02/16 Links Pt1: The EU’s new normal: Kill free speech, kill the Jews; Nothing Random Here
Mette Bentow, the mother whose daughter’s bat-mitzva was cut short by the terror attack at the Copenhagen synagogue late last night, sounded a defiant tone in an interview with The Algemeiner on Sunday, in which she recounted her harrowing experiences of the past 24 hours.
“No one can tell me where I can live my Jewish life,” she insisted strongly, even as she admitted, “I don’t know if there will be a Danish Jewish life” for her children to live there.
“We were celebrating the bat-mitzva of our daughter Hannah and due to heightened security in Copenhagen, there were extra security personnel on the ground, both from the Jewish community but also from the police,” Bentow recounted. ”There were armed police officers, which is not a usual sight in Copenhagen.”
“We were having a wonderful party until 20 minutes to one in the morning, when one of the Jewish security guards asked us to go downstairs to the basement, and, after a short while, he took my husband aside, who has a security background, briefed him on what had happened, and gave him a radio. We then proceeded into a security room, a panic room where we were left.”
Bentow said that no gunshots were heard by guests at the party “because we were listening to music, we were dancing and the community center is behind the synagogue itself, so we didn’t hear anything.”
Another week and another completely random attack by a gunman hunting down cartoonists before inexplicably heading to the local synagogue. My guess is that events in Copenhagen yesterday have already been put down in many quarters to what President Obama describes as ‘a random bunch of folks’ being targeted by somebody who has ‘misunderstood’ what every Western leader agrees is an entirely peaceful and harmless religious tradition.
As it happens, I know the people who put together the Lars Vilks committee and had a number of friends who were in the room in Copenhagen yesterday when the gunman attacked. One of them wrote a brief account of events for us here yesterday. Of course at a time like this it is appropriate to stress how brave these individuals are. And they most certainly are. But what is more striking to me are two things.
The first is that supporting an artist in 21st century Europe should have become a brave thing to do and that a conversation about free speech in Europe in 2015 should have — and need — substantial police protection. Today’s UK newspapers refer to Vilks as ‘controversial.’ But Vilks wouldn’t be ‘controversial’ if almost the entirety of the Western media and the political and arts establishments had not in recent years abandoned their principles and chosen to avoid mentioning anything negative or worthy of satire in one single religion. The jihadists just want to kill Lars Vilks. It was the Western media and political class that made him ‘controversial’.
And then there is the second point — which is how many attacks like yesterday’s have to happen before there is a semblance of serious discussion around all this? A few years ago when the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed in Paris the French Foreign Minister said about drawing cartoons of Mohammed and thus potentially ‘insulting’ Islam: ‘Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour oil on the fire?’ My reply to which is ‘Who made our societies into this powder-keg apparently able to catch fire at any moment?’
Tom Gross Nothing Random Here
Yesterday evening’s Copenhagen synagogue shooting is yet another attack on Jews as Jews — just as we have witnessed such attacks at the Toulouse Jewish primary school, the Brussels Jewish museum, the Paris kosher supermarket, the firebombing of the synagogue in the German city of Wuppertal, and at many other places in recent years, from the Jewish communal centres in Mumbai and Casablanca, to the ancient synagogues in Istanbul and Jerba.
Nothing Random Here
Yet only last week President Obama and his spokespeople were suggesting that it was just some kind of “random” accident that Jews were being killed.
The Obama team has consistently demonstrated a willful lack of understanding about the nature of Islamism, about anti-Semitism, and about the intentions of the Islamic revolutionary government in Iran. They seem more interested in disparaging the prime minister of America’s ally Israel than in preventing the regime in Tehran going nuclear – a regime which has already de facto taken control of large swathes of Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. Its terrorist actions outside the Middle East spread to, among other places, Thailand, Bulgaria (where Jewish tourists were blown up in 2012) and Argentina, where 85 people were murdered at the AMIA Jewish centre in Buenos Aires. Only last month an Iranian diplomat in Montevideo was expelled from Uruguay for planting a bomb designed to kill Jews. (This foiled attack was barely reported on outside the Uruguayan and Israeli media.)
As Middle East scholar Bassam Tawil wrote last week: “Does Obama really want his legacy to be, ‘The president who was an even bigger fool than Neville Chamberlain’?”
The synagogue security guard who was killed in the terror attack early Sunday morning in Copenhagen, Denmark has been hailed as a hero by friends, family and members of the local Jewish community, as details of the attack began to emerge late in the day.
Dan Uzan, a volunteer, who was on duty as some 8o people celebrated at a bat-mitzva party inside the community center, “prevented a massacre from occurring” the head of Copenhagen’s Jewish community, Dan Rosenberg Asmussen told Danish media outlets.“He and his family paid a very high price.” Authorities said that Uzan was talking to police outside the house of worship when he was shot from close range by the assailant.
In both physical appearance, and in personality, those that knew Uzan, who stood over 6.5 feet tall, described him as a giant. A former elite basketball player, Uzan held a degree in economics and was said to be a hard worker.
On social media, Uzan was honored for his dedication to the Jewish community, with some even comparing him to the legendary Jewish hero of the Warsaw Ghetto, Mordechai Anielewicz.
“My hero,” wrote one woman on Facebook, who had attended the bat-mitzva inside the synagogue, “you sacrificed your life to look after me, my family and friends. Rest in peace dearest friend.”
JPost Editorial: Something rotten
Danes, headed by their prime minister, flocked to the synagogue to share the grief of the Jewish community and to make it clear that an attack on the Jewish community in Denmark is an attack on all of Denmark and on all Danes, Vahr noted, adding: “We are one.”
Although Denmark has generally maintained a safe and friendly environment for minorities, the World Jewish Congress estimates that only 6,400 Jews are left in the country today (from a peak of more than 8,000 who were evacuated before the Holocaust). Some have left as a result of a rise in anti-Semitism over the last decade; over 40 anti-Semitic incidents have been reported annually over the last few years. Denmark, which became the first Scandinavian country to accept Jewish immigrants in the 17th century, has become a very dangerous place for Jews today.
It first became a terrorist target a decade ago after the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad, which triggered violent protests across the Muslim world.
As we join others around the globe in condemning these attacks, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the people of Denmark and the families of the victims, and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded police officers.
We urge the Danish government to see the attacks as a wake-up call to Islamist extremism, and to ensure that its Jewish population is well protected. There’s something rotten, not only in Denmark but throughout Europe, where Jews are increasingly feeling in danger.
While [Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Yair] Melchior may be right when he suggests that the answer to terrorism is to stay and fight, if European Jews don’t feel safe, coming to Israel is clearly an option that they should consider.
Danish Amb. Israel and Denmark – We are one
Danes – headed by Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt – flocked to the synagogue to share the grief of the Jewish community and to make it absolutely clear that an attack on the Jewish community in Denmark is an attack on all of Denmark and on all Danes, as the prime minister put it.
We are one.
I am grateful for the warm expressions of sympathy that I have received from Israeli friends of Denmark. We are united in our sorrow – but also in our strong commitment to the basic values that were challenged, once again, this past weekend.
As we Danes look ahead, it is essential not to draw the wrong conclusions.
Regardless what the ethnic origins of the perpetrator were, and regardless of his religious beliefs, this is not about a specific religion or a specific community. I am heartened by the fact that representatives of all monotheistic faiths in Denmark have forcefully condemned these acts of terrorism.
If we let those who are behind such acts drive a wedge between us – whether based on ethnicity or religion – and if we let them drive us to compromise on the fundamental values of freedom and tolerance that we hold so dear, they will have won. We cannot let that happen!
Seth Frantzman: The EU’s new normal: Kill free speech, kill the Jews
Once the attacks had taken place, the usual coddling, cowering and whitewashing by the media and politicians took place. Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning- Schmidt claimed that “we as a nation have lived through some hours which we will never forget… we don’t know the motives of the suspected perpetrator’s actions… we are not in a battle between Islam and the West. It’s not a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
Of course not. Just like the attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris was described as a “random attack” by the US president, and other media made sure to suggest that the market may not have been targeted because it was Jewish.
The Paris and Copenhagen attacks are not unique events, they are part of a pattern whereby the Islamist murderers seek out Jews as part of their war against humanity. In the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 164 people, the Pakistan-trained murderers attacked 12 targets, one of which was the Nariman house, a Jewish community center. Out of a city of 11 million people, with probably less than a thousand Jews in it, the Islamists sought out a Jewish target.
The 23-year-old perpetrator of the Toulouse Jewish school killings began his spree by killing three French soldiers. This is the new normal in Europe. First they come for a European symbol, whether it is a soldier or a free speech event, and then they kill the Jews. Then the media and politicians help to cover up or twist the nature of the crime.
Elliott Abrams: A blindness to terrorism and anti-Semitism
Recently I wrote a post critical of U.S. President Barack Obama for calling the killings at a kosher grocery in Paris “random.” Quite obviously they were not; they were meant to kill Jews.
Then on Saturday a meeting in Copenhagen supporting freedom of speech, and the main synagogue there, were attacked. What did the White House say?
“Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on the Shooting in Copenhagen:
“The United States condemns today’s deplorable shooting in Copenhagen. We offer our condolences to the loved ones of the deceased victim, and our thoughts are with those wounded in this attack. We have been in close contact with our Danish counterparts and stand ready to lend any assistance necessary to the investigation.”
It wasn’t “a deplorable shooting.” It was a murderous act of terrorism, but the word ”terrorism” is of course missing. It wasn’t “random,” either. But this White House is loath to say “Islamist terrorism” or to be candid about the perpetrators and the victims.
Danish shooting Audio of moment gunmen struck in Copenhagen cafe
An audio recording obtained exclusively by the BBC captures the moment two gunmen struck a free speech debate in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.
A manhunt is underway for a suspect who targeted the event at the Krudttoennen cafe in the Oesterbro district of the city.
Controversial Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has drawn caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, is understood to have been present at the debate, as well as the French ambassador, Francois Zimeray.
A speaker at the event is interrupted by a volley of shots.
The man who is suspected of having shot two people dead in Copenhagen was 22 years old and born in Denmark, Copenhagen Police said on Sunday.
The alleged gunman in Copenhagen’s dual shooting attacks, who was himself killed in a shootout with officers early on Sunday, was known to police due to his involvement in gangs, police said in a statement.
“He is a young man aged 22, born in Denmark, and he is known by police for several crimes,” the statement said.
He had a history of assault and of violation of Danish regulations on the possession of weapons, according to the statement, which did not give further details.
Although police did not name the subject, TV2 News reported that it the man’s name is Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein. Subsequent media reports said that the the 22-year-old was released from jail only two weeks ago after serving a term for aggravated assault.
Citing the Danish paper, the Israeli Ynet news website said a former classmate of El-Hussein described him as being passionate about his religion and the Middle East Conflict.
“He loved to discuss Islam,” said the man, identified only as Victor. “In particular, he often discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [And] he was not afraid to say openly that he hated Jews.”
Ekstra-Bladet said El-Hussein had been released from prison two weeks ago after serving a term for aggravated assault — raising fears he may have become radicalized behind bars.
Police said he had been flagged for violence and weapons charges in the past, and may have been behind a 2013 train stabbing.
Danish police have arrested two men named as accomplices in Saturday’s attacks on a café and on a Copenhagen synagogue on Monday morning.
Little is known about the men, excepting that they are “young” and will not be identified due to their age.
“The two men are charged with helping through advice and deeds the perpetrator in relation to the shootings at Krudttonden and in Krystalgade,” the Danish police said in a statement.
Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, host of the free-speech conference in Copenhagen that came under attack this weekend – and quite possibly the primary target of the attackers, as he spent the last eight years living under an Islamist death sentence for drawing a cartoon of Mohammed – gave an interview to France24 after the attack, in which he declared he was not intimidated by the violence.
“To be honest, I don’t really see any other candidates,” he said on the subject of whether the Copenhagen assault was directed at him personally. “I’m living with a very high level of threats against my life, so it makes sense that I was the one being targeted.” As France24 notes, there have been several previous attempts on his life, including an arson attack against his house in 2010, and an American woman named Colleen LaRose (aka “Jihad Jane”) arrested in 2014 for organizing a plan to kill him. A separate plot in 2014 led to the arrest of seven Irish citizens, a mixture of Middle Eastern immigrants and local converts to Islam.
Vilks described the attack in Copenhagen as “surreal” and “really dramatic,” as he was hustled into a storage room for protection by police guards along with the organizer of the event, Lars Vilks Committee Chairwoman Helle Merete Brix. “We had to stay there for maybe 30 minutes,” he recalled. “I wasn’t that scared though, we were surrounded by police with their weapons pulled.”
“They should not attack people who are not responsible for the publication of the cartoons.” — KOFI ANNAN, 2006
“We deeply regret the offence given by the caricatures…” — KOFI ANNAN, 2006
“We appeal to everyone to exercise [freedom of expression] responsibly, and not to use it as a pretext for incitement to hatred or insult to the deeply held belief of any community…” — KOFI ANNAN, 2006
Media and publications should not “be used for incitement, or to spread hatred.” — KOFI ANNAN, 2006
“Charlie Hebdo is doubly irresponsible to publish these cartoons.” — NAVI PILLAY, 2012
The Charlie Hebdo cartoons are “malicious and deliberately provocative,” only the latest in a string of “deliberately provocative acts or products targeting particular religions and their followers.” — RUPERT COLVILLE, Spokesman of UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2012
Alan Dershowitz: ‘Europe didn’t give a damn about terror until it came to its own borders’ (RT Jan 30)
To call this movement, whose most potent recent manifestation is the Islamic State, a “dark ideology” is like calling Nazism a reaction to German humiliation in World War I: true but wholly inadequate. There is little point in Western politicians rehearsing lines about there being no battle between Islam and the West, when in all the above-mentioned countries tens of millions of Muslims, with much carnage as evidence, believe the contrary.
The Danish filmmaker Finn Norgaard was killed a little over a decade after another movie director, Theo van Gogh, was slain in Amsterdam for making a film critical of Islam’s treatment of women. The Islamists’ war is against freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of the press, freedom of blasphemy, sexual freedom — in short, core characteristics of democracies seen by the would-be rebuilders of the Caliphate as signs of Western debasement.
Do not provoke them with cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, some say, show respect for Islam, the peaceful faith of some 1.6 billion people. But what, pray, was the “provocation” of Dan Uzan, the Jewish security guard outside the Copenhagen synagogue?
Jewish communities in Sweden were on their guard on Sunday following a deadly attack on a Copenhagen synagogue which followed an attack on an event featuring Swedish artist Lars Vilks.
“The first attack was against Lars Vilks, but it is no coincidence that the other was against a Jewish target,” Lena Posner Körösi, chairwoman of the Jewish Central Council in Sweden, said.
Several hours after an attack on the Krudttønden cultural centre in Copenhagen on Saturday, a young Jewish man standing guard outside a synagogue was shot dead. A bar mitzvah service was happening in the synagogue at the time.
“What was supposed to have been a party, ended with a funeral,” Lena Posner Körösi commented.
Hundreds of graves were desecrated at the French Jewish cemetery at Sarre-Union, a commune in the Bas-Rhin region in Alsace in north-eastern France, French Jewish news site JSS News reported on Sunday.
In a letter published by the site, France’s Minister of Interior Bernard Cazeneuve condemned the attack “in the strongest terms” and described it as a “heinous act.”
“The Republic will not tolerate this new abuse that harms the values that all the French have in common,” Cazeneuve said, without providing further details on the “desecration.”
The Jewish cemetery at Sarre-Union has been the site of two previous attacks. In 1988, sixty Jewish headstones were overturned, and in 2001, 54 graves were vandalized.
The attack is the latest of many in recent months as violence against Jews continues to escalate in the country and on the continent. The violence reached a bloody crescendo last month when four Jews were gunned down by an Islamist terrorist at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris.
The boys are aged between 15 and 17 and all come from Sarre-Union in Alsace, eastern France, where around 300 tombs were defaced and damaged on Thursday.
The youngest came forward after seeing the scale of the reaction across the country to the vandalism, prosecutor Philippe Vannier said.
“Apparently, he was very, very affected by the scale of the reaction to this affair, including the statements from the highest state authorities,” Vannier told reporters.
French President Francois Hollande will visit the area on Tuesday.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday countered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s calls for France’s Jews to emigrate en masse to Israel.
“My message to French Jews is the following: France is wounded with you and France does not want you to leave,” French news agency AFP quoted him as saying. “I regret Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks … The place for French Jews is France.”
Valls’s statement came less than a day after several hundred Jewish tombs were defaced with anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas in a cemetery near the northeastern French city of Strasbourg, the same day that a Jewish guard was shot outside a synagogue in the Danish capital of Copenhagen.
On Sunday, following deadly attacks in Denmark, Netanyahu called on European Jewry to move to Israel, saying that Israel is their home and the country is prepared to receive them. That same day, Israel’s cabinet approved a NIS 180 million immigration plan aimed at assisting French, Belgian and Ukrainian Jews.
French Jewry is increasingly worried due to a significant increase in anti-Semitic attacks, some of them deadly.
Valls is not his “cup of tea,” Roland Dumas said in an interview to France’s BFMTV, explaining that the prime minister once attacked him for his opposition to Israel’s policies and his support of the Palestinian cause.
“He has personal alliances, everyone knows that he’s married to someone who has an influence on him,” Dumas said, referring to Valls’s wife Anne Gravoin, who is Jewish.
Asked by the interviewer, Jacques Bourdin, whether he thinks whether Valls — who is very popular in France’s Jewish community for his frank condemnations of anti-Semitism and Islamic extremism — is “under Jewish influence,” Dumas replied: “Probably. Everyone is under some influence… I can think so, so why not say it?”
Several French politician criticized Dumas’ comments.
Israel needs an influx of millions of Diaspora Jews, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told representatives of American Jewry during a speech Sunday.
“It is clear that today maybe it is time to take real decisions and the real decision is to make aliya and to come to Israel,” Liberman told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on their annual Israel mission. “With all due respect to all Jewish communities, you know exactly what happens today with assimilation, not just with anti-Semitism and terror threats. I think there is only one place for all Jewish people: Israel.”
Speaking before the group last year, Liberman said Jerusalem’s goal must be to bring 3.5 million Jews from the Diaspora on aliya in the next decade to boost the Jewish population in Israel to more than 10 million.
Reiterating that call Sunday, Liberman asserted that many of the problems facing the country, including the conflict with the Palestinians, could be resolved if such a population increase is achieved.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Immigration and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver presented the NIS 180 million ($46 million) pan-ministerial plan to the weekly cabinet meeting.
Three countries at the top of the list for the program are France, Ukraine, and Belgium.
“We are preparing for a wave of [Jewish immigration] from Europe; we are calling for a wave of mass aliya from Europe. I want to tell all the Jews of Europe, and Jews wherever they may be: ‘Israel is the home of every Jew… Israel awaits you with open arms,’” Netanyahu said hours earlier.
The plan is a greatly reduced version of an original NIS 1.2 billion ($320 million) proposal by Landver that was rejected by the Justice Minister on ground that it was too large a project to approve during the run up to general elections, the Hebrew media Ynet website reported.
IsraellyCool: Channel 4: Shut UP! Just Shut UP! Shut UP!
She mentioned Islam, but I think she got away with it.
Listen to the interviewer on Channel 4 news try to shut down this EYE WITNESS who was in the cafe as it was being shot by a Muslim shouting Allah Huakbar. The interviewer is trying to say don’t jump to conclusions, we don’t know this is a Muslim and the EYE WITNESS is telling her he was screaming out the fundamental statement of Islamic supremacy: “Allah is greatest”.
“I could hear him shouting Allahu Akbar,” Agnieszka Kolek, an artist who was taking part in the debate in Copenhagen, tells Channel 4 News.”
But in fact, September 2015 will not mark a decade “since the Jyllands Posten newspaper inflamed the Muslim world”. A whole four months passed between the publication of the cartoons on September 30th 2005 and the violent protests and riots at various locations in late January and early February 2006 in which some 200 people were killed. The reason for that lapse of time is very significant to proper understanding of the story, as British writer Kenan Malik noted in 2010.
“Shortly after Jyllands Posten published the cartoons, the Egyptian newspaper Al Fagr reprinted them. They were accompanied by a critical commentary, but Al Fagr did not think it necessary to blank out Muhammad’s face, and faced no opprobrium for not doing so. Egypt’s religious and political authorities, even as they were demanding an apology from the Danish Prime Minister, raised no objections to Al Fagr’s full frontal photos.
So, if there is no universal prohibition to the depiction of Muhammad, why were Muslims universally appalled by the caricatures? They weren’t. And those that were, were driven by political zeal rather than theological fervour.
The publications of the cartoons in September 2005 caused no immediate reaction, even in Denmark. Only when journalists, disappointed by the lack of controversy, contacted a number of imams for their response, did Islamists begin to recognise the opportunity provided not just by the caricatures themselves but also by the sensitivity of Danish society to their publication.
PreOccupied Territory: Europe Insists Jews Have Place There, Point To Auschwitz (satire)
Prime Minister of Israel Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated a call for European Jews to move to Israel this week in the wake of yet another attack on Jews on the Continent, prompting indignance from European governments, who cited mass graves, death camps, and killing sites as evidence that Europe has always had a special place for Jews.
“A Jew who leaves France is a piece of France that is gone,” insisted French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, just hours after attackers vandalized hundreds of Jewish tombstones in the eastern part of the country. “We Europeans have always preferred Jews die in large numbers on our own soil and not rush off to distant shores where the Islamists we export have to find them and kill them. Few sites move me, as a Frenchman, more than thousands of Jewish graves.”
France’s Jewish communities numbers approximately half a million, but deadly attacks by French Muslims in the last several years have driven the emigration rate up; about 7,000 Jews moved from France to Israel in 2014 alone, double the figure from the previous year. It is the largest Jewish community in Europe, and the third-largest after Israel and the US, which each number in the millions. French Jewish emigration to Israel surpassed that of any other country last year, driven largely by homegrown antisemitism and the increasing fear that there is no future for the community in Europe.
Israel’s defense minister on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority of failing to implement a deal that would have placed PA presidential guards at the border crossings in and out of Gaza after the 50-day war in the region last summer, enabling the easing of the blockade on the Strip.
“We tried after [Operation] Protective Edge, with Egyptian agreement, to facilitate the entry of the PA into the Strip, but they didn’t want it,” Moshe Ya’alon said in a videotaped address to the annual conference of the INSS — the Institute for National Security Studies.
Egypt, he said, “treats Hamas as a hostile element, even as enemies,” and therefore it was clear that the only way to allow the more open transfer of goods and people in and out of Gaza to Israel and Egypt would be through the stationing of PA troops at the border crossings.
“We created a three-way mechanism — the [Israeli] Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Palestinian prime minister, and the UN representative Robert Serry. What’s left of that today? The coordinator and Robert Serry. The Palestinians ran away! They are good at accusing us at the UN and the Security Council and the ICC. But when it comes time to take responsibility, they are nowhere, and this was not the first time.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Netanyahu visit to Hebron will raise tensions
Hamas and Fatah warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that a visit to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron would “escalate” tensions.
Deputy Transportation, Science and Technology Minister Tzipi Hotovely is attempting to organize a West Bank visit that would include the Gush Etzion bloc, the Kiryat Arba settlement and the adjacent Jewish community in Hebron, which is often a flashpoint of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Should the visit occur, it’s expected to happen after Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress but before the March 17 election.
The trips are part of Netanyahu’s attempt to sway right-wing voters to support the Likud over Bayit Yehudi.
Just last week, he visited the settlement of Eli and spoke with students in the Bnei David Yeshiva, whose head Rabbi Eli Sadan has voiced support for Bayit Yehud.
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should not hesitate to visit the Cave of
the Patriarchs (Machpelah Cave), despite warnings by Arab terror groups
that he “not dare” do so, said members of the Hevron Jewish Community.
is the basis of historic Jewish rights in the Land of Israel,” said a
spokesperson for the Community. “The name ‘Israel’ itself stems from the
Cave, where our forefather Jacob, who was called Israel, is buried. It
is time to make clear to all that Israel will not surrender to terror
and threats of terror.”
The Jewish Home chairman, who also serves in the Knesset’s security cabinet, reportedly told worshippers at a synagogue in central Israel that the next round of fighting between Israel and the Gaza Islamist group is “only a matter of time,” and said the terror group had mostly recovered from the conflict.
Congregants at the synagogue in Givat Shmuel also disclosed that Bennett, in a private conversation with worshippers, said Hamas is preparing itself for a lengthy fight with Israel, despite suffering heavy losses during Operation Protective Edge.
“A few months after Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has grown dramatically stronger and rebuilt itself,” Bennett was quoted as saying. “It’s only a matter of time before another confrontation with them — maybe a year, maybe two, maybe less — but it will happen and we must be strong and ready.”
Egyptian security officials said they found a 2.5-kilometer (1.5-mile) smuggling tunnel leading into the Gaza Strip, the longest such passageway discovered in their crackdown on cross-border smuggling.
They say the tunnel was operated by the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which Egypt says is a terrorist organization that played a role in recent attacks against Egyptian security forces.
Detonators and communications devices were among the devices found in the tunnel, which will be destroyed, officials say, speaking on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to brief reporters.
A small unmanned aerial vehicle reportedly penetrated Israeli air space from Lebanon overnight, Lebanese and Palestinian media said Sunday morning.
According to the reports, the drone entered near Rosh Hanikra on the Mediterranean coast and flew over the Galilee for 20 minutes before returning to Lebanon. There was no confirmation of the report from Lebanese officials. The IDF declined to comment on the reports.
In recent years, Hezbollah – with Iranian help – has improved its UAVs and boasts that it has numerous drones in its service, which it says can be used for attack or collecting intelligence. In 2012, a drone entered Israeli airspace from the southwest, and was shot down north of the Negev city of Arad by fighter planes. In 2006, the Israel Air Force also shot down a Hezbollah UAV flying towards Haifa.
During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah launched Iranian made Ababil (Swallow) UAVs, which are capable of carrying explosives. These were intercepted by Israeli fighter planes and shot down.
IDF Blog: Hezbollah Celebrates 30 Years of Terror and Death
On February 16, 1985, Hezbollah revealed its face to the world. Thirty years later, the terror organization is more powerful than ever. The group is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people worldwide, both civilians and soldiers.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned on Friday that he would be “forced to take harsh steps” if Israel does not release the tax revenues belonging to the Palestinians.
Abbas was speaking in Luxembourg after meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn.
Referring to the Israeli government’s decision to withhold the tax funds in response to the Palestinian move to file “war crime” charges against it with the International Criminal Court, Abbas said: “This is a dangerous issue. Israel is withholding our money and this means that the ‘State of Palestine’ will face a crisis.”
Abbas appealed to the international community to exert pressure on Israel to release the funds. Otherwise, he said, “I will be forced to take harsh steps.”
Abbas did not say what kind of steps he would take. In the past, he has threatened to resign, dissolve the PA, or suspend security coordination with Israel.
Fatah official: Fatah led the Intifada, “no one else”
Fatah official: The PA led the second Intifada
Houthi Leader Threatens to Harm Western Interests in Yemen
A few worried families are all that remain of Yemen’s ancient Jewish community, and they too may soon flee after a Shi’ite Muslim militia seized power in the strife-torn country this month.
Harassment by the Houthi movement – whose motto is “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam” – caused Jews in recent years to largely quit the northern highlands they shared with Yemen’s Shi’ites for millennia.
But political feuds in which the Jews played no part escalated last September into an armed Houthi plunge into the capital Sanaa, the community’s main refuge from which some now contemplate a final exodus.
Around six Yemeni Jews from the same family arrived in Israel on Friday, members of the community told Reuters.
“Since last September, our movements have become very limited for fear of the security situation, and there are some members of the community who preferred to leave Yemen,” sighed chief rabbi Yahya Youssef, sitting in his apartment within a walled compound next to ministry of defense.
Dressed in the traditional Yemeni flowing robe, blazer and headwrap, Rabbi Yahya’s lined face is framed by two long curls on each side. Along with Hebrew he and his co-religionists speak Arabic, value local customs and are wary of life beyond home.
“We don’t want to leave. If we wanted to, we would have done so a long time ago,” Yahya said as his infirmed old father rested in the sun outside their home.