my beloved prophet (saw), the commandments of Allah (swt), his law. The ones who are using my money to kill my brothers and sisters.”

Both “saw” and “swt” are abbreviations for traditional Muslim phrases.

Her tweets indicated she supported ISIS’s violence and even intended to participate in it. Like many female ISIS recruits, she had reasoned through her decision theologically, with little emotion, in spite of the atrocities done in the name of that theology.

Mauro, who is also a counterterrorism professor at Liberty University, points out that female recruits are convinced ISIS is “reflective of Allah’s will,” and that it’s their duty to join its caliphate. Part of that is because ISIS makes a convincing case, scripturally.

“When you look at ISIS propaganda, it’s not just well-produced but well-referenced, with tons of references to Islamic verses and scholars,” he said. “The propaganda presents researched arguments that enable ISIS recruiters to withstand scrutiny from a prospective recruit.”

Plus, the terror group paints an attractive picture of Islamic utopia.

“The ISIS caliphate is portrayed as an ideal society on earth where things are great, with women valued, morals upheld, social services minimize insecurity and newcomers are welcomed into the family,” Mauro added. “And you get to earn a ticket to paradise if you die standing against the infidel to preserve it.”


Jaelyn Young
AP

Jaelyn Delshaun Young, of Vicksburg, Miss., is serving 12 years in federal prison for conspiring to provide

material support to ISIS. In 2015, the 19-year-old former honors student and cheerleader was arrested trying to travel to Syria and join ISIS. A Muslim convert, she sent messages to FBI agents she thought were ISIS members, saying, “I cannot wait to get to Dawlah [ISIS territory] so I can be amongst my brothers and sisters under the protection of Allah swt to raise little Dawlah cubs in sha Allah [God willing].” Young expressed a hatred for US soldiers. The FBI’s criminal complaint said she applauded the 2015 Islamic terrorist attack on military sites in Chattanooga, Tenn., saying in a message: “What make me feel bettee [sic] after just watching the news is that an akhi [brother] carried out an attack against US marines in TN! Alhamdulillah [praise Allah], the numbers of supporters are growing.” The

FBI complaint also revealed that she tried to help ISIS target small, regional US airports. “When we get to Dawlah In sha Allah I can tell you about it,” she wrote.

 


Hoda MuthanaHoover
High School 2012 Yearbook

Hoda Muthana, a Birmingham, Ala., college student, fled to Syria to join ISIS and is now suspected of acting as a recruiter for the group. In recent online messages, Muthana has encouraged other American Muslims to attack their own country. “Terrorize the kuffar at home,” she tweeted, using a derogatory Arabic term for non-Muslims. “Wake up!” “You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping!” Muthana added. “Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades.” The devout 21-year-old Muslim reportedly married an ISIS fighter from Australia less than a month after arriving in Syria, but he died only a few months later in an airstrike.

 

 


Shannon Conley
Barry Gutierrez Photography

Shannon Maureen Conley is a Denver woman serving a four-year prison sentence for attempting to join ISIS in Syria, where she planned to marry a Tunisian fighter she met online. A Muslim convert, Conley was arrested at age 19 for providing material support to a terrorist group. In interviews with FBI agents, she “repeatedly referred to US military bases as ‘targets,’ ” a criminal complaint says. She said she sought to “wage jihad” and viewed even women and children as “legitimate” targets if they were visiting a military base. “It is OK to harm innocents if they are part of a target,” she said. Conley, who practiced firing rifles at a local shooting range, mentioned attacking a government “motorcade” inside the US. “Conley said she needed to go overseas to be trained in jihad, but did not need to be overseas to wage jihad,” the government’s complaint said. Before her arrest, the hijab-wearing Conley had been on the FBI’s radar for nearly a year, thanks to a complaint filed by a local pastor who feared she was casing his church building for a terrorist attack. She was seen walking the grounds wearing a backpack and taking notes. Asked why she appeared to be targeting the mega church, Conley said, “I hate those people.”


Daniela Greene
Matthew McDermott

Daniela Greene was an FBI translator in Detroit who secretly married an ISIS leader after converting to Islam. She was supposed to be investigating the federally designated terrorist Denis Cuspert, but instead sneaked off to Syria, married Cuspert and warned him that “the FBI had an open investigation into his activities,” recently unsealed court records show. The 38-year-old Greene, who held top-secret security clearance, is also suspected of sharing intelligence with the high-value target. The Clemson University alumna lived with Cuspert for 30 days before authorities arrested her. Cuspert, a native of Berlin, is a known ISIS recruiter who has appeared in ISIS propaganda videos, including one in which he appears to be holding a severed head that he claims belonged to a man executed for opposing the ISIS “caliphate.” Greene served just two years in prison for her traitorous actions and is now out on supervised release.

Paul Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

A Memo to President Trump

By: Michael Laitman; jpost.com

President Trump, I wish you a pleasant visit to Israel. Still, in my view, your success in office depends on an effective implementation of the America First policy.

Donald Trump speaks at his final campaign event at the Devos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Dear Mr. President:

Welcome to Israel.

The Israeli public awaits your arrival with great anticipation, just as your supporters back home are eager to see the fulfillment of your America First policy. For this reason, I truly believe that turning the attention to America is the key to making your term in office a success.

You know better than anyone that joblessness in American society is a constant concern, as tens of millions are still living on various forms of government benefits. Such permanent inactivity is a recipe for trouble. Prolonged idleness creates crime, violence, substance abuse, and can ravage entire communities. On the national level, the sense of solidarity among Americans is at an all-time low. As politics creates factions and frictions within society that impede every effort for improvement, it seems as though the very nationhood of the American people is at risk.

To combat these challenges, I recommend the introduction of a nationwide program to strengthen communities and deepen the solidarity among the American people. The program consists of two interdependent elements that together will guarantee both the livelihood of all Americans and their national solidarity.

Because it is necessary to guarantee people’s livelihoods, some sort of Universal Basic Income (UBI) is required in this program. However, if we leave it at that, a permanent income that does not require any commitment from the beneficiaries will “kill” people’s ability to work and to connect with others, and will turn them into hazards to society.

For this reason, reception of UBI benefits must be contingent upon partaking in courses and workshops conducted under specific rules designed to invoke in participants feelings of connection, trust, and reciprocity. These workshops are part of a method called Integral Education (IE), which has proven itself successful numerous times over many years, and in countless places around the world, including the US, Europe, Israel, and Russia.

Besides workshops, IE provides practical tools for handling emotional and social crises, and includes learning about the history of the country, state, and city where people live, so as to make them feel connected to their local neighborhoods and to the US society as a whole. But most important, this method makes people feel that solidarity and a sense of community create more value for them than isolation and alienation.

Today’s technologies enable providing IE to millions of people online at minimal cost. People can participate from home or at public venues such as community centers. While facilitators will still be required in classrooms, professional instruction can be given online by a handful of trained professionals from one central location.

The decrease in violence and crime, and the increase in national cohesion and positive social engagement will drastically reduce crime and violence levels, and will slash the prevalence of substance abuse. These changes will save vast amounts of government and municipal resources, making the IE program exceptionally lucrative.

Beyond the economic value, IE will transform communities, creating an ambience of friendliness, trust, comprehension of social responsibility, and strong engagement in pro-social activities.

Mr. President, as you are a pragmatic individual, I think you should focus on America first and do what is best for the American society, as you have clearly stated since the onset of your presidency. If you implement a nationwide IE program, America will undoubtedly become a role model of social stability and national solidarity. Or, to use your words, it will “Make America great again.”

With best wishes,

Michael Laitman

Michael Laitman is a Professor of Ontology, a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, an MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics, and was the prime disciple of Kabbalist, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the RABASH). He has written over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages.

Abbas: I’m Ready to Meet Netanyahu Under Auspices of Trump

By: Adam Rasgon; jpost.com

Abbas’s foreign policy adviser declined to comment on whether a settlement freeze is necessary for the renewal of peace talks.

Trump, Abbas and Netanyahu. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said he is ready to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under the aegis of US President Donald Trump, without mentioning preconditions.

“We affirmed to [Trump] that we are ready to cooperate with him and meet the Israeli prime minister under his auspices in order to make peace,” Abbas told a joint press conference with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Ramallah. He did not refer to preconditions to meet Netanyahu such as a settlement freeze or a prisoner release.

This is the second time in the past month that Abbas has said he is prepared to meet Netanyahu, without stating preconditions. He told the Japanese daily Ashai Shimbun in late April that he is “ready to meet the prime minister of Israel any time in Washington under the patronage of President Trump.”

Nabil Sha’ath, Abbas’s foreign policy adviser, declined to comment on Tuesday on whether a construction freeze is necessary for the renewal of peace talks. “We will have to discuss that issue in future meetings with the Trump administration,” he said.

Trump is slated to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority on May 22 and 23 to meet with Netanyahu and Abbas.

In the press conference with the German president, Abbas also said that he told Trump that he is committed to “working in complete partnership to fight terrorism and extremism in the region and world.”

Trump said at a White House press conference with Abbas last Wednesday that “we must continue our partnership with the Palestinian security forces to counter and defeat terrorism.”

The precise nature of security cooperation between the US and PA security forces regionally and internationally is largely unknown.

Steinmeier, who was visiting Ramallah for the first time as president, said there is no solution other than the two-state paradigm.

He also said that he is committed to helping the PA build government institutions and improve the standard of living, especially in Area C of the West Bank.

Area C comprises approximately 60% of the West Bank, which, per the Oslo Accords, is under Israeli administrative and security control.

Steinmeier is the second top German official to visit Israel and the PA territories in the last month. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel came to Jerusalem and Ramallah in late April as part of a regional tour.

 

Breaking the Palestinians’ Will to Fight

By: Daniel Pipes; townhall.com

Daniel Polisar of Shalem College in Jerusalem shook the debate over Palestinian-Israeli relations in November 2015 with his essay, “What Do Palestinians Want?” In it, having studied 330 polls to “understand the perspective of everyday Palestinians” toward Israel, Israelis, Jews, and the utility of violence against them, he found that Palestinian attackers are “venerated” by their society—with all that that implies.

He’s done it again with “Do Palestinians Want a Two-State Solution?” This time, he pored over some 400 opinion polls of Palestinian views to find consistency among seemingly contradictory evidence on the topic of ways to resolve the conflict with Israel. From this confusing bulk, Polisar convincingly establishes that Palestinians collectively hold three related views of Israel: it has no historical or moral claim to exist, it is inherently rapacious and expansionist, and it is doomed to extinction. In combination, these attitudes explain and justify the widespread Palestinian demand for a state from “the river to the sea,” the grand Palestine of their maps that erases Israel.

With this analysis, Polisar has elegantly dissected the phenomenon that I call Palestinian rejectionism. That’s the policy first implemented by the monstrous mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, in 1921 and consistently followed over the next near-century. Rejectionism demands that Palestinians (and beyond them, Arabs and Muslims) repudiate every aspect of Zionism: deny Jewish ties to the land of Israel, fight Jewish ownership of that land, refuse to recognize Jewish political power, refuse to trade with Zionists, murder Zionists where possible, and ally with any foreign power, including Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, to eradicate Zionism.

The continuities are striking. All major Palestinian leaders–Amin al-Husseini, Ahmad al-Shukeiri, Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and Yahya Sinwar (the new leader of Hamas in Gaza)—have made eliminating the Zionist presence their only goal. Yes, for tactical reasons, they occasionally compromised (most notably, in the Oslo Accords of 1993), but then they reversed these exceptions as soon as possible.

In other words, the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” that began in 1989 has been a massive charade. As Israelis earnestly debated making “painful concessions,” their Palestinian counterparts issued promises they had had no intention of fulfilling, something Arafat had the gall publicly to signal to his constituency even as he signed the Oslo Accords, and many times subsequently.

So long as rejectionism runs rampant, debates about one-, two-, and three-state solutions, about carving up the Temple Mount into dual sovereign areas, or about electricity grids and water supplies, are for naught. There can be no resolution so long as most Palestinians dream of obliterating the Jewish state. Indeed, this makes negotiations counterproductive. The Oslo Accords and other signed pieces of paper have made matters much worse. The farce of negotiations, therefore, needs urgently to end.

If no more negotiations, then what? Polisar rightly recommends tackling the problem head-on with “policies that seek to reduce decisively popular Palestinian support for a maximalist state.” This shift accords with what I call an Israeli strategy for victory: breaking the Palestinians’ will to fight by convincing them that Jews have historic ties to the land, that Israel has a determined citizenry, a powerful economy and military, and mighty allies, even as it respects its neighbors and will be around into the distant future. Therefore, the dream of a grand Palestine is the purest fantasy.

In other words: Palestinians, the game is up. Accept the Jewish state, bargain with it, and benefit from its dynamism.

Here, happily, things are not entirely bleak. My research finds, and Polisar’s confirms, that about 20 percent of Palestinians are ready to live peaceably with the Jewish state. The challenge is to increase this number to 60 percent and more, so that this group at last can wrest control of the Palestinian national movement from rejectionists.

This process will be neither easy nor pleasant, for there is no avoiding the bitter crucible of defeat. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas will violently repress readiness to accommodate Israel, making the transition all the more painful. They will not, however, manage to reverse their populations’ demoralization and restiveness, or stop the movement favoring an end to hostilities. As the reality of defeat sinks in, new voices will inexorably be heard and will strengthen, calling for an end to the century-long catastrophe of rejectionism.

When Palestinians emerge from this ordeal, they will greatly benefit from throwing off the burden of anti-Zionism. Finally, they can begin to build their own polity, economy, society, and culture. Finally, they can learn from their remarkable neighbor. All will gain when this proud people turns its attention to creating the institutions of civil society and to teaching children skills rather than hatred.

International, and especially American, support will much enhance the Israeli strategy for victory and the transition to a better future for Palestinians. May the Trump administration end the failed cycle of negotiations and instead help its “cherished ally” win its war.

 

How a Pro-Palestinian American Reporter Changed His Views on Israel and the Conflict

By: Hunter Stuart; jpost.com

A year working as a journalist in Israel and the Palestinian territories made Hunter Stuart rethink his positions on the conflict.

The author walks past Ofer Prison near Ramallah, during a Palestinian protest outside the facility in November 2015. (photo credit:COURTESY / JONATHAN BROWN)

In the summer of 2015, just three days after I moved to Israel for a year-and-a-half stint freelance reporting in the region, I wrote down my feelings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A friend of mine in New York had mentioned that it would be interesting to see if living in Israel would change the way I felt. My friend probably suspected that things would look differently from the front-row seat, so to speak.

Boy was he right.

Before I moved to Jerusalem, I was very pro-Palestinian. Almost everyone I knew was. I grew up Protestant in a quaint, politically correct New England town; almost everyone around me was liberal. And being liberal in America comes with a pantheon of beliefs: You support pluralism, tolerance and diversity. You support gay rights, access to abortion and gun control.

The belief that Israel is unjustly bullying the Palestinians is an inextricable part of this pantheon. Most progressives in the US view Israel as an aggressor, oppressing the poor noble Arabs who are being so brutally denied their freedom.

“I believe Israel should relinquish control of all of the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank,” I wrote on July 11, 2015, from a park near my new apartment in Jerusalem’s Baka neighborhood. “The occupation is an act of colonialism that only creates suffering, frustration and despair for millions of Palestinians.”

Perhaps predictably, this view didn’t play well among the people I met during my first few weeks in Jerusalem, which, even by Israeli standards, is a conservative city. My wife and I had moved to the Jewish side of town, more or less by chance ‒ the first Airbnb host who accepted our request to rent a room happened to be in the Nachlaot neighborhood where even the hipsters are religious. As a result, almost everyone we interacted with was Jewish Israeli and very supportive of Israel. I didn’t announce my pro-Palestinian views to them ‒ I was too afraid. But they must have sensed my antipathy (I later learned this is a sixth sense Israelis have).

During my first few weeks in Jerusalem, I found myself constantly getting into arguments about the conflict with my roommates and in social settings. Unlike waspy New England, Israel does not afford the privilege of politely avoiding unpleasant political conversations. Outside of the Tel Aviv bubble, the conflict is omnipresent; it affects almost every aspect of life. Avoiding it simply isn’t an option.

During one such argument, one of my roommates ‒ an easygoing American-Jewish guy in his mid-30s ‒ seemed to be suggesting that all Palestinians were terrorists. I became annoyed and told him it was wrong to call all Palestinians terrorists, that only a small minority supported terrorist attacks. My roommate promptly pulled out his laptop, called up a 2013 Pew Research poll and showed me the screen. I saw that Pew’s researchers had done a survey of thousands of people across the Muslim world, asking them if they supported suicide bombings against civilians in order to “defend Islam from its enemies.” The survey found that 62 percent of Palestinians believed such terrorist acts against civilians were justified in these circumstances. And not only that, the Palestinian territories were the only place in the Muslim world where a majority of citizens supported terrorism; everywhere else it was a minority ‒ from Lebanon and Egypt to Pakistan and Malaysia.

I didn’t let my roommate win the argument early morning hours. But the statistic stuck with me.

Less than a month later, in October 2015, a wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Jewish-Israelis began. Nearly every day, an angry, young Muslim Palestinian was stabbing or trying to run over someone with his car. A lot of the violence was happening in Jerusalem, some of it just steps from where my wife and I had moved into an apartment of our own, and lived and worked and went grocery shopping.

At first, I’ll admit, I didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for Israelis. Actually, I felt hostility. I felt that they were the cause of the violence. I wanted to shake them and say, “Stop occupying the West Bank, stop blockading Gaza, and Palestinians will stop killing you!” It seemed so obvious to me; how could they not realize that all this violence was a natural, if unpleasant, reaction to their government’s actions?

IT WASN’T until the violence became personal that I began to see the Israeli side with greater clarity. As the “Stabbing Intifada” (as it later became known) kicked into full gear, I traveled to the impoverished East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan for a story I was writing.

As soon as I arrived, a Palestinian kid who was perhaps 13 years old pointed at me and shouted “Yehud!” which means “Jew” in Arabic. Immediately, a large group of his friends who’d been hanging out nearby were running toward me with a terrifying sparkle in their eyes. “Yehud! Yehud!” they shouted. I felt my heart start to pound. I shouted at them in Arabic “Ana mish yehud! Ana mish yehud!” (“I’m not Jewish, I’m not Jewish!”) over and over. I told them, also in Arabic, that I was an American journalist who “loved Palestine.” They calmed down after that, but the look in their eyes when they first saw me is something I’ll never forget. Later, at a house party in Amman, I met a Palestinian guy who’d grown up in Silwan. “If you were Jewish, they probably would have killed you,” he said.

I made it back from Silwan that day in one piece; others weren’t so lucky. In Jerusalem, and across Israel, the attacks against Jewish Israelis continued. My attitude began to shift, probably because the violence was, for the first time, affecting me directly.

I found myself worrying that my wife might be stabbed while she was on her way home from work. Every time my phone lit up with news of another attack, if I wasn’t in the same room with her, I immediately sent her a text to see if she was OK.

Then a friend of mine ‒ an older Jewish Israeli guy who’d hosted my wife and I for dinner at his apartment in the capital’s Talpiot neighborhood ‒ told us that his friend had been murdered by two Palestinians the month before on a city bus not far from his apartment. I knew the story well ‒ not just from the news, but because I’d interviewed the family of one of the Palestinian guys who’d carried out the attack. In the interview, his family told me how he was a promising young entrepreneur who was pushed over the edge by the daily humiliations wrought by the occupation. I ended up writing a very sympathetic story about the killer for a Jordanian news site called Al Bawaba News.

Writing about the attack with the detached analytical eye of a journalist, I was able to take the perspective that (I was fast learning) most news outlets wanted – that Israel was to blame for Palestinian violence. But when I learned that my friend’s friend was one of the victims, it changed my way of thinking. I felt horrible for having publicly glorified one of the murderers. The man who’d been murdered, Richard Lakin, was originally from New England, like me, and had taught English to Israeli and Palestinian children at a school in Jerusalem. He believed in making peace with the Palestinians and “never missed a peace rally,” according to his son.

By contrast, his killers ‒ who came from a middle-class neighborhood in East Jerusalem and were actually quite well-off relative to most Palestinians ‒ had been paid 20,000 shekels to storm the bus that morning with their cowardly guns. More than a year later, you can still see their faces plastered around East Jerusalem on posters hailing them as martyrs. (One of the attackers, Baha Aliyan, 22, was killed at the scene; the second, Bilal Ranem, 23, was captured alive.)

Being personally affected by the conflict caused me to question how forgiving I’d been of Palestinian violence previously. Liberals, human-rights groups and most of the media, though, continued to blame Israel for being attacked. Ban Ki-moon, for example, who at the time was the head of the United Nations, said in January 2016 ‒ as the streets of my neighborhood were stained with the blood of innocent Israeli civilians ‒ that it was “human nature to react to occupation.” In fact, there is no justification for killing someone, no matter what the political situation may or may not be, and Ban’s statement rankled me.

SIMILARLY, THE way that international NGOs, European leaders and others criticized Israel for its “shoot to kill” policy during this wave of terrorist attacks began to annoy me more and more.

In almost any nation, when the police confront a terrorist in the act of killing people, they shoot him dead and human-rights groups don’t make a peep. This happens in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh; it happens in Germany and England and France and Spain, and it sure as hell happens in the US (see San Bernardino and the Orlando nightclub massacre, the Boston Marathon bombings and others). Did Amnesty International condemn Barack Obama or Abdel Fattah al-Sisi or Angela Merkel or François Hollande when their police forces killed a terrorist? Nope. But they made a point of condemning Israel.

What’s more, I started to notice that the media were unusually fixated on highlighting the moral shortcomings of Israel, even as other countries acted in infinitely more abominable ways. If Israel threatened to relocate a collection of Palestinian agricultural tents, as they did in the West Bank village of Sussiya in the summer of 2015, for example, the story made international headlines for weeks. The liberal outrage was endless. Yet, when Egypt’s president used bulldozers and dynamite to demolish an entire neighborhood in the Sinai Peninsula in the name of national security, people scarcely noticed.

Where do these double standards come from?

I’ve come to believe it’s because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appeals to the appetites of progressive people in Europe, the US and elsewhere. They see it as a white, first world people beating on a poor, third world one. It’s easier for them to become outraged watching two radically different civilizations collide than it is watching Alawite Muslims kill Sunni Muslims in Syria, for example, because to a Western observer the difference between Alawite and Sunni is too subtle to fit into a compelling narrative that can be easily summarized on Facebook.

Unfortunately for Israel, videos on social media that show US-funded Jewish soldiers shooting tear gas at rioting Arab Muslims is Hollywood-level entertainment and fits perfectly with the liberal narrative that Muslims are oppressed and Jewish Israel is a bully.

I admire the liberal desire to support the underdog. They want to be on the right side of history, and their intentions are good. The problem is that their beliefs often don’t square with reality.

In reality, things are much, much more complex than a five-minute spot on the evening news or a two paragraph-long Facebook status will ever be able to portray. As a friend told me recently, “The reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so intractable is that both sides have a really, really good point.”

Unfortunately, not enough people see it that way. I recently bumped into an old friend from college who told me that a guy we’d both known when we were freshmen had been active in Palestinian protests for a time after graduating. The fact that a smart, well-educated kid from Vermont, who went to one of the best liberal arts schools in the US, traveled thousands of miles to throw bricks at Israeli soldiers is very, very telling.

THERE’S AN old saying that goes, “If you want to change someone’s mind, first make them your friend.” The friends I made in Israel forever changed my mind about the country and about the Jewish need for a homeland. But I also spent a lot of time traveling in the Palestinian territories getting to know Palestinians. I spent close to six weeks visiting Nablus and Ramallah and Hebron, and even the Gaza Strip. I met some incredible people in these places; I saw generosity and hospitality unlike anywhere else I’ve ever traveled to. I’ll be friends with some of them for the rest of my life. But almost without fail, their views of the conflict and of Israel and of Jewish people in general was extremely disappointing.

First of all, even the kindest, most educated, upper-class Palestinians reject 100 percent of Israel ‒ not just the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. They simply will not be content with a two-state solution ‒ what they want is to return to their ancestral homes in Ramle and Jaffa and Haifa and other places in 1948 Israel, within the Green Line. And they want the Israelis who live there now to leave. They almost never speak of coexistence; they speak of expulsion, of taking back “their” land.

To me, however morally complicated the creation of Israel may have been, however many innocent Palestinians were killed and displaced from their homes in 1948 and again in 1967, Israel is now a fact, accepted by almost every government in the world (including many in the Middle East). But the ongoing desire of Palestinians to wipe Israel off the map is unproductive and backward- looking and the West must be very careful not to encourage it.

The other thing is that a large percentage of Palestinians, even among the educated upper class, believe that most Islamic terrorism is actually engineered by Western governments to make Muslims look bad. I know this sounds absurd. It’s a conspiracy theory that’s comical until you hear it repeated again and again as I did. I can hardly count how many Palestinians told me the stabbing attacks in Israel in 2015 and 2016 were fake or that the CIA had created ISIS.

For example, after the November 2015 ISIS shootings in Paris that killed 150 people, a colleague of mine ‒ an educated 27-year-old Lebanese-Palestinian journalist ‒ casually remarked that those massacres were “probably” perpetrated by the Mossad. Though she was a journalist like me and ought to have been committed to searching out the truth no matter how unpleasant, this woman was unwilling to admit that Muslims would commit such a horrific attack, and all too willing ‒ in defiance of all the facts ‒ to blame it on Israeli spies.

USUALLY WHEN I travel, I try to listen to people without imposing my own opinion. To me that’s what traveling is all about ‒ keeping your mouth shut and learning other perspectives. But after 3-4 weeks of traveling in Palestine, I grew tired of these conspiracy theories.

“Arabs need to take responsibility for certain things,” I finally shouted at a friend I’d made in Nablus the third or fourth time he tried to deflect blame from Muslims for Islamic terrorism. “Not everything is America’s fault.” My friend seemed surprised by my vehemence and let the subject drop ‒ obviously I’d reached my saturation point with this nonsense.

I know a lot of Jewish-Israelis who are willing to share the land with Muslim Palestinians, but for some reason finding a Palestinian who feels the same way was near impossible. Countless Palestinians told me they didn’t have a problem with Jewish people, only with Zionists. They seemed to forget that Jews have been living in Israel for thousands of years, along with Muslims, Christians, Druse, atheists, agnostics and others, more often than not, in harmony. Instead, the vast majority believe that Jews only arrived in Israel in the 20th century and, therefore, don’t belong here.

Of course, I don’t blame Palestinians for wanting autonomy or for wanting to return to their ancestral homes. It’s a completely natural desire; I know I would feel the same way if something similar happened to my own family. But as long as Western powers and NGOs and progressive people in the US and Europe fail to condemn Palestinian attacks against Israel, the deeper the conflict will grow and the more blood will be shed on both sides.

I’m back in the US now, living on the north side of Chicago in a liberal enclave where most people ‒ including Jews ‒ tend to support the Palestinians’ bid for statehood, which is gaining steam every year in international forums such as the UN.

Personally, I’m no longer convinced it’s such a good idea. If the Palestinians are given their own state in the West Bank, who’s to say they wouldn’t elect Hamas, an Islamist group committed to Israel’s destruction? That’s exactly what happened in Gaza in democratic elections in 2006. Fortunately, Gaza is somewhat isolated, and its geographic isolation ‒ plus the Israeli and Egyptian-imposed blockade ‒ limit the damage the group can do. But having them in control of the West Bank and half of Jerusalem is something Israel obviously doesn’t want. It would be suicide. And no country can be expected to consent to its own destruction.

So, now, I don’t know what to think. I’m squarely in the center of one of the most polarized issues in the world. I guess, at least, I can say that, no matter how socially unacceptable it was, I was willing to change my mind.

If only more people would do the same.

 

US sent $221 Million to Palestinians in Obama’s Last Hours

By: Matthew Lee and Richard Lardner; apnews.com

FILE – In this Jan. 15, 2017 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with the media in Paris. Defying Republican opposition, officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking. The official said John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time on. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool, File)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.

A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office.

In addition to the $221 million for the Palestinians, the Obama administration also told Congress on Friday it was going ahead with the release of another $6 million in foreign affairs spending, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations, the congressional aides said. The aides and the State Department official weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.

Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two GOP lawmakers — Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on it over moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated.

The Obama administration had for some time been pressing for the release of the money for the Palestinian Authority, which comes from the U.S. Agency for International Development and is to be used for humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza, to support political and security reforms as well as help prepare for good governance and the rule of law in a future Palestinian state, according to the notification sent to Congress.

The $1.25 million for U.N. agencies is to be used as voluntary contributions to the U.N. Peacebuilding Fund; the U.N. Special Coordinator on improving the U.N. response to sexual exploitation and abuse; the Montreal Protocol Secretariat, which oversees the protection of the ozone layer; the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; and the U.N. System Staff College.

The $4 million for climate programs includes assistance for clean energy, sustainable landscapes, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating a climate technology center.

The last-minute allocation also contained $1.05 million in funding for the State Department’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan office and the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

The Palestinian funding is likely to draw anger from some in Congress as well as the Trump White House. Trump has vowed to be a strong supporter of Israel and has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Washington next month.

He has also pledged to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, although White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday a final decision on that had yet to be made. Despite speculation in Israel that an announcement of the move is imminent, Spicer said the decision-making process is only in its very early stages.

“If it was already a decision, then we wouldn’t be going through a process,” Spicer told reporters.

 

Sickening Anti-Israel Hatred: Reactions to Cold-Blooded Murder

By: Michael Brown; christianpost.com

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.

When is a cold-blooded murderer hailed as an international hero? When he’s a radical Islamic terrorist who slaughters Jews. They deserve to die!

It is gut-wrenching to watch the video footage of a truck ramming into a crowd of Israelis in East Jerusalem, killing four of them and injuring at least 15 more.

Three of the victims were soldiers, all female, aged 20, 20, and 22. The fourth victim was an Israeli man, also just 20-years-old.

All of them had dreams of a bright future, a future none of them will live to see.

Israel is again in mourning.

But there is celebration in the Jew-hating, Israel-despising world. It doesn’t get any better than slaughtering Israelis — especially Israeli soldiers — in cold blood.

As for the truck driver, a religious Palestinian Muslim who was shot dead by police, his sister said “the family was ‘thankful’ for the attack and called her brother’s death ‘the most beautiful martyrdom.'”

Other Palestinian Muslims reacted similarly, as reported by Michael Qazini on the Daily Wire, noting that, “These weren’t spontaneous celebrations by a few bad actors. Praise for the terrorist came from the top of the Palestinian leadership chain, placing a rubber stamp on a Jew-hating culture of death.” (See the article for details.)

Accordingly, Hamas, representing the most extreme side of Palestinian leadership, lauded the truck attack as “heroic.” (Yes, it takes a real hero to back up a truck and run over your victims while being shot at. What courage.)

Similarly, Al Quds [Jerusalem] News posted a report, “Live from where the heroic incident took place in Occupied Jerusalem.” (See the link for more examples of Palestinian celebration, including passing out sweets in the streets.)

But this shouldn’t surprise us at all, since this is same leadership that names children’s schools after Palestinian terrorists who died in the course of their murderous acts, hailing them as martyrs. (Last October, the Palestinian Authority “dedicated a new school to the mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre . . . .”)

And this is the same leadership that pays salaries to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists at a rate up to four-times the average Palestinian salary.

And this is the same leadership that sponsors summer camps for children where they learn the requisite skills for slaughtering Jews, also naming the camps after famous terrorists.

Over on the Iranian-run Press TV Facebook page, the hatred flowed freely, with a good number of commenters justifying the slaughter because these Israelis were in East Jerusalem, which they consider to be an illegal occupation. (Wait a minute. Didn’t the Obama administration just affirm that in the UN Security Resolution it allegedly helped craft?)

Comments on the Press TV page included:

1. Sow the wind, reap the storm. Occupiers have no rights, only the obligation to go back to where they came from. The Israeli regime is responsible for the deaths of its citizens in this instance. There will never be peace on stolen land.

2. Palestinians have every right to self-defense. If they find IOF on their roads they must repeat this and should be encouraged.

3. I wish and pray there will be repetition of this incident at much much bigger scale which will wipe out brutal israel from world map, InshaAllah [God willing].

4. Good job … because its Israel problem killing innocent Palestinians every day no one criticise why …

5. Tonight I’m very happy after watching video, and I especially order for mutton biryani.

6. Hahaha look at the IDF soldiers. Muppets. I don’t support terrorism but at least this one did not kill any innocent woman or child and went straight for their killers!

7. Killing an oppressor is not being an extremist. These were occupation soldiers and were in the process of going to commit atrocities in Palestine. When the French resisted German occupation it was not called terrorism.

8. It is so good to hear this News.

9. Good work ever done by a true Muslim.

10. BWAHAHAHA!

11. Kill them all.

12. Deserved.

13. The Zionists been ramming tents and makeshift shelters of innocent Palestinians for the past 70 years no problem, now that some Zionist soldiers rammed by Palestinian is good thing to happen.

14. One sure remedy — ”Get out of Palestine” — back to your Ghettos.

I have no doubt that there are Palestinians who have been mistreated by Israeli soldiers and for that reason, harbor intense hatred against the people of Israel. As a friend of Israel, I say: Let the injustices be exposed and rectified. And certainly, many Palestinians are shocked and grieved over the death of these young people.

I also recognize that there are right-wing extremists in Israel who have engaged in terrorist acts against Palestinians (like the infamous Baruch Goldstein), and I know that some of these extremists consider Palestinians (and even all non-Jews) to be less human, even saying that the only good Arab is a dead Arab.

But this represents the extreme fringe of the extreme fringe, and if an Israeli rammed a truck into a crowd of young Palestinians, there would be national outrage in Israel (and the worldwide Jewish community), the government would immediately and unconditionally condemn the killer and look to arrest any accomplices, and there would be a sense of shame rather than glee through the country.

But when Jewish blood is shed by a radical Islamic terrorist — in particular Israeli blood, especially the blood of an Israeli soldier — then celebration erupts among Jew-haters worldwide.

Time to pass out the candy and rejoice.

This is beyond sick.