Gaza Peace Activist in Jail for ‘Crime’ of Talking with Israelis

Rami Aman with the Dalai Lama during a visit to Tibet,

Free Rami Aman

Sep 26, 2020

Hamas charges Rami Aman, arrested five months ago, with the “crime’”of talking peace with Israelis via Zoom.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Palestinian peace activist Rami Aman disappeared five months ago after he organized a Zoom video conference call with Israelis to talk about peace.

Hind Khoudary, who identified herself as an “international research consultant” for Amnesty International, ratted out Aman on Facebook, making sure that the Hamas terror group that controls Gaza with an iron fist got the information. Hamas arrested Aman, who disappeared without a trace.

Now it is confirmed that Aman has been in a Hamas jail. Last week, he and two other peace activists were charged with “weakening the evolutionary spirit,” and they face up to 10 years in prison.

New York Times bureau chief David Halbfinger was on the Zoom conference and wrote about it and the arrest of Aman, a committed peace activist who met last year with the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

“Back in April, I watched Rami Aman talk to Israelis, Americans and others about the hardship of life in Gaza and how he tried to hold onto hope. Hamas threw him in jail. Now it could be years before he gets out,” Halbfinger tweeted.

In a page out of a George Orwell book, a Hamas spokesman said that talking to Israelis is “a crime punishable by law and a betrayal of our people and its sacrifices.”

Last Monday, UN Watch led a coalition of 70 NGOs at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and demanded that the United Nations take action to get Aman released from jail.

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer told a UNHRC session in Geneva that his coalition included human rights groups from Japan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Ghana, India, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Switzerland, and other countries, all of whom support Aman.

Neuer said Aman’s arrest by the Hamas terror group was “in flagrant violation of international law.”

“Hamas’s arbitrary and unlawful arrest and detention of Mr. Aman for the crime of ‘normalization’ is part of a pattern of repression and intimidation against dissidents who dare to speak out against the authoritarian regime,” Neuer said.

“Our complaint seeks to hold Hamas — and the Palestinian Authority, which claims jurisdiction in Gaza — accountable for the wrongful imprisonment of Mr. Aman, a violation of international law and of Mr. Aman’s universal human rights.”

However, known as “the most biased of all UN groups” for its anti-Israel prejudice and inability to support human rights around the world, the UNHRC is not expected to take any action on Aman’s behalf.

Yom Kippur: Genesis of Repentance

The night that changed the world forever is the night Jewish history began. Six parts of Yom Kippur to read and internalize.

Daniel Pinner , 27/09/20 11:23 Share
Yom Kippur prayers

Yom Kippur prayers צילום: מרים אלסטר, פלאש 90

First section: מַעֲרִיב – the Evening Service

It was a night that would change the world forever. It was the night when Jewish history began. It was the unforgettable night when, under the darkened heavens blazing with stars, G-d spoke to Abraham and forged His covenant with him and his descendants after him.

G-d appeared to Abraham, “and He took him outside, and He said: Gaze now towards the heavens, and count the stars if you can count them! And He said to him: Thus will be your descendants” (Genesis 15:5-6).

As a token of G-d’s Covenant with him, “He said to him: Bring Me three heifers, and three goats, and three rams, and a turtle-dove, and a young dove. So he brought Him all these, and he divided them in the centre, placing each piece opposite its matching half… And then, as the sun was setting, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and behold – a dread! Great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abraham: Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land not their own; they will serve them, and they will oppress them for four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, after which they will go out with great possessions” (ibid. 9-14).

Rashi (Commentary to verse 9) based on the Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 44:14) and the Talmud (Ta’anit 27b) expounds that these three heifers alluded to three sacrifices that Abraham’s descendants were destined one day to offer: the bull sacrificed on Yom Kippur (Numbers 29:8), the bull sacrificed to atone for a sin committed unintentionally by the entire congregation as a result of an erroneous decision by the Sanhedrin (Leviticus 4:13-14), and the heifer whose neck was to be axed in the event that a murdered corpse was found in the countryside (Deuteronomy 21:1-4).

On the night that the Jewish mission in G-d’s world was being launched, G-d already provided the capacity for atonement on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, repentance, and forgiveness.

Second section: שַׁחֲרִית – the Morning Service

The Children of Israel had left Egypt and its slavery three months earlier, and had received the Torah at Mount Sinai seven weeks after that.

Moshe had been up on Mount Sinai for thirty-nine days, since that momentous day, and now, as the morning of fortieth day dawned, the people expected his imminent return. But their leader Moshe, the man who had defeated Egypt and led them out from slavery to freedom, across the Red Sea and into the desert to Mount Sinai, had ascended the mountain and did not return when they expected him to.

It was a tragic misunderstanding. “When Moshe ascended to Heaven, he said to them: At the end of forty days, at the beginning of the sixth hour [i.e. midday], I will return” (Shabbat 89a).

“The people had reckoned the day that he ascended as the first day; but he meant forty complete days – forty days and nights… He had ascended on the 7th of Sivan, so forty complete days would conclude on the 17th of Tammuz. But on the 16th of Tammuz the Satan confounded them by making the illusion of darkness, gloom, and chaos, convincing them that Moshe had died – particularly as the sixth hour had already come and gone” (Rashi, Commentary to Exodus 32:1, following Shabbat 89a).

And so, despairing of ever seeing Moshe again, “the nation assembled against Aaron, saying to him: Arise, make for us gods who will go before us, because this man Moshe, who brought us up out of Egypt – we don’t know what’s happened to him!” (Exodus 32:1).

And so Aaron, unable to withstand the pressure of the nation, fashioned the golden calf, “and they rose early the next day to offer up burnt-offerings and to bring peace-offerings” (Exodus 32:6), on the morning of the 17th of Tammuz.

That morning the nation committed a heinous sin. G-d immediately told Moshe to go back down from the height of Mount Sinai; and when he saw the golden calf, he smashed the Tablets of Stone and shocked the Jews out of their revelry.

The people sobered up, and the next day Moshe re-ascended Mount Sinai, where he stayed for another forty days and forty nights pleading with G-d to forgive Israel (Deuteronomy 9:18-21), returning to the Israelite camp on the 28th of Av.

The next day, the 29th of Av, he ascended Mount Sinai for the third time, where he stayed for another forty days and forty nights with G-d (Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 10:10).

Thus eighty-one days after the sin of the golden calf, when Moshe returned from Mount Sinai with the second set of the Tablets of Stone, the date was the 10th of Tishrei – the day that, a year later, G-d would decree as Yom ha-Kippurim, the eternal Day of Atonement.

Third section: מוּסַף – the Additional Service for Yom Kippus

The Torah commands the Yom Kippur service in Leviticus 16, which constitutes the Torah-reading for Yom Kippur morning. The Mussaf – the additional sacrificial offerings – for Yom Kippur are commanded in Numbers 29:7-11, which constitutes the Maftir for Yom Kippur morning.

The Ba’al ha-Turim (Rabbi Ya’akov ben Asher, Germany and Spain, c.1275-1343) notes a peculiarity in the Mussaf service: strangely, in the entire Mussaf section, the word לְכַפֵּר (“to atone for”) does not appear anywhere. Would one not think that the purpose of the Mussaf service of Yom Kippur is to atone for the Children of Israel? After all, the Torah explicitly states that this is the purpose of the Mussaf offerings of Pesach (Numbers 28:22), of Shavuot (v. 30), and of Rosh Hashanah (29:5). Yet in the Yom Kippur Mussaf, the word לְכַפֵּר is conspicuously absent!

The Ba’al ha-Turim (Commentary to Numbers 29:11) explains that in describing the Yom Kippur Mussaf, “the Torah says ‘a male goat as a sin-offering’, but does not say לְכַפֵּר – ‘to atone’, because Yom Kippur itself atones”.

As the Mishnah (Yoma 8:8) says, “death and Yom Kippur atone, if accompanied by repentance”.

Fourth section: מִנְחָה – the Afternoon Service

The Torah describes the incense service by saying that the Kohen Gadol “shall take a shovelful of burning coals from on top of the Altar, from before Hashem, and his cupped hands full (וּמְלֹא) of finely-ground incense spices, and bring it unto the Curtain” (Leviticus 16:12).

The Ba’al ha-Turim (Commentary to Leviticus 16:12) notes that the word וּמְלֹא (“full”) occurs only twice in the Tanach. The only other place is when King David defeated and subjugated the Philistines and Moab: “he measured [the prisoners of war] with the rope, laying them on the ground; he measured two rope-lengths to be put to death, וּמְלֹא (‘and a full’) rope-length to be kept alive” (1 Samuel 8:2).

And the Ba’al ha-Turim infers from this that “in the merit of the Yom Kippur service they were victorious in war”.

The inference is that not only does Yom Kippur atone for sins committed in the previous year, but it also provides pre-emptive merit for the coming year.

Fifth section: נְעִילָה – the Concluding Service

Yom Kippur reaches its climax in those final hours. This is the final opportunity to beseech Hashem for forgiveness, the final opportunity to achieve the potential of Yom Kippur, before the gates of repentance close for another year.

Rabbeinu Yonah of Geronah, in his seminal work The Gates of Repentance (First Gate, Sections 10-50), enumerates twenty essential components for complete repentance:

  • regret;
  • forsaking sin;
  • sorrow;
  • active suffering (fasting, weeping, lamenting);
  • worry about the results of the sin;
  • shame;
  • whole-hearted submission to G-d and humbling oneself;
  • practical submissiveness by speaking quietly, keeping one’s eyes downcast, etc;
  • breaking physical desires;
  • improving one’s actions in the area in which one has sinned;
  • searching out one’s ways;
  • studying, knowing, and recognising the severity of the punishment;
  • regarding even minor sins as severe;
  • confession;
  • prayer;
  • righting the wrong to the best of one’s ability;
  • pursuing actions of loving-kindness and truth;
  • keeping one’s sins before oneself constantly;
  • rejecting the sin when it becomes available to one, and when one is tempted;
  • and causing as many other people as possible to turn away from sin.

Ne’ilah is the juncture when we feel the fast of Yom Kippur more powerfully than ever – both physically and spiritually. Ne’ilah, more than any other of the Yom Kippur services, is the time to arouse ourselves to tears of penitence, to the most heartfelt pleas for forgiveness.

Ne’ilah is the climax, not just of Yom Kippur, but of the Ten Days of Repentance which began with Rosh Hashanah, of the forty days which began with Rosh Chodesh Ellul.

Ne’ilah begins in the daylight while the sun is still shining, and continues through sunset, through the darkening dusk, through twilight, and into complete darkness when Yom Kippur has finished. And the final, dramatic conclusion of Ne’ilah, of Yom Kippur, of the Ten Days of Repentance, of the forty days since Rosh Chodesh Ellul, is that final shofar blast, piercing our hearts, piercing the Heavens.

After thirty days of blowing the shofar every morning during Ellul, after the shofar blast which was the most central and outstanding feature of Rosh Hashanah, this is the final shofar-blast of the season, the final reverberating reminder of Abraham’s binding of Isaac; the final reminder of our father Abraham, in whose merit G-d gave us Yom Kippur.

And this is the final reminder of the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, the foundation of Judaism; the prelude to the tragedy of the golden calf forty days later, which reached its closure eighty-one days later on Yom Kippur, exactly one year before G-d gave us the commandment for the annual Yom Kippur throughout our generations.

The shofar blast is the Jewish battle-cry. The first battle that we ever fought as a nation, the battle for Jericho immediately upon entering the Land of Israel, was led by Kohanim blowing the shofarot (Joshua 6:3-16). And decades later, the judge of Israel, Ehud, after assassinating the Moabite tyrant King Eglon, rallied the Jews to battle with the shofar (Judges 3:12-30).

Such it was throughout the wars that Israel fought: the judge Gideon (Judges 7:9-25), the prince Jonathan, son of King Saul (1 Samuel 13:3), King David when he defeated the Philistines (2 Samuel 6:15) – all sounded the shofar to rally the nation. This final shofar blast at Ne’ilah seals this day in whose merit we are victorious in war.

Sixth section: After Yom Kippur

And finally there is a sixth section of Yom Kippur. This is the section that does not appear in any prayer-book, the section which has not yet been written. This is the section that every one of us – you, me, our friends and families and neighbours – will write, each one according to his or her deeds, according to his or her decisions, in the coming year. It is this final, as-yet-unwritten section, which will determine the quality of next year’s Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Looking back to last Yom Kippur, we perceive – but cannot possibly comprehend – the decrees which G-d inscribed in His Heavenly ledgers a year ago. Who, on Yom Kippur of 5780, could possibly have foreseen what turmoils the year would bring?

Could anyone have dared predict the global epidemics of the Coronavirus, of social havoc, of unrestrained and undisguised Jew-hatred?

A year from now, on Yom Kippur 5782, we will be able to look back on another year, and gauge how G-d judged us this year.

G’mar chatimah tovah!

Tags: Daniel Pinner

Time to hold the PLO accountable for its crimes

“Justice, Justice shall you pursue…!”

The PLO era ended Sept. 15, 2020. It is time for Israel, the US and the rest of the world to recognize this truth and act accordingly.

Op-ed Caroline Glick , 27/09/20 12:03 Share
Saeb Erekat

Saeb Erekat Flash 90

(JNS) Earlier this month, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government announced that PLO Executive Committee chairman Saeb Erekat has been hired as a senior fellow for the school’s Future of Diplomacy Project for the 2020-2021 school year. This week, former senior Justice Department official attorney Neal Sher sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking that Erekat be denied a visa to the United States.

Sher noted that Erekat’s long record of supporting terrorism as a senior PLO official includes numerous acts of inciting, facilitating and soliciting terrorism. According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act, Sher argued, Erekat is legally barred from setting foot on U.S. soil.

The timing of Sher’s letter was noteworthy.

Twenty years ago this week, the PLO’s Palestinian Authority launched its terrorist war against Israel. It was two months after Erekat’s longtime boss PLO chief and P.A. chairman Yasser Arafat rejected Israel’s offer of peace and Palestinian statehood at the Camp David peace summit.

Arafat called the terrorist war “the al-Aqsa Intifada.” The name sent a signal to the Islamic world that the Palestinians were the advance guards of the global jihad.

Despite the P.A.’s acts of slaughter and incitement, despite its complete abrogation of all of its commitments to live at peace with Israel, and its embrace of the global jihad, no one disavowed the P.A. Israel continued to seek peace through appeasement. Washington continued to treat P.A. leaders as credible peacemakers even as they oversaw the massacre of hundreds of innocent Israelis. So did the wider international community.

Then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak learned neither from Arafat’s cold shoulder at Camp David nor from the terrorist offensive he launched in September. Barak continued to beg Arafat for peace even as the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv ran red with the blood of Israelis. At Taba, Barak’s negotiators made even more lavish offers for Israeli surrenders of land for peace than the offer he made at Camp David.

And the death toll continued to rise.

Three months after the Palestinians began their war of jihad, then-U.S. president Bill Clinton announced his “vision for peace.” Clinton’s “vision” included the first official American endorsement of Palestinian statehood.

Even after the administrations changed in Washington and Jerusalem, the Bush administration and the Sharon government maintained their slavish devotion to the fiction that the PLO was Israel’s peace partner.

When, after Sept. 11, 2001, then-President George W. Bush declared war on “global terrorism,” he made a carve-out for Palestinian terrorism. Two months later, his secretary of state, Colin Powell, declared that the administration supported Palestinian statehood.

In 2007 and 2008, Bush’s Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, devoted near manic efforts to achieving a peace deal between Israel and the P.A. Her favored method for achieving progress was not to compel the P.A. to end its support for terrorism and Israel’s destruction. It was to pressure Israel to make concessions to the P.A.

In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made Arafat’s heir, Mahmoud Abbas, an offer of peace even more generous than Barak’s offer at Taba. And like Arafat before him, Abbas didn’t even bother to acknowledge Olmert’s offer. Instead, he stepped up his political war against Israel and expanded the P.A.’s financial support for terrorists.

Throughout his eight years in office Barak Obama made supporting the Palestinians and their unrelenting war against Israel his highest goal. His method for advancing it was applying unrelenting pressure on Israel and showering it with abuse, threats and condemnations.

The P.A., needless to say, returned the favor by spurning Obama’s peace plan.

What stood behind this delusional response to Palestinian aggression? Why did the United States and Israel continue to lavish the P.A. with financial, political and military support instead of blackballing it and shutting it down?

The main reason was because for the past generation, the establishment view of the Middle East was that there could be no resolution of the Arab world’s conflict with Israel until the Palestinian conflict with Israel was resolved. And the way to resolve that conflict wasn’t by forcing the Palestinians to choose leaders that supported coexistence with Israel. It was by forcing Israel to appease the PLO through land surrenders. In other words, the idea that all the who’s who from Washington to Paris to Berlin to Tel Aviv subscribed to was that Israel was the side that needed to change for there to be peace—not the Palestinians.

Among the Israelis—who were the direct victims of Palestinian aggression—the majority of the public realized by 2000 that the peace process with the PLO was fake and that Israel needed to disavow it and set out on a new course. But despite the ever-rising casualty count and the unprecedented campaign of delegitimization against Israel led by the PLO and joined by the European Union and the United Nations, Israel maintained its allegiance to the phony peace process and continued to support its enemy and phony peace partner because two powerful constituencies insisted on it.

The Israeli left, including the media, and Israel’s security brass refused to accept the implications of the PLO’s command of the terror war. They would not reconcile themselves to the reality literally exploding all around them, that the PLO and its P.A. were Israel’s enemy, not its peace partner, because they couldn’t imagine a situation in which the Palestinian cities and villages run by the P.A. would be run by anyone else.

There were many reasons for this willful delusion. Some feared Palestinian demography. Some were driven by hatred of the Israeli right. Many—from the far left to the IDF General Staff to the top echelons of the Israel Security Agency to the Foreign Ministry—were simply unable to admit that they had been mistaken in their support for the peace process with the PLO. For these reasons and others, Israel’s security establishment and political left refused to get their heads around the basic fact that even if there was no good alternative to the PLO-run P.A., that didn’t make the PLO-run P.A. a viable alternative. The PLO-run P.A. is a hostile, corrupt, corrupting and dangerous enemy. And it will never, ever change.

Abbas regularly threatened to shut down the P.A. unless he received further billions of dollars in funding from the European Union and the United States and tax revenues from Israel. Abbas felt comfortable repeating his threat because he knew that he was the irreplaceable man and that his regime was the irreplaceable regime. Without them, after all, the “experts” from Brussels to Boston to Haifa insisted, there could never be peace anywhere in the Middle East. Obviously, the world powers had to continue propping up the P.A. Obviously, the IDF General Staff had to insist that Israel’s tax authority continue collecting taxes for the P.A. and transferring the revenues to Abbas’s bank account.

The peace agreements Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House on Sept. 15, and the Arab League’s rejection of the PLO’s demand to condemn the deals, demonstrate the idiocy of the notion that the Palestinians are now, or ever have been the key to Middle East peace. Far from being the key to peace, the PLO is irrelevant to peace. The moment the leaders of the UAE and Bahrain decided that making peace with Israel served their interests, they made peace with Israel. The Arab League’s refusal to condemn them points to the depth and breadth of support for relations with Israel among Arab leaders.

This brings us back to Sher’s letter about Erekat. There is no question that Erekat has played a key role in facilitating Palestinian terrorism for more than a quarter century. As recently as June he falsely accused Israel of “executing” an innocent Palestinian. Erekat’s cousin Ahmad Erakat was killed by Israeli forces at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem after he tried to kill them by ramming them with his vehicle. His terrorist act was captured on film.

Erekat’s most notorious and successful effort to spread blood libels against Israel occurred in the wake of the bloody battle in Jenin during “Operation Defensive Shield” in April 2002. Jenin had been the terrorism capital of Judea and Samaria. In March 2002, numerous suicide bombers were deployed to Israeli population centers from the city.

In the course of the battle, IDF reservists fought terrorists everywhere. All the buildings in the area had been booby-trapped. Twenty-three IDF soldiers were killed. Some 53 Palestinians, most of whom were armed terrorists, were also killed.

But just as Erekat portrayed his would-be killer cousin as a martyr, so he misrepresented the battle in Jenin. In the wake of the battle he appeared on CNN three times and accused Israel of massacring more than 500 innocent Palestinian men, women and children. He likened the battle to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the Israelis to Nazis and the Palestinian terrorists to Jewish Holocaust victims.

A few months after President Donald Trump entered office, Erekat received a lung transplant in the United States. America’s lifesaving hospitality didn’t provoke any gratitude, or even politeness from Erekat, however. Since recuperating, Erekat has repeatedly condemned and insulted Trump and his senior advisers Jared Kushner, Ambassador David Friedman, former chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt and former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. He wrote an op-ed in The New York Times insisting that the United States has no right to mediate negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Despite his long and bloody record of lies, and incitement and facilitation of terrorism, Erekat has never been called to account for his actions, much less paid a price for them. Now, perhaps, when it is clear to all that the PLO is irrelevant to peace, the time has finally arrived when he and his PLO colleagues will be treated like the malign terrorists and liars that they are and have always been.

Sher is right. There is no reason to grant Erekat a U.S. visa so he can come to Harvard and share his blood libels and his incitement of terrorism with American students.

And there is no reason to stop with him. America and Israel should both end the joke of PLO moderation. There is no reason for Israel to continue collecting taxes for the P.A. or transferring the revenues to the P.A., which exists to eliminate the Jewish state. There is no reason for the Israeli government to shield the P.A. from lawsuits from terror victims. All the taxes that Israel has collected for the P.A. rightly belong to the 15,000 Israeli families that have been shattered by its terrorist aggression.

The PLO era officially began at the White House on Sept. 13, 1993. It officially ended at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020. It is time for Israel, the US and the rest of the world to recognize this truth and act accordingly.

Caroline Glick is an award-winning columnist and author of “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.

Tags: Caroline Glick

The World of the Ger

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The World of the Ger introduces the inner dimension of the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah. These are the parables, stories, historical narratives, and mystical teachings that reveal the ancient heritage and spiritual identity of the Noahide Ger, the righteous Gentile who rejects idolatry and follows the Torah. 

On these pages, the reader will encounter great Noahide souls – Shem the son of Noah, founder of the world’s first yeshiva, whose students included Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Jethro the venerable father-in-law of Moses who established the Jewish court system; Aravna the Jebusite king who sold the Temple Mount to King David in the name of all Israel; the Queen of Sheba who brought millions of her subjects to observe the Torah as righteous Gentiles. 

The World of the Ger is an expression of a worldwide re-awakening to the Covenant of the Ancients. The nations of the world are being redeemed from 2000 years of spiritual exile and placed on a true path that leads to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.

Rabbi David Katz received Othododox rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg in Jerusalem and has become a leading rabbi to the Noahides with classes and articles seen and heard throughout the world. He is the founder of the Torah Academy of Shem and Eber in the holy city of Tzfat, Israel. 

Rabbi Chaim Clorfene is co-author of The Path of the Righteous Gentile, the book that introduced the Seven Laws of Noah to the English-speaking public in 1987 and remains the classic guide to the Noahide Laws. In The World of the Ger, Rabbi Clorfene explores the wisdom of the ancients, the primordial Torah for the Jew and the Gentile seeking enlightenment in a world confused by darkness.

European states funding Palestinian legal battles against Israel in Hague

September 23, 2020 European states funding Palestinian legal battles against Israel in HagueJudges at the International Court of Justice, or World Court in The Hague, Feb. 13, 2019. (AP/Peter Dejong)

The organization’s mission is to “flood the occupation with hundreds and thousands of lawsuits that will incriminate and convict it.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

European government money is being used to fund Palestinian legal battles against the state of Israel in the International Criminal Court, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.

According to watchdog group NGO Monitor, the Swiss government donated $700,000 to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights from 2018 to 2020.

In an agreement between the Swiss government and the PCHR, the organization promised to use the funds for “communicating with the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Tribunal… send documents and communicate with the Tribunal… and submit lawsuits in international forums.”

The PCHR’s website states that their work “is conducted through documentation and investigation of human rights violations… and preparation of research articles relevant to such issues as the human rights situation and the rule of law.”

However, the PCHR has filed numerous lawsuits in the International Criminal Court, repeatedly calling on Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to personally respond to their motions, as far back as 2013.

PCHR and similar organizations receive funds from the governments of Denmark, Ireland, and Sweden. Israel Hayom reports that these organizations’ missions are to “flood the occupation with hundreds and thousands of lawsuits that will incriminate and convict it.”

The al-Mizan, another NGO, filed human rights violations lawsuits against Israel in The Hague, paid for by the Dutch government.

The NGO Monitor report says that these funds are often classed as “legal aid,” without explicitly stating that the goal is to launch International Criminal Court lawsuits against Israel.

Ann Herzberg, Legal Adviser to NGO Monitor, told Israel Hayom that, “Contributing states should take responsibility for obstacles that prevent Israel from protecting its citizens from Palestinian terrorism.”

In May, a report by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs warned that funds donated to Palestinian aid organizations, from both European states and private donors, are being used to support terrorism.

The report came on the heels of an announcement by the European Union that it will continue funding Palestinian nonprofits, even if said nonprofits have links to terrorist organizations.

An August report by NGO Monitor found that the European Union donated 5.5 million euros in 2019 to various groups dedicated to promoting “Palestinian identity in Jerusalem.”

Ex-Nazi Hunter Seeks US Entry Ban on Top Palestinian Official Teaching at Harvard Over Alleged Terror Incitement

There’s “an overwhelming amount of publicly available evidence” demonstrating that Erekat had both incited terrorism and used his public position to endorse it,” says Neal Sher.

By The Algemeiner

A well-known Palestinian official is facing a potential legal challenge to his current role as an academic at Harvard University.

Saeb Erekat — the veteran chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — was appointed as Fisher Family Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project housed at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs for the 2020-21 academic year.

But one former American government official is seeking to hinder Erekat’s activities, arguing that he is an apologist for terrorism and therefore legally ineligible to enter the US.

In a letter to US Attorney General William Barr, Neal Sher — a former director of the Office of Special Investigations in the Department of Justice, which pursues Nazi war criminals — asserted that there was “an overwhelming amount of publicly available evidence” demonstrating that Erekat had both incited terrorism and used his public position to endorse it.

“Specifically, Erekat is the architect and most visible advocate and apologist for the so called ‘Martyrs Fund,’ a diabolical policy of the PLO which handsomely pays terrorists and surviving ‘martyrs’ families, including those of suicide bombers who were killed during their acts of terror,” Sher charged.

Erekat used “his position of prominence to endorse terrorist activity in a way that undermines United States efforts to reduce or eliminate terrorist activities,” Sher continued. “Accordingly, he is ineligible to enter the U.S. under Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

The Belfer Center’s website includes Erekat’s appearances on virtual Zoom seminars held for Harvard faculty and students.

The most recent seminar with Erekat on Sept. 17 focused on Palestinian reactions to the historic normalization agreements inked by Israel with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

In May, Erekat appeared with former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on a seminar on Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

‘Strip Their Funding’: Lawmaker Says No Aid for University That Invited Terrorist to Speak

Congressman Doug Lamborn demands the federal government cut funds to San Francisco State University for hosting a notorious Palestinian terrorist.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

A mainstream California university that hosted an unrepentant Palestinian terrorist caught the attention of one Congressman who says San Francisco State University crossed a red line.

Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado, sent a letter this week to Education Secretary Betsy Devos and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling on them to investigate the University “for potential breaches of material support [for terrorism] laws.”

Lamborn noted that on Wednesday SFSU held an online panel featuring Leila Khaled, who is a proud member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terror group. She also brags about her role in two airplane hijackings. The PFLP has a long history of terrorist attacks and as a known terror organizations there are severe sanctions on the group and anyone with ties to it.

“The U.S. State Department has designated [the PFLP] as a terrorist group,” Lamborn wrote, adding that Khaled “is an unrepentant terrorist who continues to boast about her terrorist acts.”

“This is deeply troubling and requires immediate action, up to and including cutting all federal funding and investigating other potential violations of the law,” Lamborn wrote.

The watchdog group praised Lamborn for taking a stand.

“We applaud Congressman Lamborn’s chutzpah for spotlighting San Francisco State University’s outrageous decision to host a convicted terrorist under the guise of ‘free speech,’” StopAntisemitism Director Liora Rez said.

“This is just the latest of countless indications that higher education has become hopelessly politicized and is in dire need of a severe course correction,” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes told political commentator Sara A. Carter in an interview on her website. “These schools should be educating our next generation of leaders, but instead they’re spreading a harmful, extremist ideology that champions terrorists and hijackers.”

Both Zoom and Facebook refused to host the online seminar, and the group at San Francisco State University that hosted Khaled started broadcasting the event on YouTube. However, after about 20 minutes of showing the event online, YouTube suddenly cut the stream and removed the video for violating its Terms of Service.

Zoom issued a statement saying it was committed to “the open exchange of ideas and conversations,” but that those were subject to its Terms of Service that comply with anti-terrorism laws.

“In light of the speaker’s reported affiliation or membership in a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, and SFSU’s inability to confirm otherwise, we determined the meeting is in violation of Zoom’s Terms of Service and told SFSU they may not use Zoom for this particular event,” said Zoom deputy general counsel, Lynn Haaland.

IDF targets illegal Palestinian building, UN warns of spike in such razing

From March to August 389 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank, on average 65 per month, were razed.


Jerusalem Post

Arab Israeli Conflict

Civil Administration demolishes illegal Palestinian structures in the West Bank, September 23, 2020 (photo credit: COGAT)

Civil Administration demolishes illegal Palestinian structures in the West Bank, September 23, 2020 (photo credit: COGAT)

The IDF targeted illegal Palestinian building in a special West Bank operation on Wednesday, as the United Nations warned against a four-fold spike in such demolitions despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The IDF’s Civil Administration said that six illegal uninhabited structures were removed in Samaria and in the South Hebron Hills, including an events hall, as well as illegal electrical power lines.

The Civil Administration is under pressure from the right-wing NGO Regavim and politicians including in the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee to take action against illegal Palestinian building in Area C of the West Bank. Both Regavim and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee have argued that the Palestinians are building illegally to seize control of Area C through changing facts on the ground.

South Hebron Regional Council head Yocchai Damri said Wednesday, “a real war is being waged for the land in the South Hebron Hills against the [Palestinian objective] of establishing an Arab terrorist state in the heart of the State of Israel.” He added that the Palestinian Authority was “systematically” planning out the illegal construction, with funding from European countries.

Earlier this month, outgoing UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories Jamie McGoldrick said it was misleading for the IDF to speak of illegal Palestinian construction given that “Israeli-issued building permits” are “almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain, due to the restrictive and discriminatory planning regime, and leaves them no venues for authorized construction.”

Demolitions have included populated structures, McGoldrick said, adding that “sadly” the IDF has not followed through with an initial promise to hold off on populated demolitions during the pandemic.From March to August “389 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank, on average, 65 per month” were razed, making that  “highest average destruction rate in four years,” McGoldrick said.

These demolitions “left 442 Palestinians homeless, further exposing many to risks associated with the pandemic. In August alone, 205 people were displaced, more than in any other single month since January 2017,” McGoldrick said.

In a separate statement, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that, compared with the monthly average of demolitions from January to July 2020, there was a “nearly fourfold increase in the number of people displaced (202 versus 56)” and a “55% increase in the number of structures targeted (88 versus 56).”

McGoldrick added that he was particularly concerned by the IDF use of an “expedited procedure (Order 1797) for the removal of structures as soon as 96 hours after delivering a notice.” The quick action does not leave homeowners time to appeal to the courts to halt the demolitions, McGoldrick said.COVID-19 “has increased the needs and vulnerabilities of Palestinians, who are already trapped in the abnormality of prolonged military occupation.

Unlawful demolitions exacerbate these vulnerabilities and must stop immediately,” McGoldrick said. On Wednesday the IDF, in conjunction with the Civil Administration and the Border Police, took action, and Border Police forces led an enforcement action including near Negohot in the South Hebron Hills. The IDF also took down two illegal walls near the Na’alin village and evacuated an area near the Hussan village where Palestinians had tried to encroach on state land.

Civil Administration Supervision Unit Director Marco Ben Shabbat said that Wednesday’s activities marked the latest enforcement operation “to eradicate the phenomenon of illegal [Palestinian] construction throughout Judea and Samaria,” while maintaining the rule of law. “We will continue to work tirelessly against those illegal activities, including environmental hazards and invasions of state lands, using all the tools at our disposal,” Ben Shabbat said.

Saudi King backs US peace efforts

Speaking to UN General Assembly, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman calls for comprehensive solution on Iran.

Elad Benari , 24/09/20 05:35

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday called for a comprehensive solution on Iran and to disarm its affiliate Hezbollah in Lebanon, and expressed support for US efforts to start talks between Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Reuters reported.

Speaking for the first time before the United Nations General Assembly, he said Iran has exploited the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers “to intensify its expansionist activities, create its terrorist networks, and use terrorism,” adding that this had produced nothing but “chaos, extremism, and sectarianism.”

“A comprehensive solution and a firm international position are required,” he told the 193-member General Assembly in a video statement, prerecorded due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our experience with the Iranian regime has taught us that partial solutions and appeasement did not stop its threats to international peace and security,” King Salman added, according to Reuters.

US President Donald Trump quit the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and has since reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Trump asserts that all countries also have to reinstate UN sanctions in an attempt to push the Islamic Republic to negotiate a new deal, but the remaining parties to the nuclear deal have rejected the demand.

The King also commented on attempts to mediate peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, saying the 2002 Arab peace initiative is the basis for a “comprehensive and just solution” ensuring the Palestinians obtain an independent state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

“We support the efforts of the current US administration to achieve peace in the Middle East by bringing the Palestinians and the Israelis to the negotiation table to reach a fair and comprehensive agreement,” he said.

The king stopped short of endorsing recent US-brokered agreements by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to establish ties with Israel.

Last week, US President Donald Trump told reporters that many more countries are on the way to reaching new peace deals in the Middle East.

Asked if he expected Saudi Arabia to follow suit, Trump said “I do. I spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia.” He added the move would come “at the right time.”

The President recently said he expected Saudi Arabia to join the Israel-UAE deal. A senior member of the Saudi royal family later stressed that Saudi Arabia’s price for normalizing relations with Israel is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

King Salman reiterated that position during a recent conversation with Trump, saying there would be no normalization with Israel without Palestinian statehood.

Tags: King Salman UN Iran Saudi Arabia

Arab attackers not stopped, Jews banned

IDF forces called in to deal with Arab rioters in Ma’ale Shai order Jewish residents out, allow rioters to continue rioting.

Arutz Sheva Staff , 23/09/20 17:06 Share
Ma'ale Shai

Ma’ale Shai צילום: משפחות גרעין “מעלה שי”

IDF forces that arrived at the Ma’ale Shai outpost in Binyamin after an attack on Jewish farmers this morning by Arab rioters refused to stop the attackers on the spot and issued an order declaring the outpost a “closed military area.”

The soldiers threatened to arrest the Jewish farmers if they did not leave the area.

One of the farmers who complained that the attacker who snatched his cell phone from him was even arrested by the soldiers and released on the spot shortly after.

Some of the Arab rioters are still on the scene in front of the soldiers and farmers.

The farmer whose phone was stolen had been using the device to film the violent attack.

The attack comes under the auspices of development work by the Arabs at the site, which has been going on for more than a week, with the aim of leveling the outpost.

Inspectors from the Civil Administration and the army forces stopped Arabs earthworks at the site yesterday, after repeated complaints for about a week about illegal works being carried out by Arabs on the ground. After a short while, however, the tools were released, and the large excavator continued to operate in the field.

Ma’ale Shai is a new outpost near the villages of Sinjil and Abu ‘Abwein in Binyamin, named after Shai Ohayon, who was killed in a stabbing attack in Petah Tikva about a month ago. A number of families and youths have immigrated to the area several times, in order to prevent the growing Arab takeover of Judea and Samaria.

The settlers of Ma’ale Shai were evacuated several times a few hours after entering the area, including a quick evacuation in the middle of Shabbat.

The families released a statement saying: “The Palestinian Authority continues to build continuously in Areas C, B and A, without any differentiation, in a systematic and organized manner, while the IDF continues to allow construction for Arabs and prevent Jews from settling. Those who want to maintain our grip on the Land of Israel must understand that the Oslo Accords aew long since dead, and those who do not allow Jews to settle anywhere will receive an Arab spread that will endanger the lives of Jews.”

Tags: binyamin IDF