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Friday, July 28, 2017

How Were the Temple Mount Killings Reported in America’s Media?

by Dr. Eric Mandel, MEPIN

Israel has been getting some bad press recently in the United States, much of it self-inflicted by the decision to halt the expansion of the pluralistic prayer area near Robinson’s Arch on the Western Wall.

Editor's note: this is thanks to American Jeary not taking a firmer stance on safeguarding the status of the Western Wall for three thousand years...

Fair enough, but much of the reporting on Israel and its neighbors by mainstream media sources is factually inaccurate, misleadingly out of context or editorialized to promote a view.

The reporting on the Temple Mount violence is a good case in point.

NPR News Now morning report on July 24th told its listeners three Palestinians and three Israelis were killed in the aftermath of new Israeli security measures relating to the Al Aqsa Mosque. The killings of the Israeli police that precipitated the security measures, or the massacre of Israeli civilians during a Shabbat dinner in the aftermath of the highly charged incitement didn’t merit a word for context.

It really is quite a feat to put both moral equivalence and overt bias all into one short report.

Not to be outdone, PBS Newshour anchor Judy Woodruff said the (Jordanian) “dispute added to tension over new security measures at the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, they sparked protests on Friday and several Palestinians were killed.”

Again, there was no mention of the root cause of the violence that began with the killing of two Israeli Druze police officers by Israeli Arab citizens who smuggled weapons onto the Temple Mount, breaking the fragile peace in this religiously charged site.

CBC Radio perversely reported that “three Israeli settlers also died in a separate incident in the west bank” insinuating it’s always open season to kill settlers, i.e., trespassing occupiers.

The NY Times headline “Deadly violence erupts,” as if de novo Palestinians and Jews kill each other with no one to blame. The Palestinians killed were described as “protesters.” There were five photos accompanying the article that were good examples of editorialized photojournalism, a fraud perpetrated on the public, who understandably expect news reporting, including its choice of pictures, to be fair and unbiased in context.

The Times web page shows Palestinians cowering and screaming as they run away from Israeli tear gas. Muslims are seen in respectful peaceful prayer. There are two photos of Israeli police in riot gear dragging away a single pitiful Palestinian protester, and one photo of heroic-appearing rock-throwing Palestinians in the image of David vs. Goliath. Mind you, this was in a news article, not an editorial.

The Times continues its long history of finding the good side of Palestinian terrorists, in this case that the terrorist signed off on his Facebook page with emoji hearts before massacring a family enjoying a Sabbath dinner.

The Wall Street Journal news section, not to be confused with its consistently more pro-Israel editorial page, joined the moral equivalence crowd writing, “A weekend of violence left three Israelis and at least three Palestinians dead.” Again there was no differentiation made between violent protesters and innocent Israeli civilians.

Nowhere in the mainstream American media was there any sensible investigative reporting regarding the placement of metal detectors at other Muslim sensitive sites, the question being whether the Israeli decision was egregious or overly provocative.

As any freshman journalism student could have easily found all over the internet, metal detectors and all kinds of security devices are used at Muslim holy sites all around the Arab world, since Muslim-against-Muslim violence is ubiquitous at Muslim holy sites throughout the Middle East, even at Islam’s most holy site in Mecca, where scores of people have been killed, one segment of Islam warring against another.

As Jonathan Tobin wrote in JNS, “To an objective observer, the crisis…makes no sense…. How could putting metal detectors to protect a holy site be considered a casus belli …the answer is that this isn’t about metal detectors. It’s about something much bigger: the right of Jews to be in Jerusalem.”

The media have ignored the larger issue that President Abbas may be imitating his mentor Arafat, who used the Temple Mount as a starting point for Intifada.

Abbas has decided to “ride the recent wave of unrest…and lead the struggle against Israel over the Al Aqsa Mosque” reports the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Instead of defusing the situation after the metal detectors were removed, Abbas continued his incitement saying, “Jerusalem is ours and it is our capital. What you are doing is correct and…(I) support all that you did and are doing.” There were no calls for only exclusively peaceful protests.

Abbas is mobilizing the anger on the Palestinian street to deflect attention away from his Fatah rival Mohammed Dahlen and from Hamas, who is still seen as a less corrupt alternative to the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas is also using the unrest to turn the attention away from Congress’ demand (the Taylor Force Legislation) that the PA stop funding Palestinian terrorists, i.e. martyrs, who are incentivized with more money, the more heinous the terror they commit.

The decision to install metal detectors after a terrorist incident seems obvious to any Western observer who is forced to go through them all the time. I go through a metal detector to enter my Conservative synagogue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan every time.

However, in this part of the world sensibilities are distorted, and respect for differing narratives is in short supply, especially after generations of incitement and brainwashing in the Arab population.

It is ironic that the main impetus for the use of metal detectors has been Palestinians themselves, who hijacked scores of airliners in the 1960’s through the 1970’s, with death and mayhem accompanying their “freedom fight.”

As Beni Avi wrote in the NY Post, “Are they really going to start World War III over metal detectors? Mecca, which is a holy site, has metal detectors. And the Vatican. And many buildings in Manhattan and around the U.S. Yet on Monday the UN Security Council convened an “emergency” session on this new “threat to international peace and security.”

American democracy is an ongoing experiment, and an unbiased media is essential for its continued vitality. Picking and choosing which facts to report based on a viewpoint is fine for editorials, but not in a news article.

In the 1990’s I interviewed a Pulitzer Prize winner journalist who told me that injecting your own opinion into news stories is now considered good journalism. I was appalled. When I asked one of the leading writers of Haaretz if he was against editorialized news in his paper, he told me that if I didn’t like it I should read another paper!

Americans and Israelis deserve and require factually accurate and in-context news reporting on all topics, especially on the hotly charged topic of Israel, where bias against Israel is a given throughout most of the world.

The Ninth Day of Av guide for the perplexed

Yoram will be in the US in August and October/November, 2017, available for speaking engagements.
The Ninth Day of Av guide for the perplexed (August 1, 2017)
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
Based on ancient Jewish sages, http://bit.ly/2tNw81q

More information: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/499393 (pdf)

1. Forgetfulness feeds oblivion; remembrance breeds deliverance.
According to a legend, Napoleon was walking one night in the streets of Paris, hearing lamentations emanating from a synagogue.  When told that the wailing commemorated the 586 BCE destruction of the First Jewish Temple in Jerusalem he stated: “People who solemnize ancient history are destined for a glorious future!”  The verb "to remember" (זכור) appears almost 200 times in the Old Testament, including the Ten Commandments. Judaism obligates parents to transfer tradition/memories to the younger generation.

2. The most calamitous day in Jewish history. The 9th Day of Av (the 11th Jewish month) is first mentioned in the book of Zechariah 7:3.  One of four Jewish fast days, it commemorates dramatic national catastrophes (related to the destruction of Jerusalem), in an attempt to benefit from history by avoiding – rather than repeating – critical, moral and strategic missteps.  It concludes the 21 days of predicament and lamentation, which began when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by Nebuchadnezzar (1st Temple) and Titus (2nd Temple), launching a seven-week period of consolation, ingathering and renewal.

3. Major Jewish calamities are commemorated on the 9th Day of Av:

* Unlike Joshua & Caleb, the other "ten spies/tribal presidents" slandered the Land of Israel, preferring immediate convenience and conventional "wisdom" over faith and long term vision, thus prolonging the wandering in the desert for 40 years, before settling the Promised Land;
*The destruction of the First Temple and Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (586 BCE) resulted in the massacre of 100,000 Jews and a massive national exile;
*The destruction of the Second Temple and Jerusalem by Titus of Rome (70 CE) triggered the massacre of 1 million Jews and another massive national exile, aiming to annihilate Judaism and the Jewish people;
*The Ten Martyrs – ten leading rabbis – executed by the Roman Empire;
*The Bar Kokhbah Revolt was crushed with the killing of Bar Kokhbah, the fall of his Beitar headquarters (135 CE) - south of Jerusalem in Judea and Samaria - the plowing of Jerusalem, and the killing of 600,000 Jews by the Roman Empire;
*The pogroms of the First Crusade (1096-1099) massacred tens of thousands of Jews in Germany, France, Italy and Britain;
*The Jewish expulsion from Britain (1290);
*The Jewish expulsion from Spain (1492);
*The eruption of the First World War (1914);
*The beginning of the 1942 deportation of Warsaw Ghetto Jews to the Treblinka extermination camp.

4.  From Auschwitz to the Jewish State, from exile to the ingathering/liberty in the Land of Israel. A key message of the Ninth Day of Av, personally and collectively/nationally: sustain faith and hope, and refrain from forgetfulness, despair, fatalism and pessimism, irrespective of the odds, which may seem – through conventional, short-term lenses – insurmountable.

5. The centrality of Jerusalem in Jewish history is commemorated on the 9th day of Av.  It is highlighted by Psalm 137:5 – "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." According to the Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anit 30: “He who laments the destruction of Jerusalem will be privileged to witness its renewal.”

6. From destruction to deliverance and renewal. The Book of the five Lamentations (The Scroll of Eikhah which was composed by Jeremiah the Prophet, who prophesized destruction, exile and deliverance) is read during the first nine days of Av. The numerical value of the Hebrew letters of Eikhah (איכה) is 36, which is equal to the traditional number of righteous Jewish persons. The Hebrew meaning of Eikhah (איכה) could be interpreted as a reproaching "How Come?!", as well as, "Where are you?" or “Why have you strayed away?”  The term איכה features in the first chapter of Deuteronomy and the first chapter of Isaiah, which are studied annually in conjunction with the book of Lamentations on the 9th day of Av. Thus the 9th day of Av binds together the values of Moses, Jeremiah and Isaiah.  

7. Humility – a prerequisite for worthy leadership. Fasting on the 9th day of Av expresses the recognition of one’s limitations and fallibility, and the constant pursuit of moral enhancement  The four Jewish days of fasting commemorate the destruction of the two Temples: the 10th Day of Tevet (the onset of the Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem); the 17th day of Tamuz (the day the walls of Jerusalem were breached); the 9th day of Av (the destruction of both Temples); and the 3rd day of Tishrei (The murder of Governor Gedalyah - who maintained a level of post-destruction Jewish autonomy - which led to a murderous rampage by the Babylonians and to exile).

8. A crisis is a launching pad to growth. The month of Av launches the transformation from curse and decay to blessing and renewal.  The Hebrew spelling of Av (אב) consists of the first two letters of the Hebrew alpha-Beth, the  spelling of “father” and “bud,” and the first two letters of “spring” (אביב which also means “the father of twelve months”).  The numerical value of Av, אב, (א=1 and ב=2) is 3, the combination of the basic even and odd numbers (“A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken,” Ecclesiastes 4:12). The zodiac sign of Av is a lion, representing the Lion of Judah, rising from the ashes of the destruction caused by Nebuchadnezzar, whose symbol was the lion. The fast of the 9th day of Av is succeeded by the 15th day of Av – a holiday of love and reconciliation.

9.  For more information on Jewish holidays, in general, and the Ninth of Av, in particular:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/499393

INTO THE FRAY -The Temple Mount: No longer in our hands?

INTO THE FRAY -The Temple Mount: No longer in our hands?

The Temple Mount complex

As a non-observant Jew I was always skeptical towards the claim of my more devout kin-folk that the Temple Mount was the key to the maintenance of Jewish sovereignty over Israel. I was wrong!

It is extremely important that a solution to the current crisis be found by Friday this week…The dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayer without a resolution to this current crisis, Events in Jerusalem have the potential to have catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City, well beyond Israel and Palestine, well beyond the Middle East itself — Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, January 24, 2017.
When we indulge Arab (and jihadi Muslims’) concerns for honor by backing off anything that they claim offends them, we think that our generosity and restraint will somehow move extremists to more rational behavior. Instead, we end up muzzling ourselves and thereby participating in, honoring, and confirming their most belligerent attitudes… And there is nothing generous, rational, or progressive about that.— Prof. Richard Landes, Tablet Magazine, June 24, 2014.
The chain of bloody events that took place over the last week defies both belief and reason. A series of unprovoked Arab assaults on Israelis, inexplicably, inconceivably and infuriatingly triggered a wave of international criticism of …Israel’s defensive responses?
Israel’s regrettable reticence
Of course, in a world where fairness and reason dominated the conduct of international affairs, Israel would have won wall-to-wall sympathy and support — or at the very least, tacit understanding — for its position. After all, the security measures adopted by Israel in the wake of the murderous attack on its law-enforcement officers in the Temple Mount complex were neither extreme nor excessive. To the contrary, they were entirely reasonable, appropriate — even, one might have thought, unavoidable. Indeed, what could be more natural than enhancing security measures in the wake of a deadly terror attack?
Regrettably, however, international reaction was far from what should have been expected in an imaginary world of fairness and reason. In the real world, very much the opposite was true — with the onus being placed on Israel to defuse the allegedly explosive situation that the threatened aggression of its foes conjured up.
But no less regrettable was the self-effacing Israeli response to the ridiculous recriminations, which merely helped fan the flames of this absurdity.
Thus, rather than robustly and resolutely repudiating the preposterous accusations concocted against it, Israel endeavored to play the “responsible adult”, in effect, acknowledging that it should shoulder the burden for preventing any violence the Arabs/Muslims might decide to instigate.
Invitation to extortion
Of course, this implies — paradoxically and perversely — that the target of aggression is to blame for whatever befalls him/her, while exonerating the perpetrators of all responsibility for any malfeasance they may choose to initiate.
Unsurprisingly, this ostensibly “mature” and “moderate” behavior won Israel little credit.
Thus, rather than being warmly commended it was roundly condemned.
Indeed, instead of being seen as far-sighted statesmanship and enlightened largesse, it was perceived as a tacit admission of guilt. With a little forethought this should not have been surprising. After all, if one believes that the measures one has taken are just and proper, why back away from them? Seen in this light, backing away can only be construed as conceding wrongdoing.
So, by capitulating to threats of violence, the Israeli government has issued a clear invitation for further extortion. For it has conveyed an unequivocal message of weakness to both friend and foe. Either it is incapable of dealing with threatened Muslim violence or it is unwilling to deal with the consequences of choreographed Muslim ire. But whether it is the lack of ability or the lack of will, there is little difference in the conclusion that will, inevitably, be drawn: There is nothing to prevent further threats to extort further and more far-reaching concessions.
Full disclosure: I was wrong
As a non-observant Jew, whose relationship with the Almighty has been, to say the least, uneasy, I was always skeptical towards my more devout kin-folk’s claim that the Temple Mount was central to the maintenance of Jewish sovereignty. Although I opposed any Israeli territorial concessions — including on the Temple Mount — I held the belief that the struggle for Jewish control of the site was more incidental than central.
I believed — and in many ways, still do — that the major thrust for presenting Israel’s requirements to endure as the sovereign nation-state of the Jews should be to underscore the vital strategic importance of the entire territory across the pre-1967 “Green Line” — and the perilous situation that Israel would be in, should any substantial withdrawal be undertaken.
Accordingly, I felt that there was no need to single out the Temple Mount since it would be self-evident that it would be included in the rest of the territory that Israel needs to retain control over. Indeed, I thought perhaps that it was better not to give prominence to control of the Mount, so as to prevent rational strategic arguments for retention of territory from being dismissed as tainted with “religious fanaticism”.
Turns out I was wrong!
I was wrong (cont.)
Although I still hold the view that, if Israel is to remain viable as the nation-state of the Jews, it cannot agree to surrendering sovereignty over Judea-Samaria, I am today far more open to the claim that control over the Temple Mount is the key to sustaining Jewish sovereignty. Not because of any strategic imperative but because of a pyscho-political one; not because Jewish zealots see it that way, but because Muslim zealots do.
Nothing will do more to sustain the Muslims’ belief that they can uproot the Jewish presence in all of the Land of Israel, or at least eradicate Jewish sovereignty over it, than successfully challenging Jewish control over the Jews most sacred site. In Muslim eyes, if they can prise loose the Jews’ hold over the Temple Mount, they can prise it loose over any other site in the land.
For them, if the Jews are willing to forgo control over the Temple Mount to avoid an outburst of Muslim rage, they will be just as ready to forgo such control over Haifa and Tiberias. For if the Jews are perceived as unwilling to take a stand over their most sacrosanct location, in the heart of their capital, why would they be willing to make a sustained stand over any other, less sacrosanct, location whenever a pretext for conflict arises?
“If I can’t bring my machine gun, no point in praying …”
The insufferable absurdity of the opposition to enhanced Israeli security measures — together with the blatant hypocrisy of their coverage by mainstream media — was vividly brought home in a hard hitting video clippresented by Daniel Pomerantz, Senior editor of “Honest Reporting”.
Metal detectors on temple mount
Pomerantz expressed his bewilderment at the Muslim response to the setting up of metal-detectors after three Arab terrorists emerged from the Al-Aksa mosque and gunned down two Israeli police officers, with automatic weapons they had smuggled into the compound: “I don’t quite understand the logic in refusing to pass through a metal detector”, adding bitingly — but aptly: “It’s like saying ‘Well, if I can’t bring my machine gun then there’s no point in praying at all’ .”

 Pomerantz deftly repudiates Muslim claims that the metal-detectors constitute an Israeli attempt to change the status quo on the compound, pointing out that the status quo had been violated a day earlier by the terror attack itself. Indeed, as he rightly remarks, the metal-detectors in fact were intended to reinstate the status quo ante, and restore Al-Aksa as a place of worship, rather than an armory.

 But of course this meant nothing to the instigators of Arab unrest. For them, any measure, no matter how appropriate or essential for legitimate security exigencies, was merely an opportunity to mount a challenge to Jewish sovereignty.
Appeasement never satiates, only whets, appetites
In a recent opinion piece, instructively entitled The problem with the metal detectors is that they are Jewish Fred Maroun, an Arab, resident in Canada, succinctly summarized the underlying motivation for the Arab resistance to the Israeli security measures: “Sadly, most Arabs still see Israel as the “Yahudi” enemy that must be vanquished at any cost. Therefore, when Israel backs down from making a change that is rational and reasonable, it constitutes appeasement…” He warns: Appeasement of people who hate you beyond any common sense does not work.”
He is of course right. As history has shown repeatedly, appeasement never satiates the appetites of an aggressor. It only whets them –with each placatory gesture heightening expectations for additional — and more substantial — concessions in the future.
Similar sentiments were expressed this morning by Education Minister, Naftali Bennett.
To be sure, I have had — and still have — some serious policy disagreements with Bennett, but his comments this morning (July 27, 2017) were spot on. He lamented “…Israel has come out of this crisis considerably weakened. Instead of strengthening our sovereignty in Jerusalem, we sent a message that our sovereignty can be appealed — not just on the Temple Mount, but in other areas as well.
He continued: “The decision to remove the magnetometers [metal-detectors] was definitely the wrong decision. Israel came out of the whole issue weaker…Every time Israel bows to strategic pressure, it harms us in the long run. It harms our ability to deter attacks.
“When they smell weakness…”
Ominously he warned “I expect to see an increase in violence in the next few weeks. We live in the toughest neighborhood in the world. When they smell weakness, they rise up”.

 Bennett then urged the PM to rescind all programs designed to improve conditions for the Palestinians and to initiate an assertive plan to combat terror: “The PM must instruct the Defense Minister to take all plans for promoting the Palestinians and offering them ‘carrots’ off the table, and put in their place plans for operations which will end terror.”

 It, of course, remains to be seen how firmly and effectively Bennett will insist on implementation of his robust prescription. However, it is clear that he seems to have wide public support for tough measures.
Thus, “Israel Hayom”, usually strongly supportive of Netanyahu, published a blistering condemnation of his performance by its political correspondent, Mati Tuchfeld, entitled The metal detectors debacle: Netanyahu’s feeble response. In it, Tuchfeld cites a Channel 2 poll according to which, on Tuesday evening, after the removal of the metal-detectors, 77% of the Israeli public felt that the government caved in to pressure, while 67% believed that Netanyahu did not handle this situation well. Moreover, 68% thought that the initial decision to install the metal-detectors was correct.

 All of this seems to indicate that the normally hyper-savvy Netanyahu is seriously out of step with his political base — who appear to be demanding a far more vigorous approach to the emerging challenge to Jewish sovereignty.
“Only way Islam can live with Israeli sovereignty…”
Thousands attend Umm Al-Fahm funeral for dead terrorists
But perhaps the gravest threat of all entailed in a sense of Jewish lack of resolve is the prospect of insurrection and revolt by the Arab citizens of Israel. Indeed, it was a threat clearly evident on Wednesday night (July 26, 2017) in the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm, where thousands attended the funeral of the three terrorists who recently murdered the two police officers on the Temple Mount. The participants reportedly praised the killers as Shahids (martyrs) of Al-Aksa, vowed to follow in their footsteps and defiantly flew the Palestinian flag.
Clearly, this threat will undoubtedly materialize unless the Arabs are convinced the Jews will brook no challenge — from within Israel’s borders or from without — to their national sovereignty and political independence.

 Accordingly, what is called for today is not a repetition of reticent restraint, but the demonstration of ruthless resolve. For unless the Jews convey the unequivocal message that any such challenge to their sovereignty will be met with overwhelming lethal force, they will inevitably be the victims of violent insurrection at the hands of their Arab adversaries.
Allow me to conclude with the words of the learned scholar of Islam, and former IDF intelligence officer, Dr. Mordechai Kedar:
The only way Islam can live with Israeli sovereignty is by recognizing that Israel is strong and invincible, so that any attempt to overcome it is sure to end in defeat… The possibility of a permanent European-style peace with the Jews does not exist in the Middle East, meaning that only power and a willingness to use it will give Israel a temporary peace that will last forever — that is, if Israel is invincible forever.
Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Three Israelis were killed at Shabbat Dinner

Three Israelis were killed and one severely wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank town of Halamish on Friday evening.

The Israel Defense Forces reported that an assailant infiltrated a private home in the community of Halamish, also known as Neve Tsuf, north west of Ramallah, and stabbed four Israeli civilians. Three of the victims died as a result of their wounds, and one was evacuated to Shaare Tzedek hospital.

The assailant, whom Channel 2 identified as Palestinian, was shot by a neighbor. Palestinian media have identified the attacker as Omar al Abed, age 20, from the West Bank village of Khobar, near Ramallah. He left an online manifesto before the attack in which he stated that he felt obligated to act in light of recent events.

IDF forces arrived at the scene and are continuing to search the area.

Magen David Adom emergency medical services reported on Friday evening that at 9:50 p.m. a call was received regarding the attack. According to MDA, a 60-year-old man, a 60-year-old woman, and a 40 year-old-man, were killed, and a woman, 60, was injured.

Channel 2 reported that the IDF has called for residents to stay indoors as there may be other assailants in the vicinity, however, they predicted that it was likely a stand alone attack. They also reported that the IDF is increasing security in Jewish settlements in that area. A senior IDF official confirmed that forces are searching Halamish and surrounding areas to ensure there is not another terrorist in the area.

Hamas has issued a statement of support for the attack, calling it a "necessary reaction" to new Israeli security procedures at the Temple Mount. In a tweet, they called it "heroic."

Reuters contributed to this report.

Israel - a cybersecurity powerhouse

Yoram will be in the US in August and October/November, available for speaking engagements.
Israel - a cybersecurity powerhouse
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative”
Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #221, July 21, 2017 http://bit.ly/2vqdYQu

1. According to the June 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal, six Israeli startups (three in the cybersecurity sector) are among the top 25 tech companies, which may be the global leaders of tomorrow.

2. According to Forbes Magazine, Israel has become a cybersecurity powerhouse, creating more than 300 cybersecurity startups, exporting in 2016 $6.5BN in cybersecurity products, convincing more than 30 multinationals to establish local research & development centers in Israel and attracting foreign investors. According to Forbes, there are six reasons leading to Israel’s prominence in the world of cybersecurity: the close government-military-business-academia interaction; government support of early-stage cybersecurity startups; Israel’s military as a startup incubator and accelerator, combining research and operation; investing in human capital (e.g., cybersecurity is an elective high school matriculation exam, and operating six university cybersecurity research centers); Israel’s overall inter-disciplined and diverse human factor enhanced through military service and interaction with global giants; Israel’s constant need to defy security and commercial odds.

3. Enhancing the mutually-beneficial, two-way-street US-Israel cooperation, acybersecurity bilateral working group was established by the Trump Administration, aimed at combatting cyber offensives. Tom Bossert, White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, stated: “Israel’s agility in developing solutions will innovate cyber defenses that the US can test in Israel and bring back to America….”    

4. During the first half of 2017 - in addition to Intel’s March 2017 acquisition of Israel’s Mobileye for $15.3BN - Israeli hightech companies were acquired by foreign companies for a total sum of $1.8BN.  For example, Symantec, the Mountain View, CA software security and storage systems giant, acquired Israel’s FireGlass and Skycare (cybersecurity) for $250MN each (Globes, July 13, 2017).

5. During the second quarter of 2017, $1.3BN were invested in Israeli startups, mostly by foreign investors, second highest quarter in the last five years, compared to $1.1BN in the first quarter, as well as the fourth quarter of 2016, and $1.7BN in the second quarter of 2016. For instance, the Japanese giant SoftBank invested $100MN in Israel’s cybersecurity, Cybereason, and Johnson & Johnson led a $12MN round by Israel’s medical/nutritional tech, Day Two.  Israel’s venture capital fund, Qumra, raised $115MN for its second fund, mostly from US and European Family Offices (Globes, July 20).

6. Intel is bolstering its operations in Israel – over and beyond its 10,000 employees, four R&D centers, two manufacturing plants and $4BN annual exports out of Israel - leveraging Israel’s cybersecurity added-value. Intel has recently expanded its Israel Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, partnering with Illusive Networks, a cybersecurity startup, and Israel’s Team8, a cybersecurity powerhouse, which has developed close contacts with Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, ATT&T, Nokia, Mitsui and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, aiming to develop cutting edge cybersecurity technologies.

7.  India-Israel trade balance surged from $200MN in 1992 to over $4BN in 2016.  

According to the Executive Editor of Business India (published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies), “this sliver of a country [Israel] of 8.4 million is a leading innovation hub with the highest density of startups and venture capital in the world.  It has more NASDAQ-listed companies than any other country save the US and China – more than India, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong combined. The total market capitalization of these Israeli companies exceeds $85BN…. Israeli companies either pioneered or were among the first to commercialize firewalls (CheckPoint), voicemail (Comverse), USB flash drives (M-Systems), VoIP (Vocaltec) and digital printing (Indigo).  

“Israeli startups have also driven innovation across all major technology sectors, as in the cases of Amdocs and Comverse in telecommunications applications, Verint and NICE in contact center applications, Mercury in information technology (IT) management, Check Point in security, DSPG in semiconductors and Mellanox in Infiniband…. Israel has proportionately more scientists and tech professionals than any other country.  Almost 40% of Israeli hightech employees are engaged in R&D for [over 200] major global tech companies that have subsidiaries or research centers in Israel. These include Intel, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Facebook, Applied Materials, Apple, IBM, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Oracle and Motorola…. 

"Israel is a country 0.63% the size of India.  Its population is 0.64% that of India and its GDP $297BN to India’s $2.25TN, but its GDP per capita is $34,000 to India’s $6,700…. With India its largest arms client, Israel netted its biggest-ever defense contract in April, 2017 when India awarded Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) contracts totaling almost $2BN [medium-range surface-to-air missiles, air and missile defense systems and a long range SAM air and missile defense systems for India’s aircraft carrier]…. India buys from Israel military hardware worth an average of over $1BN annually… Israeli technologies can be used to boost the development of India’s critical sectors, including food security, water management and efficiency, cyberspace and data protection, e-learning and innovation and digitalization…. 21 memoranda-of-understanding were recently concluded between Indian and Israeli academic institutions….”     

Rabbis Commend Rep. Clay Higgins for Auschwitz Video

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing nearly 200 traditional Rabbis in the United States and Canada, today issued a letter commending Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana for the “sincere, heartfelt reflections” that he recorded while visiting the Auschwitz Death Camp earlier this year, and for “detailing and dramatizing the atrocities of the Holocaust, and for sharing [his] horror at what [he] saw.”
The video produced by the Congressman proved controversial to some in the Jewish community, because Rep. Higgins recorded his reflections in the death camps — and then pledged to support strong borders to ensure “that the United States is protected from the evils of the world.” But Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Director of the CJV, said that “Jewish groups should be sharing Rep. Higgins’ video, and celebrating his concern for the safety of the Jewish community and all Americans.”
CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow Rabbi Steven Pruzansky said that “the congressman is simply getting a raw deal. Everything he said was appropriate.”
In the letter, the rabbis said they were “embarrassed” by those Jews who attacked the Congressman for speaking out from the site of the gas chambers and pledging to protect Americans. The rabbis underscored that many of the legislator’s critics have previously used anti-Semitism as a political cudgel, placing the congressman in what the rabbis described as “good company.”
The letter closed with an expression of “sincere appreciation for your video and your consideration.”

You can watch the Video here:

Has the ADL Joined the Alt Left?

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) today criticized the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for “abandoning its historic mission of defending the Jewish people” by giving a “free pass” to anti-Semitism coming from left-wing activists. On Tuesday the ADL produced a new guide, “From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming the Hate,” listing individuals that the ADL associated with “misogyny, anti-Muslim bigotry and xenophobia.” The CJV statement responded that the ADL “tars mainstream conservatives with guilt by association,” and that by avoiding critiques of left-wing activists, the ADL “betrays its core mission.”
“This pattern began in 2015 when Jonathan Greenblatt took over as CEO of the ADL, and accelerated during the Trump presidential campaign,” said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Director of the CJV. “They are promoting the false notion that anti-Semitism is uniquely a right-wing problem.”
While the CJV called the ADL’s list of “Alt Right” leaders “a frightening depiction of American evil,” it rejected the “Alt Lite” list as “an often embarrassing exercise in demonization.”
The ADL lists Corey Stewart, the Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, as an “Alt Lite” figure because he “champions the preservation of Confederate monuments” and has “defended the ‘heritage’ of the Confederate flag.” The CJV suggested that this was motivated by politics, given that Stewart announced his candidacy to oppose Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia just last week.
The CJV also provided its own list of ten left-wing figures, each of whom, it said, was both far more prominent and far more guilty of anti-Jewish defamatory speech. Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the CJV, commented that “if it is ignoring hate eminating from leading left-wing speakers and accusing innocent conservatives, the ADL has become a dangerous organization of the ‘Alt Left’ itself.”

INTO THE FRAY: Temple Mount attack & the demise of the “one-state” theory

INTO THE FRAY: Temple Mount attack & the demise of the “one-state” theory

Temple Mount
Even after seven decades living under Israeli sovereignty, and over half a century after military rule over the Arab population was abolished, anti-Israel enmity is alive and kicking among Israeli Arabs
Extending Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria (and eventually over the Gaza Strip) is indeed a necessary condition for ensuring the ability of Israel to endure as the nation state of the Jewish people. It is, however, not a sufficient condition to ensure that worthy objective. In fact, without additional complementary measures, such an initiative on its own is very likely to imperil Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel…in its entirety on both sides of the pre -1967 Green Line. “The Humanitarian Paradigm”, Sovereignty Journal (№8), March, 2017.
Last Friday, three non-Jewish terrorists gunned down two-non-Jewish policemen to express their hatred of the Jewish state.
And yet while many condemned the heinous deed, expressing shock, dismay, and opprobrium at the brutal desecration of the Temple Mount, no one really found it bewilderingly inexplicable or staggeringly aberrant. After all, Judeocidal Arab hatred has always defied rational explanation.
Extinguishing hopes for one-state formula
No less perverse was the fact that the alleged cause of the killers’ homicidal urge was purported to be the “Occupation”, despite the fact that none of the perpetrators were subject to any form of “Occupation” — as they were all Israeli citizens, with full civil rights.
Slain Druze police officers Hayil Satawi and Kamil Shanaan.
But beyond the human tragedy, the hail of bullets that cut short the lives of the two Druze police officers from the Galilee, Hayil Satawi and Kamil Shanaan, inflicted an additional casualty.
For they conclusively cut down any residual credibility that the proposal for a one-state formula — especially as touted by “right wing” pundits — might still have had. Indeed, it totally extinguished any lingering hopes that some kind of coherent, cohesive society could be forged if Israel were to annex Judea-Samaria — and incorporate its Palestinian Arabs into Israel’s permanent population.
As I have written elsewhere“It would require more than a gigantic leap of unsubstantiated faith to believe that such a measure could precipitate any result other than “Lebanonization” of Israel.” (For good order’s sake — and to cite New York Times columnist, the late A. M. Rosenthal — “Lebanonization refers to the [situation] within a single country so riven with religious and other disputes that [it] becomes impossible to govern.
Downplaying the danger
Typically one-state proponents seem unaware, or unperturbed, by this unpalatable prospect. Thus, one prominent one-stater sees the process of imposing Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria and its Arab residents as “fairly straightforward”. According to this upbeat prescription: “Israel will apply its laws to Judea and Samaria and govern the areas as normal parts of Israel…Contingent on security concerns…Palestinians will have the right to travel and live anywhere they wish within Israeli territory…Palestinians will have the same legal and civil rights as the rest of the residents and citizens of Israel… Those that receive Israeli citizenship in accordance with Israel’s Citizenship Law will also be allowed to vote in national elections for the Knesset.”
Thus one-state advocates have tried to dismiss the potential for inter-ethnic strife, suggesting that “an Israeli assertion of central authority over the areas [of Judea-Samaria] will likely have a significant moderating impact. Once the population feels there is a central governing authority in place, that sense of order will likely neutralize a significant amount of opposition momentum spurred by anti-Israel animus.”
Clearly, the events on the Temple Mount last Friday shatter the foundations of any such belief.
After all, the gunmen’s conduct — and the reticent reaction of the Israeli-Arab leadership — clearly indicates that, after seven decades of living under Israeli sovereignty, and over half a century after military rule over the Arab population was abolished, “anti-Israel animus” is alive and kicking even among Israeli Arabs — despite decades of “Israeli assertion of central authority” .
Not an isolated incident
Moreover, while Judeophobic terror attacks by Israeli-Arabs are not a frequent occurrence, neither are they virtually unheard of rarities.
Thus for example, on New Year’s Day, 2016, an Israeli-Arab from the village of Arara, just south of Umm al Fahm, the town from which last Friday’s killers hailed, opened fire with an automatic weapon on a crowd in a Tel Aviv pub, killing two and wounding almost ten. The shooter also murdered an Israeli-Arab taxi driver in his attempt to escape.
Significantly, he was provided shelter and logistic support from residents of the village, with whom he discussed plans for additional attacks.
Barely, two months later, two teenage females from the city of Ramle in central Israel, attacked a security guard with large knives, admitting: “we came to kill Jews”.
However, as distressing as these and other individual acts of terror might be, no less disturbing is the reaction of the Israeli-Arab Establishment, including its elected political leadership and prominent civil society organizations.
Reflecting the ambivalent Arab attitude towards lethal attacks by their kinfolk on the Jewish state, was the vague and equivocal condemnation of the Temple Mount attack by the Arab leadership in Israel. Indeed, it was so reticent and reluctant that it even provoked a flash of ire from our meticulously politically-correct President, Reuven Rivlin.
Collaborating with terror?
Referring to the lack of any unambiguous denunciation of the deed almost
President Rueven Rivlin: Anyone who doesn’t denounce terrorism is collaborating with it.”
three days after it was perpetrated, an exasperated Rivlin declared: “The silence and the feeble responses from some Arab political leaders are outrageous…Terrorism must be denounced unconditionally”, adding. “Anyone who doesn’t denounce terrorism is collaborating with it.”
Of course, in recent years there have been far more explicit examples of an elected Israeli-Arab politician brazenly collaborating with terror. Perhaps the most blatant was that of former Knesset member of the Balad faction in the Joint (Arab) List, Basel Ghattas.
Ghattas, a Christian Arab Israeli, from the town of Rameh in the Galilee, was jailed, after he was filmed, abusing his parliamentary privileges, smuggling mobile phones, SIM cards and other items to convicted terrorists in prison for involvement in lethal attacks against Israelis. Despite his sentencing for violation of the Terror Law, Ghattas remained unapologetic, expressing neither remorse nor regret for his actions.
But his was not the only display of identification of elected Arab lawmakers with mortal enemies of the country in whose legislature they serve.
In February 2016, three members of the Joint (Arab) List met with the families of terrorists to express condolences and identification with their suffering, even referring to terrorists who killed three passengers on a bus in Jerusalem as shaheeds (martyrs).
“Never miss an opportunity to support terror…”
Another Arab MK, Jamal Zahalka, has openly identified with the Palestinians’ armed resistance against Israel and publicly called for Arabs to prevent Jews from visiting Judaism’s most holy site by “all means” and at “all costs”.
Hanin Zoabi is of course another Arab lawmaker, who has been conspicuous in her continual expression of anti-Israel enmity over the years, including her 2010 participation aboard the infamous Mavi Marmara, in the attempt to breach the maritime quarantine imposed on the terrorist ruled enclave of Gaza.
Balad faction Knesset Members of Joint ( Arab) List (L-R): Jamal Zahalka, Basel Ghattas, Hanin Zoabi,
In light of these and other manifestation of borderline sedition it is not difficult to understand the caustic censure of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who reacted to the ongoing identification with the enemy with fury:”…the Arab MKs don’t miss a single opportunity to support terror.”
Regrettably, the response of Israeli-Arab civil society organizations gives no less cause for concern.
Thus in the immediate wake of the Temple Mount attack, an organization named Adalah — The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights , perversely called for the investigation of….the Israeli police, who swiftly shot the attackers, preventing further casualties !!
So rather than express shock at the defilement of the holy site by the actions of Arab terrorists, and raising questions as to how similar incidents can be avoided, Adalah, generously funded by the US based “New Israel Fund” demanded an “immediate probe of police killings of [the] Al Aqsa Mosque shooting suspects.”
Obscuring Arab malfeasance
Accordingly, instead of focusing on the murderous actions of the Israeli-Arab perpetrators, Adalah purposely tried to divert attention to the reactions of those who cut their homicidal spree short.
In a transparent attempt to obscure Arab malfeasance, while denigrating the preventative response by Israeli forces, it writes with unabashed gall: “the incident raises serious questions regarding police personnel’s compliance with very detailed open-fire regulations”.
This anti-Israel sentiment is reflected in pervasive — albeit, as yet, inert — bias in the general Israeli Arab public. This dormant anti-Zionist proclivity is clearly evident in a 2013 poll conducted by Prof. Sami Smoocha, under the auspices of the University of Haifa and the Israel Democracy Institute, both of whom are decidedly on the Left of the Israeli political spectrum. According to the findings of the study: 55.9% of [Israeli] Arabs resigned themselves to Israel as a state, with a Jewish majority…
However, as Smoocha points out: “resignation… does not mean preference… the Arabs prefer a binational state to a Jewish and democratic state. [N]or does it imply justification of the status quo, since 69.6% of the Arab respondents think that it is not justified that Israel maintains a Jewish majority….”
Ominously, he observes: “The proportion of Arabs denying Israel’s right to exist as a state was… 11.2% in 2003, and 24.5% in 2012. 82.2% of the Arabs in 2012 accused Jews of the Nakba [the “catastrophe” of Jewish victory in the 1948 Independence War]…”
Gloomily, he notes: “The percentage of Arabs holding accommodating and compromising stances has been steadily decreasing and has shrunk to a minority.”
One-statism: The Writing on the wall
Should any further evidence be required as to the dire consequences of a dramatic increase in Israel’s Arab population, they were provided by the results of the 2015 elections, when virtually to a man — and fully enfranchised woman — the Arab sector voted for the vehemently anti-Zionist Joint List. This is a party made up of a motley mélange of communists-cum radical Islamist-cum-leftwing Arab nationalists, whose only unifying factor is their fierce rejection of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Indeed, the political DNA of the Joint List is so rabidly opposed to the Jewish state that it refused to sign a surplus vote sharing agreement even with the far-left Meretz party, because it was still a “Zionist” faction, vividly underscoring its obdurate repudiation of the right of Jews to a state of their own, repudiation, which it seems, Israeli-Arabs endorsed virtually unanimously.
Today, the Joint List — with 13 seats — is the third largest party in the Knesset, with Israel’s (potentially recalcitrant) Arab population within the pre-1967 “Green Line” now at around 20%. Accordingly, little imagination is needed to grasp the dramatic impact — socially, economically, politically — of doubling it to around 40%. — by extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea-Samaria to incorporate the Arab residents in the country’s permanent population (assuming the optimistic demographers are right).
One-statism: The Demographic dilemma
The Temple Mount incident, together with the pervasive anti-Zionist sentiment in the Israeli Arab sector, underscores just how unfounded the optimism of one-staters is that: “Once the population feels there is a central governing authority in place, that sense of order will likely neutralize a significant amount of opposition momentum spurred by anti-Israel animus.”
Indeed, if anything, quite the opposite is true: Reinforced by a huge increase in numbers, the anti-Israel animosity is likely to be commensurately enhanced.
If Israel has no program to significantly reduce the Arab presence in its sovereign territory, it will face a searing demographic dilemma. It can either (a) enfranchise the bulk of the newly annexed Arab population within a reasonable timeline; or (b) it can deny them such enfranchisement.
If it opts for the latter, Israel will inevitably become an undeniable apartheid state — withholding political representation largely on ethnic grounds. As such it is likely to be subjected to crippling international censure and sanctions, imperiling its ability to survive.

 If it opts for the former, it will create a very real danger that the anti-Zionist elements will become the dominant political force in the country, with the Arab vote potentially reaching 25 seats — making it possibly one of the two largest parliamentary factions. If they team up with the radical anti/post Zionist Left, its ability to advance anti-Zionist initiatives will be formidable…
And this is only the tip of the proverbial “iceberg”…which is why I warned (see introductory excerpt): “Extending Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria is indeed a necessary condition for ensuring the ability of Israel to endure as the nation state of the Jewish people…but without additional complementary measures, such an initiative on its own is very likely to imperil Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel… on both sides of the pre -1967 Green Line”.

To be continued…
Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.